Smacking children

Australia
June 17, 2008 11:36am CST
Do you agree with parents smacking their children with an open hand either on the bottom or hands as an effective form of discipline or do you think there is another more constructive way of teaching a child to behave when they are being excessively disobedient? Please elaborate
3 responses
@wahm805 (76)
• United States
17 Jun 08
Honestly, I think that hitting a child, even if it's just a spanking doesn't really teach them anything. All they learn is that sometimes hitting is appropriate. I think that is the opposite of what we want them to know. Timeout and taking away certain privelages has deemed to be the most productive for me in the time I've babysat my neice and other small relatives. But then again, I'm going to have my first child this month so hey..what do I know?
1 person likes this
• Australia
17 Jun 08
First of all congratulations on your little Angel! I myself have an 8month old little boy and being a mother is the most magical experience. I personally don't believe in smacking children. I was just curious as to peoples general thoughts, however now that i am a parent i do understand that it can be extremely frustrating, especially when they are little and you cant really communicate too well with them and some parents might not know what else to do. If Parents do this knowingly though on a regular basis i really think its just a lazy form of discipline. I strongly believe in positive reinforcemnt and finding out what is causing the child to be disobedient. Perhaps the child is simply acting out due to boredom and needs the parents to redirect their energy through a more positive outlet or maybe the child feels neglected and spending more quality time together doing fun things would improve their behavior. Anyway Im a novice at all this aswel Thank goodness their are plenty of books to read and other parents to talk to :)
• United States
17 Jun 08
Eloquently put! I completely agree with you. A majority of kids I've seen act out do so for attention or due to lack of a good example being shown to them. I also agree with the positive assett of parenting books out there. I've definately been reading up on my share. I think my degree in Child Psychology will help somewhat as well....but honestly I think some of the best advise I've seen out there is funnily enough from "SuperNanny" Lol.
• Australia
19 Jun 08
I guess the big thing to realise is that mostly a childs behaviour is a direct reaction to what you are doing (or not doing). So you can stop trying to change what the child is doing but rather change the way you are parenting to get a different result.
• Australia
19 Jun 08
I believe that there is a time and a place for smacking. For me I used it when my children were too young to understand the word 'danger' and it was pretty much a stern pat on the back of the hand when they tried to touch electrical cords. I never have smacked them to hurt them only to tell them that what they were doing needed to stop instantly. To me the smack is much more emotionally hurtful to the child than physically, it really gets their attention that they are doing something dangerous. Now they are all old enough to understand the words that I tell them and I can't remember the last time I had to give out a 'hand tap' - we call smacking this in my household and my warning goes something like this '...if you touch that electrical cord one more time I will have to give you a hand tap, would you like that?', the child usually responds with a no or a headshake. So in this instance, smacking has worked for me. With my eldest child, he got a few smacks, open hand on the bottom over the earlier years. They were mostly when he ran towards the road which scared me so badly I actually grabbed him a gave him a smack before I knew what I was doing! I think it was more out of shock and that on some level I needed to show him that this was a very seriously dangerous thing to do. He got out of this stage quickly thank goodness! I do not believe in smacking to hurt a child to teach them a lesson or as a punishment - like in the old days when parents hit you with a leather belt that left welts so that you would remember for a week what bad thing that you had done and so you would remember to never do it again. I think to change a behaviour that you don't like in your child you have to reach them on an emotional level, smacking to excess shuts down emotion and will not give you the results that you need. Smacking to excess gives you an angry, guilty, frustrated parent and a resentful, feeling unloved child.
@kezabelle (2980)
18 Jun 08
Well I dont think its my place to agree or disagree with how one parent or another chooses to discapline their child. I dont like the word smack a bit like hit it sounds painful and I dont think inflicting pain on a child is the way to discapline them a tap on the hand wont hurt anyone but may shock them into not doing what ever it was they did wrong, again. Personally I prefer time out and I ignore most bad behaviour unless they are putting themselves in danger and then I find myself shouting through fright and thats normally enough anyway