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DH just threatened to smack DD (7) in the face

(135 Posts)
Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 08:54:52

DH and I have 3 DC (2,4 & 7). DH is usually a great Dad but he does have a short fuse in that he will lose his temper and shout easily, he has never hit any of our DC. I am a bit calmer although I will give a smack on the bum occasionally, although not hard.

This morning DH was in a rush and foul mood (as he has been for ages) he asked DD to put her coat on, she asked where it was, he said right in front of you, open your eyes, she said they are open. He then told her not to be so fucking cheeky or he would smack her in the face!!!!! I am FURIOUS....

His foul moods have been affecting everyone, sometimes he is great but more often than not he is just moody and grumpy. I know I am not perfect and I do have mood swings but I think this is more to do with living with him.

WrathdePan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:41:48

OP - you can't talk about violence to children and then say "I'm not going to talk about violence to children". Really sounds like you are living with an unhappy bully though. Good luck, and do please keep your temper?

Orkling Thu 22-Nov-12 09:43:20

mummytime - Thanks, that's good advice.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:44:41

You have been giving advise, you have been advised to stop hitting your precious child.

plantsitter Thu 22-Nov-12 09:49:13

I don't smack my children but I can't believe that people are suggesting a smack on the bum is in any way the same as threatening to hit someone in the face. This is why seeing things in black and white is extremely unhelpful.

OP posted about her DH's increasing grumpiness and added some things to show she is not suggesting she herself is perfect. Crikey.

OP, if your DH's behaviour is new I would suggest he goes to the doctor as it sounds like depression. If not, maybe this morning's events are the catalyst you need to have a look at the relationship and where it's going.

Startail Thu 22-Nov-12 10:01:36

personally, I'm not against smacking or threatening to smack children who are seriously pushing limits or doing something dangerous.

However, hitting or using violent language because you are in a foul mood yourself is not acceptable.

amverytired Thu 22-Nov-12 10:12:51

'amverytired Are you saying because she is in an abusive relationship that gives her the right to abuse her dc? Bullshit I went in a refuge I know about abusive relationships and I didn't turn that abuse round on my dc.'

I'm absolutely not saying that - I am saying I understand how a parent in an abusive relationship can get stressed with their dc and behave badly, I'm not condoning smacking, and I don't/haven't smacked my dc. But I have shouted at them because I didn't want their (normal) behaviour to anger my partner and get him (more) annoyed.
If someone is in a bad mood, has a short fuse, is abusive, it's hard to parent properly when you are trying to placate them (the abusive partner) at the same time.

ErikNorseman Thu 22-Nov-12 10:48:28

Let's just get some perspective here
Smacking is not abuse. Not in law and not in the legal definition of abuse. Threatening to smack a child in the face is
OP this is unacceptable. He needs to sort out his attitude or be removed from the opportunity to emotionally abuse his children.

NoraGainesborough Thu 22-Nov-12 10:50:11

Personally I think there is a massive difference between smacking in the face and smacking on the bum.

I disagree.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:54:56

For gods sakes, of course it is completely different to threaten to smack a child in the face as opposed to a tap on the backside.

I was occasionally given a smacked bum or legs as a kid, as were my stepkids, as are my stepkids own children, but only for being repeatedly naughty after warnings have been ignored, and never have any of us ever been hit in the face or even threatened with it!

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:56:49

It is abuse in Scotland. You would go to jail for smacking your dc on the bum let alone anywhere else.

Shouting while not great is not hitting. I believe you have failed as a parent if you hit your child because you have lost your temper or don't discipline them in another way. Having a moody husband is not an excuse to not parent properly.

And smacking is a nicer term for slapping and hitting and hurting your child.

Catsdontcare Thu 22-Nov-12 10:58:28

Well I don't want to get drawn into the smacking debate. I will say OP that living with a moody person DOES bring you down, it is draining being surrounded by someone else's negativity all the time.

I think the way your husband spoke to your daughter is out of line and a gross over reaction to a bit of cheek from a 7 year old.

I think you need to approach the issue of his general mood, tell him how it is affecting the household and that you even feel you need to make changes about your own mood and discipline methods but essentially you don't feel that can happen whilst he continues the way he is.

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 22-Nov-12 11:07:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoraGainesborough Thu 22-Nov-12 11:16:36

squeaky that's your opinion.

Laying a finger on a child, regardless of where it is wrong my opinion. Face, bum, arm anywhere. That's my opinion.

You can 'for gods sake' all you want and talk about it not harming you. Good for you. I suspect it did harm some people.

You are entitled to your opinion. But so are others.

Wowserz129 Thu 22-Nov-12 11:25:53

I honestly think saying to a seen year old to stop being fucking cheeky or you will smack her in the face is so vile! It makes me so sad thinking that a parent would speak to a child that way. Horrid.

Your husband obviously needs help to learn to control his anger. There is not a hope I would tolerate anyone speaking in such an aggressive and nasty manner to my son. hmm

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 11:39:43

YY to amverytired, erik and squeaky.

I don't personally smack my DC as I think here re more effective methods but I cannot believe that people are claiming there is no difference between a tap on the bum/leg and smacking someone in the face.

I don't blame you for bowing out OP, it has just turned into typical MN hysteria.

TessBob Thu 22-Nov-12 11:54:14

Orkling, you've been honest, and the facts are not pretty. But it takes courage to put this stuff out there. Well done you.

Take this opportunity to draw a line under things, and promise to yourself that you won't smack your children. It's a matter of self-respect and love for yourself, and for them. You don't need to smack. No adult does. And it scars children. I was smacked. I still feel the humiliation and shock that I felt. I am 40.

Your partner's behaviour, and threat to hit in the face, is an act of terrifying aggression towards a child. You know this already. It is not ok. It is far from ok, and it can not ever happen again. It is cruel.

I wish I had something more subtle to suggest, but the only solution that can work for your children, is to remove him, and perhaps from a safer distance, work slowly towards building a more positive fathering relationship.

Imagine what you would do if you saw a car hurtling towards your children in the street. Everything to save them the fear and the pain, right? He is a car hurtling towards them, every day. And it is worse, because he is their father. Don't be fooled by your children appearing to cope with it. Underneath, they won't be.

Get some help. Start with your GP, health visitor, or speak to a sympathetic teacher about what is happening at home. Don't ignore it because it has happened only once. Don't wait for it to get worse. It is not ok.

LittleWhiteWolf Thu 22-Nov-12 11:54:42

Women offering their (asked for) hysteria? Goodness, are we in Victorian England? hmm

OP you have had advice, plenty of it. The fact that posters are leaning towards advising you against hitting your child is part of it, but there is more besides if you decide to ignore that part. Such as parenting classes and having a mature discussion with your OH.

My advice is the same: talk to your husband about losing his rag in such a cruel way and stop smacking, both of you. Feel free to read the first part of that sentence and ignore the second; that's your choice. And it is my choice to offer my opinion and advice.

TwinkleReturns Thu 22-Nov-12 11:55:44

A blow to the head can kill you. A blow to the face is often something seen in DV relationships as not only can it cause huge actual harm - black eye, split lip, can cause you to fall and lose consciousness - it also leaves a visible mark for all to see. "You have defied me, I have branded you". Someone who makes threats of this type is someone who wants to hurt and humiliate as opposed to losing their temper. The face is where we express our emotions and abusers will focus on this area because they want to control - control your expressions of defiance, control your happiness, obedience etc. A threat to hit a child in the face is a huge red flag. Smacking is not ok full stop but this threat of violence is very serious and coupled with the OPs description of her Hs anger issues is worrying.

I think some posters need to bear that in mind.

OP dont duck out, please keep posting, there's a huge wealth of support on here.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 11:59:51

"It is abuse in Scotland. You would go to jail for smacking your dc on the bum let alone anywhere else"


Offred Thu 22-Nov-12 12:11:25

Actually smacking in temper (or any emotion) rather than as a metered out method of physical discipline IS against the law in England and Wales. That is fairly by the by. The research shows no benefits to smacking and a lot of disadvantages.

I also think the physical effects of hitting in the face are likely to be worse than on the bottom however hitting on the bottom is designed to degrade someone weaker and more vulnerable so the psychological effects are likely to be worse. I think actually hitting in temper on the bottom is equivalent in wrongness to threatening to hit round the face (and swearing).

Something needs to happen to break this cycle of abuse which is occurring in this family. It isn't the child that is the problem either so I don't agree with advice to look at what could be reasonably expected of the child.

If your husband is abusive op and it is leading to an environment where physical violence or threats of it are becoming a method of discipline you as the parents need to do something about that.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:21:55

Couldn't find exact matches but here is an article talking about the no smacking legislation in scotland. Although it is only for under 3s so far but the Human rights court want it banned from all the uk for all ages.

If you google smacking children and scotland pages and pages and pages come up of parents (not just in scotland) facing jail for smacking their children.

nocakeformeplease Thu 22-Nov-12 12:25:53

Not all the post obviously, tessbar puts her point across and offer constuctive advice too.

But some are yes. Although it seems to me to be more about demonstrating their own superiority with regard to parenting then offering an opinion on the OPs thoughts.

squeakytoy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:28:10

But that article is from 2001 and the law HAS been changed since.

Guidance states
that if a court is investigating the physical punishment
of a child, as well as considering the actions prohibited by the Criminal
Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, it will consider:
•the child’s age;
•what was done to the child, for what reason
and what the circumstances were;
•the duration of the punishment and the frequency;
•howit affected the child (physically andmentally); and
•any other issues personal to the child, such
as their gender and state of health.
Despite these restrictions, a family member can still hit a child without
any legal protection for the child.

PropositionJoe Thu 22-Nov-12 12:32:40

I think the threat to smack in the face does cross the line and your DP should acknowledge this to your DD and apologise, explaining that he was cross and in a hurry and he shouldn't have said it (and would never do it).

I don't think you need any more comments about smacking on the bum.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:36:03

Is a clearer link but yes I was wrong. Still a fucked up thing to hurt your child on purpose. In England and Wales

A parent can be charged with a criminal offence if they harm their child under certain offences, these offences are:
an offence under section 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (wounding and causing
grievous bodily harm)
an offence under section 47 of that act (assault occasioning actual bodily harm)
an offence under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (cruelty to persons under 16)
Determining what charge will be made depends on the harm caused to the child.
The Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales has produced a charging standard in order to help
prosecutors to determine the appropriate offence in a case. This guidance has suggested that common assault is where
injuries amount to no more that the following:
Minor bruising;
Reddening of the skin;
Superficial cuts;
A „black‟ eye.
The charging standard goes on to say that:
“…. there may be cases where the injuries suffered by a victim would usually amount to common assault but due to the
presence of serious aggravating features, they could more appropriately be charged as actual bodily harm.”

So if you leave a red mark after smacking your child you are a criminal and are assaulting your dc.

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