Don’t spank my child!

I recently came across a group of moms on Facebook who were up in arms because a stepmother had spanked her stepdaughter because she wet her bed. This was while the kids were visiting their dad. Sadly the father has now lost rights for the child visits because he “allowed” this to happen while the kids were under his care.

There was so much outrage and resentment and it seems like the fact that she is the stepmother and doesn’t have kids of her own gives her no right to discipline her stepkids even though the mother has nothing against spanking. Some women in the group suggested that she goes and physically assault her to teach her a lesson never to touch her child again.

Secondly bed wetting does not constitute spanking because it was not intentional and only a mother can understand that. This also spilled into domestic workers; as much time they spend with the kids they have no right to discipline them – they must wait for the boss to come home and then report the ill-discipline that happened while they were away and then they will apply the form of discipline.

This is how the moms felt and in some way I agree with them. In the case of a stepmother, I think it depends on the relationship between the two of us. If she spanks my child and we aren’t on good terms I think it’s just unacceptable as I already doubt the judgement used for her to come to the decision to spank. She should rather tell the father of my child and let him make the decision.

Is she spiting me or was she really being an adult applying reasonable punishment for the act committed– those would be some of the questions and I don’t want to be kept wondering. In most cases we think the worst of stepmothers and it could be reasonable but we are always second guessing and in some cases there is animosity between the two women.

As for domestic workers, still another grey area where I choose the disciplining to be left to me. I will apply some measure when I come home but really don’t take it upon yourself. I think as parents we need to be reasonable enough to ensure that we instil some discipline so that domestic workers are not taken advantage of by the kids. Kids will be kids and they need boundaries.

A friend’s daughter was strangled by a nanny and she was dismissed with immediate effect. She was not there but this is what the child told her and she believed her. These are some of the things we face as parents and that can strain relations but I think we need clear boundaries in dealing with them so that we do not cross the line. I guess being upfront with your expectations where discipline is concerned can prevent headaches and conflict.
How do you deal with other people disciplining your kids?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read more by Masanda Peter

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