My DH and I are pregnant with our first. We've been reading and learning about AP/GD, but haven't gotten to really put it into practice yet. We see BIL/SIL four or five times a year and it's usually unpleasant to watch them with their kid. Every time we visit, we discuss on the ride home what we saw, what we liked or didn't like about the way they parent (usually don't like), and how we think we would handle it ... but again, it's just theory at this point for us.
The last few times we've seen them have been quite the challenge. Their DS is two and is a little monster. His latest behaviors include biting, spitting, slapping, and kicking. If he is playing with something he's not supposed to, and I try to take it from him and hand him something else, he tries to bite or kick me. They also have a four month old baby and if someone he wants attention from is holding the baby, he tries to attack either the baby or the baby-holder. When this happens, DH and I say "No hitting!" (or whatever he's doing). He ignores us and continues his attack.
At this point one of his parents usually comes over and spanks him. He cries, throws himself on the ground, has a kicking/screaming tantrum, and then runs off and does something else. According to them, this is "the only way to handle it", because they tried time out, but he wouldn't stay in the time out spot, so he had to be physically restrained, and they'd usually end up getting bit.
DH and I are not spankers. Even if we were, I probably still wouldn't hit someone else's child. We are also not interested in trying to physically interact with a violent child in any way ... he's not my son, so I see no need to subject myself to biting or slapping. He's not talking much yet - just a few words here and there, but mostly grunting, crying and screaming. It's also not possible to hold his attention long enough to attempt reasoning with him or to simply say "we do not bite other people".
I know this is not his fault. He's a very frustrated, angry child, and he hasn't a clue what else to do with his emotions. But frankly, I'm not interested in being around this, or exposing my child to it once he/she is born. DH and I have discussed this, and we really don't feel that staying away is an option ... all the in-laws want to be together as a family and will want to see our new baby. To them, the spanking "works" and so there is no problem here. They think we're crazy new-age idiots who will learn soon enough that talking and other non-spanking methods are a load of crap. They really could care less that the whole child-hitting thing is upsetting to watch. To them, DH and I were both spanked, and we turned out pretty great, right? (Sigh).
I guess I'm hoping that someone can offer advice from experience from a previous similar situation, or how to handle another person's kid in a non-hitting way. Right now the best we've come up with is to physically remove ourselves/our child from the area that he's in when he acts this way.
Thanks in advance.