My dad just doesn't get it.

Marylea - posted on 03/05/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )




We were having our apartment fumigated yesterday so we stayed at my dad's last night and the the fact that we don't spank our 22month old daughter came up. Next thing I know I'm getting the third degree from my father and (here's the kicker) my 17year old brother about how I need to spank and how I'm not disciplining my daughter because I don't spank.

My dad says to me "So you don't believe in discpiline?" and I said there were different forms of discipline and told him that I use time outs. My brother starts saying to my dad how I'll learn that time outs don't work when my daughter gets older. It was really infuriating and it took all I had to keep my cool. Of course yesterday was a stressful day for my daughter and her nap was too short so she was over tired and being a little terror last night and this morning so that was fueling the fact that my dad thinks I don't discipline her.

I'm just frustrated with the whole situation. Neither my brother or my father could let it go and they kept bringing up spanking. My dad started going on about how its my will over my daughter's and I have to make sure she understands that, through spanking of course. I totally don't agree with my dad's view on parenting or how he parented me and my siblings. Does anyone else have this problem of family members who just don't understand that spanking isn't the end all and be all of punishment?

Any shared experiences or support would be great cause I'm feeling kind of deflated at the moment.

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Kate - posted on 03/08/2011




very frustrating that they don't respect how you feel about something - it would be nice for them to understand that even if they disagree it's your decision about how you parent your own child. I guess that parents of adult children still feel like they have the right to say something and teenage siblings obviously don't understand, but ofgten have strong opinions about things.

I suggest if he/they bring it up next time you keep your cool and calmly (and I mean calmly, not angry, not forceful, not anything - just calmly) state something like this

"I appreciate your opinion and know you are trying to help me with my parenting. I feel very strongly and have thought long and hard about spanking and have decided that the best thing for my family and me is to "not spank". This is my/our decision (being you and your partner) and I would appreciate it if we didn't have this discussion again"

If they bring it up after you have said this you could say
"We have already talked about this and I have told you how I feel. Please stop talking about it"
If they continue again, I suggest you don't enter into discussion and just calmly change the topic, or leave the room.

it is important that you feel confident in how you feel and what you want to with your own children. I think it's a great decision and important you stick to your guns!

Good luck! hopefully they will get the picture eventually!

JuLeah - posted on 03/05/2011




Ignore your brother and understand your father has to defend his position, or it means he messed up with you.
You don't hit a 22 month old for any reason, so even if you were a parent who believed hitting your kid was a good idea, you are not there yet.
Discipline is to teach. Punishment does not teach. You can not punish a person into better behavior. Duh!

[deleted account]

Where in Canada are you, just out of curiosity? I'm in BC....

You're in a tough position, one that I definitely don't envy. I'm not sure what to suggest, other than to just sit down with your dad and explain to him that laughing at you has left you feeling defeated, insulted and sad. He sounds amazing in a lot of other ways....hopefully he'll come around. He doesn't need to like the way you do things, but he does need to respect you.

Open a dialogue with him.

Good luck. Keep us posted....

Edited to add: P.S. Your brother can kick rocks.....I wouldn't put too much weight in his opinion, because I'm sorry, but he really has no clue! I thought I knew everything too, BEFORE I actually had children.


~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/07/2011




Well, until he understands spanking is not the way you are raising your daughter, I am not sure I would have him babysit. But, and this is a BIG but, I don't know many grandparents that need to spank. Kids typically act different for them....I know my son surely acts so much better for them if we are having an off day. (mind you, I am not saying it doesn't happen)

Will he abide by your rules even if he does not agree? If so, then sit him down (with the threat that you will get up and leave if he starts his bullshit) and explain how you deal with situations when behavioral issues arise. If he feels like he is capable to set aside his slapping hands to watch your daughter...then you will need to trust him.

[deleted account]

Both sides are in the spanking camp, but fortunately they don't feel the need to pressure me into that camp, too. I am having some trouble right now with my MIL thinking it's okay to slap my DD's hands, but I'm working on that. Fortunately, my mother only believes in hitting her own children and not other people's. People who spank always think that it worked because of the instant compliance, as opposed to the long term.

Also, I know that, in Canada, it is ILLEGAL to spank/hit/whatever a child under 2 and over 11. I'm sure the States isn't too far off in that either, but I don't know where you live. It might get them off your back for a while if you bring that up.


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[deleted account]

My dad and brother are the same, they just can't seem to understand that you can discipline children without smacking them - my dad has actually said that I will have naughty children if I don't smack them. I just explain to both of them that there are plenty of other ways to discipline children, and the methods I use.

I feel comfortable leaving my son with my dad though because I have made it very clear that we will not be using smacking as a discipline method ever - not even a smack on the hand, I trust him to respect my wishes even though he disagrees with them (and I think my mom has had a word with him as well).

I don't trust my brother though and not because he would smack my son just because he is a little clueless when it comes to looking after children and I don't think he is mature enough to look after my son. I don't think he would smack my child because he knows that I don't want that and he respects me.

[deleted account]

I just wanna give you guys big (((((HUGS))))).....that can't be easy to deal with. I'm sorry you have to.

Marylea - posted on 03/09/2011




I live in Victoria.

That's a crappy situations Danielle. I know how you feel, my in laws live 6 hours away and so does my mom and sisters (all of which are a lot less into spanking) My dad and brother live in the same city as us so we see them fairly often.

[deleted account]

Shitty situation, Danielle, but good for you for being so strong and firm with them. Sad that you have to distance yourself, but I can completely understand why!

Danielle - posted on 03/08/2011




I have the same issues with my family.

Everyone on my side of the family is pro-spanking, and my husbands are a little less aggressive and agree with time outs.

The problem is that we live in the same city as my family so they see our son a little more often.

It comes up very often with my family. Every time my son has a tantrum, or has trouble listening they always have to chime in and say things like "He wouldn't act like that around me", or "what you're doing isn't working".

Blah, blah, blah.

Its the same thing over and over again.

I just have to politely remind them that I do not spank, and will raise my son as I choose.

I find it easier to ignore the comments, and have distanced myself a little more from my family.

They always have been a bit more aggressive. I don't want Jack to be overly exposed to that kind of anger anyways.

[deleted account]

Good. At least he seems to understand that no one else should be spanking your child but you. It's a step in the right direction. Everything else you can just roll your eyes at without fear:)

[deleted account]

Yes, that's definitely a good sign.

Where in BC? I'm in Abbotsford.....about 45 kms east of Vancouver.

Marylea - posted on 03/08/2011




I also live in BC :)

I told my little brother that until he has kids of his own that he is not to talk to me about any aspect of parenting because he has no idea as to what he's talking about.

The only reason this whole topic came up with my dad was that my daughter was misbehaving at his place. I have told my dad how I feel but he continues to push his views on me. Last night he told me that grandparents shouldn't spank their grandkids so I suppose that's a step in the right direction.

Marylea - posted on 03/07/2011




@ Dana: I see my dad and brother enough that this may become a real issue. My dad's been asking if he can babysit and I'm really hesitant partly because I wouldn't put it past him to spank my daughter if I wasn't around.

@ Aura: I live in Canada and if I were to tell my dad its illegal to spank a 2 yr old he would probably laugh at me.

The funny part in all this is that the whole spanking thing came up because my daughter has taken to hitting people, never other children but she'll slap me, my hubby, my dad. So my father thinks I should spank her for it. I've tried to explain to him that spanking a child and then telling them not to hit is totally idiotic (though I said it nicer than that) but he just doesn't get it. I'm used to not agreeing with him on things but to be laughed at for the way I choose to parent is insulting to say the least. The other thing that gets to me is my daughter totally loves my dad. She gets so excited to see him and go to his house so not seeing/spending time with him would be unfair to her but I hate knowing that he doesn't respect me as a parent. Grr...there's just too much drama in my life right now.

[deleted account]

Yep, JuLeah once again brings up a really great point. Your father is stubborn and obviously feels the need to defend his style of parenting or he'd be admitting failure.

You're an amazing mommy! I'm not sure how I would handle that situation, because fortunately for me and my daughter, my parents have admitted fault in how they raised me and my brothers. They're completely on board with the non-spanking thing. I'm sorry that you guys had such a rough day. Keep your chin up and know that you've always got us here.

Do you see your father and brother often enough that you think this could become more of an every day problem?

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