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To be wary of grandfather because he smacks?

(34 Posts)
blushingmare Wed 12-Nov-14 10:16:46

A couple of weekends ago we had my inlaws to stay and also DH's sister and her little boy, who is just over 2 and an active little chap. DFIL has little patience with him!

There was an incident when our nephew was running towards a lamp as if going to touch it. His mum shouted "no" loudly and he stopped in his tracks and turned round. A good 20 secs or so after he'd stopped, DFIL got out of his seat and went and smacked him (not hard) on the bottom - of course he cried.

I was appalled. I personally would rather not smack any child and will try hard not to use this as discipline with our own children. But regardless of how you feel about smacking in general, the timing was awful - he effectively punished him for obeying his mother!

DPIL are keen to help out with childcare when I go back to work after having DC2, but this has really made me think twice about it. DH thinks I'm overreacting and it wasn't a big deal, but I would be furious if he smacked one of our children.

NaiceNickname Wed 12-Nov-14 10:19:49

YANBU, I'd be wary too. If you have no other options then I'd be making it very very clear to them that the minute they use physical force as discipline then the arrangement will be over instantly.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Wed 12-Nov-14 10:22:43

Wary? Wary!? I'd be fucking incensed!

NO way would he be with my children and in your shoes I would have spoken out in that child's defence.

MrsBungle Wed 12-Nov-14 10:23:45

I wouldn't leave my children with them. What did that incident have to do with the grandad anyway, the mum was there. I'd have been beyond furious.

Shakey1500 Wed 12-Nov-14 10:25:14

I would be thinking twice also sad

SaucyMare Wed 12-Nov-14 10:25:40

i would have had a stern word with him as the mother, asking why he had smacked my child when i had the situation under control.

I would not be happy.

PrettyLittleMitty Wed 12-Nov-14 10:28:22

No fucking way would he he left alone with my children. I don't smack them, i'm buggered if anyone else will!

ChoudeBruxelles Wed 12-Nov-14 10:28:35

I would make it clear that if they look after your dcs they are never to smack them.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 12-Nov-14 10:28:54

Why do people leave hazardous stuff within reach of children, then punish them if they exercise their natural curiosity and attempt to explore a bit? No way would they be looking after my kids unless some very firm assurances were made.

MsVestibule Wed 12-Nov-14 10:30:48

I was smacked as a child (not unusual at all then) but my parents have never, ever smacked any of their grandchildren. If they did, I simply wouldn't leave them on their own with them.

You have decided that smacking is wrong, so I wouldn't consider leaving your DC with them. If they ask, I would tell them why, in as non-confrontational way as possible.

Is your DH OK with smacking?

Trollsworth Wed 12-Nov-14 10:31:34

Nope. Not a chance.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 12-Nov-14 10:31:42

I'd be fuming as well and incredibly upset. I imagine I'd have had a go when I saw it. I know my ILs are pro-smacking, especially my MIL, and DH got a hairbrush across the bum when he was little. Watching this thread with interest as I've not yet made my stance clear with regards to our DCs, and as they're our only source of unpaid childcare, I'd be interested to know how to tactfully raise it with them before it ever happens.

sickntiredtoo Wed 12-Nov-14 10:35:42

Well maybe your DSIL does agree with smacking, although in this instance it was badly timed.I am sure if you say that you do not want your child smacked they would respect that.Nobody i know who smacks their own child , would dream of smacking someone else's.

Preciousbane Wed 12-Nov-14 10:38:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlehayleyc Wed 12-Nov-14 10:50:13

I'd find it hard to let somebody who does things like that look after my DCs to be honest. Not just because of the actual smacking, but the timing of it, and the fact that the mother was there and had already dealt with the child by saying 'no', which had worked. Even if you agree with smacking for certain things (which I don't) surely smacking a 2 year old for investigating something that they may not know is a danger is very wrong! What did the child's mother say? If I was even going to consider letting them regularly look after my DCs I'd need a solid assurance that they would never be smacked, and also would not smack the DCs cousins in their presence. I wouldn't want my children around that sort of behaviour.

Purplepoodle Wed 12-Nov-14 10:50:16

My dad's a smacker. Had an incident, he hit eldest dc. I was very upset. So agreed from that day on he never smacks - long chat with undertones if he can't do my discipline mum and dad don't have dc. Got them the 1,2,3 magic dvd. Now he's a master of counting them and sending to bedroom for time out.

Have an honest chat with mil and explain how u are disciplining your dc and that you never want them smacked

quietbatperson Wed 12-Nov-14 10:51:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sheitgeist Wed 12-Nov-14 11:10:30

The incident you describe sounds awful: the child was clearly being obedient and is well taught by his parents.
Have a word with FIL telling him you'd love for him and MIL to have DC, but can't tolerate smacking. If he disagrees, tries to justify it or even wavers for a minute then find a CM or good nursery instead. The extra expense will be worth it.
How did your SIL react to this, out of interest?

Optimist1 Wed 12-Nov-14 11:13:40

You need to talk to the ILs and explain that something you and DH feel very strongly about is that your children should never, ever be smacked. Acknowledge that attitudes to smacking were different in the past, but ask them both to agree to this one thing. Only a very difficult grandparent wouldn't give you their assurance.

RiverTam Wed 12-Nov-14 11:14:59

the trouble is your DH, have you never discussed smacking with him? DH and I are absolutely against smacking, I couldn't not be in agreement with him about this.

You and your DH need to present a united front and make it crystal clear that you do not tolerate smacking and you will not leave your DC with them if there's even the slightest chance of it happening.

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Wed 12-Nov-14 11:17:45

I think you need to be very upfront and say that this is making you think again about them doing childcare, because you are absolutely against smacking as a method of discipline. I like the idea of providing them with the 123 Magic DVD!

Having said that, my lovely patient mum who doesn't believe in smacking at all did once smack my dd when she was about 5 and I came home to find her in floods of tears as she thought she would never be able to look after her again. Given this was once in a now 10 year period I totally understood, and of course they have gone on to have a close loving relationship. There is a difference between a momentary loss of control which you really regret and seeing nothing wrong with smacking.

NotQuitePerfect Wed 12-Nov-14 11:19:58

What littlehayleyc said ^^

Please, please find alternative childcare.

BuckskinnedAstronaut Wed 12-Nov-14 11:20:01

That he believes in smacking and you don't wouldn't put me off -- plenty of grandparents believe in smacking but still don't smack their grandchildren because the parents don't agree with it.

But that he smacked a small child who had done nothing wrong (at worst had looked as though he might be going to do something wrong) would be ringing huge alarm bells for me.

Castlemilk Wed 12-Nov-14 11:23:01

Sorry, but there would be no way I'd agree to them doing childcare after that incident.

I'ts more than the smacking - it's the fact that the mum had the incident sorted, it was over. It's as if GF was looking for a reason to a. smack and b. put his comment/influence on the proceedings. Not a good approach. Not a good recipe for childcare, which would require them to be willing to respect your parenting decisions on all sorts of things.

'Sorry, having seen the smacking incident at SIL's I am sure having you take on childcare would not be a good idea, we are very anti smacking and would need to be confident that our parenting methods would be followed. I would hate an arrangement like that to be the cause of family fall out'.

Castlemilk Wed 12-Nov-14 11:30:20

Absolutely also as Buckskins said before me - at absolute worst, smacking should surely (in the eyes of those who smack) be an absolute last resort, a really Big Thing. To casually smack a really young child who hadn't actually DONE anything? That would tell me immediately that this would be the sort of person I just wouldn't want caring for my DC - it signals a pretty oppressive, aggressive approach to them. Horrible.

So not just about smacking - that particular incident really raises a few flags about the way this man would undertake 'caring' for a young child.

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