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Is it illegal for a step-parent to spank your child?

22 November 2009 13 Responses

A Parent asks, My ex got remarried about 3 weeks ago. I picked up my kids from a visit with their father and they said that both their step-mother and her teenaged daughter spanks them. Is this illegal? What type of legal action can I take against him for this? I live in Illinois. thanks!

13 Responses »

  • Dalton's Mommy & #2 due 2/16 said:


    I am not sure if it’s illegal, but you can definitely tell your ex it is NOT ok for her or her kids to spank your kids.

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  • Chishio said:


    I don’t know if it’s illegal or not, but it’s definitely wrong since the step-mother and step-sister aren’t their guardians.

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  • TOM CAT said:


    Unfortunately, no it is not.

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  • Bryn said:


    It’s not illegal, but I don’t think it’s right for them to be disciplining your kids.

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  • Ricky said:


    its not illegal.
    but toally wrong. and id have serious issues with it.
    you should be concerned.

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  • Dilster said:


    It depends on the context. Any form of physical punishment is limited by the law. All you can do is discuss your concerns with your ex, and if he refuses to comply, request mediation prior to a potential hearing.

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  • Tina said:


    No its not illegal..Under her roof her rules if they don’t go by them she needs to do something..But the spanking she should leave that up to the father.If you have a problem with her spanking your kids you need to tell your ex..That teenage daughter shouldn’t be spanking them.I would call the father and tell him that they don’t need to touch your kids.But with my step son mom allow me to spank him and i don’t even do that unless he really needs it..

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  • Rhianna G said:


    I dont think so, while the daughter should NOT be spanking your children and neither should the step mom if she hasn’t been in their lives long enough I do not think its illegal unless its abuse or if in Illinois its illegal to spank your child.

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  • sexxyprego said:


    let him know that it is not ok for them to spank your children, if he can’t respect your wishes, stop them from going over there

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  • proud momma said:


    well i am a step parent and i use to correct my step daughter with a smack on the hand when she was little if she tried to touch the stove or such along with a no and an reason why but that stopped at around age 3ish i do not believe in spanking there are other ways to correct a child however those who believe in and do it in moderation and only when what ever was done wrong has no other reasonable way of correcting then if she gives a tap or two there is nothing wrong with it by not allowing her to correct your child you are telling your child that he or she can disrespect the step mom and being the good parent that you are i know that you do not want to give your child that impression however the step sister should not be touching your child at all regardless

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  • * from the Great White North* said:


    I would speak to the father about this and tell him no one but him is to spank… if it continues You need to go back to family court, probably just mediation, and get it put in your custody agreement that she and the teen daughter are not allowed to physically punish your children. Other forms of punishment such as time out is ok.. but only the father should spank.

    The step Mom, that is probably no illegal were you live, but the teen daughter has no place to spank them at all. You may have legal action against her, call the local police, they will be willing to let you know.

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  • boyjeff said:


    Legal action? That’s never a first step. You make no mention that you spoke to them about it, so, legally, that’s what a lawyer would tell you to do first. The father may agree. If not, well, that’s where you really need to talk to your lawyer. But if that’s their system, and it’s a married household with legal custody, I do not know what the answer will be. Talk: father first, lawyer second.

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  • Jamie said:


    I don’t believe that it is illegal anywhere in the U.S., and I know that it shouldn’t be illegal anywhere. The responsible person in charge at the time should be free to discipline children as they see fit (step-parent, teacher, babysitter, etc.). You should be worried about your children misbehaving, not about them being punished for it.

    Sorry I had to thumbs down every other answer to this question. It is perfectly proper for the step-mother to spank and otherwise discipline when the children are with her, and if the step-sister is left to care for the children then discipline is up to her during that time, just as it should be with any babysitter.

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