Should we Smack our Children?

Back in the news today… Should smacking children be banned. I am a people watcher and I see parents smacking their kids and sometimes I’m completely outraged and sometimes I think well, fair enough! 

The difference is really simple. Did the parent lose it? Or did the child lose it?

If the child lost control, manners, respect and lashed out or disobeyed after being warned and spoken to then I think I smack doesn’t do them any harm because it is a reaction to their behaviour. 

If you lost control, temper or just had a bad day and have a short fuse and take it out on them then I don’t think it’s acceptable because it’s a reaction to your day. So the child isn’t going to make the link, “oh I get it Mommys boss was nasty to her and then I asked for a sweet and I’m not really a brat but she’s projecting her bad day into me… No worries Mommy let’s move on.” 

Whereas in the first situation the child will make the link, “Mommy told me three times not to do that and I did it anyway, I was naughty.” 

I don’t think smacking should be the first reaction. I think they should be spoken to and warned and then if they are smacked after trying to get through to them, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

In saying that I personally, don’t think I’d use smacking as Ollie grows up. Mostly because I’m just a very chilled out person. I have a lot of patience and understanding for people that I don’t like so I imagine I’ll be very understanding when it comes to Ollie’s behaviour. I also think I’d feel incredibly guilty if I hit him. I feel like crying if he falls over!   Then again, I have one baby. When I have more and they fight with each other I might not feel guilty about various discipline methods! So I can’t judge parents with older kids because I don’t know what it’s like. 

I’m just looking at it from all angles because I think people are often caught up in their own experiences and ignore other people’s points of view. 

Another thing I think you should ask before resorting to smacking is, did you do anything to encourage that behaviour? Have you been giving a sibling more attention? Short tempered because work is stressing you out? Saying no for no reason and without explanations? Because it’s our job to explain the world to our kids and if we fail to teach then they fail to understand and so we should take responsibility for negative behaviour. Or another question is, is there something they’re not telling you? Is somebody being nasty at school? Did they break something and hide it from you? (I did that as a kid and my sister blackmailed me for ages!) Kids often don’t know why they’re having a tantrum, simply because they don’t understand their emotions. We need to help them. 

My mom used to smack me when I was little and I never felt traumatised. I felt like I’d been naughty! My mom would always come and make friends after and talk about my behaviour. I think that is really important too, you’ve got to make sure they understand why you acted in such a way, if you don’t then yes I agree that it encourages violence and criminal behaviour because they make no connection with their actions and consequences. 

Another thing is, some children live in households where their parents are constantly arguing. I think that is worse than a one off smack. Arguing is just as negative if not more because when adults argue it’s just noise! They don’t understand the complexities of your finances and sex life so all they hearing is shouting and crying. A one of smack from a mother in control that is able to explain is much less harmful to a child. 

My mom always used to say, a smack from a mother is ok but not from a dad! In 99% of relationships, like it or not a man has greater strength than a woman and it is more powerful from a man. 

I also think it should only ever be one smack. If you’re repeatedly smacking a child then you’re just lashing out and abusing them. 

I think that’s a pretty balanced argument… Let me know what you think! To sum up, I don’t want to be a smacking mom but I think there are times when it can be justified. 

He’s too perfect! He’ll be a good boy…
  • Bob Sangwell

    Not one iota of disagreement there! This blog will/should make parents look at their own behaviour in a more self-critical way. It can only be a positive thing. x