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Question
Posted by: H Pretorius | 2010/05/05

Child

2 Months ago, after being very naughty most of the day a 3 year old child received 2 spanks with a wooden spoon from the day mother. This was with the parents consent. Will it do any good to take the child for psychiatric now?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Why would one take the child for a psychiatric consultation ? I agree with Purple that I don't think the day mother is allowed to do this, nor are the parents allowed to give consent for this.
Similarly, I think it extremely unlikely that a child of 3 would eventually remember such an event, or be significantly harmed by one such incident, and it is extremely likely that a child psych would find anything relevant or helpful on assessment.
I also agree about considering reporting the day mother to child welfare services, and suggesting the child be moved to a more competent day mother.
Where a child psych might be useful, would be in helping the parents understand child discipline better and to set up a more effective and humane way of achieving this.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2010/05/07

save the child, spare the rod

Reply to anon
Posted by: Purple | 2010/05/05

Day mothers are not allowed to do this. If my child was with her for child care I would report her to social services and find alternative care for my child immediately. Parents may not give permission for someone else to hit their child.

I dont'' think the child needs psychiatric help after having two smacks on the bum with a wooden spoon. No physical harm was done and at age three its unlikely the child will even remember this later.

However, both the parents and day mothers abilities to set paroper limits and consistently enforce them does need to be dealt with, clearly neither lot are very capable.

The smacks would have put an immediate end to the behaviour of that moment, but will not have any long lasting effect on the childs behavour except to make him or her fearful of the day mother and not act up in her presence for a few days, when her perceives the threat of a smack.

Far better is when a chid acts up, give them a time out on a chair where they can see what htey are missing.
If they have a tantrum, remove them from their audience.

My son has had a nanny, a day mother and attended a pre-prmiary and is now at another pre-primary which is attached to the primary and high school he''ll attend, and they have had their share of naughty children and none of these places have ever hit any of the children in their care, but have managed to turn out well behaved, polite children - who, like every child, have off days some times.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/05

Why would one take the child for a psychiatric consultation ? I agree with Purple that I don't think the day mother is allowed to do this, nor are the parents allowed to give consent for this.
Similarly, I think it extremely unlikely that a child of 3 would eventually remember such an event, or be significantly harmed by one such incident, and it is extremely likely that a child psych would find anything relevant or helpful on assessment.
I also agree about considering reporting the day mother to child welfare services, and suggesting the child be moved to a more competent day mother.
Where a child psych might be useful, would be in helping the parents understand child discipline better and to set up a more effective and humane way of achieving this.

Reply to cybershrink

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