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earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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my son in law would like to shut my 17 month old granddaughter

Customer Question

my son in law would like to shut my 17 month old granddaughter in her room when she misbehaves, sometimes without the lights on. This concerns me and seem like abusive behavior. Am I over reacting?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 5 years ago.
What is her behavior? How long does he leave her there? What does his wife say about it? What does he say when you confront him on this?
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
If your son in law is locking the child up in the room with the lights off as a form of discipline then it should be concerning to you as it borders on emotional abuse and possible neglect. However, there are other aspects regarding how often this happens, how long she is left there, is she being neglected, etc. Call your local Department of Child and Family Services and explain your observations. You do not have to provide names of anyone but just ask for advice and you will be given details of what route to take. Hope this provides you with some insight.
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
her actions range from taking a tantrum, hitting, screaming. He is close by. My daughter is not a fan of this but feels like it will cause more problems for her to speak out against it. I said that I think it is cruel, borderline abusive and could lead to permanent psychological damage, my comments were not well received. The father is paranoid schizophrenic and feels that my daughter and I are ganging up on him and not allowing him to choose how to discipline "his" child. The father lives in Australia and we are here visiting so he can see the child. The child is obviously terrified but being shut alone in the dark. I really do not think she understands
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
Good evening. The picture that is painted when you say that he shuts her in the room, is one that sounds like neglect. However, neglect cannot be determined strictly because he puts her in the room alone, even sometimes with the lights off. Does he check on her when this occurs, is there a monitor in the room, where does he place her (in the crib, on the floor, in a chair?) has he ever neglected or abused her in any other ways previously? All of these things must be considered to make the determination of neglect. Here is a link to the US Department of Health and Human Services that contains specific links to resources that may be of aid. It is possible that you are over reacting a bit, however your concern could also be justified. If you have any further questions on this issue, don't hesitate to message me: earthsister; I wish you all the best!
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
earthsister and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
Here is the link that I mentioned in my previous post:
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Your daughter and son in law must be on the same page when it comes to parenting styles but being locked up in a dark room as a 17 month old is not appropriate disciplinary techniques. The other issue is the emotional stability of your son in law. I get a feeling that your daughter may fear setting him off by speaking up against his parenting styles. By referring to his daughter as "his" child seems as though he does not want to share parental responsibilities with your daughter. He wants the power. He wants to remain in control of everything and anything including the daughter when she misbehaves. I am also wondering how the marital relationship is between your son in law and daughter. There are many issues that must be carefully thought about in your daughter's life. If your daughter feels like she cannot talk to her husband, have her seek professional counseling from a neutral third party in how to deal with her husband. Additionally, your granddaughter may need counseling as well although she is still a bit young. Her counseling would consist of a technique called "Play Therapy". Look out for the best interest of your granddaughter. Protect that precious child. Stay encouraged.