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Hopeless dilemma

(214 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 20:56:29

Let me first say that I have changed my username to Luckygirl, and many of you will realise that this is something of a joke, given my previous name, and will be able to use that hint to work out who I am.

But seriously - my poor DD and her OH are in a terrible dilemma. My DD rang me yesterday in a very tearful state to tell me that her children were being babysat by her in-laws and when she returned FIL (who is not an easy character - this is an understatement) was playing a very rough game with one of her sons, aged 3. The little lad was being teased and goaded, and eventually hit his FIL, who responded by walloping him hard 4 times on the bum. My DD just swept the child up and took him from the room. Needless to say we are all very distressed by this.

DD's OH is away at present and will be for most of the summer (although DD and children will join him for brief periods during that time). FIL is integral to the business they run, so the possibility of just giving him hell is not an option. They are also aware that if they say anything about it, he is such a stubborn man that he would just fold the business and cut off all communication. Their livelihood would be at risk.

SIL is livid and very distressed - he is away from his family and DD is in fact ill - I have just returned from taking care of her. It is a dreadful muddle and I am beyond knowing how to respond. I am just giving DD and her children as much support and love as I can.

What do others feel about FIL's action? I am so angry and upset that I not sure I can look at this in a rational way.

downtoearth Wed 01-Jul-15 21:05:49

Abusive,bullying trying to get a reaction out of a small child then physically abusing him,the fact that he would cut the family's livelihood sounds as he is controlling ....nasty peace of work .....what to do I don't know but I would be beside myself that he physically assaulted my child....I may be over reacting but its how the post made me feel flowers

vampirequeen Wed 01-Jul-15 21:06:21

He had no right to hit the child. He is a bully.

grrrranny Wed 01-Jul-15 21:09:10

Does your DD have to rely on FiL for childcare? Do they have to go there?

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 21:12:46

No she does not have to rely on him at all. We are here and can take care of the children, and I know DD is resolved not to leave her children in his care ever again.

The relationship with the in-laws has been shaky from the start as they have a very different attitude to life to my DD (or indeed to us) - but we have all tried to do our best to keep things sweet. I really do not know how I can face him, so how much worse it must be for my DD I cannot imagine.

downtoearth Wed 01-Jul-15 21:13:42

Is there a MIL LUCKYGIRL that may offer some support ,mediation, or a right royal kick up the jacksy for her husband,if so could you speak to her..xx

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 21:13:56

My concern is that I might be over-reacting, but instinct tells me not.

rosesarered Wed 01-Jul-15 21:14:48

Welcome back, LuckyGirl, a good choice of name.Now that this has happened, and you can't turn the clock back, I would do this if I was your DD.Tell the little boy that he must not hit adults, but leave it at that with him, with the FIL I would have a quiet word and say that no rough games again please as it is bound to lead to trouble, and that you are not happy with him smacking ( if that is your policy) his grandson.Say that you will do any correcting.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 01-Jul-15 21:16:20

OMG. That is so wrong. He goaded the child- a three year old, and of course the child reacted. Your daughter has got to stand up to her fil. She must have a serious straight talk with him. The little boy's emotional well being is more important than anything else.

petallus Wed 01-Jul-15 21:17:06

Totally unacceptable behaviour without a doubt. Even illegal?

But what an awful situation for DD. The way you describe the situation this man could do anything and not be challenged in case he takes away their livelihood. Is there a grandmother around?

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 01-Jul-15 21:18:16

Your Dd and son-in-law are the ones to choose how their child is going to be brought up. No one else. I doubt if this kind of handling of him is in accordance with that.

vampirequeen Wed 01-Jul-15 21:19:19

Did he bully his son when he was a child? Does he still bully him?

downtoearth Wed 01-Jul-15 21:20:25

No I do not think you are was the poor little boy marked or bruised by the assault...if he had done that to someone elses child not related would it be a police matter...I don't have any real knowledge but I am sure that we have several grans who have knowledge from their previous roles in social services who may point you to the best course of action....I would be baying for

Judthepud2 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:21:16

Grandparents hitting a grandchild ..... no, no, no, no! Especially such a young one. To me this sounds like child abuse? Perhaps SIL could have a quiet word explaining that smacking is not an acceptable part of discipline in the family. But much as you understandably want to, I don't think you should be involved. It is the parents' job to protect their children. In my experience, you will end up the baddie! I think you are doing the right thing giving your DD and DCS support

Ana Wed 01-Jul-15 21:22:12

It's not a hopeless dilemma if your DD doesn't have to leave your DGS in FIL's care ever again.

Jane10 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:28:17

If they don't need to see him is it possible for your DD to just keep the GS away from the nasty FiL? You do any babysitting needed and wait for FiL to notice that he's not seeing the GS then mention why not. Alternatively, he just might be of an age or background to genuinely not understand that his behaviour is a complete no no. Maybe he's sorry himself and doesn't know how to make it right? Some people find it hard to find the words. Give him a chance? Bring it into the open? Its a risk but actually all the options are. Oh dear. Not very helpful (but very sympathetic)

rosesarered Wed 01-Jul-15 21:30:10

Baying for blood, and police matter....... Not a good idea.We as grandparents grew up in a different time, and a smack for children was the norm when they misbehaved.This man is the gir's FIL after all, and there will be many family get togethers in the future.A quiet word is the best idea, and don't leave the boy alone with him again if she can help it.Some men do play rough games with children, I never think it's a great idea.

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 21:30:35

I am having to stand back and let DD and her OH deal with this as they see fit. But I am finding it hard - I am so upset about it. DGS is just the loveliest of boys, who is being brought up with kind and loving discipline, and a real understanding of his emotional needs - which is why this is so very hard for them.

There is a MIL and she does not question or challenge her OH. And yes he did, and still does, bully my SIL (who is the loveliest of much-loved SIL).

I was a SW, and this is indeed illegal - it is classified as common assault if an non-parent hits a child. A parent is allowed to chastise their own child as long as the child is not marked or cut. This is in England - the rest of Europe has more stringent rules.

J52 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:33:40

Hopefully the child will not remember any of this. FIL should not be able to babysit again, but see the child with its parents or you in attendance.

The whole situation is very distressing for you. flowers x

Jane10 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:38:21

Yes as j52 says he should only be able to see the little boy with parents or yourself present to model appropriate behaviour as well as prevent further smacking situations. If he did it in front of you though.......

Charleygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 21:44:12

What a nasty piece of work that man is to goad a child so young and then react in such a violent way to the child's expected reaction. It is up to your DD and SIL how they deal with the situation but that child should not be within a mile of that man without another responsible adult by the child's side.

If he was questioned, would he allow his own son to perhaps lose his house etc by closing down the business because he is so controlling?

I do like the change of name!

POGS Wed 01-Jul-15 21:46:04

The problem for your DD is if he does that in her presence she must consider what is 'possibly' happening when she is not there. Probably nothing at all harmful but the seed of doubt has been set.

I don't envy you all having the neccessary conversation with the in laws.

How very distressing.

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 21:49:50

The creepy thing about this chap is that he is full of noisy bonhomie, and has to be the centre of attention all the time - always making loud puerile jokes. I think he has his own problems - although rich, I think his literacy skills are poor; and he has drunk himself into diabetes and obesity and will not act on any doctor's advice.

Jane10 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:59:34

Yes he doesn't sound the brightest. He may be pretty defensive if confronted.

Luckygirl Wed 01-Jul-15 22:08:40

No-one dares confront him - he is never wrong. It would blow the whole family and business scenario apart. My DD and her OH dare not say a word. But you may rest assured his involvement with his GC will be kept to the absolute minimum and never unsupervised..

My poor DD is very upset - it is so hard for her. She wants to defend both her OH and her child.

I do not know what I will say to him when I see him. I think I will have to keep out of his way as far as possible.