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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
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Three days ago my 12 year old daughter told my wife that she

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Three days ago my 12 year old daughter told my wife that she is getting on her nerves after my wife asked for he ipod earlier than she normally does. I was downstairs doing my coursework when this all took place. I don't like the use of the ipod so that was not an issue for me. My wife eventually got the ipod but was very upset with the words my daughter, you are getting on my nerves. So she told her she will never get the ipod back and also gave her a lecture and then gave her the silent treatment. She told her father, mother and sister like she always does. They know everything about my household before I know about it. Anyway my father-in-law spent New Years day and night at my house. Last night I heard him talking to my daughter in the kitchen, while I was doing my coursework. He asked her where she learned to say things like that, which friend did she learn that from, and so forth. He told her that she should be spanked, slapped in the face, or locked in her room or something like that. Eventually he told her that she is the way she is because I (me) love her too much and do not hit her. He then said, actually you think he loves you but he does not and he thinks he loves you but he does not because if he did he would have slapped her in the face after she said that to her mom. That is what he said in a nutshell. I do not know if he knew I was up but I heard every word and kindly had enough of hearing it and walked into kitchen to let him know I hear what he was saying but without saying anything. He stopped talking and that was the end of the conversation.

This has really made me angry for him to come into my house and spew this nonsense to my daughter and putting her in the middle of that.My daughter is a good child. Does she have her moments, yes she does, but she is good child. She maintains straight A's in school. I do not see any need to hit my child and understand that people use that as a means to diseiplain but for me that would be last resort. I can get better results by talking to her. Am I reacting properly? Should I just ignore this or let my wife know. I really do not want to associate with him anymore but I do not know if that is too harsh.
Hello and thank you for being a JA customer,

It is apparent that your wife was raised with this type of discipline and believes it to be appropriate judging by the strong way she reacted to her daughter's words. It also sounds like wife and her family are very close (even enmeshed). It is possible that wife even asked her father to have a talk with her. It will not be easy to change these value and beliefs in wife and her family.

From a child development standpoint, their approach is too harsh and your reaction is understandable. I would not cut off relationship with him but I would let wife know in this manner. "When your father gets involved in the discipline of our daughter, it make me very upset. It is confusing and abusive to our daughter to be told she deserves corporal punishment and I am afraid it will cause her anxiety. Please ask him not to do that again." If your wife and you are on the same page about corporal punishment, there should be no further problem.

I hope this helps....
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am more so angry that he told her i dont love her because if i did I would hit her. Is that an issue?
Oh yes, I overlooked that. I can see why that would make you so upset. Wife has to be told about that too and the 2 of you need to talk to daughter together and clear it up for her. That must be very confusing to her. Of course, that is an important issue.
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