Father-in-Law smacked my toddler

Sarah - posted on 07/11/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )




As the subject says - my father-in-law smacked my oldest sons a couple of weeks ago (cos oldest hit youngest) when my husband went round to speak to him about it all he could say 'was it was different in his day'. I don't think he thinks/sees that he has done anything wrong.

A couple off day after the event he tried to say sorry to me and I replied I was not going to talk about it in-front of the kids and he needs to come round when they were in bed and my husband was at home. He has not done this.

As time goes by it is making more upset/cross that he has not came to see us and I don't want him to be anywhere near me or the kids.

Am I being unfair ?? Should I assume that it is a one off and act as if nothing has happened ??


Renee' - posted on 07/11/2010




I'm kinda new with responding to post so I was debating whether to respond or not after everyone else's comment. But couldn't resist.
I don't think you should be upset. I think it is only fair to consider his perspective as well. As grandparents some of them are raised that they are part of the village that should help us raise our children. Because it wasn't discussed earlier he might have thought his way to discipline would be okay since your spouse should know first hand what he used. But I think you should approach him and other family/friends that might watch your kids to get a clearer picture of how you prefer to discipline your children.
After all you all are family.!!!! Everybody is not blessed to still have grandparents involved in their children lives.

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010




your not wrong he did wrong and now days disciplining kids is different and its not his place to do anything like that to your child be upfront with him and tell him that is not how you discipline and if he wants to see the kids and yourself he will need to not discipline them that way again it is very wrong I agree with you i wouldnt wnt him around me either and the kids but he is their grandpa I would just state the obvious if it happens again he will no longer see them simple and usually affective God Bless you and your family and good luck

Kim - posted on 07/11/2010




don"t be upset that he hasn"t come back since that is exactly what you would prefer When it was in his day they were his children but these boys are yours and this is your day.I"m sure he will come around when he realizes that he was wrong but remember those old dogs you can"t teach them new tricks it might be a while.

Geralyn - posted on 07/11/2010




I agree with the other moms (except that part about don't be too upset). It doesn't matter what generation he was raised in, he has no right to smack your kids. The apology is necessary to clear the air, but what is more necessary is laying down the rules of what is appropriate to do and not do with the kids when it comes to teaching, disciplining, etc. If he cannot abide ny your rules, then he should not be intervening and let you handle it. I agree with Joanna not to continue stewing about it because that is not helping the situation. Meeting and discussing these issues can be done in a very supportive way, supportive to you and your needs, and those of your kids, as well as not attacking him for what he did. Clear direction from you and your hubby for your FIL would be best....

Katherine - posted on 07/11/2010




No, this needs to be addressed. You can't just act like it never happened.
If my FIL hauled off and hit my kid you better believe I'd be pissed and wanting a HUGE apology.
I wouldn't trust him, that's just me though.

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Kelly - posted on 09/01/2012




i think he should spank a child for going near the pool. would you rather your child drown? Life whispers, honey. Further, you sound like you were being passive aggressive with FIL. Controlling. good luck.

Robin - posted on 07/27/2010




Your husband needs to tell his father that this is not acceptable and he will not allow it.
Your FIL tried to talk to you. Instead of prolonging the thing I would have stepped outside or into another room. Since you didn't do that I would drop it and not give him the opportunity to have direct access to the children without supervision. He will get the message.

Leanne - posted on 07/27/2010




No other family member has any right to tough your child like that without permission. I know I would be pissed and your not unfair.. I probably would of blown up on them and told them that they can't be alone with my son for two or more months as a "punishment". Supervised visits only. Maybe I would be to harsh.. But that's stepping over the line to me.

Jen - posted on 07/27/2010




I agree with what Diana Harvey said. It was very different in his day. Explain to him how you would want him to handle the situation and remember he does love you and the kids very much. Sometimes knowledge and education go a long way.

[deleted account]

Actually I think you need to relax. He apologized when he felt the time was right and to avoid a fight. You two are never going to see eye to eye on the subject and it seems he was just trying to avoid a confrontation. I do understand where you are coming from but I also understand why he told you when he told you. I think you are being unfair and are still hurt. Ask yourself this.....In 5 or even 10 years will child remember this and will it really matter? your child has probably already forgotten about it and in another 5 years he won't even remember it ever happened. I really think you need to relax and accept his apology for what it was. An apology for hitting your child when you don't believe in it. The next time you leave your boys with him make it known that if they do something wrong you want him to do such and such instead. Hope this helps and I hope you can understand things better.

Linda - posted on 07/23/2010




He probably doesn't think corporal punishment is wrong, but he DID try to apologize. I believe you should open the line of communication with him. Is he otherwise a loving and good grandfather? Grandparents are important in a child's life. If you set up a time to speak with him, I am sure he will be more than willing to learn a new way to punish/redirect/whatever in order to see his grandchildren. Good luck, show love

Amy - posted on 07/11/2010




He's already apologized for hitting your son. I agree you should talk to him and let him know what forms of discipline are acceptable but to make him come over at night after the kids are asleep when your husband is home seems a little overboard. It's something that can be talked about over the phone or in person by your husband. You need to accept the fact that he's apologized and stop stewing about it.

Michelle - posted on 07/11/2010




I agree with Renee'. While I do feel you have a right to be upset. IF you didn't tell your FIL that you don't believe in spanking your children, how is he suppose to know. He can't read your mind. And what kind of spanking are we talking about? Did he beat him with a belt or smack his butt for beating up on his little brother? Did he leave a huge welt that wouldn't go away or just smack him hard enough to get his attention.

If you don't agree with spanking that is okay, but unless you have had a conversation with the people you leave your children with regarding this, you can't expect them to raise your children they way you want them raised.

When I am with my girlfriends and their children we have already discussed that they have permission the spank my child if they see her doing something that warrants a spanking. My parents and I have had the same discussion.

Jodi - posted on 07/11/2010




I agree with Joanna, that if you were a little short with him when he tried to apologise, he may not make the attempt again. Yes, he did the wrong thing, but you also have to remember that it probably WAS what was done in his day, and that he reacted naturally to the situation because that's what he knows. If this is handled properly it probably will be a one off, and he really probably is sorry. I think that rather than stewing over it and totally cutting him out, you should contact him and sort it out.

[deleted account]

It's tough when you have to leave your children in somebody else's care - they will generally parent the way theyknow how. Some people will respect your wishes (if you discussed them before-hand) and try your new approach - but not everyone will.

I wouldn't be too upset with him, because he's accurate saying it was different in his day - but I would make sure you were on the same parenting page before leaving your children with him again. Remember, he loves you and your kids.

Joanna - posted on 07/11/2010




Well, you said he did try to say he was sorry, so obviously he knows he did something you weren't happy with and he's trying to make amends. Were you rude when you told him to come back around another time? That could have put him off and made him not want to try and apologize again, since you wouldn't accept it the first time.

IT's true, things were different back then, and my mother always suggests we try spanking more - we only do it on very rare occasions when I think it's necessary, but she thinks it should be main discipline, but she's never spanked her because she knows I don't want her to. I would be upset if someone else took it upon themselves to use ANY discipline on my child (it's my job, no one else's, unless I give permission), let alone spanking/hitting. So yeah, don't act like nothing happened, but it sounds like he's tried to apologize.

How about instead of stewing over it you contact him again and set up a get-together time to talk about it?

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