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My DD is almost 4, and DS is almost 2.
My BIL and his wife have two boys (4 1/2 and 6 1/2), and they spank/punish them.
Normally we're not around them too often, but they've moved into our IL's while building their house so we'll be seeing them alot more....especially with the Holidays coming up.

Now, they're very loving parents, and totally think they're doing the right things (very Dobson, etc-minded), but I tell my babes that we don't hit, hitting isn't nice, it hurts, etc.
I tell them the same things about spanking; although I'd rather just call it all hitting because that's what it is!

I'm just not sure what to tell DD about Aunt spanking/hitting her cousins.
She loves them all like crazy, especially her Aunt!

She has been spanked once by her; I had let her be at SIL's daycare one day and apparently she wasn't 'minding' properly so SIL swatted her bottom.
SIL said (with a laugh) "She came to me and cried like I'd broken her little heart"


Unfortunately that was back before I was convinced that spanking was totally wrong, so I didn't really say anything


Anyway, what should I tell my DD? Part of me is thinking that I just shouldn't mince words, hitting is hitting and it is wrong!
But the other part of me really doesn't want to hurt SIL, she's pretty prone to getting hurt feelings from family members/friends, so I don't want to do that (I can just picture DD "Aunt- you shouldn't hit K, that's not nice! My mommy says we shouldn't hit!"
Or just not saying anything and going and crying


What would you do?
 

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i would try to explain that different people have different beliefs and that they feel that it is right to physically reprimand their children, but that it is something you do not believe in and reassure them that you will never act that way.

try to reassure them that their cousins are loved but that their parents use different ways to teach them which include smacking, but that you will definitely not be doing that.

i dont think that encouraging respect for others who do things differently or hold different beliefs can ever be a bad thing, though i guess it will be hard to witness.

good luck
 

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We will be facing this with family and here's my plan.

1. there will be no hitting in MY house. they may not spank here.

2. I will request no violence in front of my children. We will leave if it happens.

3. I WILL tell my children that it is wrong and that it is wrong that their aunts and uncles do it. We will work on being polite and not mentioning it, but if she does and their feelings get hurt oh well.

-Angela
 

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With any luck you won't need to tell her a thing. I wasn't spanked as a child, my parents didn't believe in it, but my cousins all were and I was largely unaware of it. The family (my aunts and uncles) sort of made jokes about spanking, but I was really too young to comprehend the actuality of it. My parents never talked to me about it, and I was shielded enough not to be affected. I'm not really sure what to say beyond that, other than if it does become neccessary the previous posters' suggestions seem like good ones.
 

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You mean that they hit the children at family gatherings? My Dd aside, I couldn't be anywhere that people were hitting other people. I would have to leave and/or avoid those places altogether.

I really, really, really wouldn't want my Dd to have to witness such brutality. To me, it would be worse than watching a 300 lb man hit his 100 lb wife in order to get her to sumit to his will.
 

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We tell our DS, who is 3.5, that we never hit in our family. Ever. Period. But he does know what "spanking" is. I mean, how do you even begin to keep the word away from their little ears...it's heard everywhere. But beyond that, all of our family members are spankers and we wanted to let him know what that means.(BTW, we are 8 hrs from our closest relatives, and we don't leave him alone with anyone but MY grandparents who will NOT spank him) We simply tell him something along the lines of "Some people think that hitting their children on the butt is like a time out. It's something they do when they don't like the way thier kid is behaving. But WE don't spank, do we? We never will spank you, and nobody else is allowed to either." We spontaniously have conversations where we'll ask him what he'd do if his grandma(or whomever) spanked him, and we've made it abundantly clear that if anyone ever hurts him or makes him feel uncomfortable he can come and talk to us and we will take care of it... And that applies to us as well. DH, as much as he loves DS, sometimes forgets that he's much much bigger than him and will (usually while trying to get him out of the tub while he's done the "go limp" routine) sometimes pull his arm and lift him. I have approached DH in front of DS and said things like, "that looks like it hurt ethan, and we don't hurt each other in our family, Dad." DH will admit that he did, apologize to him and then we'll talk about how it's okay for DS to come to me and say "mom dad pulled my arm and it hurt me" and he can do the same to his dad if I ever accidently hurt him...though I never have because I'm accutely aware of how much larger than him I am!

Anyway, we chose to talk about spanking and to open a dialogue with him so he's comfortable coming to us should someone ever dare to do it to him. I pray that nobody ever does, but if so, I want him to have the tools to handle it and come to us. Just my .02.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AutumnMama
My DD is almost 4, and DS is almost 2.

But the other part of me really doesn't want to hurt SIL, she's pretty prone to getting hurt feelings from family members/friends, so I don't want to do that (I can just picture DD "Aunt- you shouldn't hit K, that's not nice! My mommy says we shouldn't hit!"
Or just not saying anything and going and crying


What would you do?
Your SIL is an adult and your children are still little and depend on you, their parent. I would not worry about hurting SIL's feelings, I would worry more about the impact on the children.
I make it quite clear that I am against spanking, hitting, hurting ANYONE and that I do not allow it around my children. They also know that I will throw a fit if anyone hits their child around my children.
Almost everyone in my extended family/friends have called and talked about how to raise children without spanking. They all love their children and never want to hurt their child, but sometimes that is all they know and they don't even realize the endless possibilities that don't involve any type of violence or hurt, until someone they love and care about stands and makes their voice heard.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rigama
But he does know what "spanking" is. I mean, how do you even begin to keep the word away from their little ears...it's heard everywhere.
I think you're handling it very well, given your particular situation. I am curious, though, where - outside your family - you hear about spanking. Aside from here, I never hear about it.
 

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Anywhere there are children...The park, the mall, the grocery store, etc. DS hears everything and when a frazzled parent says "Do you want a spanking?" he picks up on it. It makes me sad for that child, but it does open the door to discussing it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rigama
Anywhere there are children...The park, the mall, the grocery store, etc. DS hears everything and when a frazzled parent says "Do you want a spanking?" he picks up on it. It makes me sad for that child, but it does open the door to discussing it.
That is very sad, and so different from where we live. I think the word "spanking" is about as common here as the n-word, virtually non-existent. I see mostly AP discipline here, so I suppose those who are doing other things keep quiet about it for fear of being judged or having CPS called on them.
 

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We went through this with my SIL when she and our 2 yo niece and 5 yo nephew came to stay with us this summer for a month.

She is everything GD and AP isn't.

SIL believes in a good swat or spanking and the first day they were here, my 2.5 yo DD was frustrated and overwhelmed with suddenly having these two other kids in her space, touching her things etc. So DD started fighting with my 5 yo nephew. SIL spanked my DD because she was seriously hurting my nephew by grabbing his face, hitting him, kicking him etc. I find it ironic, that some adults don't get how a kid can be so confused. My DD is hitting her cousin, so her aunty steps in and hits her (DD) to teach her not to hit?


Can I tell you how much I flipped out?
DH was upstairs with the kids my SIL and I was downstairs doing laundry. I heard the fight and then I heard my SIL shout at my DD and spank/hit her, and OMFG I don't think I have ever flown up the stairs so fast. I just about kicked SIL out.

So that is what started the anti hitting conversation with her. And once I calmed down, I simply explained, that DD is in a phase (as most 2 yo go through) where she hits when she is overwhelmed, upset etc and we simply do not hit/spank/swat in our house.

I told her that I didn't believe in spanking to begin with, EVER. But to keep the peace a little bit too with SIL and enjoy our vacation with them and also not get into the whole who is a better mother type conversation/debate for a month, I really played up how DD has a tendancy to hit, and because of that there will be no spanking in our home so she (DD) doesn't get confused thinking it is okay for you (SIL) to hit your kids.

SIL got the point, especially when I went into how confusing it would be for my kids, especially DD to see her (SIL) hit her kids when she is upset with them.

So that might be an idea? Instead of trying to explain to your DC about what is going on, because that could be so confusing for them, maybe talk to your relatives instead and explain how you are working sooooooooooo hard on teaching your child not to hit, and therefore you just don't want them exposed to that because it makes your DC hit and be more agressive. Just an idea anyways...


My SIL and I are seriously night and day different when it comes to parenting. She thinks I'm the nutty uber hippy crunchy mom because we co-sleep, bf, no hitting, no CIO, very little processed or junk food, use gentle/positive discipline etc etc, and she is a VERY strong personality (to put it mildly) and VERY strong in her convictions/beliefs, so if I can have the anti spanking, pro AP conversation with her and still remain friends, anyone can do it


On the other hand with SIL staying with us for a month and watching what I do with my kids, especially in GD and positive guidance, she saw the difference and how spanking really didn't solve the problem and actually made it worse.

I never preached about how I did things, I just went about my routine with my home and my kids like I normally do and she left our place with a different view on discipline and better understanding of her kids, and was amazed at how positive guidance even when dealing with negative behaviour worked better than hitting them or locking them in their room. I don't know if she stopped spanking, but at least she saw first hand a different alternative that works.


So maybe this might be a chance to teach your IL's something, in a round about way, that works better.
Especially if they are living so close and you are seeing them so often, you can let them see first hand how positive guidance works soooooooooooooo much better (IMHO) than physical punishment.
 

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Yup, I've yet to go to the grocery store and not heard "If you touch one more thing/If you don't stop screaming/etc I'll spank you right here!" and "You are getting a spanking as soon as we get home!" stuff like that
 

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I have to say If anyone relative or not hit my child that would be the last time that peson was left alone with my child. I dont think you should worry about your SIL feelings, What about your childs feelings? All of my friends and family know what my parenting Standards are, They may not agree with them, They might think I am some granola Vegitarian Hippy freak and I May have offended some people along the way of standing up for what I beleive is right for my child (and other peoples children I see being mistreated in public
) I hope that when I point out that I don't spank my child that it makes the parent that does spank think twice before they spank the next time and maby seek another way to disipline their child. But just the same it is my responsability as a mother to stand up for what I think is right for my son.


Brandy
: of Joey SAHM , Wife to Best friend
 

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I recently learned that my mother hid my face and hugged me close to keep me from seeing people hitting their kids in public. She also told me that I got to be quite good at recognizing danger signs and would run to her to hide my face before she even realized there was an issue a few times. I had completely forgotten about that and have no memories of seeing children hit.

Mom had friends who spanked. They knew that they were not allowed to do so in front of her or even talk about it unless they wanted help coming up with another way to handle a particular situation. And they didn't.

But to go back on topic, tell your BIL and SIL that if they feel that they need to "discipline" their children when your children are around, they will have the courtesy to go into another room or warn you so that you can leave with your children.
 

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I would go to great lengths to make sure my children didn't witness other kids being hit by their parents. I think it's traumatic for kids who aren't used to being hit themselves, and what is almost sadder is that eventually they just figure it's normal. They become desensitized to seeing it. I don't want that for my kids either.

My suggestion is that you speak to the family and say that since you don't spank it is traumatic for your children to witness other kids being hit by adults. They may snicker, but it might also just get them to see what they are doing for what it is: hitting kids. State that you don't want any spanking done in front of your children. If they can't agree with that, personally I wouldn't attend. But I realize that might not be realistic for you and your family.

While I agree that it's good to teach people to respect each other, I think there are places where you have to draw the line. If your child witnessed a man beating on his wife, I doubt you'd explain that "Some husbands believe it's okay to hit their wives.". Similarly, I would explain to my child that some parents think that if they hit their kids they are teaching them things, but that these parents are wrong. I'd be very clear that hitting children is NEVER okay or acceptable, and that while some people do that, it's because they don't know any better.

And frankly, if my kid walked up to a relative and said "Aunty, it's not nice to hit people!" I'd be tickled. I don't think it's disrespectful; it's calling a spade a spade. It's really the Emperor's New Clothes isn't it?
 
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