Mom of 4-year-old absolutely fuming after grandfather spanks her child for being ‘naughty’

Gillian Sisley

Parents all over the world understand the difficulties of raising children and the need to rely on grandparents for childcare. But a concerned parent on Mumsnet details an incident where a grandparent hit her 4-year-old child, causing distress and confusion.

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

The author begins by explaining that she is the mother of a 4-year-old son, and she relies on the child’s grandparents to help with occasional childcare. She explains further:

“My son can have meltdowns/big tantrums, usually when he's very tired. More so when he's at his grandparents' house (ex's authors). They have communicated to me that they found his behaviour very difficult at one point, but it seems to have resolved now.”

Unfortunately, it appears that the behavior has not been completely resolved. The author continues:

“My son (aged 4) told me yesterday evening that grandad had smacked his bottom because he was being naughty and that it ‘really hurt’ he got upset as he was telling me and cried. I get the impression this wasn't necessarily recent.”

Grandparents can often be a source of wisdom, comfort, and stability for children, as reported by Senior Healthcare Team. However, no adult should ever hit a child. Hitting a child, even if it is on the bottom, is not an acceptable form of discipline. It is important for a parent to take the necessary steps to protect their child, as spanking and physical punishment is directly linked to children suffering psychiatric disorders down the road, as the National Institues of Health states in their reports.

The author goes on to explain that the grandparent also “pushes him back onto the bed for being naughty at bedtime.” The mother further laments:

“I'm not sure what to do next? They are huge sources of childcare, [my ex-partner] is supposed to have him two nights per week but often works away so [my ex-in-laws] will have him. They also help out during the week as/when needed. The relationship between us was once very strained when [my son] was tiny. I am furious that he has hit my child. Am I overreacting as it was just a smack on the bottom? [My son] can be very challenging there.”

It is difficult for any author to face a situation like this, and it is understandable that the author is feeling angry and confused. However, it is important to remember that the primary concern should be the safety and well-being of the child.

What do you think?

Is the author indeed overreacting, as sometimes a child needs to be disciplined if they’re being naughty, and the occasional spank is a good thing?

Or is the author justified to ban her ex from leaving their child with his parents unsupervised, needs to stop using them as childcare, and she should have a very curt conversation with the grandparents about how this behavior is not at all appropriate?

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