How do you teach without contradicting the parent?

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

Okay, two little scenarios - one real, one imagined...

The real one... we have a child at daycare who I know for a fact is smacked at home. When he hits other children at daycare, I'm not quite sure what to say... I can't say "we don't hit it's not nice" as I feel like I'm saying that their parent isn't nice. I can't say "we don't hurt our friends" because he gets hurt by his parents. How do I word it so that I'm not contradicting what his parents do at home? (The fact that smacking is illegal in NZ is a point I won't even go into lol).

The imagined one... Blake is very quick to tell off anyone who hits (eg other children at daycare). Now I have friends who are pro-smacking (again, lets ignore the fact that it's illegal), and I'm just wondering how I'm going to handle it when the day comes that they smack their children in front of Blake and he turns around and tells them off for it! Especially if we are in their home - I don't feel that I can tell them off for disciplining their child in their home (even if it is in a crap way) but at the same time I won't contradict Blake if he tells them "no hitting" because in my opinion that's correct!

Just a few things to think on!!!


Meghan - posted on 05/11/2010




I agree with everyone else...
In your home, your class, your day care, it isn't ok to hit! I don't tihnk it is contradicting what what they are doing it's showing him some respect and letting him know it's a safe place-he is going to eventually realize that hitting isn't the right way or the way that he wants to be diciplined.
And Blake...what a smart little man you have! I would maybe tell him, no son it isn't your job to dicipline ____. That's his mommy and daddies job??
I don't really know about the last part. there is a little girl a playgroup that like to dicipline all the other kids and that's what her mom says to her

[deleted account]

The real one... I would definitely just say, " we don't hit, it's wrong! " ....or even use nice if you want! I don't think you'd be offending the parents and it is wrong, and it ISN'T nice so too bad for them! They probably wouldn't even associate what you were saying with the fact that they ' smack ' their child at home......most pro-smacking parents think there's a differences b/w hitting another child and using ' smacking ' as a form of discipline! Does that make sense? It's not ur job to be sensitive of the parents feelings, IMO, especially when the law is on ur side!! Keep up the good work!

The imagined one... I would just laugh and chalk it up to, " Kids really do say the darndest things, don't they?!! ".....if necessary just explain that UR home is anti-smacking! You don't need to elaborate and if they ask you can politely explain where you stand on the issue and why he said what he said!

Good luck!


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[deleted account]

Hahaha, sorry I probably didn't make that very clear... I'm worried about Blake telling off the PARENT for smacking their child! Like I said, I would completely agree with him that it's not okay for them to smack their child, but if I was in their house then is it really my place to say anything??? Anyway, just some food for thought lol.

But yeah, I agree what everyone else has said about the first scenario. The problem with NZ is that, although hitting (smacking, slapping, tapping, whatever you want to call it) your child is illegal, the police have the right not to prosecute... so basically, although it's not allowed, people can really still do it. It's a bit dumb really, but I think if the government had gone any stricter than that, they would have had a mass-outcry on their hands (even more than they already had with the small law change). The main thing about the law change was to take out the part about being able to physically discipline children at an appropriate level, as people were using that to get off serious abuse charges.

[deleted account]

I think that's a great way to deal with the last part Meghan! " No Roxanne, it's not ur job to discipline Josh. That's his mommies job! "


[deleted account]

No your in a position were you cant allow a child to hit another and its your job to teach the child right from wrong, in a different environment,i would say for example

'In school Blake you cant hit,thats not nice and makes Mary sad,say sorry to mary,when he does say good boy& i would like if you dont hit again'

So he will understand and relate the hitting to the school and his friends and its not bringing the home enviroment into the situation.If the mother comes to you,then address the problem with her.

Jaime - posted on 05/11/2010




I understand why you can't report her Kim, and I hope you don't think I was berating you for not doing so...I realize this is a tough situation and I'm sure that you wouldn't hesitate if you could report her. I wonder though, have you brought your findings to the attention of the daycare managers? Perhaps they will be able to contact the proper authorities...I mean, if she's publicly broadcasting that she hits her kid, and her child is aggressive at daycare, then I'm sure a CAS worker would see quite easily that there is abuse going on at home...just a thought. And short of that, like everyone has said, just make it known to this kid that his behaviour is not acceptable and won't be tolerated...because spanking is illegal where you are, then his parents should absolutely understand your approach...and if they don't then I would hope the daycare has the right to refuse to undertake his care due to the harm he poses to the other children.

[deleted account]

Ohhhh! You sneaky stalker, you! LOL! Tough situation.....BUT I wouldn't change the way you speak to him because you're right and the law agrees with you! IF the parents ever came and confronted you because of the discrepency you shouldn't have any problem putting them in their place?! If I ever saw someone smacking their child that was under the age of 2, I would definitely be looking into what I could do about it legally!

Good luck Kimbeley!

[deleted account]

It's a bit of a tricky one Jamie-Leigh, the only reason I know that he's smacked at home is because I'm a facebook stalker lol. His mum is a friend of a friend of mine and I stumbled across her facebook page, and she states quite bluntly that she smacks her kids in her info... so I haven't actually SEEN her smack her kids, but she's very direct in that she states that she does... so I can't really report them for something i haven't actually seen...

Jaime - posted on 05/10/2010




I agree with what has already been said, but I have to wonder if you know that he's being smacked at home and it is illegal, then why haven't the police and child services been informed yet? I don't mean that to sound like you should be responsible for informing them Kimbeley, but I'm assuming that the other workers at the daycare see and know that this child is hit at I just wonder why it hasn't been handed over to the authorities?

I think like Dana and Jessica have said, just be honest and let the child know it's not acceptable and it won't be tolerated.

Jessica - posted on 05/10/2010




For the daycare kid- I agree with Dana I would honestly tell him than it's not nice- because well, it isn't! The parents should know that too ;) I'd be curious to know how THEY deal with their son hitting others?

For the other one- I don't know. I don't think *I* could personally handle seeing someone hit their kids!

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