Grandfather goes a tad too far...what to do?

Lisa - posted on 02/06/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi all. Last night my parents had my 3yo, my husband and me over for dinner to celebrate my birthday. My father in law and my cousin were there as well. During the actual meal my 3yo and my father had some kind of confrontation which resulted in my father back handing my 3yo son. Just to be clear, my 3yo did not get knocked down, have a broken jaw, bruising or a loss of consciousness. But, emotional damage has been done, all night he was asking why did grandpa slap me? Grandpa is mean. Grandpa is scary. I am not really sure what happened, but my husband leaped up from his seat at the table, grabbed our son and left. I did not even know they left or what happened. No one said a word. It was like it didn't happen. I am shocked, hurt and disappointed that my father behaved that way. My husband is telling me he wants nothing to do with my parents, and that our child is never allowed to go to their home again. I am at a total loss of what to do. Has any mom here ever dealt with a similar situation?

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Liz - posted on 02/06/2013

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I don't think dictating terms of a year is appropriate. You need to find out why your father hit your son and make it clear to him that it is totally unacceptable and that it is never, ever to happen again. Also explain that your son is now frightened of his grandfather and won't be seeing him again until you are all ready for him to do so. Your father's response to this will tell you a lot. If he has attitude and says it's your son's fault, then you have less to work with. If he's remorseful, then that doesn't mitigate what happened but may mean that you can rehabilitate as a family sooner.

Most importantly, back up your husband and discuss it all clearly with him, so that anything you decide to do about this is done as a united team. Also listen to your son: if he tells you that he is not ready to see Grandpa again yet, then honor that while giving him emotional support and reassurance and helping him to move forward.

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Amy - posted on 02/09/2013

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If anyone I knew ever hit my child, especially on the face they would not have contact with my child for a very long time! I do not believe in hitting my child so therefore I would be pissed if anyone ever did it. I would of done the same thing your husband did, take my child and leave without saying anything because I probably would make the situation a lot worst if I opened my mouth.

Liz - posted on 02/09/2013

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Chaya, that's just a little bit over-reactive. This is her father. I'm sure she doesn't want to burn her bridges with him to that extent over one incident, no matter how unacceptable, without trying some more reasonable approaches first.

Chaya - posted on 02/09/2013

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I would be calling the police and getting a restraining order, (in fact, I've done it) Nobody has the right to discipline any child except mom and dad

Denikka - posted on 02/06/2013

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I'm with Liz completely on this one. I don't really have anything to add to her statement, she put it very well.

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