Need help now?


Discussion forum for parents in Australia



I'm so upset by what transpired while at a relatives home that I can't sleep. While at a relatives home for dinner, my 7 year-old son was playing with a cousin. Now, my son is an only child and can be, in my opinion, a bit unruly at times. However, I do believe that my husband and I handle any instances of unruliness when they happen. The first incident that occurred tonight, I did not witness. My son came to me to tell me that this family member (let's call him P) kicked him rather hard when he was in the kitchen. P is an adult. I figured my son was just being a little sensitive. I advised my son to stay out of the kitchen and away from P. The second instance I heard P slap my son on the forehead (I'm not sure what about), not hard, but I found it inappropriate. My son seemed more hurt feelings over the incident than anything and I decided to let it go. My son and his cousin were asked to keep the noise down since another family member was going to bed. I didn't think the kids were being overly loud but my son made a little too much noise and P was near him and flicked him hard on his forehead. Everyone seemed a bit shocked. P's wife laughed, which really pissed me off, my son began to cry, and that was it for me. I picked up my son and walked out the door. My son has told me numerous times that P is mean to him, not physically hit him until this time, but calls him names and the way he speaks to him. I told my son that he is no longer allowed to go over to P's home or be around him. My husband somehow didn't notice any of these incidents and stayed after I left. Am I overreacting?

Star contributor

Re: discipline

Hi @ykk1kda 


Thanks for joining ReachOut and sharing your story with us. You obviously really care about your son and sound like a beautiful mother. 


From what you've described, I personally don't think you have overreacted. Any form of corporal punishment should be discouraged and it may be illegal. Therefore, I think it makes complete sense to want to protect your son. It sounds awful that P has previously emotionally abused your son, too. No seven year old deserves that. In my opinion, if P had an issue with your son's behaviour, he should have raised it with you to deal with appropriately, instead of taking it upon himself to flick, slap or kick him. Like yourself, I'd personally be reluctant to leave my child alone with/ see P in future. This must be hard for you to deal with given that it is a relative and may be awkward. I hope you are okay Heart


Does your husband understand why you reacted the way you did?


Also if you don't mind me asking - does P have any kids of his own or is he living with any children (such as a younger sibling)? 


Also you seem to want the opinion of other parents... so I have tagged some regular users here for you. @PapaBill @JAKGR8 @LuckyGirl2000 @MomTo3Plus @Dad4good @sunflowermom @Orbit64 @Nikita16 @mrskode 

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: discipline

Hi ,

Simple answer is no.
IMHO your reaction was just right

The actions you describe are not discipline they are low level child abuse

Kicking a child or Flicking the forehead are not forms of coral punishment, they are abuse.

Extracting your child and preventing them returning is the minimum appropriate action.

Calling and reporting these activities to child protection stating concerns over any children permenately in the home would be also something to considering
Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: discipline

I agree with @TOM-RO and @PapaBill 


If your partner still doesn't see the issue ask him how he'd feel if someone he respected who was bigger/stronger than him did the same thing on a regular basis. Maybe even his boss.