I have a friend S, who stayed with her in-laws consisting of one old grandmother, parent in laws, 1 younger brother in law and 2 younger sister in laws. She get along very well with her in-laws but not until recently when her toddler son was spank by the youngest SIL. The boy is only 3 years old. S agreed that her son is sometimes very stubborn and mischevious, but as a mother, her thought was 'That is what a toddler is' It is NORMAL to be naughty. NORMAL to be active. NORMAL to make everyone's blood boil!
She even went online website to read about a 3 years old's behaviour to understand more and to compare with her son's behaviour. Her findings was, it is NATURAL for her son to react like that.
That very night while she was feeding her son dinner, it turns out to be sour because the boy got a little cranky and whinning for his story book. S firmly said "If you finished up your dinner, mummy will read that storybook to you". As a stubborn toddler, he just could not digest that sentence and go against his mother. Still whinning, S tried to stay CALM and avoid hitting her son.
Out of no where, this youngest SIL came and hit the boy's arm REAL HARD! S was stunned! The boy, of course cried. It adds to her misery when the youngest SIL shouted at the boy asking him to keep quiet. Can you imagine such situation? The mother was trying to stay calm throughtout the feeding battle and trying her best, as a mother to make the feeding enjoyable but was interrupted by this scene.
Not the end yet. While the boy was still crying, the youngest SIL wanted to show her 'best discipline skills' and drag the boy outside of the house and closed the door! That of course lead the boy to cry even louder! The toddler does not even understand why he was being chased out of the house and he cried because he was afraid. S was so helpless and does not want to go against her SIL because she does not want to have a sour relationship with someone she has to stay with under one roof for the rest of her life (unless that SIL married out).
Still staying calm, S went out to carry her crying toddler son in and straight went to the bedroom, and cried. By the way, all the other family members were not around at that time. Only the youngest SIL, S and the boy at home.
S went out for tea with me the other weekend and was asking me for some advise on such situation because I was also staying with my in - laws and have a 3 year old (stubborn and mischevious) toddler just like her. Can't a mother who was learning to understand her toddler's behaviour be given a chance to improve their mother and child bonding rather than to be interfered with the harsh discipline act? WHY DO SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO SPANK OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILD ?