Author Topic: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt  (Read 7581 times)

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fordellcastle

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Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« on: March 09, 2011, 07:54:52 PM »
I formerly stayed with my 2 grandchildren a few evenings per week. My daughter has class, and my SIL is working. Over a year ago, my grandson showed me marks on his butt and thighs where he said his Dad had hit him with a belt. He and his sister said he does it to both of them as punishment, frequently for minor offenses. In addition, SIL's father hits them with a belt, too. I called my daughter about it, and also spoke to my SIL about it. A couple weeks ago, the belt situation was mentioned again. He had paddled my grandson with it 2 nights previously. I had been under the impression that it wasn't going on anymore. Not true, they had been told not to mention it to me. This time, I told them both they need to tell their teacher if it happens again because they have mandated reporting. I worried if I called DCFS and they showed up at their home that the kids would be too intimidated to tell the truth. My grandson told his Dad after I left that Grandma had told him to tell his teacher if he ever hit him with a belt again. SIL was furious, and my daughter was angry, too. He did tell the school about it the next day. Since then, my daughter has not spoken to me. I'm no longer allowed to babysit or see my grandkids. They either stay for an after school program (which is good) or their other grandparents keep them (bad). My SIL's parents, as my daughter has said, "beat the hell out of him" when he was a child. My ex-husband, daughter's father, is an alcoholic. I called him about the situation, and he told me that "It's not illegal, and it will make a man out of him." He was far from sober at the time. My daughter was not raised like that, I don't believe in spanking a child. I am afraid my grandkids will think I have abandoned them. They are 10 and 8 years old. I have no way of knowing if they are still using that form of punishment, but my son-in-law sent me an email that said "Corporal punishment is legal in all 50 states" and said he would do as he saw fit. The school cannot tell me anything, due to confidentiality. It breaks my heart. Is there any hope in this situation? What can I do to repair my relationship with my daughter and grandchildren? I have always been fond of my SIL, as I knew he had a rough time growing up. He seems to be emulating his parents, though, and I've lost all respect for him. How can I protect my grandchildren? Please advise.

Mariatobe

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 03:10:35 AM »
I would call DCFS (is that child/youth services?) to see if they have an ongoing investigation.  The kids need to be removed from that home.  They are being abused.  Children will always stick up for the parents, so don't be alarmed if they do that this time.  Save all of your emails from your son in law.  They are proof of what's going on.  You could show a social worker/police.  But save them.  When they stay with other grandparents, are they abusing them?  They've been abusive in the past.  Maybe go to the police as well, see what they say.  As far as talking with ex-husband, I would just stop.  You can't reason with drunk people.  Please give us an update, I'm thinking of you.  You are a hero to help your grandkids, no matter what happens, just don't let them live like that.  Good luck.

holliberri

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 05:19:20 AM »
I'm pretty sure he'd be arrested for that if he did that in public, even if it is legal. I would call DCFS as well, particularly if they are leaving welts and marks. Children don't need that level of punishment, ever. The times have changed; it was okay for me to get the belt growing up, but it's not okay now. That's a change that I can live with.

I know it can't be easy, but you do have our support. I would make sure that I explained what the other GPs were doing too when I called, since it is likely worse when the children are with them. Good luck to you. This must be just awful for you.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 05:40:35 AM »
That's a very tough situation for you to be in ((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))))

There is such a fine line between discipline and abuse. Your grandchildren asked you for help, you should call DCFS so they can look into it. Tell them what your grandson told you-- that he showed you the bruises, you talked to SIL about it, and that the GCs were told to never discuss it with you again.

That being said. I DO believe in spanking as a form of discipline, and I do not think it is the government or any other legal body's right to tell me how I can or cannot discipline my children. But one should never ever spank a child when they are angry because then it crosses the line to abuse.

My prayers are with you and your family. (((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 06:17:00 AM »
It is an offence here in the UK to strike a child .  If you call the authorities wil they be taken into  care? Would you want that?   I know they need to be safe but its very traumatic for children to be whisked  away to a strange place .  As they have asked for your help they must be desperate .....here we have a citizens advice  bureau to go for help Do you have something there ?


LaurieS

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 06:20:24 AM »
They are 10 and 8 years old. I have no way of knowing if they are still using that form of punishment, but my son-in-law sent me an email that said "Corporal punishment is legal in all 50 states" and said he would do as he saw fit.

It's wonderful to know that child abuse is illegal in all 50 states as well.  Accept the fact that you can not intervene to help protect your grandchildren while at the same time continue to have the relationship you did with the family.  If this proves to be abuse then the grandchildren will know that you did not abandon them when the abuse is stopped. Hopefully your gc will continue to confide with counselors at the school.  As others have said, go to the authorities and to family services... keep any and all correspondence between you and the family.  But be realistic concerning what can/will be done.

Outside of our opinions, there is little else that we can offer at this site.  You and your grandchildren need real help, I hope you realize that and move forward.  Be prepared for your dd to never accept your  concerns as she could either be a part of the problem or being abused herself.... if she has not led you to believe that she is in fear then I'd have to go with the fact that if the law goes after him, they need to go after her as well.   

fordellcastle

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 07:55:55 AM »
Thank you for the advice. I have called DCFS to ask if they had an ongoing investigation, but was told it is confidential. I know the school told me when I called after my gs reported it that they do indeed have mandated reporting. Again, though, I was told it is confidential. I've made an appointment for counseling here for myself, because I'm having trouble coping with this hornet's nest I seem to have stirred up. I've asked my sister, their grandaunt, to take them to the movies. I'm buying the tickets and treats, hoping they may confide in her and to let them know I love them dearly and miss them very much. My sister telephoned my daughter, but did not let on that she was aware of this situation. I will keep you updated. I'm glad I found this forum-it is good to know I'm not alone in problems with my adult child.

holliberri

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 07:58:36 AM »
You didn't stir up this hornet's nest. In fact, you did the right thing.

I know it's not easy that your DD doesn't agree, but you know what? The safety of young children is at stake here. That trumps all. In that respect, you're being the best mom out there, whether DD knows it or not.

justus

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 09:15:47 AM »
Be very careful about going through other people to get at your GCs. You have violated a trust here, and by going around your DD to even send messages to your GCs, you are not respecting the boundaries your DD has put down, which is going to do nothing to rebuild that trust.

I am not saying that what you did was wrong or that you shouldn't have done it, but you have to look at your DD's side of this, and how she will perceive your actions. Your future relationship with her and your GC depend on you doing this.

I was punished with a belt when I was a child and it did me no lasting damage. I preferred the belt over the interminable lectures for which we had to stand still and look my D in eye the entire time. D never did it out of anger and he never once left welts. Even so, I never once took a belt to my children. Oh, I did give them a whack with my hand on the bottom every now and then, but it was a "pay attention" sort of thing, not a pain thing, when they were doing something dangerous like trying to put a knife in an electrical outlet. It happened so seldom that it did get their attention.

I was shocked to get a phone call from my DS's middle school principle to inform me that he had spanked my son. The vice-principle was out of town for two weeks and during that time, more boys got spanked than had been spanked in the 5 previous years. DH was so angry I had to take his keys away so he wouldn't drive to the school to give the principle a taste of his own medicine. It seems that here in Indiana, corporal punishment in schools is legal. If you don't want your child spanked, you have to have a letter on file stating that you do not give permission for corporal punishment to be used on your child. We immediately put a letter on file for each of our children, wrote a letter to the Editor of our local newspaper, and talked to the superintendent. If you have a child in school, please research this issue, or you might just get the same kind of call.

So, I don't think what you would like to happen is going to happen. The CPS is so overloaded, depending on where you live, a case like this where it is just a belt on the behind occasionally isn't going to be on the top of their priority list. Unfortunately, the only thing you might have accomplished is getting everyone angry with you. So, walk lightly here and do whatever you need to do to get back in your DD's good graces. Obviously your SIL and DD should take some parenting classes and maybe SIL should take an anger management class. Either way, there is really nothing more you can do, but be there for your GCs should you be allowed back in their lives.

holliberri

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 09:31:18 AM »
CPS is so overloaded, depending on where you live, a case like this where it is just a belt on the behind occasionally isn't going to be on the top of their priority list. Unfortunately, the only thing you might have accomplished is getting everyone angry with you. So, walk lightly here and do whatever you need to do to get back in your DD's good graces. Obviously your SIL and DD should take some parenting classes and maybe SIL should take an anger management class. Either way, there is really nothing more you can do, but be there for your GCs should you be allowed back in their lives.

No, I don't think getting everyone angry was the only thing accomplished here, and if DD is mad, really, so what? She should be angry that her children are being belted to the point of remaining injury.

I believe the welts, bruises and the possible amount of the belt use will determine whether or not this needs further attention...which is why CPS was called. That makes a lot of sense to me. Depending on your state, and the nature of the call from the school, CPS absolutely will investigate this; they just investigated my aunt b/c someone notified them that she smoked pot in the past month. The children have also complained about the belt use, which means that there is probably more than just a little damage that has been done. Between the concerned GP, the school's interaction with the children and the school's contact with CPS, I think this would escalate the priority of this case.

I personally wouldn't be concerned about being in my DD's good graces if I thought she was possibly hiding child abuse. And, even if CPS was too overloaded, at least I would have fought for my GKs safety; and you can bet I'd keep calling them if I suspected more abuse followed.


Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 10:48:12 AM »
The number one priority here are those children !! Full stop !!

I would hate to tell you what I would do in the same circumstances .

If I thought for one moment that my own daughter would condone this treatment of her own children
I would be shocked .
The more that the GM can do to stop this abusive treatment the better ! And quickly !
A smack on the leg is completely different from being beaten with a belt .!!

I'm with you Holli .How can anyone walk lightly when two children re being abused !

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 10:56:55 AM »
I was punished with a belt when I was a child and it did me no lasting damage. I

I too was spanked as a child. (Wooden paddle not a belt). It didn't do me any lasting harm either. As far as the GC's complaining about it. Well, they are children, discipline is never pleasant, so of course they will complain. I do hope that CPS does look into this to make sure it is not abuse, but it is also no one else's place to tell you how or how not to discipline your children.

There have been cases when a child has screamed abuse because... wait for it.... their parents took away their ipod as a punishment. As I said before, the line between the two is a very thin one. Bruises on a little one's bottom doesn't immediately make me think abuse. If the child doesn't like being punished they will fight back, which can result in the spanking hitting them a little above (lower back) or below (thighs) their bottom.

I'm sure I am in the minority in this day and age that advocates spanking, but I do not enjoy seeing children running around screaming with absolutely no discipline or respect for those around them.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 11:07:07 AM »
Sorry Anon ...I raised  three children and never hit them once !
They are all now respectable adults with university degrees and responsible jobs .
I bet when they all have children ,they won't raise their hands either .
Violence leads to violence ...... to bruise a childs bottom requires quite a hard smack .

I hope you ARE in the minority that advocates spanking children .

holliberri

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 11:14:47 AM »
ADil,

Isn't that the point of getting CPS involved? Let the authorities figure out what is going on and what is not going on.

Not spanking =/= no discipline or lack of respect. I don't advocate telling parents how to discipline their children, but *most* kids do not just normally "cry wolf." And, it's been confirmed by the SIL that there has been belting going on, as well as a pattern of abuse in his family, so I don't see where the wolf cry is in this scenario.

CPS will not just  go in and take children away if they investigate and feel that the children are in no danger, but really, they would have a much better idea of what is going on here than any of us (with the exception of the OP).




Offline Rose799

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Re: Grandchildren ask for help because SIL hits them with belt
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 11:16:29 AM »
I'm sorry that you & your gc are going through this, fordellcastle.  Years ago, I reported a family member's bf for molestation of dc.  CPS placed the dc in foster care.  The relative had to go through counseling, etc. before dc were sent home.  It was more involved than I was prepared for, but I still don't know a better alternative.  Given the same set of circumstances, the one thing I would have done differently would be to call or have someone else to call CPS anonymously.

My siblings & I were whipped with a belt, which left whelps.  About the only thing it taught us was to fear df.  If they don't already, fordellcastle, rest assured, they will learn to walk softly & steer clear of df.  Your sil's boasting that no one can stop him troubles me.  Emotionally, what message must that send dc?    If nothing else, sil knows that people are watching now.  I would think being on their records at school would follow them, even if they changed schools.  That's not a bad thing...