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To think MIL shouldn't tell DS to hit back

(31 Posts)
PiggleyPig Fri 22-Jul-16 00:17:23

Have name changed for this. DS (4) finished school yesterday for the summer. DH and I work full time so DS and DD (2) went to in laws today. DD seemed to be a bit over excited that DS was off school and started pinching and hitting DS to wind him up. DS then came home later that day saying MIL had told him to hit DD back! DH (who had picked them up) confirmed that she had said this - it wasn't DS making it up. AIBU to think that's not how she should have dealt with the situation? I dont really understand why she thought that was an appropriate resolution. I don't want DS and DD growing up to think they should hit people.

Nocabbageinmyeye Fri 22-Jul-16 00:26:57

Out of curiosity what will you teach your dc to do if someone hits and pinches them?

PiggleyPig Fri 22-Jul-16 00:45:16

At this age I've told him to walk away and tell someone (me, teacher, grandparents etc). If they really had to defend themselves then fair enough but I don't see how hitting his sister back is going to solve anything. Apparently MIL said to DS it will teach DD not to hit/pinch but I can't help thinking if she sees adults condoning her brother doing it back to her then she will think it's ok to do. Personally I would have told her off and removed her from the situation

Hillfarmer Fri 22-Jul-16 00:45:33

Your MIL is being effing outrageous. Where does she think her solution will end up? Total warzone. Lovely.

Is that what she told your DH to do when he was a child or has she only recently gone stark staring mad?

LucyBabs Fri 22-Jul-16 00:51:32

Umm the rules in our house and for myself are if someone hits you then you hit back. Not a popular rule I'm sure but that is what works for us.
I wouldn't tolerate someone putting their hands on me and me just standing there taking it.

Hitting someone and defending yourself are two completely different things

coolaschmoola Fri 22-Jul-16 00:54:28

Using family for childcare has its own issues. Family don't always do things the way we would. Talk to her, or pay for childcare.

PiggleyPig Fri 22-Jul-16 00:54:35

Hmm I've just had a memory of her telling me years ago that she'd told DH to do something to his older brother after he had done something to DH (hit him possibly). Sorry to be vague - Hillfarmer your comment just triggered the memory but it's very fuzzy. I will have to ask DH in the morning to see if he remembers. Strangely, even though I dont always agree with MILs parentimg technique, DH turned out to be a decent bloke and he also agreed that telling DS to hit back wasn't the right thing to do. Before anyone says it, this isn't a MIL bashing thread - I would have been just as annoyed if DM, DH or anyone else had told DS to hit his sister

coolaschmoola Fri 22-Jul-16 00:56:27

I'm not sure which way I'd go. Telling a four year old to hit a two year old is BAD. If I could afford childcare I think I'd be using it.

Nocabbageinmyeye Fri 22-Jul-16 00:56:31

I was going to say neither were being unreasonable, that it was just different techniques and if it hadn't been discussed before then tell mil what her approach should be in future.

But, I just realised it was the 4 year old she was telling to hit the 2 year old back, I assumed it was the other way around for some reason, so I'm surprised she said it at all. Just tell her if it happens again to say or do x instead so you are all on the same page

PiggleyPig Fri 22-Jul-16 01:04:11

DD does go to nursery a few days a week but we can't afford full time. I have asked DH to talk to MIL and explain we'd rather it was handled in a different way. Just interesting to see if other people felt it was inappropriate or if I was over reacting

Nocabbageinmyeye Fri 22-Jul-16 01:05:22

We're like Lucys house here, you never ever hit someone first but if someone hits you then you hit them back only harder UNLESS they are younger. We have a no hitting no slapping house but I also wouldn't expect my kids to take someone hitting them. I will say I have a big age gap with my dcs so these rules apply out of the house as they would never hit each other so I realise with siblings it may be different, it's just a non issue here.

Thankfully in 10 years it's only occurs once, funny it was with a younger child who constantly hit dd and his mother never corrected him so after a whole I told her it was fine to break the rule and hit him back, he never hit her again.

I do think the ages here make it different though. Just talk to your dh and decide what way you will approach it and tell your mil so you are all consistent

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Jul-16 01:07:26

NO! A child should not be taught to hit his sister back, or vice versa.

Boys are generally stronger than girls and this needs to be taken into account.

Also, he is twice her age, this needs to be taken into account.

He could hold her at arms length, easily, and tell her sternly not to do it, then tell grandma the problem.

I thought you were going to say something about fighting at school! So I had already started formulating my reply before I read the post! If so, if he were being picked on by random children at school and hit my (IMHO) advice would be to seek help from a teacher the first time (at least once and possibly more times) and after that time to hit back if he could do so successfully without making the situation worse. Although even then I would feel that finding a solution rather than violence would be better but if hitting back prevented my child from getting hurt, I would advise it.

But in the case of siblings it is a different situation.

whatamockerywemake Fri 22-Jul-16 01:14:23

FWIW, I would NEVER encourage meeting violence with violence. "hitting back" does not (in my opinion) teach self defence. It just teaches violence. First you hit the kid that taunts you on the playground (no matter if you were part of the winding up process or or not), then you hit those around you that you love. And when your life-partner pisses you off...

I agree with "tell" and "walk away" and I also recommend "modelling". (by which I mean displaying the behaviours you want to see) and ignoring the behaviours you don't like and having immediate consequences for behaviours you don't want.

As an example, a 4 yr old hits his mum. She hits him back. <BLINK> (cos that's how quick it is) 4 yr old is now 15 and a foot taller than mum and stronger. And she's taught him to use his fists. It's not a scenario that ends well.

Please, mumsnet, don't treat your kids to hit back. I work with too many victims of domestic violence.

PiggleyPig Fri 22-Jul-16 01:15:18

I'm sure I will have to deal with that situation shortly Nocabbage as DS is starting full time school in Sept and I agree that if he was continually hit by a child I wouldn't expect him to just take it.

I'm just aware that DS and DD often play together and one ends up getting accidentally hurt. i.e DD accidentally scratched DS the other day when they were tickling each other (no mark left but DS jumped up and said DD scratched him.). I don't want them thinking that it's ok to wallop each other when things like that accidentally happen.

LucyBabs Fri 22-Jul-16 01:20:00

whatamockery I would never tell my dc to hit because they were being taunted. Also nice victim blaming.. "No matter if you were part of the wind up process or not" confused
You are completely missing the point about defence and violence
You honestly think we have a problem with domestic violence because a child is taught to defend themselves?

Nocabbageinmyeye Fri 22-Jul-16 01:21:06

No I understand completely, as I say I have a bigger gap, dd1 is ten and dd2 is two so obviously I have never had to think of it from a sibling point of view as the ten year would never hit my two year old, it would just not happen because at ten it's a non issue. So it completely playground/school I am talking about which I appreciate is totally different not just because of the relationship but the ages involved too

whatamockerywemake Fri 22-Jul-16 01:43:47

I would never, ever victim blame, and I don't see how you could have got that from my post. But I've just read it again, and whilst I don't see it as 'victim blaming' I'll own I said it because I sometimes to staff cover on school playgrounds, and you often get children coming to you in rage or upset saying "xx hit me", so you go and find "xx" and say "did you hit yy?" and xx says "yes, they hit me first" and that kid says "yes, they were annoying me". My point being that kids only see things from their perspective. Not victim blaming at all, but knowing that children can be very unreliable witnesses!

And would also never teach a child that hitting is the answer.

I would never presume to know any reason why; but I work with parents out of primary schools, and I do know that domestic violence is a massive, massive issue for many parents, mostly (not all) mothers. It's mostly hidden and excused,and it effects their children, so I apologise if my post read wrong, but I would stand by saying violence breeds violence, and parents need to find another way of dealing with things they don't like, including siblings hitting each other. Defence or not, using your physicality is not the answer (IMHO). Let's not breed our kids to use their fists to solve their problems!

LucyBabs Fri 22-Jul-16 02:25:06

I totally agree with you whatamockery I certainly don't want my dc to grow up thinking using your fists is the answer. I have a very sensitive dd she is 7 and a people pleaser, she wants to be every ones friend..nothing wrong with that as such but she can be a target and seen as a soft touch.
Where we live there were a few girls pushing her around and trying to bully her because she is a softy.
I told her to go out and play as normal and if these girls made fun of her or pushed her around, she was to use her strongest voice and tell them to leave her alone and stop making fun of her.
It has been by far the best solution. The bullies have backed off and she's so much more confident.

I don't agree with violence at all believe me, however in certain situations hitting back and showing you're not a push over can be the answer

Hillfarmer Fri 22-Jul-16 12:45:59

And would also never teach a child that hitting is the answer.

Totally agree with you whatamockery

I can't believe 'hitting back' is seen as an appropriate response and actual advice from a parent to a child. I was horrified to be on the receiving end of this kind of exchange just a few days ago, so it is still very fresh and I am still gobsmacked. Here is what happened:

I was at a friendly, family barbeque at the house of my DS's schoolfriend. Lots of boys and girls aged around 7. It was early evening, parents in the garden and on patio, kids playing in and out of the house on beanbags and inflatables. Lots of rough and tumble play, with piles of little boys having fun. Suddenly a little boy appears near me on the patio, clutching his face and saying '[Hillfarmer's DS name] hit me' and crying. I can't see my DS around. The boy isn't one of DS's classmates, but I'm the nearest grown-up, so I crouch down to the boy to comfort him and check he's ok, put my arm around him and ask him where his mum and dad are so we can get one of them. Just then the dad comes up to see his son and I explain that I think my son has whacked him. Man doesn't address me, but shouts down to his DS 'Hit him back! Hit him back!'. Boy is still crying. I say 'I don't think that is a good idea in the circs.' Dad says 'I'm his dad, I know him, he never hits back.' [in a tone of voice that makes it very clear that This Is A Bad Thing]

Again, I say that's not a good idea because.... and at that point I attempt to tell the Dad some information about my son, which possibly puts my objection to his policy into starker relief. Dad starts to walk away. And the host intervenes to explain further and usher him away from me.

The bit of information that I gave the Dad is that my son has Asperger's Syndrome and is implusive. He is not great at sharing and if someone pushes him over he is likely to hit them back, but more aggressively. He isn't calibrated to work out how hard he has been pushed or whether it was accidental or not. So the chances are my DS whacked this boy for some perceived slight. Or the boy could have started it, we'll never know. The point is, if the hurt boy had escalated it, then my son would have probably escalated it some more. The boy did exactly the right thing in coming to find help from an adult. And instead of sympathising and going about it in a civilised way, his dad piled in with a nice bit of victim-blaming as well as his 'escalation' tactic.

The person at fault wrt the altercation was probably me. Better stick my hand up here before anyone else throws a stone at my parenting. Perhaps I should not have been standing on the patio, chatting to another parent with a glass of wine in my hand. Probably I should have been monitoring my son closely all the time in order to be able to intervene immediately I saw a potential 'situation' with another child. So perhaps that's a given. My son's Asperger's both means that he is more likely to retaliate or throw a fist instead of giving back a toy. It also means he will react disproprotionately if someone hits him. And you can't tell by looking at my DS that he has Asperger's - he 'passes'. I felt mortified that the other little boy was hurting and clearly he doesn't hurt any less because he was hit by a child with high-functioning Autism.

But... it occurred to be that in this situation my son's SEN status had no relevance to this man's stance. Even if my son was neuro-typical (or 'normal' if you prefer), this man, in my earshot was demanding that his son hit my son! I can't see that being right in any circumstances.

Can anyone else imagine that telling your child to hit another child is EVER right?

DerelictMyBalls Fri 22-Jul-16 13:02:38

YANBU. Only a dimwit would think that you resolve conflict with violence, IMO.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Fri 22-Jul-16 13:17:07

My son's Asperger's both means that he is more likely to retaliate or throw a fist instead of giving back a toy.

What are you doing to control that? Because if he tries that in the wrong place aged 15, he's going to get beaten to a pulp, SEN or not.

Underparmummy Fri 22-Jul-16 13:20:56

You teach your small children to hit each other?!

Bit weird.

Here if sibling hits come and tell a parent, if you hit back then you are both in trouble.

I would be very cross with MIL but then my MIL is also a boundary stepper and i limit the time she is alone with my kids. I would never use her for childcare.

Pootles2010 Fri 22-Jul-16 13:27:39

What about the parents that never tell their kids off under? Should my DS be taught just to put up with it?

We tell him to shout 'no!' and to get a teacher, but they can't be everywhere and some kids just don't care. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

MadamDeathstare Fri 22-Jul-16 13:34:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hillfarmer Fri 22-Jul-16 15:53:12

CuboidalSlipshoddy - oh gosh it really hadn't occurred to me to do anything about it. Thanks for the thought.

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