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To ask your opinion on slapping kids as discipline?

(358 Posts)
Sizedoesmatter Sat 27-Jun-20 12:36:36

Just curious to see what the general opinion is on using slapping or 'spanking' (I despise that word) children?

Mine is a very hard no. I don't agree with it in the slightest and I hate the argument of 'I was slapped and I turned out fine', in my opinion you didn't, because if you turned out fine you wouldn't be slapping your children. However 3 seperate sets of parents out of our friend group do use slapping as discipline, so it's obviously still quite common.

Is it ever OK to slap a child? Do you think it's an effective form of discipline? I got my fair share of whacks with the brush off the dustpan and brush or the wooden spoon. I can remember running from the house one day when my mother grabbed the sweeping brush during an argument. Can't say those experiences done me any good. Others may think different?

OP’s posts: |
Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 12:41:00

No it’s not ok. If it’s not something ok to do it to another adult then how can it be ok to do it to a child? It’s child abuse.

corythatwas Sat 27-Jun-20 12:46:07

No from me. Hasn't been used in my family for 4 generations. We still grew up respecting our parents and generally well behaved.
By the time I moved to this country it had already been banned in mine.
Found it was common here. Still stuck to the ways I had been taught.

SoftSheen Sat 27-Jun-20 12:46:22

Hitting someone else is never OK, and adults should not discipline children by hitting.

However, I think there is a difference between a situation where a parent is regularly hitting a child, or hitting with force (abuse), and one where a parent has smacked a child on one or two occasions when right at the end of their tether (still not great, but quite common and not likely to cause long lasting damage).

Smileyaxolotl1 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:47:54

kaheki I’m not particularly pro smacking but your argument (which always comes up) is completely nonsensical unless you don’t believe children should receive any punishment at all.
You wouldn’t send an adult to their room or put them on the naughty step or confiscate an item. You are also not responsible for the behaviour of other adults.

DustyMaiden Sat 27-Jun-20 12:50:01

No, never.

Ponoka7 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:50:18

I think it serves no purpose. It doesn't undo bad behaviour, the behaviour is just redirected. It doesn't open up discussion, help critical thinking, give the child a voice and teach reasond arguments. All of which we should do.

I particularly hate the slight 'tap' done to children under five, who are usually just exploring their environment and learning cause and effect.

MarshaBradyo Sat 27-Jun-20 12:50:39

No never. Hitting someone isn’t ok, even more so as the child is smaller and more vulnerable and cannot leave, makes it worse.

morethanafortnight Sat 27-Jun-20 12:51:00

It's not ok, no.

To me, it is something people do in anger, and there's no real excuse for it.

blackcat86 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:51:37

Absolutely not! I'm against smacking but slapping is just plain abuse. It is basically the physical manifestation of adult anger and frustration taken out on a child rather than parent thinking through a discipline method- smacking instant and takes no effort. Its lazy to rule a child by fear.

CantKeepSecrets Sat 27-Jun-20 12:52:07

My oldest is 2 so I'm not a very experienced parent and a lot could argue I've not yet been pushed right to the end of my tether. However , it's an absolute firm no from me. If I get angry and hit my child what is that teaching them? I can't smack another adult because they won't do what I tell them to do and they could defend themselves / give me a smack back - a child couldn't.

Its illegal to assault another person , to hit animals etc so I'll never understand why there's some who try to justify hitting children confused

whereorwhere Sat 27-Jun-20 12:53:01

As a regular punishment absolutely no - and I don't know anyone that does. On the very very odd occasion where behaviour is dangerous or incredibly bad it perhaps could warrant it. I think the issue is that as a parent you are lashing out in anger and that's not good, adults need to control their temper. That said I do think our kids are far less scared of getting into trouble than our generation was. They are less respectful to parents and push the boundaries more because the punishment is less imo.

AlexaShutUp Sat 27-Jun-20 12:53:15

No, I don't believe that slapping children is ever ok. I would not hit anyone, least of all a child I love.

And smiley, I have never sent my child to her room, made her sit on the stairs or confiscated anything either. If she does something that I don't like, we talk about it and I explain my reasoning. Just as I would if I was dealing with an adult. If you treat children with respect, you generally get it back. Parenting does not have to involve fear or coercion.

Ohnoherewego62 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:54:19

I'm against it too. Was smacked as a child myself Definitely do not consider myself abused either. Love my parents massively.

It's a loss of control in a situation when it escalates to physical consequences.

I wouldn't do it to mine. Using no, removal and consequences should hopefully be enough as mines grows up. Fingers crossed wink

TerrapinStation Sat 27-Jun-20 12:55:31


No it’s not ok. If it’s not something ok to do it to another adult then how can it be ok to do it to a child? It’s child abuse.

That reasoning doesn't really hold up, you don't make sure other adults have a healthy diet, sensible bedtime, do their homework etc

I'm anti smacking but I don't think you'll convince anyone with that arguement

Branleuse Sat 27-Jun-20 12:56:43

Ive done it in frustration in the past, but not for a long long time. I dont think it works for a start. Its a sign of the parent losing control more than the child and it shows a child that you hit out when frustrated. There are always better ways to discipline than with violence.
I dont think that everybody who does it occasionally is terrible though, because childrearing can be incredibly stressful and relentless and we are all flawed and this will be how a lot of us were parented ourselves and our parents and our parents parents, but the most important thing is that it just isnt an effective way of improving childrens behaviour and can very easily cross the line into abuse

Cheesecake53 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:57:33

Hitting is absolutely not okay.

Rhubardandcustard Sat 27-Jun-20 13:01:33

Never. Not even a small warning tap. Never hit my children.

But your bound to get the never did me any harm comments from some.

I still remember getting slapped on hand or on back of legs for bad behaviour when I was little and I’m in my 50s now! Why would anyone do this to their children?

Picklypickles Sat 27-Jun-20 13:02:24

Its not ok. Its effective if you want the child to be scared of you sure, also does a pretty good job of making them hate you. I was slapped about a lot, it did me plenty of harm. I used to flinch whenever anyone raised a hand or made a sudden movement and its permanently damaged my relationship with my mother that she allowed my stepdad to do this to me. The thought of hitting my children or deliberately hurting them in any way makes me feel sick to my stomach.

TerrorWig Sat 27-Jun-20 13:02:27

I have slapped my children and felt awful for it. It very much represented a loss of control, and i hated myself for it. I can’t remember which child but I remember the stinging red hand slap on his leg. Awful. Makes me cry just thinking of it. He was only a toddler as well, pushing all my buttons certainly, but not his fault!

So no, I don’t agree with any form of physical discipline. I was slapped once (to my memory) by my mum, I was 12 and acting like a complete cow. I pushed my mum to the very edge of sanity and while a clout probably wasn’t the best response, I can’t say I didn’t deserve it.

@AlexaShutUp how old is your oldest child may I ask? Because while I don’t disagree with you per se, I don’t believe that children shouldn’t experience a loss of privilege or whatever for bad behaviour.

wanderings Sat 27-Jun-20 13:02:33

I don't support it at all. I was smacked occasionally as a child, and the fear that this might happen meant I grew up afraid to own up to things: I lied and covered things up instead. I was also reluctant to take any initiatives, in case they were wrong, because I was smacked for things which I didn't know were wrong, and can remember those moments as clearly as if they were yesterday. This held me back as a young adult.

AlexaShutUp Sat 27-Jun-20 13:05:23

@AlexaShutUp how old is your oldest child may I ask? Because while I don’t disagree with you per se, I don’t believe that children shouldn’t experience a loss of privilege or whatever for bad behaviour.

She's 15.

Somethingkindaoooo Sat 27-Jun-20 13:06:09

No....unless you are stopping a child from injuring themselves seriously. Then perhaps a hand smack.

My kids are older and I smacked them a total of three times. Once in the above scenario, and twice end of tether. In the first scenario I do believe it was right.
For the second, I still feel an enormous amount of shame. 😩

D4rwin Sat 27-Jun-20 13:06:28

No. Slap in anger you definitely need anger management. Slap in cold blood and you're an abusive cunt.

AlexaShutUp Sat 27-Jun-20 13:10:22

As I've already said, I really don't agree with smacking at all, but I don't think people should beat themselves up about the odd occasion when they have reached the end of their tether. It's not great, but if you have tried to learn from the incident, it's very unlikely to do any lasting damage. Deliberate smacking as an intentional punishment would worry me much more tbh.

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