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(129 Posts)
Suzy4321 Fri 04-Dec-15 09:13:11

Hi , I'm just curious what's people's views on smacking.

Before anyone gets on their soap box I literally mean a hand tap! Not beating or any force.

I remember when I was young I was smacked only when really playing up as a last resort. It never damaged me in any way.

Again only smack ( light hand tap) not legs and never face.

Like I say just curious

Artandco Fri 04-Dec-15 09:14:58


You are teaching hitting is a good way to solve things, so surely that's what your child will then go on to do with friends

Suzy4321 Fri 04-Dec-15 09:17:03

Never thought of it that way. It's good to get other views and theories

flanjabelle Fri 04-Dec-15 09:18:22

I think it is unnecessary and ineffective. It gives the message that a child should behave out of fear of being hit rather than because it's the right thing to do. It also gives the message that hitting is ok if the person deserves it.

I also think that it is a slippery slope to the parent hitting in anger. Often children can provoke an angry response in a parent, hitting a child in this situation is abusive imo.

Dd is 2 and I have never felt the urge to hit her. I have never ever thought it was needed in a situation and I don't think it gives across the message I want to give her. I want her to understand when something is wrong, but I don't want her to believe she deserves to be hit, ever. I don't want her to ever be frightened of me.

The only reason for smacking is to provoke a fear response in a child in order to stop a behaviour. That is not what I want my child to feel when interacting with me. I would rather she can see that a behaviour is not acceptable, and at the same time show her very clearly through praise what is acceptable.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 04-Dec-15 09:19:04

A clear and stern telling off is more effective than a light tap on the hand.

What is a light tap, anyway? A warning blow? Pretending you're going to hurt the child to frighten them? What is the point in it?

flanjabelle Fri 04-Dec-15 09:20:56

I will add that I use a firm no, removal of items etc to show what is 'bad' behaviour. There are plenty of other ways to deal with negative behaviour without resorting to violence.

I still think that it is madness that smacking another adult is seen as assault, but It's ok to do it to a child who is a fraction of your size and cannot defend themselves from you. Completely wrong imo.

flanjabelle Fri 04-Dec-15 09:27:57

Sorry it's something I feel strongly about, last post I promise.

What would you prefer op? My dd giggles her head off when I 'smack' her bum (in play, not even pretending to smack her as punishment). I play the bongos on her little tush and she squeals with laughter. A child who is used to being smacked as a punishment would flinch, feel scared, anxious and uncomfortable in that situation. if you love your child, why would you want them to feel like that? I know which one I would prefer!

Suzy4321 Fri 04-Dec-15 09:34:07

Hi flan. Strong views are great that's what makes us all different. I appreciate what you are saying although I slightly disagree. Like I say I was smacked when I was young but only as last resort. And I can honestly say that I was never scared of had fear of my mum or dad. I remember mum playing patta cake on my bum. We were playing. I never thought " she would smack me now" whilst playing. Neither did my sister, or friends that were smacked by their parents. I'm not talking about smacking as an everyday punishment only when I was REALLY naughty.

Veterinari Fri 04-Dec-15 09:41:35

I guess you have to think about what you're trying to communicate to your child. How does a light, non-painful hand tap communicate extreme displeasure? It doesn't.

In order to be 'effective' physical punishment has to create fear/pain, so I guess it depends whether this is the type of relationship that you want with your child, and whether you want to send them the message that physical violence is an effective solution to conflict.

RiaOverTheRainbow Fri 04-Dec-15 09:42:08

If you literally mean a tap, as in too light to cause pain, what's the point, it's no deterrent. If you mean hard enough to hurt it's not a tap, is a smack. If you're genuinely ok with smacking you won't have to minimise it.

patterkiller Fri 04-Dec-15 09:46:31

I have never smacked either DC, they're both teens now. I think my experience as a child did harm me, my F did smack me and I was terrified of him, infact the fear never left me up until I was 26 when he died.
I probably was a sensitive child but my point being it may not have effected you but you don't know how it will effect your own children.

Seeyounearertime Fri 04-Dec-15 09:48:17

It's a really rough area and I don't know where I stand to be honest. As DD is only 2.6 ATM and behaves really well a stern "Stop it" works as it shocks her, gets her attention etc. It's often enough to make her cry and then I feel bad. sad

People say they take something off the child. Let's say a an IPad.
Child does something really naughty like empties their cereals over the dog. They then have their IPad taken away for a week. To me this is an extended punishment, its not a short sharp punishment and its over, its a long and drawn out punishment that will upset the child everyday for that week and will likely cause more battles as the child begs for ipad back etc. A smack would be done and done. IYSWIM?

Short sharp and over vs a long drawn out? I just don't know.

patterkiller Fri 04-Dec-15 10:15:07

I don't think they're are the only two options seeyou.

There Are many ways to discipline a child, I agree removal of an iPad for a week is extreme. An hour is sometimes enough to get your point across.

buddy79 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:15:31

I was smacked a few times (not abused, just very occasional for bad behaviour) and now as an adult I remember being smacked and how horrible it was, but I can't remember stall what the behaviour was I was being punished for or what I should have done! Taught me nothing except to be a bit frightened. I think that smacking teaches children that hitting is ok in certain circumstances. I want mine to learn that hitting is never OK.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Fri 04-Dec-15 10:17:11

I didn't think I would be botherd about smacking in the 'light tap on the bum' kind of a way, but once my kids actually arrived I realised I was strongly against it. To me it just seems like a loss of control on the adult's part. Also how can you tell your kids its not right to hit / smack whatever if you do it to them?

I was smacked as a child - not often, and not hard, and it hasn't caused any lasting damage but it's just not a route I personally want to go down with my kids.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:25:49

OP I have the same views. Never felt fear of parents as a result of being smacked, knew it was because I had done something really bad as a child. Think the other type of punishments (not being allowed to go to dancing, brownies, and later being grounded) came when we were old enough to understand the punishment. Actually got the message across that we had crossed a line.

cabbageleaf Fri 04-Dec-15 11:15:08

I agree with patterkiller. You can't predict whether it will do emotional damage to your children - just because it didn't do you any harm doesn't mean your DC will feel the same about it.
I was smacked as a child and hated my father for it. I still haven't forgiven him, even though he was a wonderful, loving father in other ways. It negatively affected my relationship with him years after the last smack.
It is perfectly possible to raise children without resorting to smacking. My mother never so much as touched me, even though me and my sisters certainly did our best to provoke her! She had other ways of showing us what was good behaviour.
IMO, smacking can never be justified, ever. You wouldn't smack your DH if you don't agree with his behaviour, why would you do it with your kids?

Thurlow Fri 04-Dec-15 11:25:39

Definitely never, absolutely never, as a punishment.

All it does is teach your children that physical force is acceptable.

I can just about understand that a parent might grab too hard or even smack when their child has done something terrifying like walk out into a busy road. When you're shocked and scared yourself. And I mean just about understand.

But never as a punishment.

I was smacked myself a few times as a child, including one very memorable time when it really wasn't warranted at all. It's not affected my relationship. But it's still not something I would ever consider doing for my child.

Personally, I can't imagine looking at my child, no matter how naughty they have been, and thinking "I want to deliberately inflict pain on them."

TomHaverford Fri 04-Dec-15 11:52:46

Would you sharply smack your childs hand away if for example they were about to touch the hob?

I dont generally think smacking is ok but when i was younger my younger brother burnt his hand very badly in the oven and it was traumatic. I always remember his tiny little burnt hand. If i thought i would have to smack my child once to prevent that i would.

Artandco Fri 04-Dec-15 11:58:27

Tom - no why would you need to smack their hand away instead of just quickly moving them back?

Lemonfizzypop Fri 04-Dec-15 11:59:51

No, it makes me feel a bit sick. My mum smacked me only once on the arm, like pp I can't remember what I did but I remember feeling very frightened. I think she was just at the end of her tether tbh and I've not had any lasting damage but I also don't think it taught me anything but just made me feel scared.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 04-Dec-15 12:02:28

Smacking is unnecessary. It is perfectly possible to bring up well behaved children without hitting them.

All you teach them is that it is acceptable to hit someone if you are bigger than them.

How do you then discipline your older child for hitting your younger child when they've been 'naughty'.

How do you teach your child that hitting in itself is wrong and socially unacceptable?

How do you teach you child that Mummy and Daddy are the people that will always keep them safe?

How do you teach your child that they are in charge of their own body and who touches them?

firesidechat Fri 04-Dec-15 12:04:14

I smacked in the way you describe op, but only very rarely and in extreme circumstances and stopped once other methods could be used effectively. Even in hindsight (it was 25 years ago) I still think it was ok to do. My grown up children agree.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 04-Dec-15 12:04:37

I was smacked.
I don't smack, but most of the parents I know do and DS tells me that most of his friends are smacked.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 04-Dec-15 12:04:54

Another thing to think about:

Do you ever smack your child calmly?

Or only when you are angry?

If it's the later it's not so much a punishment as a way to relieve your own feelings of anger.

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