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Gentle disciplining and friends that don't

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
How do you handle this? I've just recently moved, and one of the women that I have met so far was great...until I saw her around her children. She's pro-spanking, calls them names, and shames/demeans them constantly. She even went as far as telling her 8 year old that she is not her family. I would like to be able to help her see the damage she is doing to her kids, but she has acts like I'm the one with the problem for not punishing my children, and setting stricter boundaries with them. I really think she must be struggling and in need of some support and help, but I do not know how to offer that to her, and in the meantime, I do not want my children around her (because she treats them like her own), and I feel sick to my stomach every time I see her with her kids. Would this be a situation that is best resolved with the children's aid society? How can I offer this mother some gentle guidance and support? What would you do?
post #2 of 15
I would find another person to hangout with. Unless your children are that age or older it is very unlikely you can have any credibility with her. Even if they are it will probably do nothing but create tension. If she sees your kids as naughty or rude a lot you are unlikely to convince her that you know what you are talking about.
post #3 of 15

"She's pro-spanking, calls them names, and shames/demeans them constantly. She even went as far as telling her 8 year old that she is not her family. I would like to be able to help her see the damage she is doing to her kids, but "

 

Wow. That's really sad. I would not be able to hang around (or have my children around) the behavior you're describing. I would probably let her know that the way she talks to her children is the reason we can't hang out anymore.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I would find another person to hangout with. Unless your children are that age or older it is very unlikely you can have any credibility with her. Even if they are it will probably do nothing but create tension. If she sees your kids as naughty or rude a lot you are unlikely to convince her that you know what you are talking about.

It's not that she sees my kids as naughty or rude, it's specifically that my middle daughter is non-verbal, and she is convinced she is stubborn and that me feeding her/changing her, etc. without her asking is hindering her development (when in reality, she is autistic and simply can not express these things to me, and becomes frustrated and overwhelmed when she tries).

I have already decided I want to keep my children away from her, but I just feel like someone needs to help her and her kids. She's told me things like "-insert daughter's name- was being a b***h today, so I slapped her up the back of the head". Basically, is there anything I can do to help change this, or would I be right to report the abuse, is what I am asking.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

"She's pro-spanking, calls them names, and shames/demeans them constantly. She even went as far as telling her 8 year old that she is not her family. I would like to be able to help her see the damage she is doing to her kids, but "


Wow. That's really sad. I would not be able to hang around (or have my children around) the behavior you're describing. I would probably let her know that the way she talks to her children is the reason we can't hang out anymore.

I wonder if your suggestion would be enough to make her question her parenting? I've never seen her be nice to her oldest, and I've never heard her say anything nice about her. She tells her she is going to grow up to be a stripper, and that she's the child from hell, an ungrateful brat, etc. I really hate overstepping, but my heart says this needs intervention.
post #6 of 15
I would call cps and report. It sounds like verbal/emotional abuse and you have many examples that make it clear this isn't an isolated very bad day thing.
post #7 of 15

You might at least call Children's Aid and ask if this is something they would act on.  Give them the same examples you gave here. How very sad; that woman's words are so poisonous. 

post #8 of 15

Got a friend similar to this and luckily we only have to see them a few times a year - DH's do work together and we're godparents to their youngest (they have 4).  She acts this way to everyone, not just kids - belittles, demeans, basically thinks she's the shit and no one knows half as much as her when it comes to children.  She's sadly a nurse and in school for her PhD so she can train other nurses (aka yell at them).  I definitely avoid her when possible, and not surprisingly, all of her kids flock to me and DH when we are around because we're very calm and have always listened to them.  The older of the two girls is 9 and when asking her mother what babies eat if they don't get a bottle, her mother was quick to say that "babies eat from the boob which is disgusting" - I think it pushed her daughter much closer to me as she always comes in to sit with me when DD is nursing and she's not the least bit bothered nor does she make a big deal about the process (DD is usually covered anyways). 

 

Our last encounter she was spanking the littlest one for pooping in her pants (2.5yrs) and told her that she was so bad that Mickey Mouse didn't want to see her and they would be leaving her behind for their planned Disney vacation this coming August.  Nothing you can say will make these people change.  If you have no deep ties, I'd cut the relationship.  If you can't do that, keep encounters to a minimum.  Maybe she'll see you being calm with your LO's and think twice, but I doubt it.  She'll get hers someday when her kids toss her in a nursing home and disown her.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, ladies. I will contact children's aid, and see what they think. I just felt like I needed to double check that this is the right thing to do. This is such a serious action to take, which can result in the removal of her children, so I wanted to ask your opinions first. I hope they have some resources for her to parent better, or that they find her children somewhere stable, and gentle to go.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpplus3 View Post

Thanks for the advice, ladies. I will contact children's aid, and see what they think. I just felt like I needed to double check that this is the right thing to do. This is such a serious action to take, which can result in the removal of her children, so I wanted to ask your opinions first. I hope they have some resources for her to parent better, or that they find her children somewhere stable, and gentle to go.

 

 

You're right, it's a serious action to take, but I don't think it's as momentous as you seem to think.  I'd be very surprised if the above happened.  To us, obviously her kids need to be rescued; she's horrible. But her claiming she slapped her kid upside the head isn't evidence of abuse, and her words, while horrible, I doubt would get them removed. 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpplus3 View Post

She calls them names, and shames/demeans them constantly. She even went as far as telling her 8 year old that she is not her family.

This is verbal child abuse IMHO. In my profession I have seen many parents "raise and discipline" their children in this manner and it really hurts me to my soul. I think that adults really don't understand the true impact that one statement can have on a child's psyche. The wrong words, even if not meant to be hurtful, can be devastating and have lasting impacts on children as they grow into adults and affect their relationship with the world as a whole.

More than likely, your friend loves her children very much, as you do. She most likely was raised like this and it became internalized within her and now that she has children its rearing its ugly head. And most likely she is doing the best that she can as far as discipline is concerned. I would NOT allow her around my children without me being there. period. Unfortunately, you have to tread very lightly when it comes to this. If you attempt to "lecture" or even have a heart to heart talk she may take it as you are belittling the way she mothers her children and distance herself from you. The best thing you can do is continue to be a positive example to her and allow her to see you doing gentle discipline with your children. Even if she doesn't acknowledge it...she will notice.
post #12 of 15
Sounds like abuse. Call cps
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you, ladies. I believe that she must love her children, she just doesn't seem to know how to show it. I've discussed it with my husband, and I will be calling children's aid. His question to me is, if this is what she does in front of people...what does she do behind closed doors?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post


You're right, it's a serious action to take, but I don't think it's as momentous as you seem to think.  I'd be very surprised if the above happened.  To us, obviously her kids need to be rescued; she's horrible. But her claiming she slapped her kid upside the head isn't evidence of abuse, and her words, while horrible, I doubt would get them removed. 

As a foster parent, and former teacher, I can say that that's probably true.
post #15 of 15
I don't think that removal would necessarily b warranted, anyway. Services though, might be offered.
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