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This will cause a hoo ha !

(160 Posts)
NanKate Thu 18-Aug-16 21:26:48

We have our two wonderful GSs and their mum staying with us for a week. We have had a fabulous time but at times they go completely over the top with their behaviour. The eldest 5 year old said to his mum 'how many warnings are you giving us this time?'.

Because they are no real deterrents against their misdemeanours, other then the usual naughty step, removal of privileges, sent to bedroom, etc they run riot. I know boys can be full on but at times I feel they need a short sharp light smack on the bottom, but of course in this day an age this is a complete no no.

My mum in the 1950s occasionally smacked my hand and I learned quickly to behave myself.

Does anyone else feel tempted for a quick bit of a non violent reprimand or can you manage to keep the peace in a different way ?

DaphneBroon Thu 18-Aug-16 21:37:30

Do NOT, repeat NOT go there! Apart from anything else the children are capable of playing you off against each other (maybe they are doing so already) at any rate they may be playing up even more than usual because they think they can get away with it.
Agree a plan with their mum, DDor DIL? Ask what line she wants you to take so that you can be consistent (then make sure you are)
If you feel the urge to administer the lightest tap WALK AWAY! !

SueDonim Thu 18-Aug-16 21:38:25

It sounds as though your dd isn't being consistent if your GS is questioning her tactics in that way.

I can't imagine either of my sons or dils laying a finger on their dc's, there are so many helpful strategies available now.

BlueBelle Thu 18-Aug-16 21:39:32

Well if youre smacking someone it s not non violent is it Nankate?


Ana Thu 18-Aug-16 21:43:28

A smack is not 'a quick bit of a non violent reprimand' and you just can't do it. You risk alienating your DD/DIL if not the children.

NanKate Thu 18-Aug-16 22:03:39

I should have explained that I would not lay a finger on them my DS and DinL know that, but sometimes their behaviour is so naughty it is hard to know how to calm them down.

I really do not feel it harmed me to get an occasional smack, but nowadays I know it is illegal.

Luckygirl Thu 18-Aug-16 22:08:39

My parents once stood over me debating whether I deserved to be smacked or whether my brother did! - needless to say I received the wallop!

It is so hard for grandparents when they have to stand back and watch ineffective discipline - but I have to remind myself that I did not always get it right, far from it.

Lisalou Thu 18-Aug-16 22:47:18

For what it is worth (and I have my helmet securely in place and am hiding behind the parapet) I think a gentle smack is sometimes the best solution. I understand that the OP would never administer it, but feels it might help. I agree. I have to say that i have brought up three children using an occasional smack and as a result it has been that. An occasional smack. My children have always known the limits and respected them as a result.
There is a fine line between a light tap and leaving bruises.

Jalima Thu 18-Aug-16 23:26:21

Your house, your rules!
If they run riot through the house, just say 'that's not what we do here'. If they take food into the sitting room, say 'no food in the sitting room, in this house we eat in the kitchen/dining room/wherever you eat' etc. 'We take our shoes off in this house and we don't jump all over the furniture' 'nor do we crayon on the walls'

Easier said than done.
I will let you know next week how I got on with mine (not all of them DGC) grin

Jalima Thu 18-Aug-16 23:29:21

Don't smack shock
Perhaps they don't have all their usual toys to play with.
If weather permits, throw them out in the garden with a ball (get rid of some of their energy)

Deedaa Thu 18-Aug-16 23:33:37

Obviously not something a grandparent can do although I do agree with you that a light slap can be very effective. I sometimes feel that some of the non physical punishments some parents think up are really quite nasty. As a child I would much rather have had a smack than have treats cancelled or toys taken away.

If your DD is giving multiple warnings she is getting it wrong and the boys are seeing through it. One warning and then the naughty step or whatever.

Jalima Thu 18-Aug-16 23:39:03

I am really interested to know what their misdemeanours are and what other GP's limits are hmm

DaphneBroon Thu 18-Aug-16 23:45:44

I think it would really undermine their mum and risks causing friction which is why I suggested sitting down with DD/DIL to discuss her sanctions "so that you can back her up". It is awful for a young mum when her children play her up in front of granny and you would be doing nobody any favours to impose your own sanctions. Backing mum up will show the DGC that you both mean business.

BlueBelle Fri 19-Aug-16 06:46:59

Lisalou what is a 'gentle' smack that made me smile is a smack ever considered gentle how do you grade it ? if it's gentle it's not exactly going to do a lot is it? Surely a smack is a smack and not acceptable When the boys are fighting do you deal less harshly with gentle kicks .....

Smacking has been made illegal for a reason it solves nothing, can teach violence is the answer to difficult situations, shows you are equally out of control as the child, and lastly is hoped to identify and procecute people who still beat children ( not sure this fully works)

whitewave Fri 19-Aug-16 06:47:54

I rationalized physical punishment when my children were born. From whichever way you look at it smacking is wrong. Wrong because you are taking advantage of being bigger and stronger. Wrong because if you have to resort to violence then you have mishandled the situation. Wrong because it teaches the child that violence is OK. Wrong because it is more about your feelings than the child's behaviour. Wrong because it is morally repugnant. Wrong because of your laziness in not thinking ahead and not second guessing the child's reaction/behaviour, has resulted in a situation.
My children were never smacked. I advised each head of school that I would not tolerate any form of physical punishment.
My children were gentle, well behaved pupils and grew up to be gentle well behaved citizens.

thatbags Fri 19-Aug-16 08:53:33

Devil's advocate.

My siblings and I were occasionally smacked. We have all grown up into gentle, well-behaved citizens too. Just saying because it does not follow that an occasional sharp, even physical reprimand will cause a person to be ungentle and not well-behaved.

No, I am not advocating smacking children, just arguing an empirically proved point.

Other animals (lions, dogs, domestic cats) cuff their offspring when the offspring get out of line.

No, I am not advocating cuffing children, but I don't think it is an all evil, all wicked, all unreasonable thing for a worn out, frustrated parent to resort to. Yes, better parenting techniques exist but not everyone has these at their command at all times.

nankate, asked if anyone else ever felt tempted. Yup, sure did, though actually, kids who are used to reasonableness and rationality find a sharp No! pretty effective. They have to have learned that when you say No! you mean it though ?

Luckygirl Fri 19-Aug-16 09:04:17

I do understand what you are saying bags - when I look at some of the tortuous sanctions that my DC use, you wonder which is more damaging really. I am not advocating physical punishment, but some of the naughty step, hold you for 60 seconds, rationalising, withdrawal of privileges just seems to prolong the agony. It is well known that a punishment that is closely connected with the "crime" both in time and content is more effective - not being allowed to go out with your mates 3 days later just means the whole thing festers and is a long drawn out sore.

There is no doubt that some children are harder to manage than others and those of us with biddable children need to walk in the shoes of such parents for a bit before we pronounce! Also, some parents are better at the stern look and demeanour than others.

I do think that one of the problems now is that parents try to be friends with their children and this undermines their role when it comes to managing difficult behaviour.

Anya Fri 19-Aug-16 09:18:36

Don't go there!

DH was dropping GS1 off at school once and he and his brother were in full-on noisy mode. DH, being an old grump, shouted at them and they just laughed at him. He lost his temper and, just as they pulled up outside the school gate, he leaned across to GS1 who was in the front seat, and slapped his hands, just as he was unfastening his seat belt. At least that was his version/intent but there is some confusion as to where the slap landed.

GS1 goes into school in tears and tell teacher that granddad punched him. School protection goes into overdrive. Parents called into school - both teachers therefore causing chaos in their own schools.

Granddad hauled over coals by DD and DSiL, hurt and humiliated, relationship with GS1 in tatters. GS1 shocked as didn't expect this to be escalated to such a level.


Nannylovesshopping Fri 19-Aug-16 09:19:22


Liz46 Fri 19-Aug-16 09:25:58

My daughter is definitely against smacking. She was laughing (in a guilty way) as she was telling me this. One day her six year old son had been very naughty and hit someone. As she told him 'it is wrong to hit someone', she was so exasperated with him she realised that she was hitting his hand! Oops.

Juggernaut Fri 19-Aug-16 09:33:00

Smacking your own children is not yet illegal in the UK, smacking somone else's child, however, is!

thatbags Fri 19-Aug-16 09:34:25

I don't think it is always wrong to hit someone. I'm extending the arena a bit here, not just talking about parents and children.

When I was twelve I hit someone who was bullying me at school with my heavy physics book. On her head. After she'd pulled my hair once too often. She never bothered me again and, in her own mother's words, later turned into a "really nice girl!"

My brother hit someone too during his teens. The guy had been taunting him for days about his school uniform, his satchel, etc, asking "Wanna fight?" Bro ignored him for days then one day, put his satchel down and knocked the bully over with a wallop to the jaw. Made sure the guy was allright, and walked away. Again, no more bother.

It's not always wrong to hit someone. Sometimes hitting is exactly what's needed, the most effective, if not the only, way of dealing with something.

thatbags Fri 19-Aug-16 09:45:53

My dad once told us an interesting story that he had got from a psychologist at his college. Picture the scene in a children's shoe shop with a rocking horse for the waiting children to take rides on while they were waiting. Busy shop. Queue of kids waiting for a turn on the rocking horse, parent ineffective in 'persuading' the current long-riding child to get off, be 'nice', etc. Psychologist chap with his kids quietly approaches obstinate child on the rocking horse and whispers something in its ear, then walks away. Obstinate child dismounts.

Another parent who has watched the entire scene asks psychologist what he said that was so effective. Chap says: I told him that if he didn't get off I'd push him off.


No, I'm not advocating that sort of thing either, just arguing in favour of non-damaging effectiveness, like those lion cubs getting cuffed when they break the eating order rules.


Another thing my dad used to say is that if a child's behaviour makes you angry, is unreasonable, might 'cause' someone else to be violent (see bullying stories above), the child needs to know this. This doesn't mean you can hit them, but you need to express your anger otherwise they grow up thinking they can drive other people mad with unacceptable behaviour and get away with it.

Indinana Fri 19-Aug-16 10:16:00

It is not actually illegal in the UK to smack children. Here's what Law and Parents say on the matter:

It is not illegal for a parent to hit their child as long as the ‘smack’ amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’. There is, therefore, a difference between punishment and what can feasibly be termed ‘abuse’. Unreasonable punishment is classed as a smack that leaves a mark on the child, or the use of an implement to hit the child, such as a belt or cane. A parent can give another person consent to use reasonable punishment on their child, such as a babysitter or grandparent.

Just putting the record straight as one or two on here seem to think that it is illegal.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 19-Aug-16 10:22:26

My two GSs occasionally get a quick whack on the wrist or the arm from me, when they're being a pain. Their mum doesn't bat an eyelid. Probably better than shouting or swearing.