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FIL hit DS - on his birthday!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

hi, i am really upset. my fil hit my son yesterday on his birthday party.


my mom just told me about it, i did not even know.


apparentlyshe (my mom) came into the room and DS was crying very hard, and she picked him up and asked what the matter was.


FIL (who was sitting on the couch (think "jabba the hut")) said: He tried to draw on me.

DS said: Grandpa hit me.


and didn't stop crying for a while. My Mom didn' t say anything, she was so upset.

She didn't tell until much later, when the inlaws where on their way home.


this was the second incident like that. After the first we said he cannot see the kids if he ever hits them again.


I am so upset and cried and cried, my poor baby boy - on his birthday


i don't know if i overreact - i am triggered in a major way!

post #2 of 17

Overreact?  No way.  If my FIL (or anyone else) hit my kid, they would have some super Mama Wrath headed their way.


There are lots of generational and personal differences in discipline, I know, but unless you have been given explicit directions by a parent to spank (which seems ridiculous to me--I have never laid a hand on either of my children), it seems insane to even think about it.  


Spanking or any kind of physical punishment goes against about everything I believe in.  I would talk to your child very directly about this:  that what grandpa did was wrong, that nobody has the right to hurt his body, that you will not let grandpa around him unless you or your SO is there to keep him safe, that kind of thing.


The hardest of all will be letting FIL Jabba know that what he did was wrong and won't be tolerated.  And worse than that, it really should be your SO who has that converation, not you as the DIL.  Since this was the second incident and happened AFTER you made it clear that it would not be tolerated, I would not go to their house again.  Meet them at a park or whatever...but no place where FIL can touch your kid in any way without you or DH there.


I am really sorry this has happened in your family.

post #3 of 17

You aren't overreacting.  He either never sees your son again, or if that's really impossible, he never sees him without you right there. 

post #4 of 17
greensad.gif I'm so sorry! He would not be getting near my child again anytime soon, and I would make it very clear why. Agree it is your DH's job to communicate to FIL, but if he won't then I would.
post #5 of 17

I would be livid. Your husband needs to have a very, very, very clear conversation with his dad stating that he isn't allowed to physically hurt your children and he won't be allowed to be around them unsupervised.

post #6 of 17

No you are not over-reacting.


For me it would be the end of visits with FIL. Before we had kids, my FIL flicked nephew in the cheek for crying when he was an infant. After that I told DH he would never be with any of our children unsupervised (for that reason and others). DH whole heartedly agreed with me. And we have stuck to that. Luckily we now live thousands of miles away from FIL and will probably never see him again with good excuse, and I'm not sad about it.


My parents are wonderful and I never hesitate to leave my kids with them, so I don't feel like my kids are missing out on any grandparent time. IMO, not seeing a grandparent is less damaging than having a relationship full of issues and abuse.

post #7 of 17

Hell, no, your are not overreacting in your sadness or your anger!  I imagine never seeing him again is out but I would limit it and then do a 100% no unsupervised time. 

post #8 of 17

Definately not overreacting!  I would be so mad!  I would have DH talk to him, if he wasn't firm enough I'd do it myself, and then make sure any future time together was supervised.  My IN-laws offer to watch LO, but I don't feel comfortable with it, because I know they disagree with my "gentle" parenting style (and my breastfeeding past 12 months to make matters worse).  So I just tell them no. 

post #9 of 17

Absolutely NOT over-reacting. VERY clear boundaries have to be set. If not by your husband, by you.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

We have decided that FIL is not allowed with the kids, he cannot visit us anymore in near future. We had this one incident before, when we clearly told him if he ever does it again he is not allowed in our house.


My mom is still upset because the little man was sooo upset about it, and cried so hard and was totally ignored by FIL. and he is really tough usually, so either he was REALLY afraid or REALLY hurt. neither sounds nice.


And - he won't talk about it. if I try to get him to talk he just says that it didn't happen - but in a tense way, not casually at all. It must have been really traumatizing for him, right?

post #11 of 17
Wow. Over "he tried to draw on me" even. Such a small thing. It would be wrong even if it were something huge, but I guess at least then you'd know it was an extreme case. But over something so small means it would happen very regularly. I would not leave them alone together without you or your dh in the room ever.
post #12 of 17

my FIL hit my son's hand away from the hot grill on Fourth of July, and while I don't advocate hitting, I let this one slide becuause he had asked him to stop twice and DS wasn't listening, so he got his attention. DS was bawling though. I explained to DS why he did what he did, and that he could have handled it differently, but he was trying to keep your hand away from the hot grill. I wouldn't have handled it that way, but I did let him know that we don't hit our kids, ever, and to please not do it again. They spanked all of their kids, and if it wasn't for me, DH would probably spank too, even though I've explained over and over again my reasoning for not doing it. I think DH just gets frustrated and thinks that spanking will correct the behavior. Anyway, just wanted to commiserate. 

post #13 of 17

No, you are not overreacting! I absolutelly agree with previous comments. No unsupervised time for your DS and FIL and a very clear conversation about the issue.

post #14 of 17

I'm so sorry. I would be livid. I wonder if telling your little guy that you have taken the steps to make sure that this never happens again is a good idea? I like reinforcing with DS that I am always on his side when it comes to safety and security.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
 But over something so small means it would happen very regularly.

And it puts some things he said in a different perspective. He gave the "children need their boundaries" talk directly after the event (I did not know what happened until later - but even this talk on it's own upset me) 




 I let this one slide becuause he had asked him to stop twice and DS wasn't listening, so he got his attention

thanks for sharing. I still don't really see a point in hurting someone to teach not to get hurt. I do agree that safety measures have to be a little rough in an emergency, but it does not sound as if it was like an emergency hand-away-from-barbecue-slapping - more like an enforced "consequence". I think in this situation a calm and supervised "feel how hot it is" is a safer and more succesful. 




Luckily we now live thousands of miles away from FIL and will probably never see him again with good excuse, and I'm not sad about it.

I envy you! wink1.gif


DH had a couple of talks with his parents, obviously there were some problems to "get through" to them. First FIL denied that he hit at all, than he   admitted that he had hit - but it was only a slap - and than he admitted that he actually hit quite hard on his arm. "To enforce the boundaries" - Since he does not even think about apologizing to DS or to anyone else and still feels he did the right thing  - he will not be allowed in our house from now on. This will mean that it will be difficult for MIL to visit us because she has severe athritis and feels not safe to travel alone, but that is not my responsibility. My FIL is toxic and I don't want him near my kids. 


I was personally a bit surprised how deeply affected I was by this incident. I mean, obviously I don't want my son to be hurt by anyone, but I was really upset, crying (not with DS around) had nightmares and everything. I totally don't want to deal with anything like that. I think there was a massive trigger for me. 

post #16 of 17

I couldn't read this without responding. I agree with everyone else - you are not overreacting at all. I would tell your FIL that he is never allowed to hit your son under any circumstances, and since he has already done so twice, he will no longer have the privilege of unsupervised time with him, at all, ever. And frankly, I'd limit the amount of time you spend with them at all if you can. 

post #17 of 17

Wow... even before I was a GD parent that would've enraged me.  It's MY place to manage my child's behavior!!!  And I actually agree with him that children need boundaries, but drawing those lines doesn't require hurting anyone physically to make the point.  


Hugs, mama...

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