Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Light slap to child - wrong or not?

(29 Posts)
yesitsme2015 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:08:42

Today, I was on the bus, and a lady got on with her children, 1 of which was in a pushchair.

The child threw a drinks bottle at her - ok, not nice, but the child was only about 1. She then slapped the child lightly across the face.

I was disgusted, but accordingly to law, ''The Children’s Act 2004 makes it illegal to hit a child if it causes bruising, swelling, cuts, grazes or scratches and this is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.''

It was only a light slap, which wouldnt of caused a mark to be left - am I being unreasonable thinking this is wrong?!

As it seems the law thinks its fine! shock

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 27-Oct-15 19:10:37

I think it's wrong. But our opinion is, as you have found just that, our opinion. This woman has the right to parent within the law.

YakTriangle Tue 27-Oct-15 19:10:48

No, I don't think it's fine at all. Slapping anyone isn't fine. Slapping a baby is definitely not fine either. The implication in the link that you can hurt other people as long as it doesn't leave a visible mark is horrible.

AlanPacino Tue 27-Oct-15 19:35:08

Another pertinent point is that children with dark skin will have less visible bruising as that of a fairer skinned child. The law is too vague.

knittingbee Tue 27-Oct-15 21:48:15

I've tapped DS (4) on the top of his head to get his attention when he's been away with the fairies - like 'hello, anyone home?'

I don't think that's in the league as slapping a child across the face in anger, no matter how lightly. The aggression is there.

ffffffedup Tue 27-Oct-15 21:53:11

I don't see how slapping across the face at any age could be ok. I think sometimes a tap of the hand is better as generally it will of been a gesture of the hand ( throwing hitting slamming pinching etc) that's resulted in the punishment

Floggingmolly Tue 27-Oct-15 21:55:13

She slapped a baby across the face in retribution for the baby throwing something? shock How could that ever be considered ok?

Bellebella Tue 27-Oct-15 21:56:56

I don't think it was right what she did. Without getting in to the whole smacking argument, one is very young and around the face is too much for me.

I was smacked as a child and do not feel abused for it. My parents were great parents. However I just think people are more aware now that there are better techniques in dealing with bad behaviour.

Lweji Tue 27-Oct-15 21:58:03

Bad parenting, IMO, and it teaches the child nothing, but as you know, not illegal.

Thebookswereherfriends Tue 27-Oct-15 22:00:42

You should always ask yourself in anything to do with disciplining/guiding children - Would I do this to an adult? If the answer is no, then why is it ok to do it to a child?

BrandNewAndImproved Tue 27-Oct-15 22:03:47

It is against the law to slap or hit a child in the face no matter how hard or soft.

I don't agree with hitting, you wouldn't hit an adult because they were rude to you so why hit your child.

However when ds was small and a really terrible toddler he would throw the most epic tantrums ever. He was also super human strong and would destroy furniture when in a rage. I did use to slap him out of his tantrums as nothing else ever worked.

I still feel guilty about that now 5 years down the line, but otoh I imagine what a brat he could of been if I didn't have that authority over him.

Nowadays he gets grounded and his gadgets took off of him for bad behaviour. Hitting your children is a poor parenting technique and shows up your own lack on control. However I don't judge, the majority of adults have grown up being smacked and when your in a stressful situation it's easy to revert back to how your parents were with you.

NotEmptyNow Tue 27-Oct-15 22:04:48

BelleBella exactly. Our parents disciplined us the way the only way they knew how. We have so much more information now about how to parent. 1yo is very young for any kind of disciplining imo, never mind being smacked.

Bubbletree4 Tue 27-Oct-15 22:07:05

Well it's ridiculous to slap a 1yo whatever the law says.

ProfessorPickles Tue 27-Oct-15 22:09:00

Any sort of physical punishment is wrong in my opinion, it isn't for me. For me it displays a lack of control, my dad smacked me as a child only on a few occasions and I can still remember the horrible feeling of fear it gave me back then now as an adult.

scarednoob Fri 30-Oct-15 23:18:48

The child was far too young and across the face is never ever ok.

We got smacked as children - well, as a goody goody, I only remember it happening to me once, but my unbelievably naughty little brother got several smacks. Only ever lightly on the bottom - and it was the only thing that ever worked to stop him being naughty for the sake of it; mostly due to the humiliation. Mind you, it did screw him up; he's an accountant now...

Joking aside, it didn't do us any harm, but personally I wouldn't smack my child in this day and age. And especially never such a young child in such a sensitive place as the face.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 31-Oct-15 02:06:28


I don't see how slapping across the face at any age could be ok. I think sometimes a tap of the hand is better*

Your hands are very sensitive. A tap on hand is horrible IMO. Not better.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 31-Oct-15 02:07:48

Re lady slapping baby on face...disgusting.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 31-Oct-15 02:11:15

Brand new..sorry..but toddlers have tantrums and grow out of it. Slapping them out of it doesn't stop them "being a brat". They are tiny children. What's done is done and you obviously did your nest but would hate people to read that and think they should try slapping their toddler out of a tantrum. Shocking.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 31-Oct-15 02:13:01

I expect to be flamed to pieces but sorry..IMO "slapping a toddler out of a tantrum" is abusive.

Katieemilyxo Sun 01-Nov-15 11:06:03

I don't think any children at any age should be slapped or smacked because when I was younger my dad would slap me hit me from a young age sometimes if I was sick on the floor I would be smacked and now I hate him and suffer from depression it doesn't disciplin a child it just makes them afraid of you I will never bring my baby up with any smacking

Fairylea Sun 01-Nov-15 11:09:16

I completely disagree with any physical punishment. I don't think it teaches anything except to use violence. I think slapping or smacking a child is abusive and unnecessary.

I have two children, one is nearly 13 and one is 3.5 with severe autism and I have never and would never hit either of them, lightly or otherwise.

I think it's extremely bad parenting.

MrsMolesworth Sun 01-Nov-15 11:11:25

We wouldn't ever think it appropriate to smack another adult across the face. Even less appropriate if the other person is one year old and a tenth of your size. So, no.

HeteronormativeHaybales Sun 01-Nov-15 11:13:47

I hate euphemisms such as 'smack' or 'tap'. It's hitting.

I do think there is something particularly humiliating and aggressive somehow about a slap to the face, but I think hitting on any other part of the body is just as bad tbh.

My MIL hit my dc2, then nearly 7, on the face last year when he was kicking off about something. It was the first and I hope last time in his life that he'd been hit by an adult. She's lucky she ever got to see him again, tbh. And I didn't leave my dc alone with her for a good while after that. She had been recently bereaved and was not quite 'herself', but no excuse. Ever.

Mamamoose1 Thu 05-Nov-15 11:08:46

Well you're not allowed to smack/hit/slap an adult, so why's it ok to do it to a child. I was smacked growing up, my dad is very regretful now, but as my dad says, it was the only way he knew and I haven't suffered any lasting affects, to my knowledge. I would never use physical punishment to discipline myself, but I do have friends who have smacked hands/bottoms.

nightsky010 Fri 06-Nov-15 06:07:17

That's terrible! Totally unacceptable.

I think there are very very limited cases where smacking might be acceptable (though never on the face) but I'm talking about the kind of thing that would only happen a few times in a child's lifetime.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: