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Hitting a child. Can anyone here defend it?

(65 Posts)
isthisallthereis Fri 26-Oct-12 08:50:40

Can anyone here defend hitting a child? In anger or cold-bloodedly as punishment (the second is worse I feel, but I loathe the idea of both). Calling it spanking doesn't make it any better. In Sweden, they regard us as barbaric for it.

absentgrana Fri 26-Oct-12 08:52:00

No. It is always indefensible.

whitewave Fri 26-Oct-12 08:55:19

Never did mine and my daughter has never hit her two - absolutely not necessary. Both of mine were one of the best behaved at school as are my grandsons. That doesn't mean that the naughty chair wasn't used or "go to your room demanded" and worse case some treat etc withdrawn. If you slap your children you are to blame as having lost control. If someone slapped me in the street I would take them to court.

whenim64 Fri 26-Oct-12 08:55:41

No, indefensible. If it was an adult being hit, we'd call it assault.

Barrow Fri 26-Oct-12 09:10:59

I don't have children so perhaps I shouldn't be posting on this thread but I have always wondered why would someone want to inflict pain on someone they are supposed to love and protect?

absentgrana Fri 26-Oct-12 09:15:32

Given that you are human being Barrow, you are entitled to an opinion on the subject of treating small human beings, even though you're not a parent. smile

dorsetpennt Fri 26-Oct-12 09:55:12

How can you tell a child not to hit anyone but you are hitting them? I remember being spanked with a clothes brush as a small child. If my mother was going to administer the punishment, I had to fetch said item and go and lie on my bed. Whereupon I would receive about 3 hard smacks across the top of my legs or bottom. It was both painful and terrifying. She wasn't a cruel mother at all, in fact lots of fun and very loving but this was how things were in those days. I never did this to my children, even then I knew it was wrong.

petallus Fri 26-Oct-12 11:12:01

I would occasionally hit mine when I cracked under the strain.

Never in cold blood.

Elegran Fri 26-Oct-12 11:35:08

I think that when you are doing several things at once and have several children to oversee at the same time (a baby, a toddler and a schoolchild) it is very difficult to stop everything and reason with a child who has been told more than once (gently) to stop that, or to police them in the "naughty chair" or in their room, away from your direct eye.

My policy in this position was to ask them quietly to stop, then if it continued to try to change the subject and separate those quarreling or remove the culprit from the scene of the crime somehow. If it still went on, then saying firmly that if it happened again there would be a smack, and the production of something new to take up their interest usually fixed it. But if it did happen again, there would be a short quick slap to the fat of the thigh, while reminding them that they had been warned. It only got that far on a very few occasions, and they were never afraid of me or their father, or subjected to long homilies about how wicked they were.

They were always warned, and it was not a "beating" which is the result of getting so annoyed that you lash out. I did not enjoy it either.

If you promise something, you must carry it through. Saying something like "If you do that Mummy won't love you any more" is not possible to fulfil, so should never be threatened.

celebgran Fri 26-Oct-12 11:48:00

hitting a child sounds so awful, I must admit I am guilty of the odd slap when I cracked with my daughter, she drove me to the limits on countless occasions.

It does not make me proud to think of. I never ever hurt her or left a mark guess my temper could not cope with her at times.

My son was so much easier as he knew when to quit!! sadly my daughter would push and push until I snapped, no excuse hold my hand up!

do hope that is not why we are estranged now, I do know without bragging that I gave all I had to bringing the 2 of them up and could not have tried harder.

annodomini Fri 26-Oct-12 12:04:01

I did it once - when DS2, aged about 3, ran across the road in front of a Volvo. I think he was as shocked as I was and, now nearly 40, he is very safety-conscious with his own sons.

Elegran Fri 26-Oct-12 12:48:09

In situations where a child has done something really dangerous, and you react with anger, the result is to fix it in their mind as an important lesson, which they will never forget.

It should never be the automatic response to any minor rule-breaking from a child - but neither should excessive verbal punishment either.

gracesmum Fri 26-Oct-12 13:05:22

Turns my stomach to think of anybody hitting the dear little boys. Did once launch myself at eldest DD with a wooden spoon under extreme provocation....(she was 12)..... but a good friend arrived in the nick of time, told her to fetch her PJ's and said to me "I think you need a break"!! Wise friend)
I don't think I would have "connected" at least I hope not!

glammanana Fri 26-Oct-12 13:10:58

I have never had to raise my hand to any of mine and they where not angels denied favourite toys or separated from their friends for a while always worked for me and continues to work for DD and her children.Remembering the smack's we received as children was enough to stop me even considering it.

janeainsworth Fri 26-Oct-12 13:12:56

I have to admit I gave the odd smack to DS and DD2,in the heat if the moment, never to DD1 -she never provoked me in quite the same way.
It does seem barbaric in retrospect and I would never hit the DGCs.

absentgrana Fri 26-Oct-12 13:29:03

The quick slap to the back of the thigh seems to some a reasonably safe option as a form of punishment. However, unless you are fully in control of your own strength, you can sweep a child's feet from under them and then watch them crash down on the backs of their heads. Bit if a problem if they were standing on a stone flagged kitchen floor.

Nelliemoser Fri 26-Oct-12 14:37:28

I cannot defend it but I can understand it. But only as a reaction in the heat of the moment. If its a "wait until your dad gets home" It is really abusive.

As others say an occaisional slap on the bottom at the time, in a good relationship does no real harm. There are much better ways of dealing with stuff, but we are human and not perfect.

This is why I have a real problem about making it illegal. Unless such incidents are frequent or actually leave marks, prosecuting would only cause more family distress and make matters worse.

I have encountered this with teenagers going into school upset after having been slapped by a parent, during the sort of heated rows which go in with teenagers. Where the family is basically caring and functional to prosecute would only make matters worse. Often in these circumstances the parent is equally upset by what has happened.

This stuff needs a great deal of judgement and a basic law would not help.

celebgran Fri 26-Oct-12 16:17:01

I think nelliemoser you speaking very sensibly, no normal loving parent would want to hurt their child a smack to the legs in heat of the moment when they have pushed you to the limits, some children do as we all know, is a far cry from abuse, and personally I think prefereable to to threats of treats witheld or outings etc. but that is just my opinon.

The parent in my case me usually feels far worse than the child but of course I accept there are parents who do abuse their children and that is most definitely not acceptable ever.

Greatnan Fri 26-Oct-12 16:24:14

I was never slapped as a child, being a 'goody-goody' both at home and at school, but I witnessed the most awful sadism in my catholic junior school - I am not talking a slap, but straps across little hands on cold mornings. It gave me a horror of any physical assaults.

whenim64 Fri 26-Oct-12 16:46:11

My anti-authority attitude as a teenager stemmed from witnessing corporal punishment, and from teachers attempting to hit me. When I avoided the strap or slipper I was sent to the head teacher's office. I was often found on the corridor, waiting to be summoned inside, and was threatened with expulsion. I was never rude, just wouldn't call a teacher 'sir.' Why would I respect someone who threw board rubbers at children? I abhor violence, especially to children.

annodomini Fri 26-Oct-12 17:02:59

I got the strap quite regularly throughout the primary school but only once in the secondary school - the music teacher didn't like me and it was mutual!

numberplease Fri 26-Oct-12 17:37:16

I must admit to having smacked all 5 of mine on occasions when they`ve gone too far, but didn`t enjoy having to do it. Back in the 70s we were living temporarily in a small touring caravan, us, 5 kids and a cat, and one morning, child number 4, son number 1, nearly 8 at the time, was jumping up and down on the bench seat under the window, wouldn`t sit down and eat his breakfast, so after telling him several times, I knocked his legs from under him, with the idea that he`d end up sitting down. Instead, he twisted round as he fell, banging his eye on the metal window catch, it swelled up something rotten, and after they`d all gone to school, I spent all day waiting for social services to call, so sure was I that the school would have reported it!
I once intervened in an argument between my 4 year old daughter and another little girl of the same age, she was pulling my daughter`s hair out in chunks! I slapped her leg, and told her to go home and tell her mum why I`d done it, never heard any more about it.

Elegran Fri 26-Oct-12 17:59:54

I once manhandled a completely strange child on her own at a zebra crossing. She was swinging on the striped pole, going round and round it at arms length and stepping far out into a busy road to do so. I grabbed her and pulled her back onto the pavement, giving her my opinion of what a stupid thing it was to do. She went very quiet and stood still until it was time to cross. These days she would report me!

Stansgran Fri 26-Oct-12 18:56:25

I once tossed (so I thought)some sweets to a group of children when we were getting onto a coach in india. We had been plied with sweets by people sitting with us on a plane and I couldn't leave them behind without appearing rude. It was raining and dark and there was this group of street children huddled in the coach park-they all ducked as they thought I must have been throwing stones. I suppose they couldn't see my face. Istill cringe at the memory-they did realise that I had thrown sweets. I think the odd smack isn't going to make a child cower like those children and our generation is in between -ihate seeing children being screamed at-words can often be harsher than a short smack-

celebgran Fri 26-Oct-12 19:40:31

gosh you bought back unpleasant memories Greatnan I went to catholic primary and o gosh on of the nuns was awful, when I got a sum wrong, she pinned it on my back and sent me into playground!!! another kinder nun took it of she gave all nuns a very bad name!!!

I can also remember being sent to the head because I had left my pink blanchmange which I hated, I was so upset as thought I would get the cane, this was freely given to the boys.

My twin brother was at same school with me, not sure it did the boys any harm, but can still remember those 2 awful incidents not good!!