My MIL Spanked My Daughter

Last I heard, freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution! You may not like what I write here  . .  but these are MY thoughts and feelings . . .

I was recently out of town and my in-laws were staying in my home helping my husband out while I was away. Taking care of three children is not always easy for me and I know that sometimes days can be taxing. I can't imagine how stressful it can be for my husband's parents who are in their early 80's. They insisted they would be fine taking care of the children for two days while my husband was at work.

My children were very excited to spend some quality time with their grandparents as well. In all honesty, I was only slightly worried that they may get a bit worn out from all the running around, but in general I did feel that everything would run smoothly for my in-laws. My in-laws are AMAZING grandparents. They are playful, patient, and just plain wonderful with my children.

This morning I was speaking with my husband prior to boarding a plane and he informed me of an incident report between my son and his grandfather. My FIL told my husband that he had to gently shake my son to get his attention as he was not listening. My son does have some current issues with attitude and listening and I was saddened to hear that this carried over to his treatment of his grandfather. I texted my son to apologize to his grandfather at once.

When I got home this evening, I asked my son to tell me his version of what happened and as he was explaining it to me he told me that in addition to the shaking, his grandfather had gently slapped his face as well. He told me that it didn't hurt, but that it did make him angry and this caused the rude comments. He informed me that the gentle shaking didn't bother him, even though it knocked his glasses off. He thought is was part of the game as they had been throwing water balloons.

Being an SPD child, my son doesn't always get when 'enough is enough'. My MIL tends to overstimulate my son as well as she is loud and chatty. My FIL has the television on for long periods and that overstimulates him as well. My in-laws don't understand SPD and think of it as a "condition" and a "disability", so it is really hard for my husband and I to discuss it with them. They keep asking if there is medication to help, which really frustrates us.

As I was explaining to my son that this was not the best way for his grandfather to handle the situation I also let him know that his behavior was completely inappropriate. My son then stated that my MIL had spanked my daughter earlier that day.

I called my little one down and asked her if she received a spanking from grandma today and she simply replied "oh yeah, but it didn't hurt". She was unfazed and I was shocked. I asked her what happened and she told me that her and her sister were arguing and she got very upset and was shouting and crying for grandma. She couldn't calm down and grandma patted her bottom. I understand that different behaviors call for different consequences, but I do not agree with the slapping and the patting on the bottom, no matter how light these physical actions were. Life-threatening behaviors call for attention-getting consequences and these certainly were not that.

I told my husband I didn't agree with this and he stated that he didn't agree with me. He told me he did not have a problem with this action by his parents. I was upset and I wanted him to call his parents to get their side of the story.

My husband simply called his mother and stated "did you smack my daughter".  I was shocked that he did that! We never said smacked, everyone said pat and that it didn't hurt. A smack if most definitely not a pat. This was spinning out of control and fast. She was a flustered mess and started stammering and crying and simply hung up on my husband.

I demanded my husband drive over to his mom and fix this immediately! He refused and said everyone needed to cool off. I certainly didn't agree with the slap and the pat, but this situation was horrible. I am still quite uncomfortable with the fact that my in-laws did this, but what really has me perplexed is that they both deny it. My FIL denies slapping my son and my MIL denies patting my daughter's bottom.

My husband believes his parents and I believe my children. My husband is profusely apologizing to his parents that he accused them and I feel completely alienated.

I'm protecting my children, not my mother-in-law's feelings.