I'm really not getting the 'my children are too young to reason with therefore I smack them' arguement. Someone will have to explain this to me. We learn to reason and use logic by being reasoned with, and deferring this by smacking will result in the child taking longer to learn these skills. Won't it?
A PP also said that clapping or a loud 'arggh' to stop child in their tracks, instead of a smack, would terrify the child more than the smack. Really? Is a momentary loud noise as terrifying as someone taking a hand to you? My boy is unterrifiable. Cars backfiring, explosions going off, you name it, he doesn't flinch. A loud 'OI', though, will momentarily stop him. Momentarily. Whatever he is being stopped from doing, if a repeated action, is something he does because he wants my attention. Therfore I'll give him my positive attention rather than punish him for wanting it. There is no way I would smack him, as he has no reasoning skills yet, and would not understand why on earth I'd do that. I intend to be a source of unconditional love in his world and teach him through supervision and reasoning, not be a source of confusion. We teach by example and that example in our home does not include hitting, not ever.
You cannot know your childs emotions, and can't say you are not hurting them. Even if the punishment does not 'hurt' on the outside, you can't possibly know how they feel about it (and by extension, you) on the inside if they are too young to reason with themselves and tell you. I consider a child who stops his/her behaviour because they were smacked is simply deferring to, and recognising, your greater power over them and is not learning about their behaviour, how to control themselves to stop that behaviour, and how to reason with themselves and the outside world. It is terribly confusing having people who you love and who love you hold a powerplay over you. If you say you stop and talk to the child first, you are still smacking later, which stunts the ability to reason and to learn to reason. IMhO.
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19-06-2012 01:17 #151
19-06-2012 05:57 #152
The problem with knowing where to draw the line is that many parents smack in anger or while they are upset with the child's behaviour - many studies have shown that cognitive and decision making abilities are very much impaired when people are angry or emotional thus they may hit their child harder than they planned to do.
I had to review a number of studies on this recently regarding a hypothetical testimonial for the banning of corporal punishment as part of my degree.
Unless a parent always makes sure they never hit when they are upset or emotional then there is always a chance that smack could turn into something more. This is one if the arguments behind banning corporal punishment.
Another important thing to remember is that not everyone that is smacked will be scarred from it, just like not everyone who smokes gets cancer. I think the argument for most people are the risk factors involved rather than a clear cut cause and effect from corporal punishment. So for those that were smacked and feel they suffered no ill consequences i think that they are lucky, but I would not assume that it means all children would not suffer negative consequences for it.
Also, there are a number of studies showing that timeout is the most effective form of discipline from a safety perspective for toddlers as opposed to corporal punishment. So maybe if people are concerned for young toddlers and their inability to reason, time out can be a very effective method that does not involve physical punishment.
I wont go into my findings on the topic, but just wanted to add some things that seemed relevant to the question and some peoples posts, although i havent read them all so I may be repeating (and probably am) what others have already said.
In saying that I can totally understand how parents fall into the trap of smacking, it can often seem like the best way to manage a situation however te research says otherwise and is seen to be the least effective method of discipline (as well as the most associated with antisocial behaviours) for MOST children. I have plenty of studies for anyone that is interested - in total i reviewed around 50 for my assessment piece.
Last edited by Ulysses; 19-06-2012 at 06:53.
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19-06-2012 08:09 #153-
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19-06-2012 08:20 #154
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19-06-2012 08:25 #155
Well then thats a tap, not a smack. I still can't understand how that would even work, if i tapped my child without hurting them, they would think i was playing with them or look at me stupid wondering why i was tapping them.
I actually tapped my son then and he asked what i was doing. It didn't startle him or stop him from doing anything.
Ulysses- You made some excellent points, and comparing it to smoking is a good analogy actually.
How many non smokers say "I don't smoke because i may get cancer" You might not, or you may.
Perhaps you could think of smacking in the same light, Why would you risk the possible emotional trauma and risks asscociated with smacking?
There has been numerous people explaining how it has affected them and how much trauma it caused them, there are even studies now explaining the risks of mental health problems and many other risks.
Why would you risk it all?
My brother and i were smacked, it soon escalated to abuse, he doesn't see it as abuse and belts his daughter, he sees it as perfect discpline. Me on the other hand has spent a few years in therapy trying to overcome it, it affected a lot of my area life as well. I suffer horribly now as an adult.
Its hit or miss, but if you know that smacking MAY or heightens the risk of damage later on in life, why would you do it?
Would you put your child in a car without a car seat? I mean the chances of actually crashing are quite slim, but you do it to protect your child from harm.
I don't understand how people are willingly doing something that they know has the potential to harm their child for life, or they are ignoring the numerous stories of people who had suffered?
19-06-2012 08:31 #156
Wondering what parenting technique smacking parents plan on using when they no longer fear you?
Wouldn't you actually rather teach your child about what they are doing wrong rather then just teaching them not to do something in case they get a smack?
What would be your reaction if one day they just turn around and wallop you one back? Or what do you do when they go and hit another child when they think the child has annoyed them or done something wrong?
I think people are downplaying their actions.
To ensure a child never did something again, it would have to be quite a forceful slap and cause quite a fair bit of pain to make sure they were scared enough to ever do it again. Other wise it wouldn't work.
Unless you are a so called "tapper" and only tap, you must spend a fair bit of time tapping because it wouldn't not teach them a thing because there is supposedly no pain involved, it would be no different to clicking your fingers or patting their head. The action would not be enough to teach them anything or startle them enough to not do it again. So therefore a completely useless discipline tool.
So i think people are downplaying how rough they are being or telling porkies so they don't sound as bad. Because none of it makes an logical sense at all.
19-06-2012 09:34 #157
what if it was illegal? you would have to find another way. you would no longer be entitled to smack your children so you would find a better alternative.
I'm sure teachers freaked out a bit when they were no longer entitled to take a strap or ruler to children's knuckles with enough force to make them bleed - but teaching as a profession has changed and I think we would all agree for the better.
Change is hard though!
and I believe our children will look back and find the idea of a child being struck by an adult as abhorrent as many of us feel about a teacher drawing blood.
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19-06-2012 09:44 #158
Much like public floggings being an acceptable punishment for adults.
We stopped punishing adults like this and now find it abhorrent, the same will happen with smacking, it's just frustrating it has taken this long.
19-06-2012 09:53 #159Senior Member
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I think it has to be illegal. It just has to be - to some a 'smack' involves belts or other objects. Or it could be on the back of the head. Or the face. Why is a slap on the face any different to a slap on the bum?
I've heard of people giving their BABY a 'tap on the hand' - baby little tiny babies!
We all could learn some new techniques. If nothing but smacking works we need to find a new technique because it may be illegal one day. In fact, it probably will. And soon.
I don't see what a 'tap' does. I think if my DS was running toward a road, first of all I'd be p!ssed off with myself for not holding his hand properly, but I think running and holding him would be more effective than 'tapping' him. He's pretty good with road safety, but when he was younger he wasn't and that is ONLY because he was too young to understand. If he's too young to understand, he shouldn't have been on or near a road without me - I'm the one who would've been 'naughty' certainly not him!
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19-06-2012 10:10 #160
my father used to smack me with a cane his belt anything he could and also his open hand which hurt twice as much.i despised him growing up and the way he disciplined me shaped how i discipline my 3 girls.i do not and will not smack my girls.i still remembered being absolutely terrified of him if i spoke out of turn or forgot to take my washing out.i could never be the one to instill that look of fear on my kids faces.i am their mum their protector and i refuse to believe that there isnt more effective ways of disciplining them.
but to answer op question there is never a line for me.but i would assume that children under 3 would not understand why they were being hit and children over 3 years and 1 day are too old.
you only live once...
but if you do it right ~ once is enough.
Last edited by meljemillie; 19-06-2012 at 14:56.
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