Woman Accused Of 'Overreacting' After Telling Her Mother-In-Law To Stop Spanking Her 'Unruly' Toddler

She explained that she refuses to use violence to discipline her children.

mom and toddler embracing shurkin_son / Shutterstock

A mother revealed that she was ridiculed after telling her mother-in-law that she doesn't want to use violence to discipline her child.

Posting to the subreddit r/beyondthebump — an online forum where parents can seek advice about issues happening with their children — the mom shared that her mother-in-law had resorted to hitting her child, despite being told that she was uncomfortable with the notion of her child being hit.


She was accused of 'overreacting' after telling her mother-in-law not to spank her toddler.

Sharing the incident in her Reddit post, she explained that her mother-in-law was incredibly tired and stressed while watching her toddler. "So was my toddler, who had a new experience (first time in daycare). My little one was misbehaving in an [attempt] to let us know he was feeling unregulated."

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The mom-of-two acknowledged that she should've been running around with her toddler and letting him get out of all of his energy, but was preoccupied with taking care of her 6-month-old infant, and wasn't able to do both at the same time.


Instead of her mother-in-law choosing to play with him, she chose to spank him as a way of punishing the toddler for misbehaving and acting "unruly." After seeing it happen, she calmly told her mother-in-law not to do that again as that's not the way she wants to raise her children.

woman tells mother-in-law not to spank toddlerPhoto: Treetree2016 / Shutterstock

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Her mother-in-law seemed to agree, but then did it once more, which further angered the toddler's mother. "I said please don't do that again. I don't like it. She got upset [and] said I am overreacting and left to calm down."

After getting herself together, the woman's mother-in-law came back and apologized, but tried to excuse her behavior by telling her, "It's better for a kid to cry than for a parent to cry after a kid is hurt."

The toddler's mom insisted that she was not the type of parent to spank her child or inflict violence on them whenever they were acting up. "My kid is not my property. I gave birth to him but that does not mean I can hurt him. Adults should protect defenseless kids, it's our responsibility to control our actions," she remarked.

In the comments section, people agreed with her decision not to allow her mother-in-law to hit her child.

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"If you haven’t already you need to discuss with your [mother-in-law] how you would like her to handle these situations going forward," one Reddit user suggested. "If she refuses to do any of these and instead will spank your kid, then she isn’t a person who should be around your child."

Another user agreed, writing, "If someone spanked MY child, they would never see my child again. Under no circumstances is that okay. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It must be really upsetting."

"The entitlement someone has to feel to put their hands on someone else’s child is beyond me, especially twice after being told not to," a third user chimed in.

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"If my own mother hit either of my kids, I would absolutely be furious let alone my [mother-in-law]. I don’t think I would have the self-control you did."

Parents using physical punishments can often have severe and long-lasting effects on a child's emotional well-being, including leading to feelings of fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Children may even grow up associating discipline with pain and develop negative attitudes towards authority figures, hindering their emotional development.

Instead, parents should try to use discipline tactics that are constructive, respectful, and focused on teaching and guiding children instead of terrorizing them.


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Nia Tipton is a Brooklyn-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.