Originally Posted by eclipse
Did other family members at the pool see the episode the way your dh did?
Yes, they saw a father dunk his kid because he was frustrated that he wouldn't listen while playing in the pool. It wasn't water torture. It wasn't child abuse. It was pushing his head underwater and holding him for a few seconds. That's called dunking and every swimmer I've ever known has been dunked.
It's something that none of us would ever, ever do to our children. It was disgusting and sad to the people who saw it. But it would never fit the category of abuse in any court in this land.
Yes, if there were some pattern of using this as discipline. Yes, if there were strange circumstances, like making the child go outside and get into the pool to receive his punishment. But someone dunking their kid one time as they are all swimming in the pool together - just no way.
I'm sorry, but this is frustrating to me. Let's call a spade a spade. It doesn't help me to get all histrionic and hyperbolic. I have to work within the system. I can't have this guy arrested because he doesn't believe in gentle discipline.
Anyway, I'm thinking that a good starting point is to have a private conversation with SIL about his anger issues and how she perceives them. Maybe this is something they are already working on, for all I know.