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I recently left my 4 year old daughter to have a sleep over at my in laws house. It is the first time I have left her. When I was bathing her the next day I noticed quite a large bruise on her leg. When I asked her how it got there and if she fell over and she replied “grandad smacked me”. When I asked her where he smacked her to see if that’s what caused the bruising. She said he smacked her where the bruise was four times. I instantly felt sick. I understand while my child is under their care they have a right to discipline them for misbehaving , but to smack her four times I think is overly excessive and clearly so was the force as it has bruised her. I will never ever leave her under her grandparents care ever again but should I approach my on laws about this? My husband was upset by this as well but he said to not say anything as it will cause a fight. But I feel they need to know that a line has been crossed and I’m not happy.


Posted by poteriam, 27th February 2014


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  • That’s not okay at all. I would not leave my child there unsupervised again, but I probably wouldn’t say anything either because it would cause bad feelings and wouldn’t change what happened.


  • That’s a really tough one. If you don’t say anything but then don’t let your child stay with them, they may ask why, and what will you say then? I think that as hard as it may be, something needs to be said. And they should know that while they can discipline, they can not smack, and definitely not 4 times which leaves a bruise!


  • I don’t think that’s ok


  • That’s awful to smack so hard to leave a bruise. I would be thinking twice about leaving my child with these people. My grandson is three and really full on, but I’ve never smacked nor wanted to smack


  • My son has told me I can smack my grandson if he ever needs it, probably because my son knows I very rarely smack. I’m not comfortable with it and think it would be extreme circumstances for me to ever do it


  • I do not agree at all with anyone other than the parents “smacking” children.
    I think it is certainly possible for grandparents to discipline without smacking. I would say something. That is not ok, and they need to know that they have crossed the line. Don’t worry if it causes a fight, they need to know that it’s wrong.


  • If my mum smacks my son I know he’s done something to deserve it and he also knows we don’t smack but nan might if he misbehaves. If my in laws smacked him I’d get them charged with assult so quickly their heads would spin. Especially if it left bruises. But my mum has never smacked him for anything and I’ve seen them smack my sons cousin for spilling sauce on the couch. And I’d consider that to be a oops better clean it up offense.


  • Not ok at all. I would say something. Who cares if it causes a fight, they were out of line.


  • Oh wow! Totally NOT ok at all. If there are any other grandkids, you have to let the parents know – this is simply not ok. You did the right thing to ask and to prevent further occurrence. How terrible for you.


  • No, it’s not ok. If it’s not acceptable to you as parents, something needs to be said or it will likely happen again


  • Who cares if it causes a fight, they need to know they have crossed a line, that is not good enough, my father has disciplined my toddler once with a tap on the hand when I was there I told him I didn’t appreciate it and instead use time out he now does this and I am grateful I spoke up. Xx


  • If you don’t snack yourself, then no, the grandparents can’t either. It’s a hard one tho coz the older generation grew up with smacking. To leave a bruise tho, totally unacceptable. Definitely have words with the grandparents, it doesn’t have to be confrontational, jus let them know how you and hubby felt about it. If you don’t, it could happen again n the future, even if it’s jig on an overnight visit.


  • Sometimes it’s OK…this is a very complicated issue. :/


  • Most definitely, address this with them NOW! Also let him know that he could be charged with child abuse, and what is more, so could you as parents be charged with neglect if you ever even in a crisis situation need to leave her in their care and physical punishment is dished out. Do take her to a doctor to be checked over so this incident is on record.
    It does not have to cause a big family fight, unless he has no self control with words, this man clearly has no self control in dishing out physical punishment! Keep your cool, speak clearly and don’t raise your voice. They need to know they will not be having her stay over again. Actually your husband needs to be the one to address this with his parents and you need to be present.
    It makes me wonder what kind of childhood did your husband have?


  • It is not ok for anyone to smack a child. It is especially not ok for a grandparent to snack a child. It is definitely not ok for them to smack them so much they leave a bruise.


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