Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Ideas / advice welcome.
Smacking is the most recent issue that my DPs feel they are entitled to dish out unsolicited advice over. They are incapable of understanding that anyone could have a different opinion from theirs so any discussion is always a bit of a trial.
I have explained very clearly that we will not be smacking the DCs. Under any circumstances.
They believe that there is a difference between hitting and smacking and that it is good to smack children or they turn into awful, spoilt children who don't know how to behave. Plus it never did their kids any harm. (That they know of!)
I think that smacking a child is unacceptable, that it only teaches children to hit, that it is ok to bully / dominate someone into doing what you want and that usually, parents do it out of frustration rather than a controlled punishment. I said that if I ever did get really cross and smack them, I would be really disappointed in myself and would do everything I could to ensure that I would never, ever repeat the mistake.
They just don't get it and keep going on and on and on and on about it.
I don't feel comfortable leaving the DCs with them as I am not confident that they would keep to our rules and wishes and not smack DC.
Any ideas how I can get them to understand?
You don't need to get them to understand that. All they need to 'understand' is that if they 'smack'your dc you will go NC.
Mil threatened my one year old with a smacked hand and I replied 'yes and I will smack you right back if you touch my baby' - all said with a smile
I think that smacking a child is unacceptable, that it only teaches children to hit, that it is ok to bully / dominate someone into doing what you want and that usually, parents do it out of frustration rather than a controlled punishment. I said that if I ever did get really cross and smack them, I would be really disappointed in myself and would do everything I could to ensure that I would never, ever repeat the mistake
I totally agree with this ^ and I would not be leaving the children with them, you shouldn't really need to make them understand.
Their view was accepted at the time they raised children, but outdated by today 's standards, and if they won't accept that and agree to ur rules with ur DCs, I guess u need to tell them get that u can never leave them alone with their grandchildren.
My DM was openly sceptical when I explained that my DCs were not going to be smacked, ever, but she accepted that it was up to me (and I was able to bring up 2 kids who were well behaved - now 15 and older).
They don't have to believe that ur right, but they need to respect the fact that it's up to you. Maybe look up material on assertiveness on t'internet, for ideas on how to tell them clearly that you will do things your way, and that they need to accept this and back off.
The thought of anyone ever smacking my DD makes my blood boil.
I was smacked as a child and remember the humiliation very clearly. My DM lost control on a few occasions and really laid into me (if I am honest I haven't ever really forgiven her especially since my Dsis never got the same treatment but that's a whole other thread) and I remember my DF taking a belt to me for something I hadn't done (and then putting Nivea on the welts....)
My DP's aren't horrible by a long stretch but I have a long memory and there are incidents which have stayed with me for 35ish years. I can't bear the thought of my DD looking back on her childhood and recalling a time when I hit her.
The onus isn't on you to change their minds. They need to be told - absolutely no smacking.
Unless you trust them not to smack, they never have the kids unsupervised, end of.
The country I live in has banned smacking. It's seen as so socially unacceptable that every year there's a couple of news reports at least of parents being arrested and kids removed.
I sense there's a huge back story here.
I agree with the pp; its not about convincing them that you're right, it's about making it clear that it's not up for negotiation or discussion. You have decided (correctly in my view) not to smack your kids, you do not consent to anyone else smacking them, and that is the end of the matter. If they cannot accept and respect your rules regarding YOUR kids, then they don't get unsupervised access - it's that simple. Don't enter into discussion over who is right or wrong - you do not need to justify your decision to them or anyone else.
Personally I think smacking is sooooo wrong; I still, to this day, resent every single time I was smacked (often of something my sister did and I just got hit because I happened to be there - so I must be an "accessory" to the crime!), and I think it sends completely the wrong message to the child. I couldn't tell you anything of what I was ever supposed to have done to "deserve" the smacking (therefore what exactly did I learn about that part?) - but I can very CLEARLY remember the feeling of confusion, panic, and actual total fear - to the point I would wet myself out of fear every single time I was smacked. Without fail. It always felt like it was done in such a manner that even as a child I knew the person doing it was out of control. I remember it, I still resent it, and in my view, is partly why I don't have a close relationship with my parents.
I LOATHE the argument "it never did me any harm" - because I think that statement in itself proves that it did! That person has consequently grown up thinking it's okay to hit a child and to solve problems by hitting another person. My sister developed what I would describe as a very unhealthy attitude to smacking; her own son wasn't just smacked, but she actually seemed to enjoy it! It was disturbing. She looked for any opportunity or excuse to smack him, and the rest of the time would threaten him with it constantly - preferably in front of an audience to humiliate him as much as possible. I found it extremely unsettling and told her several times that she was out of order with it. I So I'd say it definitely DID do her harm!
People try to minimise and justify it by calling it "smacking" etc... but the simple fact is that it is (in the uk) legalised common assault. If I hit you it is assault - to do it to someone who is smaller, weaker, and not in a position to defend themselves... surely that's worse?! There are so many better and more intelligent ways to teach a child right from wrong - hitting them is so unnecessary.
Stand your ground, lay down the law on it - if they cannot respect your rules then take a very hard line on it. Perhaps ask them outright - if they are left alone with your kids, will they respect your rules on it? If that's going to be a problem for them then I'd point out to them that they will only ever get supervised access to your kids.
I would correct them every time they used the word "smacking" and say "hitting, you mean hitting children." I agree with PP though, it doesn't sound like you are going to change their minds, and there is a real danger they would agree with you just to shut you up, and then hit your children anyway.
I just wouldn't allow them unsupervised access.
That's not ok.
There was an NSPCC advert that said 'if smacking works, why do you have to keep doing it?'
I agree NC if they do it.
They are incapable of understanding that anyone could have a different opinion from theirs so any discussion is always a bit of a trial.
This is the issue. Doesn't matter what the subject is. So stop discussing.
Tell them - no smacking, no chocolate before breakfast, bedtime is at 7pm, no they can't watch Eastenders before bed, GTA is not a permissible game for a 5 year-old...
Whatever it is, your children, your rules. You don't have to justify them. But if they can't back you up then there is no unsupervised access.
My Dsis and I were smacked. Now that I am a parent, I talk a lot about parenting with my DM, who gave us a wonderful childhood and was a great mum.
She's great because she has admitted to me that she wishes she had been more patient with us, that she had not smacked us and that she had parented more like I do.
However, if your DPs don't have that level of insight, you are on a hiding to nowhere and all you can do is lay down the law - or not trust them to have your DCs unsupervised.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.