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School telling mom off for smacking her kid

(167 Posts)
squareheadcut Thu 29-Nov-12 10:12:45

A parent I know has 3 kids under 5 and lives in a two bedroom small flat, she's a single mum and is going back to work from maternity leave in a few weeks - basically she's got a lot on her plate but does an amazing job under these circumstances.

To discipline the eldest (age 6) she occasionally smacks with her hand and always explains what she's done it for and hugs him after. Now I don't agree with this discipline method but that's how she was brought up.

The teachers are on her back at the school telling her that this smacking is "on her child's record" and she has been brought in for a 'meeting' with the welfare teacher about it and had 'child protection' and 'social services' words said to her in what sounds like thinly veiled blackmail.

It has made her angry and will lead to another smack for the kid when he gets home tonight for saying stuff about her at school - basically leading to a worsening of their relationship.

I just think the school are handling it wrongly, rather than supporting her and trying to change her behaviour they seem to make matters worse.

What do you guys think? How should schools handle this sort of thing? Should they be threatening with child protection or ignoring it or what? I know they're in a difficult position but surely they can do better than this? It's not against the law for smacking your child after all whether you agree with it or not....

greenrabbits Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:47

Can we just be clear here: nobody is responsibl"i'm afraid i feel the school is more responsible for the child getting hit tonight than the mom"

Excuse me? Let's just be clear here. The mother is responsible for the child "getting hit" because she is choosing to do so. Nobody else is "more responsible" and I do not know what planet you are on if you think otherwise.

I don't think the occasional smack is the end of the world, but I do think her reaction is all wrong here. The school have raised concerns over the methods of discipline she chooses to use and her response is to get angry with the child?

Your priorities suck, OP.e for

greenrabbits Mon 03-Dec-12 15:33:51

Sorry, messed up my post and can't work out how to edit!

squareheadcut Tue 11-Dec-12 17:12:43

once again you lot have gone crazy and i can't be bothered to post anymore as you all go way way over the top, i already said this is smacking - which is perfectly legal remember.

It seems the whole anti smacking lobby have come on here to preach their cr*p from a high and mighty position and go and run to social services from their safe warm houses and then give themselves a big pat on the back for it - well guess what - life ain't so simple for some who struggle to bring up their children and do the best they can in difficult cicrumstances most of you probably once again have no idea about.

MadameCastafiore Tue 11-Dec-12 17:18:30

How anyone can smack their kid is beyond me - would you go up to someone spitting in the street or someone who does something wrong at work and whack them one? No - because it is against the law, why do people think children shouldn't be afforded the same protection?

And she wouldn't smack her kid for telling someone that she was smacking him at home if she didn't know it was wrong.

MrsDeVere Tue 11-Dec-12 17:25:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Tue 11-Dec-12 17:29:21

From the NSPCC-
"NSPCC policy summary
Equal protection for children under the law on assault
– Hitting children is wrong and the law should say so"

"Children’s Rights
UK laws on physical punishment breach European and international human
rights instruments. Article 17 of the European Social Charter is interpreted
by the European Committee of Social Rights as requiring “the effective
prohibition of all corporal punishment and any form of degrading punishment
of children.” The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(UNCRC) requires that:
• Article 19 States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative,
administrative, social and educational measures to
protect the child from all forms of physical or mental
violence, injury or abuse… while in the care of parent(s),
legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of
the child.
• Article 37 No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel,
inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.
International human rights bodies are calling for the prohibition of all forms of
corporal punishment in all settings; by not giving children this protection the
UK Government is ignoring its obligation to uphold the rights of children, fails
to set a good example to its own citizens and arguably damages its reputation
and position of influence as a progressive nation within the international

full article here

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 17:32:41

life ain't simple. Yeah. we're in our ivory towers.


I lost my business and then my home
I've been homeless with 2 children
my children both have autism, my eldest also has erbs palsy and my youngest has adhd
I am disabled
I was declared bankrupt when my business went under
my children were nearly taken into foster care when we were statutorily homeless

I don't hit them. EVER.

Stop making excuses.

There's never a reason why it's ok or understandable to wallop your child. ooh, I'm stressed. Big whoop.

Get a stress ball and stop taking out life's frustrations on children.

squareheadcut Tue 11-Dec-12 17:36:06

i only said it because that what it sounds like from some posters - i am happy to have a reasonable discussion and have taken a number of different views into account, but some have been overly forceful in their anti smacking views and have clouded the points i was hoping to discuss around how this school has handled this particular situation which i'm afraid to say has not been good and i have not been persuaded otherwise - some posters have done recognised my intentions for discussion and have tried to understand different points of view, others have not .

insancerre Tue 11-Dec-12 17:38:13

There is never any justification for hitting a child. If I can care for 24 pre-schoolers every day at work without having to use physical violence then surely one parent should be able to control one child?

squareheadcut Tue 11-Dec-12 17:40:10

well that's great for you, but not everyone is like you

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 17:43:09

It's not hard.

Look at me, sitting here not hitting my children.

I went to the shops today and managed to not hit the shop assistant.

I collected my kids from school and totally missed hitting the TA

I went to the doctors on friday and managed to avoid hitting the doctor

Last week I went shopping twice and must have passed around 200 people and didn't hit any of them.

I just wander round day after day not hitting people.

teacherwith2kids Tue 11-Dec-12 17:50:43


HEC has it right. In exactly the same way as you somehow manage not to smack any of the people that you come into contact with day after day - in the shop, at work, at the park, in the street, in the supermarket - it is equally entirely possible not to smack your children.

You can choose to smack your children - which is not something that you can do about anyone else. However, you can absolutely choose not to, because you choose not to smack anyone else in your life, day after day after day, and it really isn't something you have to work too hard at, is it?

insancerre Tue 11-Dec-12 17:52:17

So it would be alright then if I couldn't cope and decided to smack your child, squareheadcut?
You wouldn't have a problem with that?

MrsDeVere Tue 11-Dec-12 18:14:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:27

Lots of people are pro smacking (I'm not) and smacking "as reasonable discipline" is legal in the UK so it's not helpful to talk about smacking (as reasonable discipline) being abuse - from the POV of the school they have to stick to the law, so if the law says that smacking isn't abuse, then the school can't decide that it suddenly is.

If the discipline of any form is unnecessarily harsh then that is abuse and is also covered in law and covers something a parent might like to call "smacking". But personal opinions about whether any smacking is unreasonable are unhelpful while the law is as it stands.

I don't think most people who consider themselves "pro-smacking" would consider it the school's fault that any child got hit in this situation, ever. This is not about smacking it is a case of unfair discipline. If she was to take his favourite toy off him for a week for talking to school that would also be unfair and potentially abusive if the child is often being punished when they have done nothing wrong.

wellcoveredsparerib Tue 11-Dec-12 22:29:10

Hear, hear Mrs De Vere.
Ooh I rhyme too!

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 08:53:14

Seems to me, there are two separate issues here. Whether you agree with smacking or not doesn't really bear on whether the school were reasonable to get involved.

Unless the little boy said "my mum gives me a light smack when I misbehave but it is well within the legal bounds of reasonable chastisement".

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