is it ok for your parents to smack your child?

Mel - posted on 03/26/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I was just wondering how everyone felt about this, if you are a smacker, do you think its ok? For some reason when my husband told me my mother had to smack my daughter twice in the past week (shes been caring for her while we were away) all sorts ran through my head, where, how hard, why, and if she did it as a punishment or if she had lost control a little. Im not really looking for judgement on my mum, just wondering what your thoughts are. How would I approach this with her in a non confronting way just to get some more info.

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Amy - posted on 03/26/2011

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IF we do anything physical for being bad - it's a spank. One swat on the bum when redirection and other things have failed and they are still stubborn and bull headed. Nothing anywhere but the bum. Certainly not the face or anywhere else.

My parents don't watch my kids that often. Mother in law does. Time outs work fine. If you don't want her to, ask her not to. Or talk about the incident. What did she do? Did you spank/smack hard? Where?

Not sure how to approach it. Maybe let her know you want to make sure you are both doing the same thing so your daughter doesn't get confused. [maybe one punishment with you guys and another with her could be confusing or maybe grandma says something is wrong that you let her do or vice versa]. Just maybe approach as an 'i'm trying to be a good mom and want to be involved' more than not being sure if you're okay with how and why she's handling it???

Krista - posted on 03/26/2011

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I've forbidden myself from spanking. I know that if I allowed to spank, I would use it when tired, or frustrated, or for any other host of "wrong" reasons. So I've just put a blanket ban on it.

And if any other family member spanked my child, I'd be wondering the same things as you, Melissa -- how hard, and why, and what other alternatives were explored first. Needless to say, if any other family member spanked my kid, there would be a SERIOUS discussion taking place afterwards.

[deleted account]

I don't spank my son and if anyone else ever did, they'd better run. That's all I'm sayin.

Merry - posted on 03/26/2011

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I honestly don't think it's ok for anyone to smack my child! Myself and his dad included. So for me, no one would be allowed to spank him ever. I don't think there's anything he could do bad enough that would justify him being physically punished for it. Even adults in prison aren't allowed to be physically punished so I honestly don't think that my kids could do anything that would deserve physical punishment.
So no one spanks my kids, not even me :)

Charlie - posted on 03/27/2011

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Absolutely not and mum was a smacker so it was hard for her to understand in fact she was angry at first because my reasons in a way questioned her parenting but I made it very clear if she broke my trust then I could no longer trust her to be around them alone , so far so good she has used methods I have given her and it is working for all of them .

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Becky - posted on 03/29/2011

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No! I don't believe in spanking/smacking anyway, although we have done it a few times, and each time I feel horrible. But, even if that was something we felt was an acceptable method of discipline, it would not be okay for anyone other than myself or my husband to do it. For one, their definition of what is acceptable force might differ from ours. For 2, yes, they are the grandparents and yes, they love our kids to death, but they still don't have the same relationship with them that we do.
It's fine for my parents to discipline my kids if they need discipline. They have given Cole time-outs. They're much more lax than we are though! But using physical force (other than physically removing them from the situation) would not be acceptable to me.

Mel - posted on 03/28/2011

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@ Sal whenever I have bay sat kids their parents have always said I am wlecome to smack their kids if they play up I wouldnt of course but I guess it seems like my mother knew very well I am trying to make smacking a thing of the past at the moment but I guess that doesnt matter

Sal - posted on 03/28/2011

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i always tell my kids that people can smack them if they are naughty so that they behave (i'd be pissed if a stranger did though).....if i chose to leave my kids with someone who i know smack their kids i accept that if my kids be naughty they will be punished the same way her kids are, if not the kids would play her i know they would as thats what kids do, for the lady who said she press charges have you ever read "the slap" might make you re-think

[deleted account]

We do time-outs. Don't smack my kids and I don't give a rats pa-toot who you are. Do it and I WILL bring charges against you.

Lacye - posted on 03/27/2011

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There are very few people I would trust to give my daughter spankings. The only other people I really trust is my sisters, my mother lives pretty far away and doesn't get to see my daughter very much so she's not allowed. Just asked what happened. Talk to her about it. Tell her you aren't mad or anything, you just want to know the details so you know what your child got into trouble for.

Mel - posted on 03/27/2011

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thanks...I havent decided what Im going to do yet. Will see what happens :)

Alexis - posted on 03/27/2011

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I am against hitting of any sort period. My aunts were all about smacking hands to teach a little one not to touch something. I was all about re-direction. While visiting my aunts they would offer their 'smack the hand' advice, and that was fine but when they attempted to actually do it I stepped in. I told them very directly that they will not hit\smack him for any reason, that I have chosen to teach him using another technique. They listened to me and did not smack his hands. However if they had smacked his hands, or got upset at me for telling them not to, then I would take me son and go home. I am the parent and I chose how he will be disciplined and nobody hits my son.

Jessica - posted on 03/27/2011

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I wanted to add that even though both my parents hit us often when we were children, it was absolutely taboo for anyone else, including family to hit us. I remember one time we were taking a longish car trip somewhere, my mom was driving and my aunt ws in the passenger seat. I was whining or mouthing off about something and my aunt turned around and slapped my leg. My mom tore her a new one, even though that wasn't something my mom was above doing herself on occasion.

Rosie - posted on 03/27/2011

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it would bug the shit out of me. just make it VERY clear that you don't want her to discipline your child that way, you aren't comfortable with it. you don't have to be rude or mean, just make sure she knows you don't approve. i would also tell her what you want her to do INSTEAD of smacking so she knows what she's supposed to do.

this woman raised you, did she hit you to hard? why do you think she wouldn't do it the way you do, or the way she did to you? this is one of the HUGE reasons why i don't smack anymore. i can't consistantly do it without being angry.

Merry - posted on 03/27/2011

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Karen, on the last page your name and picture shows up, but when I came to this page it disappeared! Very weird.

Bondlets - posted on 03/26/2011

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It is weird. I can "see" myself now but couldn't just minutes ago. I'm a mystery... :)

Jane - posted on 03/26/2011

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@Karen again...but once I posted my below post to you, your name disappeared again. That is too weird!

Jane - posted on 03/26/2011

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@Karen....so weird because when you posted my answer, I could see your name that time. Oh well, at least I know who you are and I didn't offend you (thank goodness).

Mrs. - posted on 03/26/2011

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I think it would be better if the grandparents left the disciplining to the parents.
I suppose if it was a light smack on the bum and I was leaving my daughter with them for an extended period - I'd be okay with my folks doing it. I wouldn't be okay with my in-laws doing it though.

I'd prefer they would tell me what happened and let the choice to spank accordingly with Mom and Dad.

My parents I could let it slide a bit because I know my father never smacked my butt very hard (cause I was a girl), he used a scary look or something instead. Not to mention my mom used spanking only as a last resort.

Bondlets - posted on 03/26/2011

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That was me and guess what? I can't even see my own name some of the time! I have absolutely no idea what I did to make it that way but after a couple weeks posting on one community I noticed that where my name should have been there was empty space. Other times I can see it, then it's gone. So no worries...I've never blocked anyone on any site. :)

Jane - posted on 03/26/2011

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I have an unrelated question that I need to ask here. A person below who's post begins with...

"My mom better never lay a hand on my child. I'm not against spanking/swatting but my mom would only do it out of frustration/anger. Since I believe my mom would do this even if she wasn't given permission, I don't leave my kids with my mom for an extended amount of time."....

Has no name associated with it. I've seen this a few time in this community. Has this person blocked me from seeing who they are? Is it just me or is it that way for everyone? I hope I have not offended anyone to where they felt they needed to do this.

Jane - posted on 03/26/2011

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I never spanked/smacked my children, now 21 and 17, so I would NEVER allow anyone else to, including my mother. No way, no how!

Jessica - posted on 03/26/2011

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I don't know how your relationship with your mom is, but if it were my mom I'd have no hesitation on confronting her about the issue. But then, my mom would not do that without my permission, and I'd never give her permission because no one is going to hit my kids (myself included)! IMO its messed up that she did that without your permission, its not her place to step in and do that.

Kylie - posted on 03/26/2011

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Hey Mel! Congrats on the the birth of your baby girl and the wedding.
Ok so if it were my children and my mother i wouldn't be worrying about being non confronting. I'd make it clear you hit my child you will never watch them again. My mum watches my son for about 15 hours a week and she has my daughter for a night every second weekend. My children are pretty full on and have been known to run a muck when they are pepped up on sugar at Nanny's house. My mum was a smacker when i was a kid but she would never think of hitting them because she knows I have never hit them.
I think just make it clear and ask in a nice way. If your family culture is everyone spanks then she may think its a strange question and that you are picking on her but they are your children and you have to stand up and protect them. Just let her know not to do it again, even if it was a light tap on the bottom, it's still not her place as a grandparent to discipline someone a lot smaller than her in that way. Perhaps buy her a positive parenting book.

Bondlets - posted on 03/26/2011

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My mom better never lay a hand on my child. I'm not against spanking/swatting but my mom would only do it out of frustration/anger. Since I believe my mom would do this even if she wasn't given permission, I don't leave my kids with my mom for an extended amount of time.

Even if I gave my mom permission to swat my child I would also want to know every detail: where the swat was administered, for what offense, how many swats, etc.

I actually have friends I wouldn't have an issue with if they had to swat my child but my mom...no way.

[deleted account]

I don't think it's ok to spank your kids. I don't really see what that is supposed to be teaching them, bar that they have to obey you because you are stronger. That said I'm not ruling out that one day I might loose control and those fingers might get a slap. I'll try my very best not to go there though, it's wrong. If someone else, even close family were to smack my little girl, I wouldn't even try to be polite or diplomatic about it. Even close family need to know that this is unacceptable.

Jenn - posted on 03/26/2011

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I don't think it's OK, and if it bothers you you need to bring it up with her. I know things like that are not easy to talk about sometimes, but what is more important to you? Having your MIL being possibly pissed off at you for confronting her, or having your daughter being hit by her Grandma?

[deleted account]

Nope. Nok ok. I am not anti-spanking, but if anyone else lays a hand on my child they wouldn't be watching them anymore.



Sorry... I don't know any diplomatic way to handle it. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Quoting Amy "IF we do anything physical for being bad - it's a spank. One swat on the bum when redirection and other things have failed and they are still stubborn and bull headed. Nothing anywhere but the bum. Certainly not the face or anywhere else."

This is how I also parent my son. A swat on the rear is not a hard-core beating, and certainly not my first choice of discipline. It is how my husband & I were raised as well. When my son is in the care of my parents or my sister and they need to discipline my son then they are the adult in charge. Again, a swat/tap/spank on the rear is a far-fetched cry than a hard-core beating. It comes to a point where I will no longer reason, beg, plead my stubborn kid to do something I asked. Therefore this method works for us.

[deleted account]

I think any form of "spanking" is child abuse. I do think people have the best intent, but its still wrong. I would never put my hands on my child in a forceful manner. If anyone else did..i would be livid. I would not allow them to care for my baby again. I already told my MIL if she ever did it then she wouldn't be aloud to take care of her anymore...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/26/2011

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I have recently taken the stance that hitting your child is wrong....in every form. Even when I did spank, I would have been horrified if ANYONE but my husband and I dished out discipline by spanking, smacking or any other force. The only thing I would be ok with is time outs.

Usually kids act totally different for grandparents. That being said, I would be extremely uncomfortable with my kids grandparents laying a hand on my children in anyway but loving.

Bonnie - posted on 03/26/2011

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I feel that if you spank it is up to you to tell your mother or MIL it's okay for you to do it if you have to. If she does it without your approval, I think it is wrong and I would be upset.



My MIL actually smacked my older son on his hand once and I was just a few feet away and I saw it happen obviously and I was really pissed. I told my husband if I ever see or hear that she did that ever again, that would be the last time she will be alone with my kids.



The way parents want to bring up their children and punish them when they need to is one thing, but I don't like when parents or inlaws feel they have just as much a right. They are not the parents. Just my opinion though.

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