friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

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rosesarered
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friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby rosesarered » Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:08 pm

Could anyone please advise me on whether I should intervene in this situation. Just back from a week in Norfolk with an old friend and her family. It is the first time that we have holidayed together since the children were babies and I was shocked that her husband smacked their eldest who is only 6. I want to speak to my friend about why they feel that this is a good route to go down but my husband thinks it isn't our business and I should stay out of it.
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muddyboots
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby muddyboots » Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:46 pm

No, you should not intervene..

perhaps play the conversation over in your head and the expected outcome .
How would you receive it if someone had opinions about your parenting ?

Regardless of your own parenting style, smacking is not illegal, so unless you witnessed something sinister/worse , what are you trying to achieve ?
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rosesarered
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby rosesarered » Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:53 am

Thanks for your reply and input. I know that it isn't illegal but I was upset to see him use smacking as a form of discipline when I think it was more to do with the fact that he was tired not that the child was being outrageously behaved.
I want to suggest that they try other things, naughty step etc. as opposed to smacking. And if I am being honest I know that it has affected my view of them as friends. I don't think that I could holiday with them again.
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Needcoffeenow
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby Needcoffeenow » Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:06 am

Actually it has been illegal since 2004 unless it constitutes ‘reasonable punishment’. If it leaves a mark on the skin you can be prosecuted for assault. So it might depend on the situation. What had the child actually done that resulted in the father smacking them?
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mummyhoney
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby mummyhoney » Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:10 am

 Was it a light smack or a full on beating? Perhaps there are aspects of your parenting that others don't like. How would you feel if they said something to you? It's really not your place to get involved unless it was the latter.
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muddyboots
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby muddyboots » Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:57 am

On the legality, I only mentioned it as it was actually recently discussed on BBC London and I got the impression it’s legal if used as a parenting tool if used appropriately.

I’m against it, but was trying to put it in perspective for the OP.

I dislike a lot of things people do, but it doesn’t mean it’s my place to tell them how to live.
I tend to distance myself from people who don’t have the same moral compass instead.
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EclecticGift
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby EclecticGift » Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:06 am

This is none of your business. I appreciate it upset YOU. It would, me too. But you cannot attempt to intervene to make yourself feel better. There are many things about different peoples parenting techniques others my not like but we do not have the right to impose our expectations into them.

For the record, I’m do not condone smacking or believe there is any purpose or place for it and would avoid going on holiday with the family or being in situations with the person who did the smacking to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby Moonlightdawn » Tue Aug 31, 2021 12:49 pm

I support you. It isn’t acceptable for an adult to hit another adult. So why is it OK for adults to smack children?

There’s a growing body of research showing a consistent link between experiencing corporal punishment from a parent – in the form of smacking – as a type of violence, and those children going on to be involved in partner violence in adulthood. Same with the links to poorer mental health and behavioural problems. Just do a google search.

If the father has no qualms about smacking his child in front of you, then what else does he get up to behind closed doors?

Smacking is a punishment doled out in anger and is served by adults who have lost control. Never mind that it also teaches children that it’s permissible to be violent.

I would have to say something. Could you possibly approach your friend in a calm way and say what you saw upset you? You could mention in a caring and compassionate manner other strategies that work better.

It is up to all of us to protect children. Violence is never OK.
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grapefruit gin
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby grapefruit gin » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:04 pm

I am also in the camp that feels there wouldn't be anything wrong in speaking to your friend it. I think that it would have to be done sensitively but I wouldn't be able to not say anything. I'm really not sure that it is ok to smack a child under any circumstances. Not sure why it is still legal in this country.
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lemondrizzles
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby lemondrizzles » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:24 pm

Yes, you must say something however it has to be done very very carefully.
Firstly, it is clear you disapprove so it's unclear what you will achieve if you say anything as all you will be doing is conveying your disapproval.
If you want their behaviour to change, you may need to think carefully about how you approach them. Perhaps "I've often wondered how stronger punishment helps build children. I saw your husband do x. Would love to know more about your thoughts" and then try to find an understanding as to what they think they will achieve and then try to pursuade them otherwise. 

All the best
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dimelda
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby dimelda » Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:55 pm

To those of you who have advised the Original Poster not to intervene, it’s irrefutable evidence that you, like so many British, including successive British governments, care not a hoot about children.   Of course one should intervene.  It’s ILLEGAL.  Bottom line.   It blows my mind that some people seem more worried about a relationship with the parents, than with a child who is being hit by one of them.   It's beyond belief.

Disgracefully, one of you has even said '... this is none of your business'.   Of course it's our business - it's everyone's business.  What a shame there's no law in place to report to the authorities people like you who advocate ignoring child abuse.   
 
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muddyboots
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby muddyboots » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:29 pm

The giant leap to child abuse is exactly why people need to stay out I fear.
The OP didn’t say, I saw a red faced shouty ogre of man beat a child.
I was a smack, the definition of this is a light smack on maybe hand or limb that should never leave a mark.
Agreeing or not this if the topic of discussion.
It is also legal still in the UK, as it has been very recently discussed in the news. I’m not for it, but stating facts.

It’s not about defending the adult if one is sure of a genuine case of misconduct, what I don’t like is the idea of people happily reporting on other parents with very little information.

For example, recently there was a post where a woman asked what to do as a man was shouting at the children next door.

I mean, find the parents who have never shouted at their children…. If not, you will one day I’m sure.
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parentpractice
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby parentpractice » Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:38 pm

Rosesarered - firstly thank you for posting this question, as the thread shows just what a thorny topic this is and it highlights that as a society we are very judgemental of others and can have polar views.

It must have been a very uncomfortable situation for you whilst on holiday ,as I guess there would have been so much upset not just for the child, but for the parents and all the other adults as well.


 The reality is whether facing a toddler temper tantrum who is refusing to eat his cereal and throwing food around or an insolent adolescent saying “ whatever” in a really disrespectful tone , every parent struggles to find the best way to discipline children. And most of us as parents fail at some point! We're often just not honest about it. Studies from Vanderbilt University show that most parents  often used the same punishments that their own parents had used on them. Forty-five percent reported using time-outs, 42%  said they removed privileges, 13 % percent reported yelling at their children and 9% percent said they used spanking “often or always.”Parents who resorted to yelling or spanking were far more likely to say their disciplinary approach was ineffective. Given that parents often don’t admit to yelling and spanking, the study probably underestimates how widespread the problem of ineffective discipline really is.

Most parents I find are floundering when it comes to positive discipline, and I like to see misbehaviour as a teachable opportunity involving  meaningful relevant consequences and never the use of power or violence as in smacking.  It just teaches children to abuse power and , children don’t respect adults who lose it and smack. It means in the moment we've lost it and are no longer in charge.


So ..... my thoughts are that you care deeply about your friend and her children and without judgement or blame or criticism, it is possible to have a tricky conversation with her sharing with her how the incident made you feel. Try using an " i " statement instead of "you" and you may be surprised at what the result of the conversation is. My guess is ( I may be wrong) she too may be feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed and that there may be very different parenting styles between her and her husband and she may want to talk about it. 

Apologies for the length of my response but this is such an important area and one I find most parents really struggle with.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Elaine x
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roses are red
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby roses are red » Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:14 pm

To everyone that has replied and in such detail a big thank you, I am very grateful. I am minded at this point to intervene albeit very tactfully as the situation is still sitting very uncomfortably with me.
My husband still feels that this is not the right way to go and I would prefer that we agreed before I got involved but maybe that won't be possible in this situation.
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NoodleFan
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Re: friend's husband smacking a child should I intervene?

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:37 am

RosesareRed - apologies if this has been asked, didn't see it above - was it just the once or a few times - your original post isn’t clear.
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