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We went away and left the 2 kids with my MIL and her sister. DS#1 is an energetic 3.5 year old who gets over-zealous and somewhat aggressive, and I am dealing with his activity everyday all day. MIL knows that we don't hit the kids - she has mentioned it a few times to my friends. She hit DS#1 when he was 12 months old because he was struggling during a diaper change - I told her that she better NOT tell dh that she hit his son, and the message was clear. But during this past weekend, she smacked ds because she LOST HER TEMPER. Lost her temper?! I know the struggles that come with 2 toddler boys - I know the tension and the stress, but losing your temper and hitting a 3.5 year old out of anger?! I'm so pissed off because she knows that we have other tools, but she's always refused to pay attention to how I deal with him. She is so old-fashioned and narrow-minded. Ugh.<br><br>
I'm just venting. It really bothers me that someone HIT my son. I'm pissed off. And to top things off, we have so many issues with her culture being so different than mine (she's Singaporian, I'm Canadian), that I can't say anything to her.
 

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Oh my goodness. She would never be alone with my children again. Hitting is a deal breaker with me.<br><br>
I'm sorry you have to deal with that.
 

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Definately never leave her alone with your children again. I'm so sorry that happened. Have you talked to ds about it? Whats his take? Is he ok? And I'd definately have dh have a little chat with his mother.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Wow, we have not seen my parents for 6 months because there is parent to kid voilence and shaming in their house that wasn't even to our kids, just in front of them... they wouldn't even dare hit our kids because they would never see any of us ever again.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GenomicsGirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7934392"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She hit DS#1 when he was 12 months old because he was struggling during a diaper change - I told her that she better NOT tell dh that she hit his son, and the message was clear.</div>
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I have to ask <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> if she has done this before, why did you allow her to babysit a second time?<br><br>
Honestly, if I were you, I wouldn't have been suprised based on past dealings...and from what you said above, it looks like you just said "don't tell DH" instead of "I am telling DH so *I* can be sure this never happens again"<br><br>
Your MIL has clearly demonstrated that she is not an acceptable candidate as a Primary Caregiver to your boys.<br><br>
By the way, how did you find out?<br><br>
I'm so sorry though! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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No grown-up who hit my kid would be alone with them again.<br><br>
Did your MIL understand the gravity of what she did?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7939640"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No grown-up who hit my kid would be alone with them again.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
OT: In the store today I saw a woman hit her DS (maybe 3ish) so hard in the chest he fell into a chair & got pretty hurt. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I know we all have our "moments" but geez! I'm sick of the way people are treating their kids.<br><br>
Tell MIL she needs to deal with her anger...YOUR CHILD SHOULDN'T SUFFER BECAUSE SHE CANNOT CONTROL HERSELF! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hopmad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hopping mad">
 

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That sounds terrible. How is your DS doing now? I imagine that was pretty stressful and confusing for him. I must agree that she shouldn't be alone with him. I hope you have other options for childcare.<br><br>
What does your DH say about it all? I think he should be the one to talk to his mother.
 

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Hopefully this response is OK here on the Gentle Discipline thread. I completely understand the "no more grandma time" responses, but having spent a lot of time overseas in places where hitting/spanking were a norm, I would like to add that it also seems you will need a fresh approach with your MIL in order to continue a sane relationship for the sake of your family and kids. I am not condoning her behavior, just moving into the next phase of thought, which is, what next?! This is grandma, your husband's own mom, and your family. I think a very direct conversation wtih your MIL about your approach and especially some...no, lots of concrete examples of how you do the job you do of parenting, are crucial immedaitely. Change is so possible, and likely your MIL feels bad about losing it too. But, everyone needs help changing, especially when it comes to how they were raised, they raised their own, adn now...new interactions with your little ones. Lots of demonstration and idea sharing and tell her how and why you do what you are doing when you're doing it. Watching someone else be a thoughtful, patient and loving parent is way different from doing it yourself with someone else's kids.<br>
I second the other's though. Be firm and tell her, I am not comfortable having you alone with my kids until you can confidently say and demonstrate that that will never happen again. I don't know, I'm all about forgiveness and moving forward when its possible.<br>
If it happened again after that...well, I'd call it quits until the kids are teens!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>J-Bean</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7939796"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If it happened again after that...well, I'd call it quits until the kids are teens!</div>
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I believe in maintaining family relationships, but this is not a risk I would be willing to take.<br><br>
I'm not saying that I wouldn't let me kids see their grandparent. I am saying that they wouldn't see their grandparent without me there. In the room.
 

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More support for "Nope. Never again." (alone that is) I haven't spoken to my parents for the past 3 years following an incident similar to what you described, but I was IN THE ROOM! Sitting on the floor 3 FEET AWAY! I couldn't react quickly enough to the assault (physical and verbal) of our then 11 month old son by my own mother. Following shock and a harsh rebuke from both dh and I (as well as my father), we left. It was our last visit before we moved away, so it wasn't thereafter difficult to maintain distance, but added to other abusive behaviours from my parents, this incident finished the relationship. I spent too long enduring it during childhood and was very clear about my expectations for treatment of our dc, but obviously habit won over reason, so the deal, as they say, was broken. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I really hope that is not the case for you; if everthing else in your relationship is okay, I would continue to visit, or better yet, invite them into your home where you can enforce 'rules', but I wouldn't leave the room or even let dc out of arms reach. But that's me sharing from my personal experience. This is terrible; I'm so sorry for you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>newmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7939329"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to ask <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> if she has done this before, why did you allow her to babysit a second time?</div>
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That was over 2.5 years ago - she has never done anything like that since. Actually, when she hit ds#1 the first time, I told her right away that we aren't planning on hitting - I'd never thought of telling her prior to that because I didn't think that anyone would hit a 12-month old <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: She KNOWS that she's not suppose to hit the kids - but she had never been in 100% charge of them for more than a few hours at a time - so she lost it on him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> . We've never gone away before; this was our first trip away from the kids and I thought that she would be able to stick by the rules. Either way, with a new baby on the way, she won't have a chance to be in charge of the kids for a long time.<br><br>
She told dh about it while we were away. Then she told me about it when I got home. I can't say anything to her because she's all about you-white-people-don't-respect-your-elders and blah blah blah. Her culture is all about 'face' and I've already gotten into a family feud with her and her sister (and their family in Singapore). I now just keep my mouth shut and avoid her when she's at my house because she's normally very good with the kids and she loves spending time with them.<br><br>
But you're right. Not again.<br><br>
I have to admit that I feel like I'm being ungrateful for getting mad over one incident when she came into town to take care of them. Why do I feel guilty? I'm mad at myself for feeling so torn <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<b>chfriend</b>: I don't know if she realizes what she has done. I am not in the position to criticize her. I'll make sure that dh lets her know that we won't tolerate her loss-of-control, though.<br><br><b>Lynnseedoil</b>: Dh feels somewhat that she won't have an opportunity alone with the kids for a long time, so why bother dredging it up. I disagree. I'm going to work on him - and YES, it is his responsibility to talk to her about it.<br><br><b>J-Bean</b>: I understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, if she can't control her emotions, then she won't have the priviledge of watching the kids again.<br><br>
Thanks for everyone's support. I'm glad that I can come here and not get the typical "I got hit as a kid and I'm OK" blabber.
 

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GG: I totally get not having the conversation with her where you are in a position of criticizing her. I don't see the point of talking with her; it sounds like you are just going to act to protect your kids.<br><br>
I'm sorry you came back from your time away to this incident.
 

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I agree that she shouldn't be in a position to watch the kids alone for a long time - probably until they are old enough to be "too big" to spank. And quite honestly, it sounds like she was overwhelmed. Why put her in a position to be overwhelmed and disciplining again?<br><br>
But, I would also say that for a woman from another culture where spanking is considered appropriate discipline, she has already made some strides. She ADMITTED that she spanked him because she lost her temper. She did not sugar coat it in "he was acting up and needed to learn a lesson" kind of bunk. As someone who grew up in a spanking household, I will say that it is a very, very difficult urge to curb when you are overwhelmed and angry. I have spanked my kids 3 times <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:, and each time it was when I was overwhelmed and angry. Does it make it any 'better'? No. That's one of the reasons I'm committed to not spanking - when I'm not angry, I don't have the urge. And that's not discipline, it's lack of self-control on my part.<br><br>
So, don't cut off all contact with her. Be there with the kids. And keep working on her - model other tools for discplining for her. You might just make a positive difference in her life!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I have to admit that I feel like I'm being ungrateful for getting mad over one incident when she came into town to take care of them. Why do I feel guilty? I'm mad at myself for feeling so torn</td>
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I would imagine that it is hard to feel simultaneously thankful for mil's generosity and furious for her overstepping her authority w/your kids! Maybe you are feeling upset w/yourself for leaving your child in this situation and scared that your child is emotionally damaged by the experience? Often anger covers up hurt, fear, sadness. Could you be angry and frustrated that you cannot sufficiently express your hurt and disappointment to your mil? Are you worried that your dh will not adequately and clearly transmit the message in a way that will let you feel comfortable w/mil in the future (sounds like you already have a bit of disconnect in your relationship w/her).<br><br>
I feel like we often tell mothers who "snap" and hit their kids that it will be ok, that they will be able to reconnect, that they can fix the damage - is it possible to do w/a grandparent relationship too? Probably not if the g-ma doesn't see the problem, but maybe. It reminds me of <a href="http://www.aghines.com/grumpy.htm" target="_blank">this book</a> - Maybe read w/ds as an opening to discussing what happened.<br><br>
I would totally be angry, too, and sad, and hurt. We have left dd w/her grandmother for a few hours just a few times in her life and each time we have come back to dd in tears and g-ma doing something else, having just decided that there is no calming dd down, so she'll just go cook dinner instead sort of thing! Each time we have had a long "break" from the experience (like, a year!), but eventually we figure - dd is older and can explain herself better, g-ma might be better w/her now, etc. So far, no luck! I try to just think that g-ma isn't good in that situation - but there are lots of other ways she can interact that are so positive for dd - just not totally one-on-one quite yet.<br><br>
Just trying to see if it can play out differently than just cutting off or no contact or anger - maybe, maybe not!<br><br>
Take care!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7948916"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you worried that your dh will not adequately and clearly transmit the message in a way that will let you feel comfortable w/mil in the future (sounds like you already have a bit of disconnect in your relationship w/her).</div>
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YES! I know that he's sort of blowing it off because she won't be in a position to watch them for a while ... I had a talk with him and he was nodding and kind of rolling his eyes as I was telling him what he needed to say to her. He is going to say something, but he just doesn't want to be told what to say, I guess.<br><br>
What also annoys me is that I told her I was going to hire someone to come in and help her for 3-4 hours each day and she flat-out refused then help. I had to cancel the babysitter at the last minute. Now I feel like I put my kids in that position by not giving her more of a break. Her sister was here with her, but I guess the two of them couldn't handle the stress/responsibility of 2 toddler boys - it's a lot of work when you're not used to it! Oh well, I just hope that dh makes it clear that she cannot lose control - she's the adult and needs to take a step back if she gets frustrated.
 
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