I am one of the mums that would never smack my girl as I believe in other disciplinary actions. It has now come to my attention that my mother in law smacks her when she is watching her twice a week – how do I tell her I don’t want her to smack my girl without her being offended? I don’t even want her to smack her hands when she is reaching out for something she isn’t allowed to touch – I don’t want ANY kind of smacking.


Posted anonymously, 18th February 2014


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  • You need to tell her indeed that you don’t believe in this way of disciplining yourself and don’t want her to do it when she looks after your child. Since it’s your mother in law I would go in conversation about this together with your husband, since it’s his mum.



  • Routine!!! When smacked, pull a sad face and tell bub/child “Ouch, I don’t like that it hurts mummy!” And then time out 1minute for each year of age.



  • I would say exactly what Ann_Boyd has already said.



  • Personally ,talk to her. I don’t smack other people’s kids ,it’s up to parent .Matbe ,give her advice on how u disipline ur child .Then she knows how .



  • well i think that there will be some element of offense, because indirectly you would be saying to the lady, your method is wrong. Approach the subject and just tell her that you would rather that she didn’t smack but continue with whatever method of discipline that you already use. Explain that you have to be continous with it so that she will learn and hopefully the mother-in-law will assist you. Thank her for co-operating with you



  • I think honesty is the best policy. As a mother you should be able to talk to your mother in law and tell her how you feel without her getting upset, and if she does that is her problem.



  • just tell her and tell her how you deal with it and thats how you would like her to deal with it



  • there are some good comments here



  • You are the mother and she needs to step back and respect your parenting methods. Sit down over a cup of tea snd let her know what you are and are not ok with



  • You need to tell her to stop, as others have said,they are your children, yes she may be looking after them, but that doesn’t make it ok for her to smack them no matter what.



  • You need to tell her to stop. They are not her children, they are yours so she NEEDS to follow YOUR parenting rules! If you smack children, you are teaching them that it is ok to smack people.



  • As hard as it is you just need to be firm and tell her. Explain to her your reasoning and hope that she will listen. Good luck!



  • You just need to bite the bullet and tell her. While she is helping out with babysitting, she is still not the parent and she must care for her in a way that doesn’t threaten your relationships.



  • You need to sit down and have a talk with her about what kinds of discipline you are ok with. Offer her ideas of things that you find work well so she still feels that she has the tools to keep your daughter behaving when in her care. Just remember, that this is the tool that she most likely used as a first line of defense when raising her children and it was a lot more common then as well



  • Me personally I believe if someone is looking after your child they should follow your rules. If people can not follow them I wont allow them to look after my child. There are already a number of people that I will not allow to look after my son. As I don’t feel comfortable with them looking after him. But I would talk to her about how your feeling first if you stop letting her look after your child without explaining why could cause some problems. Openly discussing your child’s welfare is the number one issue and should feel comfortable with people looking after them


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