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My 3 yr old grandson says his daddy yells at his 2 yr old sister and spanks her during visitation

they have sleepovers with their father twice a week

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Asked by grannynanny22 at 1:53 AM on Sep. 18, 2013 in Kids' Health

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • So when your daughter looks at her daughter are there marks, bruises?

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:06 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Does the little girl seem afraid to go?

    Answer by Ballad at 3:24 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • If there are marks/bruises or if she doesn't like going there, report it to CPS/social services so that she doesn't have to go anymore. Take pictures of any marks and have a few trusted friends witness the marks. If there aren't marks that are bad enough to capture as evidence in photos, I would try asking him to use another form of punishment. He might just not know what else to do, so be prepared with some alternatives, such as taking her toys away or giving her a time-out. Some men are just plain stupid, so you have to be careful to spell everything out, such as taking food away is NOT okay but taking toys away is okay. Make it clear that if he ever feels like laying a hand on her that he can just call you instead, and you'll come pick her up or he can drop her off. It doesn't sound like he actually enjoys these visits, so maybe it's best if you both agree that they get reduced.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:52 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • He has a right to spank. As long as it is not beating. What does the mother say about it?

    Answer by louise2 at 7:43 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • While I'm not sure I agree with spanking a 2 yr old, you're taking the word of a 3 yr old as if it's fact. I think Mom needs to talk to Dad first, and find out if this is even happening (3 yr olds can easily get confused or exaggerate, they are only 3, after all), and if it is, the context. Is the 2 yr old doing things that get her in trouble? Or is Dad just ranting and spanking for no good reason? If she's doing things that get her in trouble, then Mom can discuss other methods of discipline if she doesn't like what he's currently doing. If the 2 yr old doesn't want to go or seems scared of Dad, then again, Mom should get involved. She can talk to Dad or simply call CPS and ask them to get involved and help her get to the bottom of this.

    Ultimately, it's all up to Mom. I realize you want to help, and want to protect your grandchildren, but this is Mom's situation - you just be there for her and the kids.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:07 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • does he spank the 3 year old?

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:14 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Is he telling you this, or does he tell his mother and she has mentioned it to you?
    If it's possible to explore the situation constructively as described in some of the previous answers, then that would be great. Obviously, some situations might not really allow for non-defensive, helpful communication between co-parents, and the mother's efforts might not get far. It is more realistic to work with a partner (supporting him in learning different strategies) than with an ex, so that's a factor.
    There are options for her if she is worried, or if the two-year-old seems fearful, etc.
    But my first thought is possible for either/both of you, regardless of the situation. Respond to the three-year-old who is bringing these things up. Whether or not his account "true" or "accurate," and even if he is not describing anything unlawful, his communication is important & it would help to respond to him, not just to the information!

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:29 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • (continued)
    Think of it as communication, not just relaying information. He is telling you something about his feelings & experience. It may not be clear. If the info is "exaggerated" or made up, it may be that he's telling you that he wants something (attention, concern, awareness about something bothering him about the overall situation of going back & forth.) It may be a way that he can "make" something happen, but what he really wants is to feel important, noticed, and to claim attention. Children sometimes try to "please" a parent by supplying the info they think the parent wants (if they perceive she "doesn't like" daddy or is worried about how he treats the kids or handles his anger.) It could be many other things (including simply sharing a situation that bothers him.)
    Bottom line, it tells you about that child, the one who's talking.
    Respond directly. Reflect how he sounds, how that might feel, etc.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:34 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • The important thing is to be alert to his feelings at the time he's talking, and respond in a way that shows attunement. So, not an over-reaction, and not a focus or intensity that reflects your OWN concern or dismay rather than what he's actually experiencing. Your attention would be to him--to his own experience as he's talking at that moment, not so much to the content of what he's sharing. (Responding directly or not to content is a separate issue.)
    Respond verbally in ways that communicate how you're listening, how you hear & understand him, and how you notice his feelings & care about it all. So you could make guesses about what that's like for him (when his daddy does that), then listen to his response.
    He may be sorting out the meaning of certain events,working out the whole thing for himself. Regardless, the closeness he experiences as you listen, as well as the feeling of being "heard," is powerful.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:54 AM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • you can arrange supervised visits. maybe have a group outing where you can watch and see how he acts around the kids.

    Answer by stressedoutgran at 7:41 AM on Sep. 28, 2013

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