I have always thought of my sister as a fabulous parent. We have slightly different parenting styles, though I thought our core values were the same. Recently it came up that she will slap her children eg. If one is throwing a tantrum and she needs them all in the car fast for the school run. It was a difficult conversation as for me, hitting is a big "no" under any circumstances. I think she is on the same page intellectually, we had the same upbringing and very happy childhood, but her life is more stressed in lots of ways versus mine. During our conversation, she made clear that she felt my life less stressful and so of course I did
not get to that point and thus no point talking about something I could not understand. Yes I am irrated as the implication is that circumstances reversed I would respond in the same way. I feel a strong need to talk about this in more depth with her.
I am worried, I am very judgemental on this issue, I feel strongly she is letting herself and her children down. Obviously I have to find an approach that does not cause more damage.
The children all heard our debate as it came up over Sunday lunch. During lunch I had to separate warring cousins and gave the standard pep talk I give to mine every now and then. I know you are cross, but hitting does not help, please find a way to control the urge, count to ten, use your brain, talk, but hitting is wrong and a daft thing to do everytime you get cross, it does not solve the problem. We never hit you guys just because we're cross, it is not acceptable behaviour. Standard talk, my sister was nodding happily in agreement. To which the response was but mum you hit us and our brief debate began. The children are now talking to each other about it. It would appear my sisters children are dealt with swiftly and sometimes with a hard wack. They don't seem upset as they know what they've done to get wack. How can this not have come up over the last five years. We see each other everyday and I've never seen my sister hit, yet it is clear that it is reasonably frequent. Am I being silly. It is partly she has specifically asked me not to bring up the subject that leaves me floundering. I feel strongly for the children and I am angry with my sister and of course the darker more dramatic voice is saying how often, how hard, what is the impact, are the children scared, what else don't I know, she will not discuss this subject with me. The dark side of me feels she knows this is behaviour that breaks our code and thus she does it in private and it is a concious thought process to use a slap as a strategy to get the children to fall in line?