Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

permission to smack child

(32 Posts)
whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 20:36:02

i have name changed for this, but.....

I am a cm

having a spot of bother with a 3 yr old, wilful disobedience.... asking if they can do something bad, when i say no they do it anyway.

so today parent picks child up and says, well, i wont repeat it word for word just in case they are on here

but they gave me persmission to smack the child if they did anything dangerous

now i know they have smacked the child before because the child told me.

I would never smack, its not in my nature, but i'm so sad for the little one....

what do i do? do i ignore it or do i call ss?

NickNacks Fri 29-Nov-13 20:37:56

It is not illegal for a parent to smack but it is for a child carer so whilst you are right to

FannyFifer Fri 29-Nov-13 20:38:14

Why would you call SS? Lots of parents smack their children. I don't think it's illegal.

Just tell them that no you won't smack their child.

NickNacks Fri 29-Nov-13 20:38:52

Sorry!

Right to tell him you won't be smacking his child, there is nothing to report him to SS for as far as I can see.

gamerchick Fri 29-Nov-13 20:42:15

I wouldn't phone ss unless he was obviously being battered.

Of course you shouldn't smack him.
I would go nuts and I'm a smacking supporter.

whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 20:44:41

i thought it was illegal under Section 58 of the Children Act 2004

whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 20:47:04

i did say that i wouldnt be using smacking... but i cannot see a situation where i would EVER give permission to smack MY child. I'd go mental if anyone hit my child.

It just feels like they arent protecting the child

minderjinx Fri 29-Nov-13 21:24:14

I once sat at a nativity play when a little boy stepped on my feet as he pushed past me to get to his seat, then did it again to get out. His Dad said to me "If he does that again, give him a good smack". Of course I said I wouldn't be smacking anybody, but I do know it's not illegal for parents.

whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 21:30:31

yes it can be said in a jokey way,,, but this was serious.

Neitheronethingortheother Fri 29-Nov-13 21:33:34

My cm smacked my child and told me afterwards I didn't have a problem with it. I understood why and its not like she hurt them.

whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 21:42:52

if hitting them doesnt hurt them... then why do you do it?

i didnt think i was so anti-smacking... but this has made me feel so sorry for the little one

littleducks Fri 29-Nov-13 21:48:30

I'm surprised that this isnt covered in CM training, it was in all safeguarding training courses I have ever done. You tell the parent that whilst they are allowed to smack their own child it would be illegal for you to do so, regardless of any permission being granted.

You could leave it at that or explain you dislike smacking personally or offer some suggestions of alternative discipline methods that you have found sucessfu;.

whatdoidojusthelp Fri 29-Nov-13 21:52:41

it was covered in my CM training.... child has told me, and parent implied, but nothing to red flag to DO something

but this is HUGE and i'm really surprised at the Meh attitude on here... maybe its because i namechanged?

gamerchick Fri 29-Nov-13 21:58:08

Well you have to trust your instinct. What is your gut telling you?

amistillsexy Fri 29-Nov-13 21:58:11

Sorry, whatdoido, but I don't think it is HUGE. It's a parent smacking a child who is pushing the boundaries.
It's not good parenting, but it's not abuse.

I've seen abuse. It's not being smacked after you've been naughty, had warnings, and other discipline methods haven't worked.

amistillsexy Fri 29-Nov-13 22:00:38

Obviously, if you think the parents are being abusive, you need to inform SS.

Out of interest (because it might shed some light on whether the parents are going straight to the smack, as it were), what discipline methods do you use with this LO, and do they work? Does he continue to test and push against your discipline? Does it take him a long time to come into line again?

FixItUpChappie Fri 29-Nov-13 22:13:40

Where I live spanking is legal provided it is on the bum and done by a flat hand, overtop of clothes (not of a humiliating nature) and provided it is not at a strength to cause marks or bruising of any kind.

If it falls outside of this criteria and the child is disclosing smacking in the head or with a belt or whatnot then yes do call SS. Otherwise be aware of it and try to find some better strategies that you can share with the parents and encourage them to use (diplomatically of course).

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 29-Nov-13 23:38:18

Would never smack a child I looked after - one there is no need and other ways to 'punish' a child - if that's the right word - two illegal and wrong in my job

I got smacked as a child and didn't do me any Harm - the odd slap across back of calves

Although sometimes my employers have smacked their child - I wouldn't - and to me I think the adult loses control and threatens a smack when doesn't know what else to do

neitheronething your cm hit your child and you didn't mind shock

She should be struck off ofsted

What did your child do?

Ragwort Fri 29-Nov-13 23:48:44

Would SS really do anything if you told them a child had been smacked hmm?

I mentioned this on another thread but got no response sad - I recently reported a situation to SS that I thought was very serious for the child involved (young child in the care of an alcoholic relative) and was told that there was insufficient evidence for any action. I find that appalling after all the press coverage about child abuse.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 29-Nov-13 23:54:33

It has nothing to do with 'name changing' - what an odd thing to say!

It is not a HUGE thing, which is why everybody has said that you don't need to 'do' anything. They smack, they are happy while you are in the 'parenting role' to smack - you don't want to. End of story. No need to turn it into a drama, let alone call SS.

SoonToBeSix Sat 30-Nov-13 00:44:32

It is not illegal in England for a parent to smack a child. In Scotland smacking a child under three is illegal.

Monroe Sat 30-Nov-13 09:32:03

I don't think people are being meh about it. They are just pointing out that regardless of personal views it is most definitely not illegal for a parent to smack their own children so ss would not be interested at all unless like others have said you believe it is more serious

I did my designated person safeguarding training last week. The guideline was as long as the smack doesn't leave a mark. Personally I am anti smacking but if I knew a parent was using it as a form of punishment I would just have to accept it as something we choose to
Do differently

Lucylouby Sat 30-Nov-13 09:38:03

I find that quite odd that in Scotland you can smack a child once they have their third birthday. What makes a three year old more worthy of a smack than a two year old? Has a parent been taken to court for smacking an infant and what was the outcome? I'm curious, we are in England and I didn't know that Smacking was partly illegal in Scotland.
Op, I know that my cm child is smacked at home, they have smacked her here (maybe twice over two years) so I know they do. I don't believe it's abuse or that ss need to be involved in this case. It's up to you to decide if it warrants further intervention in your case. I actually think being a childminder has meant I don't smack my own children, partly because I have learnt better methods and also because it wouldn't be fair as I wouldn't smack a minded child and I disapline them all the same.

TheRobberBride Sat 30-Nov-13 09:48:13

I'm not 'meh' about it at all.

I would never smack my own child.

And as a CM it would be illegal for you to smack a child in your care.

But it is NOT currently illegal for parents to smack their own children. It's not good parenting but they haven't broken the law.

Have you any reason to believe that they are using excessive (for want of a better word) force? Have you seem marks or bruising on the child that would be consistent with hard smacking? If yes then do inform SS as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, I do not think that the mere fact they admit to smacking as part of discipline warrents a report to SS.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 30-Nov-13 15:09:21

'they gave me permission to smack the child if they did anything dangerous'

That's quite telling isn't it? Not permission to smack if they're naughty, but specifically if they do something dangerous.

I think a lot of parents, even ones who don't smack as discipline, smack when their child does something really dangerous. I've seen parents (including the ones I've worked for) smack children who have run across the road, have got their hands millimetres away from boiling water/the oven/a plug socket etc., are winding a dog up, leaning right out of an upstairs window etc. I don't agree with smacking, but it's possibly the one time that it does work, particularly if you don't smack normally. I don't think it's in anyway abusive and I really don't think SS would be interested.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now