A San Diego grandmother is sitting in jail on charges of child abuse. Last Saturday, she allegedly flung her 2-year-old grandson to the ground and slapped him. The child received minor abrasions on his back and head, and was examined at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Kelly Daffara was traveling by bus with her toddler grandson to visit a relative. When they got off the bus in a busy part of San Diego, the little boy ran away from her.
Daffara told police she yelled at him to come back, but he ignored her.
That was when Daffara allegedly screamed at him, went after him, picked him up, and slammed him down onto his back on the pavement. Witnesses told police Daffara slapped the boy once or twice.
The police reported that Daffara admitted to losing control.
Her reaction might have been extreme, but how many of us haven’t lost our minds when our children darted away from us near the street? Kids, especially adventuresome toddlers, are hit and killed by moving vehicles all the time.
Would Daffara be in prison for neglect if her grandson had darted into traffic and been killed when a car hit him? I know that I have had to check my toddler’s shoulder sockets after she ran off in a parking lot and I snatched her violently back. She even got a spanking, because I want her to learn that running off in a parking lot or road is extremely dangerous.
I didn’t witness the incident, so I have no way of knowing how forceful Daffara actually was with her grandson. I just know that I would rather be the mean mommy that overreacted when her kid darted off into the street than the mommy burying her child.
As parents (and grandparents), we sometimes have to make lesser-of-two-evils decisions. Do I normally freak out and punish my child for doing something that she doesn’t know she isn’t supposed to be doing? No. But when her life is at stake, I will do what is necessary to preserve it.
Image via JOPHIALsmiles/Flickr