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Smacking as discipline

(119 Posts)
aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 11:39:59

Posting here for traffic.

My next door neighbour has a just turned 2 yr old toddler. Our houses are semi's with only us attached iyswim. Now, as expected with toddlers and children, we hear a lot of crying. Their DC is left with dad a lot as mum works full time and he does evening work.
I've noticed a pattern over the last year or so; their DC cries a lot more when left with dad. On occasion, I've heard dad shout and scream when DC cries, fair enough, not the way I would handle it, but it can be very testing. I've also heard very clear, unmistakable smacks sad sometimes 4/5 in a row. Not a "tap on the hand".
This is fairly distressing to hear. Their DC cries even harder after this and it literally turns my stomach and makes my blood run cold.
I heard this again a few nights ago, after the mum had also been shouting and screaming at him. So she was definitely present when this last incident happened.
It (the smacking) has happened maybe 10 times in the past year.
Whenever we see the neighbours we always give a friendly hello, but we're not overly friendly. I don't think they would take kindly to us approaching them about it, or even offering a cuppa and a chat.
Their child is not neglected from what I can see, and we often hear him laughing and playing.
So my question is what would you do? Have a word with health visitor? Ask for advice from nspcc? Or just leave it?
If we reported it would be obvious it was us, as we're the only ones attached, and no way other neighbours could hear.
Ugh, bit of a moral dilemma here.
Thanks for reading.

lastqueenofscotland Fri 13-Jan-17 11:40:52

Report it. God if it was 4/5 in a row I think I'd consider calling the police.

Tootsiepops Fri 13-Jan-17 11:47:17

He's hitting his kids so hard you can hear it in your house?

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 11:48:13

Reading back, if it was someone else's post I'd without a doubt say the same. Thank you.

Sirzy Fri 13-Jan-17 11:49:08

They are hitting someone so hard you can hear it through a wall?

If you heard an adult being beaten up what would you do?

StandardNameHere Fri 13-Jan-17 11:51:53

I'd have to report it, if you can hear it then surely that is a massive slap and not just a tap (not that I do that).
The thought of hearing that makes me feel sick 😕

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 11:52:31

Oh god I've been stupid haven't I?! I have the health visitor coming to my home today for my DC's check. I'm going to mention it to her.
I have a DC a similar age and the thought of smacking so hard that it can be heard through walls.... sad no. Just no.

icanteven Fri 13-Jan-17 11:53:29

That's a lot of smacking. There's a time and a place for an occasional smack, but I can't imagine any situation that requires 5 in a row (especially that regularly!) unless the parent is having a lot of trouble coping with the child's basic needs. I would be inclined to report it. A tiny child and two parents with anger and control issues is at risk. What if next time Dad hits the child on the head, and next thing he's not breathing?

Sirzy Fri 13-Jan-17 11:53:45

Mentioning it to the HV makes sense. She could well also be their HV

Purplebluebird Fri 13-Jan-17 11:54:08

Yes definitely tell the HV, this is abuse, not discipline sad Poor children.

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 14:44:56

Mentioned it to HV, she didn't seem too concerned tbh confused

Aeroflotgirl Fri 13-Jan-17 14:48:26

At least you have mentioned it, to her, she is a professional and will go through the safeguarding systems if she is concerned.

annlee3817 Fri 13-Jan-17 14:50:53

Please Please Call the NSPCC adult helpline 0808 800 5000, and they will advise who you can report it too. I can't imagine how distressing that must be for the child sad

annlee3817 Fri 13-Jan-17 14:50:54

Please Please Call the NSPCC adult helpline 0808 800 5000, and they will advise who you can report it too. I can't imagine how distressing that must be for the child sad

Bluntness100 Fri 13-Jan-17 14:53:15

Phone social services, hitting a small child repeatedly so hard your neighbours can hear it is awful and it can't be allowed to continue.

If someone was hitting you repeatedly so hard it could be heard through the walls, would you want someone to help you?

RayofFuckingSunshine Fri 13-Jan-17 14:53:52

Give the NSPCC a call and talk it through with them, they can forward it to the relevant place if necessary, especially if you aren't sure whether the HV will report to safeguarding or not. Smacking your child isn't illegal and won't necessarily in itself cause a SW visit, it will be logged though and they can monitor in case more concerns come to light at the very least.

princessmouldilocks Fri 13-Jan-17 14:59:27

Hv has to keep their opinions to herself in front of you, but will more than likely report or act on it. Thing is,smacking isn't illegal unless a mark is left. Disgraceful yes, but some people think moderate smacking is discipline and without it all our dc will grow into hooligans.....

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 15:06:33

Yes Ray, that makes sense, thanks.

Princess, my guess is there will definitely be marks left since the smacking is so hard I can hear it. The couple are on their 40's and I'm guessing he is of the generation "a smack won't do any harm"

I think I will give the local Children's services a call, even if they do nothing, it will be logged. And in the meantime if it happens again, maybe calling 101 would be the better option?

DailyFail1 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:37:18

Is it actually smacking? My sister would clap her hands when neice was a toddler to snap her out of tantrumns and from a distance it sounded like she was getting a hiding. Kids that age who get beaten so often and badly you can hear them through the wall, will usually be quiet withdrawn and better behaved. They might not even cry aloud when they get hit (too scared). You're right to contact social services though.

SnatchedPencil Fri 13-Jan-17 15:44:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

FireSquirrel Fri 13-Jan-17 15:47:55

Children do not need to be smacked ever. Full stop.

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 15:49:09

Daily, it's unmistakeable smacking unfortunately. I often used to clap to snap my little one out of a tantrum, I can hear the difference. When the dad is smacking he often shouts at same time e.g. "stop that crying now". But with that you can hear the effort he's putting into the smacking... like a smack with each word iyswim? And it's not skin to skin if that makes sense. The little one pauses then screams even louder.
It really is awful to think how scared he must be sad

Trifleorbust Fri 13-Jan-17 15:49:55

SnatchedPencil: I think beating up kids gets a very fair press - not acceptable. A smack on the bum or hand to prevent dangerous behaviour is one thing. 4-5 loud slaps in a row? confused

aintnobodygottimefodat Fri 13-Jan-17 15:50:25

Snatched - this has been going on since he was around 1. Don't you think that's a little young? And not much is "learned" from a smack at that age?

Sassypants82 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:52:20

Oh God this actually makese feel so sick. That poor little boy. I agree with Fire.. I. Just can't ever imagine a scenario where I would think that a smack would be the answer. Teaching children that it's OK to assault someone if they frustrate you. Awful.

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