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Old 11-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #1
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Spanking during toddler classes

So, I really don't have an issue with spanking in general. I really think it's a personal parenting decision. I have, however, been having an issue with what's been going on in an art class and a gymnastics class we've been taking at our community center. My son is two. All the kids are 18 months - 3 years old. The art class has 12 kids and the gymnastics class has 10 kids. K is in the art class and J is in the gymnastics class. In each class, K and J are rowdy boys, who also push, hit and kick. No one else in the class does. K comes to class with his nanny, and J comes with his grandma.

In art class, when K kicks, throws paint on other kids, or does anything else, his nanny gets into his face and screams "No NO! Don't do XYZ, that's BAD" and then spanks him. K often cries and screams, and this goes on for the 45 minutes of class. We sit alphabetically in that class so we are his tablemates. The nanny does not remove him from the class. The last three sessions, when the spanking and yelling starts, every single kid starts crying while watching.

In gymnastics, J pushes the youngest kids down, hits, kicks, and takes everything away. His grandma starts off with "no, that's not nice" and then it ends with spanking. J screams and cries and yells "You hurt" over and over. Nearly every kid cries. This one is a little worse for me, because we aren't seated and it's not isolated to an area. She will pick him up in the middle of circle time or doing whatever activity and spank him in the middle of a circle of kids.

In each circumstance, it is SO uncomfortable. It's really loud so it's not really able to be ignored, and the kids are toddlers so they watch the whole thing. Both instructors are college kids, and really really nice.

Here's where I struggle - I find this inappropriate, mostly because all of the kids are crying and witnessing all of it. I don't care how they discipline, but it's in front of everyone and each of these kids is affected. I really don't want to stop going to these classes, because we do a few a week and my son and I both get a lot out of them. I feel uncomfortable saying anything. I feel uncomfortable speaking to the teacher. I'm just not sure what to do so I'm wondering what the consensus is here.

Thanks

ETA - both J and K are three. Oldest in the classes.

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Old 11-18-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

I also am okay with spanking HOWEVER I understand how you feel and think it is inappropriate. I would honestly probably leave the class... I couldnt say anything either! I also think that spanking a child who is just being a child (to immature mentally to know the difference) is wrong. My friend spanks her child over and over when he tries to hid during a diaper change/clothes changing. He is just being a child! I feel bad for the parents of who are missing out on their children/babies who are just being little... The those poor kids who dont know the differance.

I would spank a deliberately defiant 5 year old if need be - just not an 18 month old for being a chlid.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

Oh, I would totally speak to the teacher! I don't think that these situations are being handled at all appropriately. Regardless of whether you agree with spanking or not, I think correction needs to happen off to the side and not with everyone watching, especially if it is effecting the other children. I think it is the teacher's responsibility to make sure the class is a place where everyone can be for the purpose for which they are gathered (like art or gym). What do the teachers do? Do they try to carry one while all the children are crying? They need to ask these caretakers to remove their children before correcting them.

Just my

ETA: I would definitely consider taking my own children out of the class if the issue isn't addressed.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

That is totally inappropriate in that setting. I would be speaking to a director and letting them know. I am not paying for a class to have to deal with a severely disruptive behavioral issue or to have my young child witness a classmate receive corporal punishment.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

In art class the teacher is a 20 year old guy and he just watches, slack-jawed, for a second and then tries to talk over the noise to give directions for whatever project we are doing. He's so enthusiastic, a really great teacher, but it's his first time teaching and he's learning.

In gymnastics, the teacher tries really hard to re-direct the other kids. She rings her bell (her "activity transition" thing) and says "OK, let's all start doing XYZ..." and tries really hard to command the attention. She is in school to be a teacher and I think she's 22.

I would be so heartbroken to take my son out He LOVES these classes, he asks nearly every day when he can see Miss Amy and some of the other kids from class, and whenever we do art at home he asks to "show MiMi" (show Michael) because he just adores these teachers.

I could speak to the program director so I'm not putting on the shoulders of a 20 and 22 year old. She's generally in her office when we arrive for the Friday gymnastics class. I just didn't know if I would be overstepping, KWIM?
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDever View Post
That is totally inappropriate in that setting. I would be speaking to a director and letting them know. I am not paying for a class to have to deal with a severely disruptive behavioral issue or to have my young child witness a classmate receive corporal punishment.
I agree with this. It sounds like you don't trust the young instructors to control the flow of class & lay down the rules, so I too would suggest speaking to someone with more authority.

The spanking is totally inappropriate & if your child can view it, your child is surely learning something fom it. That's not how I want my child to see adults handling difficult moments
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

While I don't have a problem, generally speaking, with spanking, but I do have a problem with what equates to public humiliation, especially of a child who may be too young to realize it.

And hey, I get it...DD can be a beast. She's 3.5 & the same size as her 6yo cousin. She is willful, impulsive, and can be wild. Yesterday at the grocery store I had to drag her out by the wrist after she dropped two curse words & spit in the middle of the store, yet it never would have occurred to me to spank her in the middle of the store. I'd speak with the program director; the spankings are clearly disruptive & upsetting to the other kids. That's what makes it inappropriate, not the fact that they were spanked.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

Yeah, I would have a problem with that. It's not the method of discipline that is the problem. It's that the discipline is so loud and obnoxious and disruptive to the rest of the class. When a child is in a class type of situation like that and discipline has to occur, that discipline should occur outside of the class environment. Regardless of whether or not the child is sitting in time out or spanked or whatever, those types of interactions should not prevent the rest of the class from carrying on like normal.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

You should speak to the program director ASAP. The director needs to provide staff with clear guidelines as to how such behavior (by caregivers) should be handled. The staff may be young but THEY are in control. The staff should in turn clearly explain to all those adults attending the class what are acceptable means for handling discipline in their classroom. I don't personally agree with spanking, but if a parent chooses to do it, it belongs on their time and in their home.

In the director's shoes, I would call the parents of both children to make them aware of how their daytime caregivers are treating the children. Given the young ages it sounds like it borders on emotional abuse and it is also extremely distressing to the other children and caregivers in attendance. It is very possible that the parents don't know the extent of the negative interactions their kids are having and the children may be too scared to tell their parents.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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Re: Spanking during toddler classes

It is disrupting the class causing issues for the others. I think you should say something. To be honest the getting in the child's face and screaming bothers me more than the spanking. Although the children should have been taken aside if not out of the room for such discipline.
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