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Smacking at soft play.

(11 Posts)
imwithspud Mon 20-Jul-15 00:50:38

We went to soft play this afternoon, dc1 is 2.9 and there was another boy there around the same age. Anyway at one point dc1 was trying to get into the ball pit, the little boy was preventing dc1 from doing so, not a huge deal. Stuff like that happens at soft play sometimes especially with toddlers. It's easily resolved and as long as the parents of the 'offending' child intervene appropriately then it's not a big deal. The dad was nearby so was able to discipline the boy.

I don't often like to comment on how other people discipline their kids in public but the dad of this child seemed to come down on the boy like a tonne of bricks, shouted at him then rolled his sleeve up and smacked him on the arm quite hard, hard enough that it could be heard around the whole place. Dc1 was only standing a couple of feet away and witnessed the whole thing. Am I being precious in feeling a bit uneasy at the fact that dc1 had to witness that? We don't use smacking as a form of punishment and it was more than just a tap, even dp let out a gasp when it happened.

Needless to say I encouraged dc1 to play else where after that, as it wasn't the first time during the session that I'd noticed

imwithspud Mon 20-Jul-15 01:01:21

Whoops, finger slipped and hit send to early.

Anyway needless to say after that I checked dc1 was okay, she didn't seem phased by what she'd seen but I also don't want her seeing stuff like that and thinking it's okay to hit others. I encouraged her to play away from this child and his dad as it wasn't the first time during the session I'd noticed the dad acting what I perceived as irrationally towards the boy. Obviously I don't know personal circumstances and what not but the dad appeared to have a very short fuse with him. I can't help but feel it would have been better for the child's dad to remove him from the situation then reprimand?

AndNowItsSeven Mon 20-Jul-15 01:08:24

The dad smacked his own child , I don't smack however it's perfectly legal.
You do seem overly worried about how it would affect your ds I am unsure why.

imwithspud Mon 20-Jul-15 01:23:01

I guess I am being precious lol, pfb and all that! I was just shocked really, seemed like a total over reaction on the dads part. It's not like it was just a tap, he full on smacked the kid on the arm, that along with other stuff I'd noticed (only because my dc had decided to try and make friends with the child earlier on so was following them around at times) made for uncomfortable viewing. But you're right it's not really my concern, I was just worrying, probably unnecessarily over dc witnessing it.

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 20-Jul-15 01:24:59

It's sad but true that the father can smack his own child, as long as it doesn't leave a mark or uses an instrument.

I agree with you that there are many better approaches to dealing with this child, however there's nothing stopping this father from smacking if that's his choice.

You can explain to your DD that he was wrong, and talk about how hitting doesn't help.

If you think the smacking was beyond what's allowed legally then I suppose you could call social services and try and let them know.

imwithspud Mon 20-Jul-15 01:43:31

Thanks, we explained to her that hitting is wrong and that just because she may see others doing it, it doesn't mean it's okay for her to do. She tends to remember and copy everything at the moment. She's never really been a hitter and she seemed to understand so no harm done it seems.

imwithspud Mon 20-Jul-15 01:47:11

I'm not sure if it was beyond what's allowed legally. I wasn't close enough to see if there was a mark left or not. Do feel for the kid though as it sounded painful. Even if that were the case I'm not sure what social services could do really as we don't know where they live or their names or anything.

mrstothemr Mon 20-Jul-15 08:12:50

I'd have been taken aback too, it does sound ott, but I guess the reality is that parents respond & discipline in different ways. It sounds a bit bleak, but if you start involving yourself in other people's ways and how they differ to yours childhood is going to be long and arduous.

I think I'd use the opportunity to teach that's why we don't hit, it's not nice etc. And then focus on our lovely friends smile

Roseybee10 Mon 20-Jul-15 12:00:37

I had a similar incident at soft play a few weeks ago. I didn't see it but my friend did And a woman was really cracking her kid a lot and dragging her about. I'm glad I missed it but dd saw it and she still talks about it a few weeks later about that 'scary mummy at soft play'. It's not nice to witness x

ZoRayMee Wed 22-Jul-15 08:56:56

I thought smacking was illegal if the child is under 3? It's also not teaching the little boy how to behave! He won't understand why he's being hit. Not sure what you can do really, but it sounds like the dad is a bit of a bully.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 22-Jul-15 12:11:44

Smacking is only illegal if it is not considered a reasonable punishment, or if it is hard enough to leave a mark or a bruise or is done with an implement.

So it depends on each specific situation.

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