She begins by explaining that it had been a long day of shopping with her husband, daughter, 3, son, 10, and her husband’s mother. They had ended dup at a restaurant for dinner and her son was misbehaving by hitting his sister with a bag of shopping.
‘Before I had a chance to intervene [my mother-in-law] struck [my son] quite harshly making him cry in shock and gave him a good telling off,’ she writes on Mumsnet.
‘I've never smacked any of my children as it's strongly enforced in my home that hitting is wrong… I stopped the shopping trip immediately and we went home. Everyone in the car was very quiet and there was a horrible atmosphere.’
'I hate it and can’t understand why any parent would hit their child'
When she checked on her son, he revealed that his grandmother had spanked him before.
‘I told my [husband] to call her instantly and tell her to keep her hands off my children,’ she says - but also says he is avoiding being assertive because he doesn’t want to upset his mother.
‘Am I being unreasonable that I don’t want her to smack my children? I hate it and can’t understand why any parent would hit their child.’
Commenters were quick to tell her she was being perfectly reasonable.
‘I would be fuming! How dare she!’ wrote one.
Another added: ‘Cruel and unnecessary, would not be leaving her with her again anytime soon until she has admitted to her wrongs and apologised.’
'I would call her and tell her this is never, ever to happen again.'
One person did play Devil’s advocate and suggest that sometimes a little slap is not out of order: ‘I am not adverse to a smack - but by that I mean a slap on the hand of a toddler if they reach for something dangerous, or we always used to get a slap on the bum - and it really only was when we had put ourselves in danger, to get a big shock from it - and never very hard.’
Most people wondered why she needed her husband to call the mother-in-law anyway.
‘Yep, I would call her and tell her this is never, ever to happen again or she will not be able to see the children. Nobody smacks my kids.’
‘To be honest, I would have had it out with her there and then though. Your child needs to see that what his grandmother did was wrong and that you will protect him from that.’
This article first published on New Idea.