Woman smacks autistic child and refuses to apologize: "I’ll discipline children as I see fit"

Aabha Gopan

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

I have always ensured that I set clear boundaries regarding disciplining my child with my parents. I spoke to them about what type of disciplining I preferred and also understood how far they were willing to help me out with parenting. I feel setting such boundaries is necessary to avoid issues later.

A recent Mumsnet post that I came across confirmed it. Since the author didn’t reveal names, I’ll call her Rachel, her husband, Harry, and her mother-in-law, Claire.

Rachel and Harry have a six-year-old autistic son. They do not believe in hitting their child, preferring instead to use other methods of discipline. They are close with Harry’s mother, Claire, and would often see her multiple times a week.

One morning, while playing with Claire, their son got overly excited and ended up biting her. Claire, in response, hit him hard on the back and shouted at him. This scared the boy, and he became inconsolable and kept hiding behind Rachel, asking to be taken home.

As they were getting ready to leave, Harry confronted Claire about her actions, explaining that they did not hit the boy and asked her never to do it again. Claire, however, argued that “I’ll discipline children as I see fit,” regardless of their parenting choices.

After getting home and discussing the situation, Harry and Rachel spoke to their son about how both his biting and Claire’s hitting were wrong. They also made it clear to him that if anyone ever hit him again, he should tell them right away.

Harry said that if Claire ever hit his son again, it would be the last time they would see her. However, Rachel feels uncomfortable and uncertain about giving Claire another chance, especially since she had not apologized and said she would ‘discipline as she sees fit.’

What do other users think?

Smacking a child to discipline is an old technique that experts say eventually leads to anger, humiliation, aggression, and fear in children. In some cases, a child who is physically hurt as a punishment stops exploring their surroundings and acts themselves over the fright of being hit. So many parents disapprove of it today.

“Well, he isn’t her child to discipline as she sees fit!!! Can your husband sit her down when the whole thing is less on the boil and talk to her?” wrote one user.

Meanwhile, another pointed out that the author should focus on her child biting his granny than his granny hitting him.

“Perhaps you should be focusing more on that part than her reaction. Being bitten is incredibly painful and shouldn't be glossed over as him 'just playing’.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

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