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Mum slapped toddler in face queued up in busy chipshop??

(39 Posts)
milkmonster Thu 24-Sep-09 00:35:55

Queued up behind mum in chipshop holding her child, the toddler (looks about 2) accidentally nutted her in the jowls. Think it hurt a lot as the mum shrieked in pain sad, but then slapped the tot across the face (enought to make tot cry).

It looked relex reaction, not 'punishment', but is it unreasonable to think mum shouldn't have done this? hmm Mum looked quite decent person, well-dressed, etc. not chavtastic. I thought smacking children was against the law or something?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 24-Sep-09 00:41:11

No, it's no (usually) against the law, though inadvisable.

How do we legislate for instant or reflex reactions?

weegiemum Thu 24-Sep-09 00:47:15

In Scotland, hitting a child anywhere on the head has been illegal since (I think ) 2003.

Not in the rest of the UK, though!

StableButDeluded Thu 24-Sep-09 00:47:49

Bit of an odd reflex action. If it hurt that badly my instinct would be to screech and grab my jaw, not slap at the child. But then I wasn't there to see it so difficult to judge.

Knickers0nmahead Thu 24-Sep-09 00:58:27

T'was probably a reflex by the sounds of it but still out of order.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 24-Sep-09 01:03:04

Section 51 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003

"51 Physical punishment of children

(1) Where a person claims that something done to a child was a physical punishment carried out in exercise of a parental right or of a right derived from having charge or care of the child, then in determining any question as to whether what was done was, by virtue of being in such exercise, a justifiable assault a court must have regard to the following factors—

(a) the nature of what was done, the reason for it and the circumstances in which it took place;

(b) its duration and frequency;

(c) any effect (whether physical or mental) which it has been shown to have had on the child;

(d) the child’s age; and

(e) the child’s personal characteristics (including, without prejudice to the generality of this paragraph, sex and state of health) at the time the thing was done.

(2) The court may also have regard to such other factors as it considers appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(3) If what was done included or consisted of—

(a) a blow to the head;

(b) shaking; or

(c) the use of an implement,

the court must determine that it was not something which, by virtue of being in exercise of a parental right or of a right derived as is mentioned in subsection (1), was a justifiable assault; but this subsection is without prejudice to the power of the court so to determine on whatever other grounds it thinks fit."

sandcastles Thu 24-Sep-09 01:03:21

'Mum looked quite decent person, well-dressed, etc. not chavtastic'

Don't understand why that is relelvant, tbh. Hitting a child is OK as long as you are not a 'chav'?

juneybean Thu 24-Sep-09 01:10:53

No no Sandcastles, hitting is only OK if you ARE a chav, hence OP's shock

hanaboo Thu 24-Sep-09 16:13:16

i have very sudden reflex actions to pain, my dd has hurt me quite badly on a few occasions (in fact she managed to break my toe once just by stopping suddenly in front of me while i had no shoes on) but it would never be my reflex to slap her! poor little thing feels bad enough just seeing me in pain, i usually end up comforting her more than myself! this mother sounds horrible, poor child

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 24-Sep-09 16:16:13

poor little tot sad

obv no child should be slapped round the face for what was an accident

BouncingTurtle Thu 24-Sep-09 16:27:49

Good God, ds has nutted me lots of times on the nose or chin, but I have never retaliated back at him! Poor little boy

Oh, horrible. I don't think it's ever acceptable to hit a child around the head/face but then reflex actions are just that. I bet the mother was absolutely mortified afterwards (and if she wasn't, she should have been!)

OrmIrian Thu 24-Sep-09 16:29:37

I pushed DS#2 over the other day. On the carpet, no harm done. But he trod on my foot where I have tendonitis and it is agony atm. So I just pushed him off my foot and he fell. That is reflex. Smacking a child in the face isn't.

belgo Thu 24-Sep-09 16:32:32

If she hit her child in the face as a reflex action, especially as a reaction to an accident, I would be quite worried about that - it shows she cannot control her impulses, enough to make her violent towards her own child. Toddlers cannot control their impulses, but an adult should be able to.

belgo Thu 24-Sep-09 16:34:34

Janmesandthegiantbanana - it is no excuse that it was a reflex action, as I said, she should be able to control her reflex actions, especially towards a two year old child.

mummygirl Thu 24-Sep-09 16:34:41

YANBU thinking that this was out of order but YARBVU expecting a well-dressed mum to treat her child in a more appropriate way than a mum who's dressed as a "chav" (whatever this might mean)

alypaly Thu 24-Sep-09 16:37:10

god help the child when it is older if thats what she does at 2 years oldangry

mankymummymoo Thu 24-Sep-09 16:39:32

well if it was a reflex (albeit a severe one), she would have immediately said, "oh my god, sorry, sorry..." or something surely?

KIMItheThreadSlayer Thu 24-Sep-09 16:45:09

Maybe she was having a bad day, you should not judge....oh no hang on for a moment there I got caught up in the normal mumsnet reaction.

Poor child, I think it goes with the territory of being a parent that you are going to get thrown up on, bitten, head butted by wriggly little people, have your walls drawn on, and at some point at least a whole toilet roll flushed down the loo.

I am not anti smacking but you do not hit a child (what ever age) in the face or round the head

mumof2222222222222222boys Thu 24-Sep-09 16:45:19

DS1 (5) nutted me in the head yesterday - he was overexcited not being malicious. He'd been warned to calm down several times.

It hurt. I shouted ow. I grabbed him, carried him out of the bedroom and plonked him on the naughty step and ignored him for 5 minutes. He then apologised.

Don't agree with slapping a child of 2 in the face - chav or not chav! Incidentally I felt like wallopping DS1, but didn't. We don't exactly have a no smacking policy, it is just that we hever have smacked them.

minervaitalica Thu 24-Sep-09 16:47:37

God, what an awful situation - "reflex" is not an excuse in this case... It was just a toddler!!!

Problem is: I am sure I would feel awful in such circumstances, what I am not sure there is much you can do if it happens...

milkmonster Fri 25-Sep-09 23:29:49

Posting this was the only way to see events dislocated. sad

The mum in the chipshop was me.

I've never hit my child before.
I have just come out of a 7 year abusive relationship, my deepest fear was this might happen and it looks like it has.
I know I need to seek some professional advice now, I thought I'd left all this behind me..

milkmonster Fri 25-Sep-09 23:32:09

'I have just come out of a 7 year abusive relationship' - should clarify, my partner was the violent aspect of that relationship, not me.

nickschick Fri 25-Sep-09 23:36:08

Milkmonster sad,did nobody say anything to you? is it possible you feel you reacted worse than you did.

Christ you must feel awful,first thing monday morning you need to seek advice- you made a mistake today thats how you start to put it right.

Hando Fri 25-Sep-09 23:36:44

Milkmonster. I do not think the situation you have described is a cause to need to seek help. Yuu know it wasn't the best thing you could have done, you feel a bit guilty and I bet you'll never do it again - that makes you a good parent, not a bad one!

You don't know the people posting here - they might beat the crap out of their kids and be awful parents for all we know.

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