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I swore I would never be one of those "I saw this awful thing" sort of posters, but I'm going to break my own rule. I just have to get this off my mind and I'm hoping that writing it out will help.

I hosted a family Christmas party at my church. A long-time friend (from way before kids, maybe 10 years) was there with her family. Her 4 YO daughter kept lifting her dress up over her head. Which seemed very age-appropriate to me. So the mother grabbed her child's arm, says "pull down your pants" and proceeds to deliver a bare-bottom spanking. Right there in the church hall. Which, of course, upset all 12 families there and caused my kids to be very upset for the remainder of the evening. I was so stunned, I didn't know what to do. We went camping with these same friends about a year ago and I knew then that I would never spend too much time with them and kids because I couldn't stand the nasty way they spoke to their kids and their very unreasonable expectations. But this was way beyond anything I would have expected from anyone! I find that I am still upset by this, and its been 3 weeks now. I can't even look at her at the moment. Its a big church and I don't have to have too much interaction, but our kids are in Sunday School together (boys are the same age) and she still thinks we should chat after service while watching the kids play. I don't know what to say or what to do next. And I'm really feeling guilty that I didn't do or say something then to indicate to her children that her treatment of them was wrong.
 

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Wow, I almost didn't respond because that made me so angry.
I just can't understand the logic or what goes through a parents head.
For crying out loud, that is what 4 year olds do, and then to not only spank her but humiliate her infront of everyone...it makes me sick to my stomach. I'm so sorry your kids had to see that.

If it was me, I would talk to her...gently. Tell her that you felt it was inappropriate and disturbing to everyone who saw it. I'd ask her why she felt that was necessary for such a developmental stage.
I guess I'm not being too gentle, ay? Ack, it just makes my blood boil. What did the poor little one do after that? Did she even get to enjoy the rest of the party?
 
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