Mom Feels Terrified After Her In-Laws Spanked And Forced Religion On Her Kids

It is important to set boundaries with in-laws regarding children for a healthy family dynamic and child safety.

mother, in-laws, children, scared fizkes / Shutterstock 

After a mother left her children in the care of their aunts and uncles, she was mortified when she learned what they had done to her kids while they were gone. 

Although the woman opted to cut contact with her in-laws following the incident, they attempted to repair their relationship by attending an annual dinner. 

The woman was left unsettled after her in-laws allegedly spanked and forced their religious beliefs upon her children. 

Sharing her story on the subreddit r/Parenting, the woman revealed that she, her husband, and their two children, ages 7 and 4, have always had a close relationship with her husband’s family. Since her husband’s three siblings, ages 30, 38, and 26, are not married and childless, they have a lot of time to spend with their kids. 


A few weeks ago, the woman’s in-laws were watching the children while she and her husband were out. When they returned, the woman claimed that her in-laws had allegedly “spanked and forced religion” onto the kids. Although the woman did not get into specifics, she said that she and her husband have repeatedly told his parents not to behave a certain way with their children, and their wishes were disregarded. 

Mom Feels 'Terrified' After Her In-Laws Spanked And 'Forced Religion' On To Her Kids Photo: altanaka / Shutterstock 


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“We were so shaken at the disrespectful behavior toward our wishes that we didn’t say anything while we were heated, so we just got the kids and left,” the woman wrote. “However, we started refusing all communication with them (text, calls, seeing them, etc).” 

Two weeks after ceasing contact with her in-laws, the woman and her husband decided to attend their annual family dinner in an attempt to smooth things over. 

The woman cannot help but be riddled with anxiety over the thought of interacting with them again. 

“I’m a nervous wreck. I feel like I did something wrong. I feel like I’m the one that messed up,” she admitted. 


She worried whether she should apologize to her in-laws, although they had crossed a line. 

“I’m so worried that I’m the horrible person here,” she wrote. 

Mom Feels Terrified After Her In-Laws Spanked And Forced Religion On Her KidsPhoto: Rido / Canva Pro

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Most people believed that instead of avoiding her in-laws, she and her husband should have addressed their disrespect. 

“Going to the dinner is rug sweeping. You and your husband haven't addressed their behavior, and you're planning to go to their house without addressing their behavior. You’re effectively giving them permission to do it again,” one Redditor commented. 


“You two are the parents now! It's your job to put your children's wants and needs above all others.” 

“You need to protect your kids; you need to be on their side. These people assaulted your children; they spanked them; it is abuse. You must show your kids that you defend them,” another user wrote. 

“It’s okay to have not said anything in the moment as we all have fight, flight, freeze moments but you and your husband do need to work out what you do need to say and the consequences of their actions. Do not go to the dinner until you have this conversation,” another user advised. 

Others urged the woman and her husband not to bring the children around her in-laws until they had a conversation addressing boundaries. 


While it can be uncomfortable, setting boundaries with in-laws regarding children is crucial for maintaining healthy family dynamics and ensuring the well-being of the children.

Mom Feels Terrified After Her In-Laws Spanked And Forced Religion On Her Kids Photo: altanaka / Shutterstock 

Boundaries safeguard children from potentially harmful or inappropriate situations. They ensure that interactions with in-laws are safe, respectful, and supportive of the children's emotional and physical well-being. 


Even though family is important for some people, the safety of your children should always be the main priority. 

The thought of them being hurt should be far more terrifying than confronting your in-laws about hurting them. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.