What age will it be okay to smack a babies hands?

At what age do you think it is okay to start disciplining your baby with a light smack on the hand?

40  Answers

0 1

This is the first time I'm posting on Circle of Moms in the almost two years I've belonged to it -- that's how strongly I feel about this issue. I notice that almost every comment against corporal punishment has been voted down -- maybe the parents who are smacking their kids are feeling judged and defensive of their parenting strategies. So let me say this: I don't think your kid is going to end up delinquent and in jail because of a smack on the hand once in a while.

But I also don't think smacking is a necessary, or effective, parenting strategy for *any* baby, toddler, or child. *Every* child can be disciplined without violence -- and yes, even a tap on the hand is violence. Heck, I count even shouting/threatening a child with violence as violence. You may think of it as "making them associate a certain thing with a reaction they don't like," but that reaction is physical, and it is coming from a *parent,* who is the person they most trust in the world. The reason it "startles" them is because they're not expecting their parent to hurt them intentionally. When you see that startled look, they are not just rethinking whether they should be touching the forbidden object; they're rethinking their relationship with you, based on the new evidence that you will intentionally hurt them in certain circumstances.

There are many, many ways to discipline babies and children without ever needing to "tap" their hand. It just takes more imagination to figure out other solutions and more time/effort to implement those soltuions. Distraction, explanation (yes, it can work, even at 6 months), removing the object. Being hit by mom is better than being hit by a car or being burned, someone here said? I'm sorry, but it's our responsibility to watch them closely enough to ensure that they will not be hit by a car or burned. They're babies! And honestly, if you need to hit them to make sure that they won't get burned in your kitchen, all you're teaching them is not to touch those things *while you're around.* You can either babyproof your house or watch them more closely. We chose the latter method, partly because we believe that a child's curiosity is precious and should be encouraged -- there are enough things/forces/people in this world trying to squelch children's curiosity. As far as possible, we let our daughter handle anything she wants under close supervision (by "close," I mean she's sitting on one of our laps): sharp objects, fragile objects, whatever she's interested in. We show her how to handle them and tell her repeatedly what will happen if she's not careful. If you let them hold something, they lose interest anyway after a while, when they see it's not interesting; if you hit them for touching it, it becomes an obsession and a challenge for them to touch it when you're not watching. Why do you think so many toddlers lunge at high speed towards the very things they're not supposed to touch? They know they've got to do it as fast as possible before they're smacked or taken away. Of course there are some limits: you can't let your child touch a boiling hot saucepan or put his finger in an electrical socket, even under supervision. In such cases, we've found that repeated explanation and close watching works.

Like I said, if you're smacking your child's hand, it's probably not the end of the world. Your child is probably going to turn out fine anyway. I was hit as a child, and my husband wasn't; neither were his two siblings, one of whom was *extremely* high-energy, *extremely* curious and strong-willed and fast-moving. My MIL believed categorically that corporal punishment was wrong, and never used it. My husband and I, raised in opposite ways, both turned out fine, but I will say this: my husband and his two siblings are calmer, less likely to get flustered in challenging situations, and less likely to be tempted to use violence or violent language in a conflict. They are also curious about/interested in everything, whereas I tend to shut down and develop a mental block when something is difficult for me. Make of that what you will -- it's only anecdotal evidence, and I don't have a large enough sample for it to be reliable, I know. But still. It's enough for me to have decided that I will never, never hit my child, however lightly. As a child, I got into trouble for hitting another girl at school, and once also slapped my mother. I am 100% with the parents here who are saying: if you don't want your child doing it to other people (or to you!), don't do it to your child. Practise what you preach: otherwise, you're just teaching them that hitting is okay as long as the other person is smaller/weaker.

106
2 16

I'm fully in agreement, therefore a big thumps up! :)

1,738 8

Yep... I agree. There are ways to teach appropriate behavior. And interesting that you're right - all the ones against "smacking" are being voted down.

0 42

I couldn't had said it better myself! The parents that's smacking their BABIES hands have lack of knowledge on what the messages is that they are giving their baby. I have 5 children, my baby is 5 months old & I NEVER did this to my children. It's called positive reinforcement by redirecting the activity. Do that in a hospital, Dr's office, or a social service building in see how quick you would be in hot water. Now give me YOUR HAND so I can smack it.You are teaching that's ok to hit. Years from now U will see this.

17 28

I get so angry when I read people post "do that in a hospital, dr's office and see how quick you would be in hot water". What does that even mean? I am an adult and I don't want ANYONE telling me how to raise my children. If my daugter is doing something they aren't supposed to, I will discipline her WHEREVER I am in front of whomever is in the room. I can't stand when people are so quick to jump into people's business and tell them what they are doing is "wrong". Just as I see parents doing nothing to their kids as they run around a restaurant screaming and yelling as I am trying to enjoy my dinner, I say nothing (as much I would like to). That is their child and their business and they can raise them however they want. I do spank my almost-2 year old daughter and smack her hands plenty and for me and HER it works. For people to use a blanket judement that all parents who spank are horrible parents is infuriating. I love my child more than any person or thing on this earth and would die for her. I have full responsibility to make her the woman she will eventually become and that's how I raise her. I grew up in a single parent home and was spanked and smacked plenty of times and I can tell you that I deserved it. And I don't resent my mother (may she RIP) at all for the way she raised me and I appreciate her even more now that I have my own child. And I can tell you I am far from being a violent person. Even though my mother spanked and smacked me, I would have NEVER EVER dreamed of raising my hand to her. She was the parent and I was the child and I knew my place.

22 9

I totally agree, thank you for putting it so eloquently. I think there is a good test here as alluded to by Robin: would you feel it is OK to do that to an adult? no, it would be unacceptable, violent, antisocial behaviour;so what it is about the fact that this person is smaller than you and totally in your care that makes you think it is OK?

22 9

Bianca, if you saw someone abusing their child you would stand back as it was their right to do what they wanted to their children? those that think a little smacking doesn't do any harm may want to read this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6188692/Smacking-makes-children-naughtier-research.html

51 13

Yes..I HAVE seen the evidence of disciplining my children..they LISTEN when I need them to, they DON'T touch things that could hurt them and HEAVEN FORBID..they have beautiful manners. I'm not sure when our world decided that small children should run the country! These fabulous little people NEED boundaries..any psychologist worth his/her salt will tell you this. Children/toddlers need to be molded and we as parents are given this awesome responsibility. I've said it before..it's very (unfortunately) obvious when kids get older if they have been allowed to do as they please and never told "no" in their young lives. This teachs them that they are somehow "entitled" to everything and they think this their entire lives. They are brats and the worst kids to deal with in school...and the worst co-workers to have on the job. I was spanked as a child and guess what? I love my parents, I trust them, I respect them and others in authority and I appreciate that they loved me enough to help mold me into a respectful human being!! It's beyond ridiculous to say that "tapping" (oh horror!!) a baby's hand leads to them being violent..this thought is truly laughable..

0 0

I want to hug you in to the next century.

2 0

I hope this comment makes it to the top. You have managed to hit the nail on the head. People do not understand. I have an extremely high energy son. He does not sit still even to eat. He doesn't like being held for more than 5 minutes, he's constantly exploring, and he does not take no for an answer. So I make him take no for an answer. I say it loudly as to startle him into stopping what he's doing. If if doesn't work I am right there as well to make sure he doesn't hurt himself. If it is more than once, I put him in time out. I keep doing it. Because he loves to explore, he hates sitting in his time out chair. Hitting a child is the lazy way. Yes. If you remove a child from a situation, they are going to keep doing it. So what do you do? KEEP REMOVING THEM. Even if they think it's a game at first, they will eventually understand that when in time out, they can't play with the things they want to play with. They can't watch anything. Eventually they will realize that sitting there is booooring.

11 0

Being the mother of 2 boys under the age of 3, i can tell you that time outs are completely pointless until they understand the concept. Im not about to sit with a child on my lap all day and explain how every little item in the house can potentially harm them. There is a huge difference between discipline and abuse.

8 9

AGREE, AGREE, AGREE!! I was hit as a child and have very negative feelings toward any type of physical punishment. It left me feeling mostly afraid of my father, but with no respect. I understand we're not talking about blatant abuse here, but any type of physical contact IMO is teaching children to deal with their issues with physical contact rather than reasoning and logic. I've never so much as touched my 3 year old (although admittedly there have been times it was hard not to) and he deals with dangerous situations very well using logic and reasoning.

3 11

Very much in agreement with Preeta! Great Explanation!!

10 0

It is all very child dependent. We have used every single method for our son except distraction as I don't believe in it as a method as it doenst teach them anything. If u take his toys away he doesn't care. If u send him to timeout he is happy as and doesn't care. We have started sending him to his room if having a tantrum. But a smack bum is the one thing he associates with naughty, maybe cause we don't do it often. Hs is 3. I think we started smack hands (if he had already been told no) around 1

17 17

I used time out/naughty step with my son, who sat on the step and pretended it was a car, space ship,bus whatever was in his head at the time, sending him to his room mmmmmmm......., he just used to mess around with the things in there, i even put him in the middle of the garden once so there was nothing to touch, play with look at and he still made it into a game.....now tell me how i am supposed to get the message across to him all you do gooders out there?????

1 12

I find it LAUGHABLE when people say physical punishment makes a child question their relationship with a parent. My mom was The Punisher... all of my siblings are closer to her than my dad who hit one of us ONCE. And the fact that when I tell my son NO he screams bloody murder... but when I spank him he stops what he's doing and finds a new task. My son is incredibly affectionate, AND I AM A SPANKER. I will stand by my right to dicipline my child as I see fit. Everyone needs to stop telling people what's right and wrong and answer the question as to how its written. If you are not a physcal parent, this question was not inteded for you. Do not take it as an opportunity to judge or lecture. As for the question... physical punishment of a child is to be done on top of the clothes while not leaving subdermal hematomas (bruises), soft tissue swelling, broken bones, and/or injured internal organs. I am afraid smacking a hand could leagally fall under child abuse. That is why I don't do it. I had someone call the police and CPS on me for spanking my son. I basically schooled the caseworker on the law and after seeeing my son was healthy and happy I politely escorted her to the door. People need to butt out of other families unless there is LEGITIMATE abuse going on.

3 0

Wonderful post! I think, as a generation of adults who were disciined this way as children, it's often our first instinct, especially when trying to teach our children to avoid dangerous behavior. It takes some thought and exposure to other ideas to see the value of finding alternatives to punishment, or even to have the motivation to do so. However, all the good research out there indicates that spanking, smacking, even yelling create long term problems that far outweigh the possible/questionable short term results. If you are interested in alternatives to punishment, there are lots of tools and literature out there about positive discipline (teaching rather than punishing).

1 12

Sorry Wendy, my personal experience outweighs THEIR research and ANYONES opinon.

0 20

Extremely well said. Your parenting clearly matches your education level z & the conscience thought you put into your parenting and words! Bravo! Your children are blessed to have you!

0 1

My goodness -- where did I say that I don't believe in boundaries, that I never say no, and that I think children should be entitled to everything? Of course I believe in boundaries! Not hitting your kids doesn't mean letting them do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. All it means is that you enforce those boundaries differently. For those of you who are asking what you do with your kids when you've tried time outs and they don't work: as someone said, there are a billion resources on non-violent parenting out there. There are books, websites, magazines. I can't summarise it all here, but one small thing to remember is that not everything needs to be a teaching moment when your child is a baby or toddler. If you can keep them safe and out of harm's way for now, they *will* at some point reach a stage where you can explain and they will listen. My daughter is two years old and not only does she already know most of the rules, she can explain them to us. Amanda: you say that when you use time outs with your son, he pretends that the naughty step is a car or a space ship. Well, so what? You've interrupted the inappropriate behaviour, whatever it is, or you've removed him from the dangerous situation. Those are the short-term goals, aren't they? You can meet the long-term goal -- having him understand why he shouldn't keep doing whatever it is -- when he's ready to listen. As I said, there are lots and lots of resources out there if anyone is interested. But if, on the other hand, you feel that your "personal experience" outweighs any research and anyone else's opinion, why are you here? Why on earth are you on a parenting forum if you never want to hear that there might be better ways to do things? If all you want is to be told that your way is always the best way -- honestly, you should stay off the internet. Bianca, Melanie, I have no doubt whatsoever that your children have beautiful manners and that they know how to behave in public. Hitting children *is* one way to get the results you want. I just don't think it's the *best* way. Let me say that although I only have one child and she is only two, I do have more evidence than my own child that non-violent parenting works. I belong to a non-violent parenting group, along with about 50 other families, and I can assure you that when we meet for large gatherings, I see ample evidence that these kids also have beautiful manners and that they also know their boundaries. They are polite, considerate, gentle, confident kids, and some of them are teenagers who have been raised all their lives without any form of violence: no spanking, no smacking, no threatening, no yelling. So let me ask you this: if hitting can produce well-behaved kids, but *not* hitting can produce kids who are just as well-behaved, why do parents continue to hit their kids? The only reason to hit kids is because it's easier *for the parents.* It requires less thought and less effort. Like I said in my post, I was hit as a child, and I turned out fine. I have a pretty good relationship with my parents. But I am convinced that my relationship with my parents would be *even better* if I didn't have memories of them hurting me intentionally. Bianca, you say that although you were hit, you knew your place as a child and you have a great relationship with your mom now. I believe you. But just know that for every kid who is hit and yet never questions his/her parents' authority/judgment and grows up to have a perfect relationship with his/her parents anyway, there is at least one kid like me, who behaves well in public but thinks less of her parents in private. You may have a kid who will be like you and who will never question physically-imposed authority, but you don't know that for sure. Personally, I'd rather put in more work in return for the guarantee that my daughter will always trust me never to hurt her.

42 7

Very well put!

0 0

You cannot teach a child not to hit by hitting them. If my husband 'slapped my hand' for a transgression or 'popped my behind' to get my attention, even in a life and death situation, he would be up for assault. That's because people are not supposed to hit other people -- oh, unless they're kids, and then it's ok? Ah, no. He would get my attention in another way, even if he was very, very angry.

2 0

Why can I not press the + button more?!?

55 44

Totally agreed! The word 'no' seems to work very well with my daughter! After getting a 'no, don't do that or thats not nice' she comes right over and gives me a sorry kiss and hug, like 'im sorry mom I didn't know I was suppose to do that'. It made me real mad the other day my daughter hit my friends son, whom of which almost always hits and bites my daughter making her cry, and I told her no and my friend yelled at me saying ' your not gunna do anything, if he had done that to her I would have smacked his hand'. This made me very upset especially since my daughter doesn't normally do that and she was on a steroid cream at the time which caused her rage. Also a few days later when we were over there my friend tossed her a toy from across the room and my daughter not wanting that toy through it back at her so my friend grabbed her and made she cry, my poor baby was so upset she cried for minutes. I am strongly against this kind of punishment!

0 1

Thanks for all the positive comments -- to all those who are pointing out that children who are never hit can still sometimes hit others, YES, of COURSE they can. Caithlin's comment should demonstrate that for you. But Caithlin, I think you're doing the right thing, so hang in there! If your daughter is aggressive towards another child again, you can try removing her (and yourself) from the situation -- first tell her no very sternly, then take her to another room, wait for her to calm down, and talk to her about what happened. As for what to say to other people who tell you that you should be hitting your child: just tell them that you've found that other consequences work better with your child. Toddlers can sometimes display aggression -- kicking, hitting, biting, pinching -- whether or not violence is used to discipline them. That's a known fact, and it probably depends much more on the personality/temperament/circumstances of the toddler than on anything else. But the whole point is that we are here to teach our children the correct way to be in this world. Experts agree that teaching by example is *the* most effective way of teaching young (and older!) children. If you never hit your child, you are modelling the behaviour you want; you are showing them that it is never, never okay to hit other people under any circumstances, even to "teach" them, even when you are angry. To those who responded to my post saying, Well, *I* was hit and *I'm* not violent: first of all, if you are using violence to discipline your child, then your definition of "not violent" is not the same as mine. Secondly, I should clarify that I'm not a violent person myself. Apart from 3 incidents in my childhood/adolescence, I've never again used physical violence against another human being or an animal. But if I hadn't read a lot about child development, talked to a lot of people who have successfully raised their children without violence, and at some point made a conscious effort to change the way I thought, I might be "tapping" my child's hands too. Those who are hit as children are less likely to look for and find non-violent ways to parent: all the comments from people who were hit and are now hitting their children are proving this to be true. I do maintain that your children will probably grow up to be functioning adults anyway (I'm a functioning adult myself. Do I tell my parents that I lost some respect for them when they used violence on me? No, because it's too late for them, and there's no point hurting their feelings now. But privately, I still think they could've done a better job). In the end, though, saying no to violence is about more than raising adults who have good manners and can keep their lives together. In my opinion, knowing how to address grievances and solve conflicts without violence may be the most important skill human beings can develop for the future of our planet.

10 0

Preeta, you have given me so much food for thought, thank you! I also believe how can the loving caring hands and touch of a parent be smacking a child with those same hands. It sends out mixed messages that will surely confuse the child. I might be wrong, but I grew up in a home where smacking and hitting was at the order of the day, and believe me it didnt make me respect my parents, it just made me scared of them.

0 8

this topic just makes me ill....every child is different and different discipline may be required, no one action works for all children....and I'm sorry I saw a family out one day where the mother was trying to "talk" and "reason" with her, I'm guessing, 3 year old, and that kid did not listen at all and I have seen this time and time again...always in the annoying voice, "now Thomas, we know it's not right to play with....Okay, Thomas stop playing with....Thomas, you're making mommy unhappy...Thomas let's see what else we can get you to play with..." to me that is not showing Thomas boundaries, it is showing Thomas that if I'm bored and start doing something I'm not suppose to Mommy will entertain me....and then see the kids basically walk all over the parents...and I know all these mommies who agree with Preeta will say, "no, not my child, never"...and I say "Oh, please"

22 9

Excellent points well made again, thanks Preeta.

2 0

What I find interesting is that all the people who are saying "I was hit, and I turned out fine" are the same people who are for hitting their child... I'm not saying that there is something wrong with you, but if you were hit when you were young it did teach you to hit. Because you are hitting your child. @Sarah. You are correct, that is poor parenting. That is why you take your child from what they are doing, and put him in his stroller. Or if they are too old for a stroller, take them by the hand, and lead them away. If they start throwing a tantrum, you leave the store until they have settled down. If they don't settle down, you go home. You can always go back to the store, and if it's that important that you are to be there, you wait until you can get someone else to watch them to go back. Just saying no will work for pretty well no one. You have to reinforce your actions, but you do not need to particularly resort to hitting, tapping, whatever.

0 1

Sarah -- I agree with Jordanne. The mother you're describing was not imposing any real consequences for bad behaviour. I'm talking about imposing consequences, just not hitting. The only reason I'm continuing to post on here is because I think we're all well-meaning parents who are trying to do the best for our kids, and I keep thinking, well, if *I* was hit as a child, and I still managed to gather information and change my mind about it, other people could change their minds too. Other mothers might change their minds if they knew there were alternatives. I just don't think "I don't need to hear research or anybody else's opinion" is a good way to go about *anything* in life, let alone something as important as raising a child! Where would mankind be today if nobody could ever change their minds? I'll just respond to 2 things I see coming up again and again in the comments: 1) Some of you say that you can "tell the difference" between exploring/curiosity and "challenging" a parent's authority. Well, to *us* adults there is a difference, if we look at it from our perspective. To a child, it's *all* exploration. They "challenge" us in order to explore human psychology, to see how adults will react. They're gathering information. You can call it "testing boundaries," you can call it whatever, but children do that because they are trying to figure the world out. They don't make any moral distinction between gathering information on what Mommy does when she's upset and, say, gathering information on what will happen if they push this tower of blocks. It's all just gathering information. So what do we do when we tell a child no, and they make eye contact and then do the very thing we said not to do? First of all, reserve "no" for the really important things; say no only when they are hurting others or when they are in real danger of hurting themselves. Try, as far as possible, not to turn every situation into a battle of wills between you and a two-year-old, because if you say no for every little thing you will work yourself into a corner. If you say no, then yes, you need to impose serious consequences if your child isn't listening. For us, those consequences mean removing our child *immediately* from the situation, or removing the object with which she is liable to hurt herself. This is ample punishment for almost any toddler; having their explorations/fun cut short is *incredibly* frustrating for them. 2) When you hit your child for touching something he/she shouldn't be touching, this is the message you're sending: "Instead of paying attention to all the things that interest you, pay attention to ME at all times. Focus on pleasing ME. Never let that leave your mind for a second, because if you forget, I will hurt you!" For me, this kind of "obedience" might be an okay short-term goal, but a terrible long-term one. I want to raise kids who will be able to figure out for themselves when to obey and when to disobey, because unconditional obedience of authority is a terrible thing. Finally, for those who've accused me (and others) of playing "the abuse card": that's nonsense. I, for one, am not playing any card. I'm not accusing anybody of child abuse for smacking their child's hand lightly. It's not child abuse; it's just unskilled parenting based on good intentions.

14 13

you know...everyones going on and on about the same thing. Where you smack your babies hand or not is a choice you'll have to make on your own. I don't think it's abuse and it can be very effective...but there is obviously the possibility of damaging them psychologically and you just have to decided for yourself. If it comes from love instead of anger they know the difference. Personally I think yelling is way WAY more damaging then a flick to the hand is yet no one is a "bad" mom for yelling at their kid. and I don't mean loud. yelling doesn't have to be loud. it's a feeling. the psychological damage we worry about from smacking is bc of the feelings it MIGHT create...you make sure your kids KNOW you love them...not just tell them.part of loving them is teaching them. only you know your kid. some things work, some dont.

22 9

I think trying to say no less often is really helpful, a piece of advice I was given which I have found really heplful was "try and say yes as often as you can, but when you say no mean it"

0 0

I have swmacked my childrens' bums and hands anywhere they need and deserve. I do not leave a mark at all but i believe that children need to learn respect and sometimes the only way to get aross is by physicla discipline. I have 4 children, beiong on time outs do not detour my children, never have. I teach respect and there is also a time and place for punsihment, but my children do not hit me and they respect me more than some other families that I have seen. I also agree that a smacking should not be dulled out for every little thing either. I guess i might e on the fence but leaning mroe over to the punishment. My children and i have a great relationship but they know that when get a smack that I am meaning business and it is very serious what they ahd done to get one!

0 5

This helped me out alot. My husband smacks our son's hand once in awhile and I don't agree with it. Because of this, when my husband slaps my son's hand, my son will walk over to me and hit me because he is angry. There is definately a better way to get your child to listen other than hitting or slapping because by being smacked they are learning that it is ok to hit in return and we definately don't want to teach our children this. Thank you!

5 15

When my son was 7 months old he had a horrible temper....when he didn't get his way he would punch and hit me. I would read books on how to discipline your child without hitting, and i tried everything in the book consistently to no avail. My mother in law told me to smack his hands because as she said the men in his family are strong willed and need tough discipline. But whenever I looked into his eyes I would melt and he knew it. It changed for me when he decided to hit his father the same way. His father smacked his hands and his legs and told him "NO". He never tried it again. After that all I had to say is, "I will tell your father"...even at 7 months he understood that it was not proper behavior. Not every child is the same...therefore not every child can be disciplined the same way....

47 0

I think you are a very emo and dramatic person. Almost to the point of immaturity and insecurity. Scared the relationship between parents and child is diminished because of swatting? I was an elementary school teacher before becoming a stay-at-home-mom, and let me tell you, weak and permissive parenting is why teachers are forced to be disciplinarians at school instead of teachers. Children's behavior is atrocious. Your job as a parent is to raise a person who is well-balanced, well-behaved, socially conscious, and able to contribute to the greatness of our nation. If you continue granting concessions, showing respect but not demanding any, letting your child act/eat/play however they want, you will be produce someone who cannot function in society and will grow up to hate themselves for what they have become. And when they are an adult they'll realize it's because of you. Just hope they don't start hating YOU too, okay?

0 6

Another thumbs up. Total agreement.

0 0

I agree with you.. If you hit them it is telling them it is okay to hit. There are many other ways to teach your children or grand children or any child in your care.

19 20

I have 6 kids and the tapping worked for me. Although, its only in emergency situations. Trying to touch outlets, the stove, etc. Not your pretty vase, your make up, etc. The tapping and a firm voice telling them WHY they shouldnt touch that can work wonders. If you do this correctly, you should only have to do it a couple times.....they'll learn fast. And if they dont learn from this, then another method should be used. You cant just keep tapping them all day on their little hands. To answer WHEN you can start doing this.... The best way to explain is that when you tell a child no and they look at while reaching for it again..... Some do not give enough credit to young ones; even really young ones. There a lot smarter than you think they are. Dont let 'em fool ya! (:

0 0

Preeta - Regardless of whether or not the parents on here agree with your position, it was very well written. Thank you for sharing.

2 21

Nicely said! Guilty of smacking my girls hands and butts, but always with regret and always knowing it was my own ignorance and upbringing that were giving into my feelings that it would rectify the situation. I am a parent that is trying very hard to get everything right with my twin daughters, providing breastmilk until they were 1.5 years old, making sure they eat well rounded meals, providing them with a safe environment etc, but I have fell short in this area, and wish I were better in this area! Hopefully it doesn't cause life-long affects on their sweet little personalities, but being good at everything is a challenge! Agree with you compeletely and hope everyone that visits this topic reads your post!

7 26

I don't think giving your child a smack on the hand is corporal punishment....seriously! I do believe in baby proofing and letting your kids explore but not with breakables or sharp objects even if they are on my lap. It takes a second for it to be jabbed into my leg. I also believe that everyone has their own parenting styles and trust what is in your heart and don't be judgmental of others because they don't parent the way you do. A smack on the hand may work for some and not for others. People are disciplining their kids less and look at the world we live in now...it seems the kids are in control a lot of the time.

1 12

I agree with Briana, and want to add that there is a definate line b/t discipline and abuse and if a parent really doesn't "get" where that line is, then maybe they need to seek professional help to figure it out! But not disciplining or just saying "no" doesn't always work, and is one of main reasons why the youth of today are way they are!! Get a clue people!

8 13

Agreed. We have never hit our children and they don't hit either. My older daughter has only cried in a store ONCE and that was when she saw a mother pull her kid out of the cart by his arm and started smacking him. She got so scared she didn't want to go to that store again. People are too lazy to watch their kids so why not just scare them into following orders? We all miss something we're only human but to say something as idiotic as its better to hurt your child then have them end up in jail makes me question how advanced our society actually is. And btw you can't say smacking your kid keeps them from getting hurt because YOU are hurting them both physically and emotionally. It may take more time than you want but saying no and sticking with it isn't that hard.

1,315 8

So well said, Preeta, and I so agree!

6 38

Wow, very well written, I don't think I could have given a better answer. I 100% agree with you. As a mom to an challanging, ADHD Son and a Career Nanny, I have "learned" patience and have also learned that there are many ways to reinforce the positive and decrease the negative. I was also hit as a child and it only instills fear. I have found that with small children, distraction or redirection works best because they quickly forget or lose interest in things. Kids bouncing off the walls? Sit and read some books, dance to music, play outside where they CAN be hyper. Toddler touching everything? Remove the item, it not remove the child and redirect their attention to something more appropriate. It is much more work that just smacking a child but it yeilds long lasting, positive results without fear.

3 23

So with a child who IS obsessed with something dangerous (electrical outlets) and NO other discipline techniques are working (and he has worked EVERY child proofing protector tried), you wouldn't slap his/her hands? I don't believe in "spanking" babies. But when its something that can harm them, a slap on the hand (not hard, just to get their attention really) is better than the consequence of just distracting them and them going right back to it. Lets face it, you cant have a long talk about what and how something dangerous or off limits can hurt them and why they shouldn't touch it at a young age. But a tap on the hand and a no (and reasons why as they get older) has worked for us. It doesn't mean my son isn't still obsessed with electrical outlets (now 3), but he knows why he should leave them alone and that he will be getting in trouble if hes messing with them. I think letting your child sit with you and hold/explore things that are otherwise off limits is awesome, really a great idea, but there are some things that (like you said) children should never be allowed to touch, and a little tap on the hand is nothing compared to what can happen if you let them (or just distract them). My son never cried from being "slapped" on the hand. It wasn't at all painful. But it got his attention, and he knew what he wasn't supposed to be touching.

8 0

Agree Katie Henry (Jul 14, 2012). Are we going to let OUR idealistic expectations and formulas dictate safety for our children. Bottom line is survival for our kids and then what works practically. I'd be interested to know how many children these non smacking parents are handling. Sounds like it doesn't go beyond 4 . Chicken feed! Try 8 adventurous boys and reality soon hits.

6 6

Thank you for your comments. I love that you accept parenting decisions of others, while sharing your own experience. Thank you.

15 0

I completely , agree!

0 0

I am a "new mom" again. at 52 We've adopted! I have a 30 year old son and now a 10 month old son. I just want to say that this article makes me think differently about corpral punishment (which is something I have always believed in to a point. Not spanking but a pop on the hand or butt "gets their attention" kind of philosophy. I have popped my baby's hand about 5 times now and he still goes for the floor lamp that will fall and hurt him. I'm done with this way of thinking and can mostly contribute that to the great points you made in this article. Thank you!

20 6

Sorry but some kids do not respond to time outs, groundings or anything else. I am old school and i firmly believe in spanking if it is neccessary. MY COUSINS, ALL 11 OF THEM, AND YES FROM the same family were spanked as children and come from a very strict home and they were the best behaved kids i had ever seen and are now all very productive members of society and 6 of them are now parents themselves. SPANKING DOES NOT TEACH VIOLENCE, THAT IS JUST THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I EVER HEARD.

20 6

WHAT AN IDIOT, YOU CAN NOT USE EXPLANATION WITH A 6 MONTH OLD. THAT IS JUST LUDICROUS.

66 1

Are you people crazy? Who hits babies??? Nuts

20 6

I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH YOU. YOU CAN NOT USE EXPLANATION WITH A 6 MONTH OLD, THAT IS RIDICULOUS. I AM TOTALLY OLD SCHOOL AND USED SPANKINGS AND SMACKS ON THE HAND WITH MY CHILDREN. THEY TURNED OUT JUST FINE AND NEVER HIT ANYONE ELSE. ALL 11 OF MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS WERE SPANKED AS CHILDREN AND THEY WERE THE MOST WELL BEHAVED AND WELL ADJUSTED CHILDREN AND ADULTS I HAVE EVER SEEN.

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5 15

I used to teach my daughter by giving her a tap on the hand and guess what? She doesn't get into things she's not supposed to. The only time I tap her hand now is when she's REALLY not listening otherwise I use time out. I don't leave her little hand red or bruised, ever. I tap hard enough to get my point across. Is this abuse? No, she never had a mark on her, temporary or otherwise. Does it work for me? Yes. I transitioned into time out when she better understood the concept. Call it what yu will, but I call it sucessful. I started at 6 months by the way, to answer the original poster's question.

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17 17

I agree whole heartedly with you.

0 1

We want our children to associate bad choices with pain; better a slap on the hand when small then jail at 18.

5 15

I see people smacking their children on the butt hard and I don't see them getting into hot water. I don't see anything wrong with teaching a child by a tap on the hand. I honestly think it's offensive to be called a bad parent or be told that I will be punished for tapping my child on the hand when she's young. While I see the point of view above, I still hold to the fact that when my child needs a tap on the hand she gets it which is very few and far between now that she's older BECAUSE tapping her hand WORKED when she was younger. She's a very happy, very well behaved child because I wasn't afraid to discipline her as I saw fit when she was young. Now that she's older she goes into time out, but once in a while she needs to be reminded of unacceptable behavior by something a little quicker than time out. I have never abused my child and our relationship is incredible. Obviously she's not scared of me because I tapped her hand when she was younger. I don't think anyone here has the right to insult anyone's way of disciplining their children anyway. Unless that child is being abused, what right do any of you have to say anything about how we discipline our children? If you don't like it, then don't post anything. Let people decide by themselves how they want to discipline their child. You have an alternative way to discipline, great, but post it in a way that doesn't attack the parents that use methods you don't agree with. I have seen very few people who are against tapping a child's hand actually post something helpful. Before getting angry and attacking, why don't some of you try KINDLY offering different alternatives for newer mothers to try. That's why they post on these sights, for help, not to get attacked.

141 17

Couldn't have said it better, Briana. Sounds like repressing those tendencies for a simple tap on the hand resulted in arrogant scolding to other good parents with a different point of view...

19 0

I completely agree! I too started the hand smacking around 6 months. My daughter is very bright and I felt by that age she definitely understood what was going on. She knew that I was telling her "no". Now, at 11 months, she better understands what she is and isn't allowed to do. Like you said I have NEVER hit her hard enough to leave a mark. She may cry, but it's because she doesn't like to be told no, not because I've hurt her! I actually tell my husband to really make sure he's doing it as light as he possibly can because he has big, heavy hands and I don't WANT her to be hurt! I just want to be in control, as a parent should be. Spare the rod, spoil the child!

21 0

Spare the rod, spoil the child. D*mn hippies... I had my butt smacked as a child and guess what? I turned out just fine (nice cliche, but I digress). I don't have a criminal record, I've never been a violent person and I KNOW she kept me from doing some things that could have hurt me very badly. It's when it becomes excessive that it is considered abuse imho. With my son, you can't just say "Oh, little Timmy, don't touch that blazing hot stove. It will burn you." You might as well talk to your own buttons. You can't reason with a toddler about everything. But a stern NO works most of the time. IF that doesn't, then a swat is in order. Not on the hand, but the back of the thigh. And not with excessive force. It's more to get their attention than to actually hurt them. When I would get a swat on the butt, I knew I didn't want any part of that so I stopped doing what I was doing, most of the time permanently. This new age parenting is making for children who feel they don't have to listen to authority because no matter what they do wrong, they know they will only a get a figurative smack on the wrist and coddled. "Oh, you shouldn't have brought a knife to school, Tommy. Now let's go have punch and pie!" Yeah...right...

2 20

Just because this form of discipline may work does not necessarily make it right. I have read so many comments from well meaning parents stating that this form of discipline works and therefore, it’s OK to do. I don’t think that is the issue. Becoming a parent is the best and most important job any of us will ever have. It is unfortunate that so many parents just think they can ‘wing it.’ We need training for so many aspects of our lives, but parenting…nope. If more parents understood how infant and toddler minds developed and functioned, they would understand better how to teach them. I am saddened that people feel so strongly about the right to ‘hit’ their children. I wish there was as much passion about learning about and trying alternatives to physical punishment.

6 12

I totally agree.. My son is a year old, and he likes to get into things hes not supposed to ALL the time! Even when i tell him no he starts whining a little bit and he will keep reaching for it.. So i tap him on the hand. I don't smack him to where it will hurt i smack him enough to where he knows not to mess with it.. Yes he pitches a fit. But he doesnt mess with it anymore.. I am also a first time mother.. I was abused when i was little.. So i know the difference between abusing and disciplining ur child is..

7 22

i call it LAZY

3 20

You could have had the same effect without "smacking." Teaching children boundaries by using the word, "no" or explaining why they should not do whatever it is that is wrong works very well. I just don't understand why some think that hitting or smacking is the answer. Yes...I think smacking is hitting.

4 2

Circle of Mum's has a heap of strategies at the moment to use instead of smacking. It takes patience in the beginning but pays out in the end. I only smacked one of my 4 children on the hand to teach them not to touch things and she is the only one who smacks her own children and the only one who gets offended and angry if another way of doing things is presented. This probably makes you angry but that could be because you were smacked yourself. I have noticed anger in a lot of the comments in favour of smacking. There is no way of putting this plainly without sounding uppity but I assure you I am not. I had to sort myself out too.

321 14

I would lightly tap my child on the hand from the time they were able to get around the house by themselves IF they were about to do something that was dangerous and could hurt them. Otherwise a firm "no" and a certain look on my face was enough. I honestly don't think toddlers are old enough to understand right or wrong so it doesn't really seem fair to smack them for something they don't understand. However, my eldest two will get a smack if they really are utterly defiant and no other means works. Thankfully that's a rarity and I would much rather not smack at all.

631 96

I was widowed young - 27 and had 5 to raise alone as my family was far away... I would never touch a child in any manner but with loving touches ONLY ever... Teach your child to obey with verbal commands... it is a lot less stress and kinder and does not cause a scene in public...

0 1

I heartedly agree with you Briana. I hated it when people says "you are a bad MOM" when you're tapping your child's hands. It's not violence for me, it's called disciplining. Tapping hands is not VIOLENT. OMG when i saw that post of preeta i was like, DUH! what the hell is goin on to me? am i a BAD mummy?

1,315 8

Er, I never smacked my DD's hands (or any other part of her), and she also learned not to touch things she wasn't supposed to touch.

66 1

Funny how you can only vote for like 8 comments of the 60 or so here!!! Weird.

1 88

Agree completly

99 0

I tried very hard to not hit my kids when they were little as I was hit so much when I was little that when at 14 I was bigger than my mother.We were having an argument one day when she raised her hand like she was going to hit me.I saw it coming in the bathroom mirror as we were in the bathroom at the time.I informed her that if she hit me again,it would be the last.I was so sick of being hit by then.I think that back then my parents took it to the extreme,though.When my kids were little,I would pull their hands away from whatever it was and tell them in a very stern voice'no'.They learned very quickly.I think every situation is different.I would say do whatever works best for you.Some kids are just more stubborn than others and don't seem to listen.Just keep trying until you find something that works for you.

0 0

Oh i just realised how old is this article.. Anyway im glad it is here. I dont want to be a hitting parent and im not going to be but recently my 14 months old turned to be an evil and the previous discipline did not work and she just laughed at me..anyway in the end i tapped her hand not hit just tapped.. I posted it on an other side what to do and guess what i got lots of hating comments that im CRUEL AND VIOLENT! I could not believe it... Im not going to hit my baby but i ll do smack her bum or tap the hand if time out doesn't work. Im glad i found this article and i see no im not a bad parent By the way just because someone is calm it doesnt necessery down by punishment...

1 0

I agree also... I started at 1 year old

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2 16

In Finland (Europe), where I live, it is against the law to abuse children physically, and smacking a baby's hands falls right into that category. It is quite unfathomable to me why anyone would even want to do it? A baby does not have a 'conscience' as such, they do not 'challenge' their parents but are, as someone already said, only learning about the world. By smacking their hands while they're exploring, you are sending them a very concerning message - the one they are supposed to trust tyo take care of them is punishing them for their natural curiosity, making them feel pain. That is not what I'd want for my children.

We have an extremely active (and at this age, challenging) 3-year-old and a 5-month old just starting to explore, and I have not once smacked, hit or otherwise abused either one. I wouldn't want to hurt the ones I love the most.

36
2 0

I agree whole heartedly with your statements, however, if it's the difference between your child learning that trying to touch a socket will hurt them, or letting them get electrocuted trying to explore, most parents will tap their child on the hand. HOWEVER there are so many other ways to keep your child from the danger in the first place. I just thought if I addressed this, while agreeing with you, you wouldn't have someone trying to argue with you because you are absolutely right. It's more teaching your children they can't trust you not to hurt them. Which is a scary thought. Fortunately for parents who have tried the method, and decided against it, their children do not seem effected too much. I trust and respect my father, and he spanked me once while I was still in diapers, and I have never felt he is in any way abusive, nor have I ever had trust issues with him. I also have never been afraid to explore, and I think for myself. :) But once in awhile is not what we're talking about here.

22 9

Oh my god! I feel so sorry for all the children who's parents think they can't understand when it is explained to them that something is dangerous! What happens if they come across a situation where they haven't had it smacked into them not to touch? Surely that is the same argument?

1 12

Funny how you said children are not challenging their parents, they're learning... and then called your child challenging... just saying.

17 17

Dear user, Mr y may have invented them but my son when 2 discovered he could remove them......what should i have done?

2 0

The socket was so clearly not my point. It was just an example of any danger that a child could face. Also, I go to friend's houses. He tries to touch all the sockets. I systematically follow him around saying "no" before he could touch each one. Hey guess what? It works! You can't baby proof the entire world, however you can prepare children, and help guide them through it.

22 9

Please see Claudia's great examples above about how to teach a child to be safe, try them as alternatives to smacking and I think you will be really pleasantly surprised at how effective they are.

2 16

JenR: I said babies are not consciously challenging their parents, but it's a different story with a 3-year-old. Please read my posting carefully.

317 9

Or perhaps you could WATCH your child when you're somewhere other than home. Just a thought.

0 0

Ha! my kids used to dig out the socket plugs no matter what i tried. they are 3 & 5 now wonder if my 7 month old will do the same once he starts creeping

7 5

The argument that it is ok to smack a child's hands to protect them from hurting themselves is complete rubbish. Children quickly learn what "owie" means when they naturally fall learning to walk, etc. They don't like to get hurt so pointing to something and saying "owie" is sufficient enough to keep them out of harm's way. If you have a curious child you may have to be a bit more attentive but there is no justification for smacking a child of any age.

3 0

Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit.-Wikipedia. popping a child on the hand or that fat of their bottom is hardly "abuse" because it is not unfair or cruel or being used for torment. beating a child with an object all over their body is abuse. i cannot stand when people use the term "abuse" or "hit" for spanking! two totally different things. children do try to challenge their parents/caregivers. it starts from the beginning. you need to stop being politically correct and read The Holy Bible!!!!

2 0

socket protectors do nothing, we put those in and the first day my daughter was bringing them all to me. whatever we don't want her touching we say "not for anya" and it works. No smacking no yelling. She knows what hot means so anything hot gets a " it's hot" works for everything from hot food, to the stove. The only baby proofing in our house are the doors because she can unlock and open all doors and she is 20 months old by the way. I have smacked her hand once and only once, I didn't like how it made me or her feel so I looked for other methods.

14 16

I agree the child needs to be stopped sharply, and re-directed, but you do this by picking up and moving the child, physically blocking the path to the socket or whatever, and firmly and clearly saying something like, "No, that's not safe!" My 3yo daughter will argue back when I simply say there's no time, that won't work, whatever - but if I say it's not safe, there's no argument. She's learnt safety is something that we won't negotiate over, and it started with me being very brief and clear about safety from when she was born.

20 6

OMG , THIS IS SO UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. MY KIDS GOT A SPANKING, NOT JUST A SMACK ON THE HAND, BUT A SPANKING IF THEY NEEDED IT. IT IS NOT ABUSE, IT IS CALLED DISCIPLINE PPL. I GOT SPANKED, SO WERE OTHER MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY. WE ALL TURNED OUT JUST FINE. IF ITS DONE RIGHT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. YOU'RE NOT HURTING THEM BY SPANKING THEM, IDIOTS.

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2 20

Really? I am surprised to even see this question. What age? Assuming everyone will be smacking their babies at some point and it is just a matter of 'When"...this makes me sick. Oh and my answer...NEVER - come on people, evolve already!

34
0 0

agreed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 23

Definitely agreed!!!!!!!!

2 0

I totally agree. I was floored to see this question. Seriously, there's something called childproofing and watching your baby to make sure she's safe and redirecting her activities and saying No when she's into something she's not supposed to be in. You can also use playpens, exersaucers, cribs, baby gates etc to keep your child safe when you are not able to watch them instead of having to resort to smacking a baby on the hand. Why are you punishing a baby for getting into something that they don't know is wrong???? They are not doing it to be "bad". Please don't tell me it's for safety as like I mentioned and many other people mentioned, there are many other ways to keep a baby safe.

70 8

I totally disagree. Even with all the childproofing available, the curious nature of a child will still find that one item you thought was put away. Plus, I'm not going to place every item in my house out of reach for a child thats insane. Some items are just to darn heavy or big to place out of reach. For instance, you are having your morning tea/ coffee without thinking you place the mug on the table to go to the bathroom or other location. You come back and find your beverage on the floor and child. We all are guilty of being human and forgetting no parent is perfect. I tap my child on the hand when she tried to put a key into the socket and yes I had the covers but this one was removed earlier in the day to iron. I tapped her hands to explain that it wasn't okay to do this and guess what she never did it again. My oldest son was removing the socket covers at 16months and even figured out how to open the door with that special covering as well. We ha to place a slide lock at the top of the door to keep him from opening the door. So let's stop pretending that we are so perfect and raise our choldren to the best of our ability and if you need additonal help please go out and get it.

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52 17

My son started standing up and "cruising" the furniture at a very early age. This meant everything had to be put higher. But some things that are still within reach (like coffee on a coffee table) need to be taught in a way they understand. Just saying "no" wasn't working. If I distracted him with a toy, he'd go right back to the fascinating thing he wasn't allowed to touch. You don't "smack" their hand, you "tap" it. Just enough for it to make a little noise, and say "no!" It's it was enough to startle him. Its not about hurting your child or frightening your child. It's about making them associate a certain thing with a reaction they don't like. Once they make that association as they get older, you won't need to slap their hand anymore, they will have learned that "no" means stop!

27
17 17

I agree, it's not like we are saying it's okay to beat them black and blue, we are not. we are just saying a tap on the hand can be benificial in disaplining some children.

22 9

or you could put the coffee out of reach?

0 18

You can't move everything out of reach and making your child know that something is going to hurt them is a parents most important job!!! I agree with a tap on the hand because with some kids other things (distracting, giving them a toy, etc) do not work. You are not beating your child, you are teaching them right from wrong.

1 28

Why should u have to put everything out of reach! Your child needs to learn what he/she can touch and what he/she can't touch. If u move everything, u most be one of those people that never goes to another friends house with your children because they would be into everything. Or do u expect every house u go to to move their stuff just because your child is coming over? I agree that a tap will not hurt them nor does it teach them to hit. But the question was what age not if u feel this abuse or not. So I feel it is safe to start around 6 months because that is usually the age when your child is starting to get into things.

0 0

Yes completely agree. By removing the cup of coffee you are teaching your child nothing. A light slap on their hand teaches them that they are not allowed to touch it.

5 28

I always just told my son that the coffee is hot by my touching it and quickly removing my hand and saying "ouch! Very hot! Don't touch. Only mommy." I would also let him touch a part of the cup that wasnt scorching but can still shiw him what i mean by "hot". He got the idea. When he was a budding toddler he would sometimes still be curious so in addition to saying the above, I would move it out of his reach. Eventually, he understood and now at 2 y/o always says "mommy's hot coffee. Only mommy." he carefully touches it from time to time while I also hold the cup to make sure it doesn't spill. I think learning not to touch it because it's hot is better than learning not to touch it because you'll get hit. I believe hitting makes kids feel like they are being bad and affects their self-image and behavior negatively.

5 28

I also child-proofed my home minimally. For example, I let him access a couple kitchen cabinets with pots and Tupperware. He also went through a phase of pressing the tv & stereo buttons, which lasted a few short months. I would tell him, "it's not a toy" but also if I was putting a CD in, I would show him how to play it - what buttons to push. This strategy worked bc he eventually lost interest in it and never touches it now. I think sometimes if we can allow them to touch and explore in some safe & supervised way, they satisfy their curiosity and also listen more easily. So if we are elsewhere, he isn't all over the entertainment center and if he does touch inappropriately, he will listen when I say, "that's not a toy, sweetie." or "that's not ours."

22 9

Thank you Claudia, some excellent examples of how to use potentially dangerous situations to educate your children, I have found similar methods really helpful with my son and at 2 1/2 he is really aware of potential danger without me having to yell at him and tell him constantly as I see other parents needing to; he is starting to apply intelligence he has learnt from experience.

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1,738 8

Never... 1) Children learn by modeling what they are shown and I never want my baby/toddler/child to smack my hand (or another child's hand), 2) I do not believe in the "do as I say, not as I do" way of parenting, and 3) they are BABIES. My daughter is definitely high needs and has been testing her limits since birth (so it seems!), and there have been many non-violent/non-aggressive ways she has learned appropriate behavior.

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7 5

There was actual study done with hand smacking. I got this from the Dr. Sears website..
Maria Montessori, one of the earliest opponents of slapping children's hands, believed that children's hands are tools for exploring, an extension of the child's natural curiosity. Slapping them sends a powerful negative message. Sensitive parents we have interviewed all agree that the hands should be off-limits for physical punishment. Research supports this idea. Psychologists studied a group of sixteen fourteen-month-olds playing with their mothers. When one group of toddlers tried to grab a forbidden object, they received a slap on the hand; the other group of toddlers did not receive physical punishment. In follow-up studies of these children seven months later, the punished babies were found to be less skilled at exploring their environment. Better to separate the child from the object or supervise his exploration and leave little hands unhurt.

25
0 6

yes for sure. I feel bad that I spanked my kids from time to time. However, even then I did not smack a hand ever. We know it can cause arthritis when older. Thankfully I have second chance with grand babies. Love disciplining in a positive manner. --No hits from this gramma.

4 12

Wow, I hadnt heard of this but it sounds like a very interesting study and a factor that I had not considered. I do not hit, nor agree with it but I thought that if a parent chose to tap a hand, it wasnt a huge deal, but clearly it is! As I have said in several comments, maybe looking at giving parents help and advice may give them more tools so that they have other options rather than hitting, and myself have managed to never even have to consider hand tapping or spanking as an option, but have had a few calls to, and some advice from, my health visitor in the first 3 years of my Daughters life, and I found the advice very helpful.

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51 13

Depends on the child and their temperment...our oldest was challenging us at 6 months when we'd say no so we started slapping her hands then if she touched things that were dangerous, etc...they are way smarter than most give them credit for and she responded in a way that we knew she understood what we were saying. Our second was much mosre easy going and listened to "no" or the tone in our voice anyway so didn't start with her until much later. If they are touching things that absolutely must not be touched, they need to be taught not to touch those things...it doesn't teach them to hit, it teaches them that there are boundaries!!

24
2,096 19

Challenging at 6 months? They aren't challenging - they are LEARNING. How do you expect them to learn about their world? They want to see, taste, touch, experience EVERYTHING. Instead of smacking them, try moving them to an area where it is safe to explore.

51 13

I assure you, I know the difference...and we have a very independent, strong-willed daughter who WAS challenging us at 6 months and on. When a child hears "no", then looks at you while sliding their hand towards the item again, they understand and are challenging you to see if you mean what you say. We love our kids with all our hearts and we love them enough to correct them and set boundaries...this teaches them to obey authority (which keeps them safe) and they crave boundaries as it makes them feel secure to know that their parents care. And children can learn about their world and also learn that not everything is available to them. Also, we don't "smack" our kids...that infers that we are smacking our kids around...we do re-direct,etc when appropriate but to slap a child's hand is not abusive, it shows them what they are doing is not ok...

973 44

I agree with you Melanie. My daughter is very smart. I don't remember at what age I started smacking her hands, but she learned that she shouldn't do things. Distracting them doesn't teach them that you shouldn't touch the stove or climb onto the back of the couch where they can fall off. It distracts them until the next time they try to do it. I've always explained why my daughter can't/shouldn't do things, she responds better, even as a toddler. I had a babysitter that used the old standby of Because I Said So when she asked why she couldn't do something. She wasn't trying to be disrespectful, but trying to understand. I hated that. But as a baby, they don't understand that reasoning yet. My daughter will still challenge now and occassionally I'll spank, but usually it's not necessary.

180 23

@Melanie I was told by lots of different child phycologists that a baby can only start to understand the concept of NO around 9 months, why would you smack your 6 month old babies hand ?? A 6 month old does not challenge you I don't care how smart you think your child is. Your child explores his surroundings at 6 months and to you that's challenging you, for heavens sake what will be next belt spanking at 2??

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I'm with you Melanie! My daughter has always been strong willed and I know it started at 6 months. I had to start telling her NO very early on and let me tell you, she now knows that word and I strongly believe it's because I started early with her. I know lots of parents that don't believe in hitting and for the ones that I know (not pointing fingers here) their children are HORRIBLE! I refuse to raise a spoiled rotten child that is catered to. I'm sorry. They need to learn that there are certain things they are not allowed to do and I'm the one that is going to teach them. A lot of parents tell me that I should remove my daughter from situations so that she re-focuses her attention somewhere else. I think that is enabling the problem and I refuse. She needs to learn that she is not to play with whatever is in front of her because I said so. Smacking/spanking a child is a topic that is never middle-of-the-road. You either agree or you don't. And I am the parent that fully believes that it works -- not all children but some. I do believe that each child has their own personality and different tactics work with different children. Some kids are so scared of their parent's stern look and that's enough to scare them into a crying fit. Others need a bit more work and that is definitely my child. I think we're going to have agree to disagree with the parents that think we are crazy! :)

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I completely agree with you! My daughter was standing on a chair one day, and I went over, sat her down and told her "we sit down in our chairs", then I walked away. I peeked around a corner and saw her looking to see if I was gone and then she stood up again. We played the little game 10 times before she finally believed me when I told her to sit down. That is definitely challenging their limits, and not just learning and exploring.

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Totally agree with Blanca too! Children need discipline, and they need to know they are disciplined because we want what's best for them. Being a horrible human isn't what's best for them! Something most people forget these days is that we are raising them to be stand up adults, not to be spoiled kids forever. Only a Mom knows her own child and what they are really up to. A child phycologist doesn't know everything, I don't care how many degrees they have! It's just like a doctor will never admit that teething gives messy diapers and diaper rash, but we all know it's true!

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Around 5-6 months my daughter already know how to test my husband and I. When we say no she will wait about 30 seconds, smile and test us again. We don't resort to 'tap' right away, we always wait 4-5 times of no before we 'tap'. It does not leave marks or bruises, it's a way to tell her we mean business.

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I'm assuming that all the mothers here who are agreeing that tapping is a good form of discipline have never had their child hit them back. I am a good (even the doctors have told me I am doing everything right as a parent. I have taken ECE, and even babysat children from when I was 12 until my first job at 18) mother, and I do everything that I can tell my son needs for discipline. I just have to realize when he's exploring, and when he needs to be removed from the situation, put in time out, then said "NO" to firmly, 5 cm from his face, The difference between having a child listen to you, and ignore you when you tell them no, is letting them know you mean it. No matter what means you take to do so. My son was 6 months when I tried tapping him on the hand. He hit me back. Since I never smacked his hand again. He still hits me. I am having trouble teaching him to be gentle. The best method for me is to warn him. Tell him "NO!" Then start counting from three. He usually stopps by one. If no, he goes in time out. He has taken to screaming when I start counting. I put him in time out for that.

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if your children are so smart why don't you reason to their intellect rather than using base violence? works with mine :) BTW, they are getting less smart every time you hit them. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6188692/Smacking-makes-children-naughtier-research.html

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All this talk about babies needing to explore...YES, they do need to explore their world...but I prefer they don't explore my coffee cup or the outlets or play with electronics or try to touch the top of the stove. Sorry if you are all such amazing mothers that your children just "know" to stay away from these things...but some of us live in a real world, a dangerous world and I know that I am laying the foundation so if one day and I say STOP, my child will listen and avoid possible tragedy. That's all I'm saying on this matter...I'm through defending myself for raising our children to respect and listen to authority..I know that my kids will respect their teachers in the classroom, etc b/c they were raised right. So many on this site say that mothers like me are living in the dark ages...guess what, the further we get away from the way things were..the more crime, violence, bratty kids are in the world...so you figure it out!!

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Why do you think that the only way to make your child understand boundaries is to hit them? That you teach them respect by using physical force? My son is VERY respectful, kind and obedient and has never been hit. He knows his boundaries, he tests them, yes, that is what children are SUPPOSED to do, I teach him constantly using intellect, consequences and reason. It takes a little more time and effort but that is what I signed up for when I became a parent. My parents never hit me or my 5 siblings, and we turned out fine!

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im disgusted that you would result in teaching a child as young as six months by getting physical. that is awful. i would never, ever hit my child, even if it was a tap on the hand. that is teaching them that touching others physically is OK when it definitely is NOT. what if your child saw another kid doing something they didnt want them to do...and they went up and smacked them..would that be ok? well im sure your child would think so as that is the way they were brought up from infantcy. a six month old baby does challenge. of course they do..they are learning and exploring. they do somewhat understand what you say, but they cannot fully comprehend WHY exactly it is they are not allowed to touch that plug in the wall, and why mommy is comming up and smacking her. that is not teaching anything at all aside from the fact that you are the big boss. im sorry but that is awful, my daughter respects me and listens to me and i have never had to lay a finger on her. and yes, she did get into mischief and trouble as soon as she started crawling at 5 1/2 months. no, i did not smack her on the hand and tell her no, i baby-proofed my home and made sure there was nothing for her to get into. you CAN raise a child without physical punishment and it hurts my heart that there are little unknowing babies getting punished without fully understanding what they are doing wrong..

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Hi, i agree with melanie,to smack a child is not being abusive at all.I have 2 boys age 4 and 1 and they r both strong willed but if i don't smack their hands once in a while i'll have to keep talking and talking. Smacking makes them realise that boundaries are set and should not be over stepped on. They understand when i smack them it is because they have done wrong and then they apologise and they always remember that as naughty behaviour and they won't do that again. I am for smacking some time.Smacking is not the same as beating. One is done with love and for correction while the other is done out of anger, they are not the same at all.

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Melanie, I completely agree with you! My daughter is very bright and CHALLENGED us at 6 months, too! You really nailed it by saying that when you say no and the child looks at you while repeating the action they DO understand and ARE trying to see if you will be consistent and not let them change your mind. I do try to use it as a last resort though. My daughter is 11 months old now so there are more times that I say "no" and she actually listens the first time. However, she's still pretty young so I will physically take the thing away from her or move her first. Then, if she keep doing it I will smack her hand.

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One thing that is loud and clear here...is that all babies/children are different and all (even within the same family) may require different types/levels of discipline. Our 2nd dtr has had about half the discipline that the 1st one did..it's all based on what works for them and their personality. I want to make one more point....it doesn't give parents great pleasure to swat their kids or tap their hands, etc...BUT it is a method that we have chosen to use if other things don't work. I'm sure there are children who turn out all right without ever being spanked, and there are children who turn out "bad" even though they were...we are all making choices that we feel are best and that work for our family. I'm not sure if it's more infuriating or funny that so many mothers get up on their "high horses" and say crazy things like : spanking will make your kids stupid, my kid hits now because I slapped his hand once, my heart hurts because little babies are getting punished, slapping hands is the same as a man beating a woman. LADIES please...THINK about what you are saying here!! Spanking will not affect your intelligence..I was head of my class and I was spanked...kids don't have to learn to hit, they are born with a sin nature and if your child has never tried to hit you or anyone else, your child is in huge minority...we are not beating our babies and it's offensive that you would suggest such a thing...and I WOULD NEVER condone any kind of abuse of any human being so to compare my choice of discipline with an actual abuser?? You should be ashamed of yourself and obviously all you crave is drama.

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OR distracting teachers them that when they want to do X they should do Y instead. My dd always wanted to climb on our coffee table so we got her a soft climbing thing. Every time she went for the coffee table, we redirected her to her climbing toy. Now she goes for the climbing toy and avoids the table...

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oh please stop hitting this baby. they don't have a clue has to why the ones they love and trust are hitting them. so so sad.

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Teaching boundaries: Good. Teaching boundaries by hitting babies: BAD. There are SO many other options, seriously. Hitting a baby is just not necessary.

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I clap my hands or knock on the wall or make a noise and she tries to copy me and that's the end of her doing what I don't want her to do and if she still won't stop I pick her up and walk away from the situation

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i really like your idea about knock on the wall...might be something to try, even with my older one whos 5 1/2. just as a method of letting him/her know what they are doing is wrong and to rethink it :) thanks

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I never taught her to hit the wall but to knock on it just as you would a door. Also its just a wall I expected my things to be destroyed when I had kids lifes to short to get upset about small things. Now my daughter knock on the wall when she sees me or my husband doing things even the dogs :) its cute to me! Walls can be painted and cleaned. It works for us and that's all that I care about

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tried that and it's never worked for me it makes them stop look at what your doing then go straight back to the more interesting thing of what they are not meant to be doing or touching

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Wow!!! You are so articulate and use proper grammar and punctuation and you make such a coherent and convincing argument. I agree with everything you are saying and so does all the research on child development. I have never read a study that could prove the benefits of hitting or smacking your child.

In Canada, it is now illegal to spank or hit your child. And there is already a precedent in the courts upholding the law. I was and now have a child with very very high energy and a very stubborn disposition. He challenges everything and is always full of energy but we have never resorted to hitting in any way. We started using time outs when he was 3 and have used them consistently. We haven't had to give one in a couple of months. I have even given them when we are out in public and they work every time. My mother and MIL have both said they feel that sometimes a little spank is necessary but so far, we have proven them wrong.

Thanks for sharing your answer; I hope others will read it and realize that corporal punishment is not necessary and should never be used.

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Lisa, I pressed the wrong button and accidentally voted you down, sorry! I actually agree with everything you say x

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Lisa, correction, it's not illegal to spank in Canada. It is illegal to hit. There is a VERY big difference between hitting & spanking or tapping a hand. I believe in redirecting, timeouts and communication wholeheartedly & is my preferred method of discipline but there have been 2 times that a tap on the hand and a tap on the bum was necessary. I take A LOT of time teaching my kid & frankly find the assumption that a few of you Mom's have mde that parents using hand tapping are not taking the time with their kids, offensive! Jordanne, you say you were spanked ONCE & that made you have a shorter temper? Really? It takes a lot more to make a short temper than that! Tempers, short fuses, impatience and the like, come from your genetic make-up & individual personality, not only your childhood upbringing. Dee

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Thank you Denise...someone else with some common sense!

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Lisa before you quote laws perhaps you should do research and look them up. Section 43 of the Canadian criminal code is "the spanking law". If you look into you will find that spanking and use of corporal punishment is in fact not illegal. This law has been in place for over 100 years, but was most recently reviewed in 2004 where 6 out of 9 judges voted to keep it in place. http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0510-e.htm

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Wow that is odd. I can't find my post to address this properly. I do remember saying something about there perhaps being a correlation. I was just drawing a comparison, not saying that I had more of a temper because I was spanked, just that I had never thought of the comparison before. I was also showing that being spanked does not give you more discipline over your emotions when you are an adult. If you are replying to the post I think you are (my computer is messing the post order up, so I could be wrong) I was just responding to a statement Drusilla made, insinuating that a spanked child would be less likely to be involved with the police later in life.

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Yes Denise you are soooooo right! Children are born with a certain temperment, one spank as opposed to no spakes does not a serial killer make. I attend the Unversity of Windsor and the young kids that I encounter there have no respect for authory, no common courtesy, and feel that everything is owed to them. I can't wait until they get out into the real world and realize that you cannot do what ever you like and get away with it. They are in for such a shock.

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i pushed the wrong button i agree and believe that hitting your kid is the lazy way out

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Lisa, I do not personally use hitting and do not agree with it but I do agree with Denise, that hitting and tapping a hand are very different. I was hit and that does have negative effects and still does through my adult life, but I am not talking a tap on the hand and I dont think a tap on the hand is the end of the world. I think this question brings up lots of views and at the same time some far fetched and some ridiculous ideas and comments. To say that being tapped on the hand once has caused a temper issue is to me a little OTT. Like Denise says, genes can affect your personality as can all our experiences and I doubt a single incident where you are tapped on the hand caused such issues. Saying that those who have hit on the hand cant be bothered and have no time for their children is a little extreme also. No parent is given a manual and everyone does things differently, if a child is being hit then I dont agree with it and would not even tap my daughters hand personally, but I dont pretend to be an A star parent and dont think that those who choose differently are automatically a bad parent. Everyone works in different ways and it either works or it doesnt, I think that helping parents when they dont know what to do would be more beneficial because I do think that many people are worried that if they ask for help, they will be labelled as a bad parent. I think that could do with changing and then maybe people would learn some new tools to learn which may prevent them needing to spank. I loved Kyries comment that those who are hit are from the bottom of the gene pool, but was kind enough to say that we could be from the middle of the gene pool!!! Also Kyrie stated that other people will look down upon those who hit and the resulting children and use them as an example of how better people, do not want to bring up their children. I think the comment that children of parents that hit then go on to be annoyances in society and bring down other peoples children in school and are even stopping evolution! Some people need to get a grip and maybe think before they say such silly things and prehaps consider that a tap or smack once or twice, compared to being hit/beaten are on very different ends of a scale, but also being the child of someone who chooses to deal with everything with violence does not make them a misfit menace to society that needs to be kept away from everyone else because of the choices their parents made!

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At whatever age you think its appropriate for your baby to smack YOU back. Because isn't that what smacking/htting/spanking is? Teaching them that its okay to use physical behavior to get your point across?

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Exactly.

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No. Smacking or spanking can be useful to get a child's attention so that you can teach them something, it is'nt a form of discipline it's a means to an end because I feel that a swat to the butt is better than being hit by car, or a smack to the hand than a really bad burn or something falling on them.

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Right on Melissa!

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Foolish response. As the parent, there are a great deal of things that I may do to them that will never be ok for them to do back such as put me in "time out". There is nothing wrong with a slight tap/smack on the hand or butt to reinforce what I've told them to do or not to do. That's what's wrong with the world today - undisciplined children grow up to be undisciplined adults.

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really? nothing wrong? the research doesn't back you up. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6188692/Smacking-makes-children-naughtier-research.html

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Well said, Melissa!

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you women are all crazy... your children learn by "monkey see, monkey do". they see you hitting them, they will hit others. another child on the playground who doesnt give them the toy they want,*SMACK* "mommy does it to me when she wants me to listen so its okay" you all are fools if you think its okay to hit. my mother spanked me when i was a child, and when all of us kids would play "house" guess what the mommies and daddies did to the kids? of course we spanked them for fun because we thought thats what mommies and daddies did!! isnt that awful? no, spankings never hurt me. no they didnt traumatize me...but even my own mother whole-heartedly admits she regrets ever spanking me. you dont teach wrongs with violence. its a disgusting cycle.

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Quite Melissa and Sara!

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I love how you only needed 14 words to put that point across so well, I myself could not have done that! I will remember that in future because it is the perfect answer to a question that I found rather odd and a little shocking! I dont understand why people do not understand the message they are giving to young children when they hit them, no matter how little a tap/smack is - you are enforcing that it is ok to hit if you need to get the point across or if you are bigger, because children are always learning and a parent is one of the largest influences in their life and one they look up to the most. Melissa, I think it is far better to teach your child road safety before it gets to the point where they are in danger. If you have time to hit them then you have time to get them away from danger - surely in your example you would only be hitting after an incident, so hitting a child when they may be shook up from a near accident may not be the best time to hit them, maybe talking to them would be more beneficial. As for a burn etc. it is your job to make things safe for them and if they are at risk from being burned move them or move the risk. I cannot think of a single excuse that will make me understand why hitting is the most effective form of punishment. My Daughter has never been hit and so far she has not been burnt, had a nasty accident, been hit by a car and I think the worse things that have happened to her has been falling over - so hitting it is not essential to keep your children safe! Plus I was hit, well beaten throughout my childhood and I was hit by a car, burnt several times by hot water, the stove and even quite badly by the sun, broke my arm and had quite a few other injuries so hitting is clearly not effective for these matters but is a great way to lose your childs respect in my case!

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We have never smacked our sons hands. By smacking a child's hand it is teaching them that it is okay to hit. We teach him by telling him no and showing him something new. He is almost 2 and when he sees something we have told him no he says no, no and leaves it alone.

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What if he didn't listen to "no"? What would you have done to teach him? I'm interested to know...

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patience

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My son also points to things he isn't allowed to touch and says "no no" :P

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I do not use violence on my children.

Ever.

Period.

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The definition of violence is "force used to injure or abuse". I don't think we are talking about violence here...

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as far as i am concerend hitting of any form can be violance. i slight tap to me or you can feel a lot worse to a baby. I do not hit my kids. hitting my kids only shows that its ok to hit if you are older/bigger. its just not on.

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I agree with Krystie 100%. Hitting is violence. No matter how small the tap. It is not appropriate to communicate with another adult by hitting, pushing, or even touching them with the intent of communicating that you do not like their behavior. Why then, do we believe it is appropriate to use such measures to communicate with children. Children understand how we feel before we even say a word. Embrace loving communication and you will be surprised at how your child responds.

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So you think that tapping the hand injures or abuses? You can't just arbitrarily throw words around... they have accepted meanings.. that is how we communicate, by using the accepted definitions of words... so is tapping a child's hand injurious or abusive? In what way?

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We don't respond by putting another adult in time out when we don't like their behavior either. You're not trying to teach an adult how to behave. So I really don't understand this comparison.... I don't think it's wrong to tap your child's hand when it comes to something dangerous. I was spanked and "tapped" on the hand and mouth when I needed it as a child and I never gave problems with hitting. My best friend uses these techniques with her children and her children are very well behaved. It depends on what works for each kid to get an important point across.

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I dont time out my kids either.

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thank you for posting this. you did a wonderful job and i fully agree with you! I know that mainstream parenting is more comfortable with with things like smacking but i am not at all comfy with that. I never have been and i never will be. I was spanked as a child by my parents and they gave permission to anyone who watched me (grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, babysitters, etc) to also spank and altho i turned out fine there are definate scars in terms of also shutting down and trying to get myself out of trouble and getting very defensive and feeling like i am under attack when i may not be so i apprevciate your corrage in posting this.

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It is NEVER ok to smack anyone especially a baby!! I am a preschool teacher and a mom for 2 girls ages 9 and 11. Tell them no and redirect. Praise for good behavior, redirect for bad.

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how about NEVER?

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On page 148 of The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears, he talks about the studies that have been done on babies that had their hands slapped as discipline. They found that the punished babies (those that had their hands slapped) were less skilled at exploring their environment only 7 months later. "Better to separate the child from the object of supervise his exploration and leave little hands unhurt."

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I was smacked and even my face slapped when i was disrespectful woth my mum..im an engineer and my maon role was continuous improvement.. I love exploring but i do know what to not touch...and i respect my parents elders etc not like many others these days...

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This dicussion is outrageous and I would have hoped that American parents had come further than this. Preeta has the response you need to read. I just wanna add one thing: No matter how you justify your "smack on your babies hand" with her/him not showing any mark, not crying or showing fear; WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS STILL ILLEGAL IN 26 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD AND THAT'S FOR A REASON! It is abuse!
I live in Sweden where hitting (yes, that is what you are doing, no way around it!) has been illegal for more than 4 decades.
More than that it should be illegal, it just simply doesn't work! Be better than this; read the excellent Danish child psychologist Jesper Juul "Your competent child" for a whole new way to look at the relationship between parents and kids, better ways to relate to one another and for tools to turn to when you're at the end of your rope. Because we all get there, it's part of being a parent, to let our kids know that even when they challenge us the most we still love them enough to be responsible and mature enough to not hit them.

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Oh Anna, please don't think that all American Parents are this ignorant. Some of us are enlightened. I could only wish and hope for a time when those in this country placed as much value on a child as those in your country do. I agree with everything you posted. 26 countries. Someday we will get it right here. I blame it on our Puritan Roots. And the so called bible belt of our country. (mostly the south) The West Coast is much more open minded. Please know there are those of us with reasoning skills, who are smart enough to deal with or out smart a BABY. Without smacking it. Only the uneducated or the religious right stick to this form of child control. Bully's at heart. Might makes Right. Sad but true.

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Thankyou Sally for giving me hope. I lived over 10 yrs in the US and am married to an American man. Very few people I have met share this belief that hitting your kids is ok, that so many seem to have in this online community. Peace!

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I would hope you would have the nerve to call me an ignorant, close minded, uneducated, religious zealot who is also a bully if you were standing in front of me. I am well educated, open minded, and a contributor to my community's Anti Bullying Initiative. I am also a baby wearing, adoptive breastfeeding granola mom. AND... if I ever needed to use this form of discipline I would do it. Bullying? I believe name calling is a severe form of bullying.

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Amanda- when you display that much anger in a simple online discussion forum, I'm not surprised that you hit your kids. The only one retorting to name calling here seems to be you. I'm simply stating my surprise at that so many parents in this forum (I'm still not wanting to believe it goes for Americans in general) hit their kids. And it does happen here as well, just as it does all over the world. It doesn't matter how many years you spend in school. Uneducated people can be way smarter, kinder and gentler than those with PhD's. But at least here in Sweden and in another 25 countries, kids know from an early age that what their parents are doing to them is illegal and wrong. Violence is a cycle that's needs an end, it's a structural disease that starts at home and ends with tanks in the middle east. The USA has a terrbily violent record, with the constant wars eating up the tax funds (your money!!!) that is so desperately needed at home. Imagine if you all got good health care, child care with educated staff and hot lunches, university education, the right to stay home paid with your babies until they're 1,5 years old, the right to be home paid every day they're sick, the right to good health care when you grow old and the option to take a train or bus instead of your own car whenever you need to travel; all that at no other cost than what you're already paying in taxes. Yep, that's what we get here, our taxes aren't really higher than yours (well, for the extremely rich they are) and our country is doing way better finacially right now than yours. This became a lonwinded response to smacking a baby's hand, but I'm just trying to provide some perspective of how things CAN be, no matter if you eat granola or bacon for breakfast or push your baby in a stroller or wear her/him in a carrier. Peace out y'all!

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Anna, please show me the names Amanda called you in her above post? Now reread your own posts. In China/Japan physical discipline is used and those children are far more intelligent than any in America/Europe - go figure.

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I do not think that a light spanking when a child runs into the middle of the street will traumatize a child or teah them that hitting is okay. When appropriate, ans especially with certain kids, when no other method works, a tap on the hand or tushie is a proper way of placing limits on appropriate behavior and I agree that kids today are very disrespectful. They know there are no real consequences ad do not respect authority ( as a general rule)

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Smacking your child on the hand is not "Hitting" your child. It is ignorant to make such statements. It is not illegal to discipline your child with a light smack on the hand. It IS illegal to beat, hit, whip, or torture your child. It is not like someone is abusing a child in the way Baby Brianna Lopez from New Mexico was. It is a gentle smack that grabs their attention. I grew up being smacked on the hand, my Australian husband grew up getting smacked on his hand. We grew up as well mannered Christians and are both now successful, well behaved people in society. Neither of us grew up with fear of our parents. We both respect them for their decisions and hold no resentment.

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Wow, I must be the only older mom on here! I grew up in times where spanking was ok and slapping your hand was fine and most people in my generation turned out just fine with no depression, violence, drug issues, etc. Now parents can do anything to their kids to punish them or it it considered violent or wrong and you wonder why kids now a days have no manners, no respect for their elders or anyone for that matter, they steel, they do drugs, RESPECT AND MANNERS are huge in my book and with my family. If I have to tap my kid on the butt or hand because they are disrespecting me or not listening to me, I will and there is NO one that can say I am a horrible person for molding my kid the way they should be molded. I have never put a mark on my kids nor will I ever but I will not let them get away with bad manners or disrespecting anyone.

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I TOTALLY agree with your comment.

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With the greatest of respect I don't think it is true that there was no depression or violence in previous generations, sadly these things are a part of humanity and always been with us, as have drug, alcohol abuse and social unrest - these issues are well documented throughout history. To repeat what I and others have said (and I don't wish to shoved opinion down anyone's throat, I do want to correct a mid assumption), not smacking is not the same as not discipling, my child and the children of others I know who are not smacked are actively disciplined in other ways and are respectful and well behaved. I agree with you that there are sadly many parents who don't effectively or actively discipline their children or teach them right from wrong, but please don't confuse that with parents who don't use physical punishment.

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My great grandfather was an alcoholic... A racist alcoholic at that. I know someone who's grandfather was molested. I am sorry, but that is just not true. My ex is an abusive alcoholic who does drugs, and has been arrested multiple times, and he was spanked as a child. His siblings are perfect members of society. I am sorry, but there is simply no correlation here. I agree with you entirely Ella. I am sorry but you are incorrect with your assumption that the world was a better place when spanking was the norm.

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Oh Jennifer, I could not agree more. Children were better behaved when we were younger and I feel no anger, hurt or psychological problem as a result. I knew what I'd done was wrong and as a result, I hardly needed it in future as it hammered home the point that when mum said no, she meant it. I too will not allow my children to decide where I put things, nor how to behave in public. They MUST listen to me and if they don't, they are warned, if they continue, they are punished.

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I was talking about all generations, from my great grandfather down to mine. I am sorry, I also forgot to mention my father's generation. Almost every friend I have either has struggled either now or in the past with an alcoholic or drug addicted parent. We all came from nice neighbourhoods too. My point was that there has always been drugs and alcohol, and abusive parents. The difference is, now that it's spoken about, and exposed, parents can't scare their kids as much into keeping quiet. I was not arguing that children need discipline. I was simply arguing that the lack of physical punishment is not the reason for unruly adults these days. You insinuated that the world was better when you were growing up, because "most people in my generation turned out just fine with no depression, violence, drug issues, etc." and I was pointing out that that was simply not true. Oh, and for depression? My aunt was 20 when she died. She committed suicide. Every generation has their skeletons. It's just now that there is so much help, and media for the people who are hurt as a result it is not hidden. I do not disagree with you entirely though. I think that children to need boundaries. They need to be taught what they can and cannot do. The only point that I disagree with is that only spanking will help them through this. There are other ways. There are always other ways. And that is what we as humans are naturally programmed to do. We solve things. Just for reference sake on the ages and generations, I am almost 30. Do not judge me on my age for how I raise my child. I have taken Early Childhood Education, Child Psychology, and worked in the field. I know a thing or two about parenting ;)

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Nope, sorry, it's just not true that depression, alcoholism, etc., were less prevalent in our parents' or grandparents' generations. (Problems with certain drugs, quite likely: that's down to availability of particular drugs, not to the general public's moral fibre.) What's changed is not the prevalence of these social ills. It's that we now acknowledge depression as an actual mental illness that can and should be treated; that alcoholism and domestic violence are no longer considered "just how things are"; and that thanks to the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, there is no longer a single social problem that we don't hear about CONSTANTLY. For example: how many people here know that the number of babies born to girls aged 15-19 in the US has gone *down* since the 1950s (although the US still has the highest rate in the developed world)? Based on Internet chatter and news coverage, you'd think there was a huge, historically unprecedented epidemic of teenagers having babies, but actually the opposite is the case...

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Well said!

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Never. It is our job as parents to model appropriate behavior. A child cannot comprehend having nice hands when that is not the example that is set for them. We can't hold a double standard & then get upset when a little one gets confused. A child who is hit, is a child who hits.

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Your statement " A child who is hit, is a child who hits' doesn't hold true in all situations. My grandson bit us several times when a toddler, do you think we bit him? I can assure you we NEVER bit him. And since we were the primary caregivers, no one was around him to teach biting. So where did he learn that? Not from us! I'm more concerned with the attitude of the parent doing the discipline than I am their particular method. I'd much rather see someone discipline in a calm, loving manner even if it was a swat to a well-padded behind or a swat to the hand than them to angrily put a child in time-out. Disciplining in anger, frustration or to appease someone else seems so very wrong to me. I have had kids, step-kids, foster kids and grandkids and consistent, firm, loving discipline has always worked best for me.

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Amen Vicki! It's more about the attitude of the parent than the form of discipline!

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Time out will only works for some children, my daughter used to respond to time out and it would be effective as she always wanted to please. My son on the other hand if you put him in time out he thought it was a game and he never learnt a thing from time out. I occassionally smack my children i give them 3 warnings and then they will get a smack on the hand. my children learnt a lot from this, 1 mum says what she means, 2 mum means what she says and 3 if i do it again i will end up with another smack. Now i get to 2 and the behaviour has stopped and they rarely get a smack.
At a very young age "No" means nothing to a child whereas a tap on the hand does, we are not talking about beating your child black and blue we are talking about a tap on the hand. I never put anything up out of the reach of my 2 kids, they got told in a firm voice to stop, and if they continued to touch it they would be told NO with a tap on the back of the hand so they learnt that th word "No" had consiquences.
You can hate me for my opion but neither of my kids who are now 10 and 5 have ever been violent towards others or are scarred by the fact that they get a smack now and again if they are really naughty.

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you are certain you haven't done any damage? the research says otherwise http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6188692/Smacking-makes-children-naughtier-research.html

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The fact you were saying that Amanda Pope did damage to her children by teaching them boundaries, to obey their parents, that consequences exist...it's beyond ridiculous! I applaud you, Amanda...you loved your children enough to teach them that when they make a bad choice in life, there are consequences!! And as toddlers, they learned to listen, respect you and you kept them safe.

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Why should consequences for challenging behaviour need to be violent? There are plenty of other consequences you could offer to make them understand, but maybe they take more time and effort than you can be bothered with? My son has never been hit and is very respectful and understands boundaries very well, I have taught him this without simultaneously teaching him that violence towards others is acceptable. He can be very challenging at times but I have taken time, energy and patience to deal with his behaviour appropriately.

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Ella Hoskin, you can post that research all you want, the fact is that there is always ALWAYS research for and against EVERYTHING. There is also research against time out but i don't see you posting that anywhere. EVERY single child is different and EVERY single child needs to be treated thus. Some things work for some children and some things don't, it is that simple. Obviously your way works for your child, but it doesn't work for all children. It is a case of the way that people learn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles a good page that defines different learning styles. It doesn't actually link back to children or anyhing like that, but it is a good one stop source to see the different ways that different kids learn. My son is DEFINATELY a kinesetic learner.

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I love that someone who has never met me would hint that I discipline the way I do, b/c it's fastest and most convenient and that YOU are a better mom b/c you choose a different method. Lightly tapping a childs hand IS NOT teaching them violence...where does this idea come from? Also, all children respond differently and may require different methods...my oldest was more stubborn while my second dtr usually listens to the tone in my voice when I tell her "no". I didn't realize that this site was so full of self-proclaimed perfect mothers who assume that any way that differs from their own, MUST be wrong and evil. I actually had someone say that people slap hands b/c they don't understand/know better! I'm not sure why so many moms believe they are so much further up the food chain than everybody else... I'm happy that you're children have learned certain things and that you have 48 hrs in your perfect day. Being a mother is hard work and draining and tries the patience...to suggest otherwise is being fake and not admitting that we all need help sometimes or could use a bit more sleep. I love my girls with all that is in me and I believe I am giving them my very best. I will NOT allow anyone to say that I'm teaching them to be violent..our 3 yr old is a sweetheart and I have often been complimented on her manners, etc...clearly I'm doing ok..

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I do not believe that i have damaged my children and can be quite certain of this. My daughter is very respectful and very intelligent, she has never been in trouble at school she is way above average in all aspects of her learning and is the most gentle, loving child i know. My son is a very loving child but is not as academic as my daughter however he is gentle and kind and loves helping others, yes he gets in trouble at day care but he is a follower and will copy what other kids are doing. i do use other methods of disapline with them.

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Well said Melanie.

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Amanda, I agree with you completely. Ella, I think your being a little bit dramatic when you say that Amanda is damaging her children by spanking them. Not every child responds to all of the other means of discipline, sometimes a smack on the hand is what works

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I don't claim to be a perfect mother, I doubt such a thing even exists. I have said and done things in anger and frustration that I regret and I am not proud of. I don't hold myself up to be above doing things that aren't good for my child and I don't judge anyone else against myself, except that I think hitting a child (and yes, "tapping" counts) is always, but always, wrong. as I have said elsewhere on this page many of the arguments being put forward for corporal punishment of children were, in many western countries well into the last century, perfectly legal arguments for a man to hit his wife. I hope that we would all agree that the repeal of these laws should be called progress and deplore that in countries like Saudi Arabia it is still accepted practice. I don't understand, therefore, why they should still be acceptable reasons to hit a child. Crystal, would you see them repealed if someone found a bit of research that suggested it would be beneficial to women? The study I have quoted is very scientific and legitimate, I would also urge you to read "Why Love Matters" by Sue Gerherdt, a neuro-psychologist who has extensively studied the physiological effects of on the developing infants brain, there is unequivocal physical evidence of a startlingly detrimental physical effect as a direct cause of violence, both verbal and physical. Her study is highly respected and is a set-text for students of child psychology and neurobiology. Melanie, you ask in another post how many children I have, I have only 1, with another due very soon, I don't think that it should have a bearing on my ability to judge the rights or wrongs of hitting children. However, as I am one of 6 children, and aunt to another 6, none of whom were ever hit and all of whom are respectful, kind, thoughtful and highly well disciplined, I think I can claim to have some knowledge and experience of the efficacy of alternative disciplinary measures. It is very important to me that my children are well-behaved, well mannered, good citizens and all the other positive aspects you cite, it is one of the reasons I have done so much research. Not all of my siblings or nieces and nephews have been easy children, almost all have their challenges and one of my nephews is very challenging indeed. My sister has worked through life with a very challenging child without hitting him once in 10 years, she has worked hard to discipline him with respect and intelligence and in the process has been a great example. He is turning into a model young man, an involved citizen and a highly respectful person. I don't think one example proves the point except to show that it can be made to work even in the most challenging situations. As I said before, I don't hold myself up to be more virtuous, or a "better mum" than you or anyone but I do sincerely believe that hitting children is just wrong. I don't judge you for it, we all have lots of reasons why we do what we do, but I don't agree that it is ever defensible. it has been banned in 29 countries with many more considering it, it is an idea that is becoming unacceptable. I am not arrogant enough to believe, either, that I will change the way you discipline your children, or anyone else for that matter, but I was brought up to stand up for what I believe in and I whole-heartedly believe that hitting children (or anyone) is wrong. It is not surprising that people sometimes resort to it in moments of weakness and frustration, I agree and am not immune to the fact that parenting is really, really hard (and going to get harder, argh!) but nobody in my family has ever resorted to it even in these circumstances and I don't believe for one second we are exceptional people capable of heights unobtainable to others, far from it. The idea of doing it as a pre-meditated act of discipline, one person uses the phrase *shudder* "out of love", is bizarre and unacceptable whichever way you cut it. I sincerely don't understand why it would be OK to do it to a child but not to an adult, where is the cut-off age? 16? 21? would you find it acceptable if one of your parents smacked you now, if they disagreed with an action you took? or would you expect them to reason with you as a fellow human being with intellectual capacity? at what age does this kick in? babies are incredibly sophisticated emotional creatures, emotions are ALL they have for relating to the world, they know from the slightest reaction whether something is dangerous or not, otherwise they wouldn't survive the helplessness of infancy. They don't retain this information very well and it needs to be repeated over and over again before they do, which is where the love and patience part comes in, it does take longer and is harder work than a "quick smack" (which in any case is not scientifically proven to be very effective or long lasting) which is why I say that is a lazy version of parenting. I don't think I can put forward much more of a comprehensive argument than that, I doubt your children will end up seriously scarred, it sounds like on the whole you are a kind and thoughtful parent, but before you hit them again (and yes "tapping" counts) , think about it from their perspective.

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Every child is different and maybe, Ella, your child does listen to you without the use of tapping or anything else, but that doesnt give you the right to judge someone elses parenting skills. We are all different and thats what makes us unique. Give everyone a break. This forum is not for judging and honestly, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say any thing at all! And just because we tap or slap our child's hand, does not necessarily mean that our children are going to grow up hitting and being violent. My parents spanked me and my sister and brother. We are not violent people at all. Try just listening to other people rather than judging them!

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Ella, I see u have commented on almost every post u don't agree with. Maybe u should just vote because some pf us r tired of reading your comments. We all have our opinions on this matter but u seem to think we all need to hear your's over and over again. I'm glad that your son has turned out to be such a great kid without u tapping his hand when he was a baby. But your research studies r bull. I was allowed to play volient video games andlisten to music that promoted violence. So by what u r saying I should be a very violent person. I should want to beat people and I probably want to beat or harm my kids right? NO F...ING WAY. I have never been in a fight, never hurt or killed anyone. I also know tons more people like me but how are we okay if we listened to, played violent things. And I forgot to tell u my mom tapped my hand when I was a baby and spanked my butt when I was 5. I mean how did I turn out okay when all of that happened to me? Ella, go rasie your son and keep your opinions to yourself

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Beth I clearly said I wasn't judging anyone and would never presume to have the right to, I am merely giving my reasons why I believe physical punishment of children to be wrong. Surely I have as much right to air my belief in that as you do yours? I'm sorry if that makes you feel judged.

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I think we all just feel annoyed by u Ella. U have made it clear to everyone what your thought is on this matter. I don't think any of us r feeling judge, more like u r shoving your info/opinion down our throats.

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I'm not trying to shove my opinion down people's troats, just give it as is my right, I defend the right to free speech absolutely, even when I don't agree with what is being said. I was defending myself against accusations that I have judged people when all I have done is given my opinion and tried to explain the reasons behind the way I feel, I'm sorry you all feel so threatened by that. Please don't put words into my mouth but exercise your right to free speech by explaining your opinion rather than attacking me for giving mine.

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Yet Ella - you are attacking the others for their opinion and calling them abusers! How does that work in the line of free speech I wonder?

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I am not intending to attack anyone by calling them abusers, that is my honestly held opinion on smacking, that it is a form of abuse, I'm sorry if people feel attacked by the use of the word and obviously I have been misunderstood in using it. The dictionary definition of abuse is "to use or treat someone or something wrongly or badly, especially if it is to your own advantage", I feel smacking fits that definition very well. As I have said elsewhere, it is less than 50 years ago that a husband smacking a wife would be legal and acceptable for similar reasons that are cited for smacking children, this is now rightly seen as abusive and is illegal in what I believe most of us would define as "civilised" countries, why then do we not define the smacking of children in the same way?

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No because as I have answered you, beating wives includes causing black eyes, breaking ribs and limbs, bruising and even causing abortions, which is not what we are talking about and I believe you are trolling by suggesting the two are the same.

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Angela, I explained below what I meant in saying that, as I said before please read what I have said rather than putting words into my mouth.

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time out works for all children as long as the parents dont loose their cool and follow the correct steps

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with my older son when he was around 1 when he would missbehave time out worked really well. seeing as he is very active. at the age of 9 he now knows what is and is not allowed. however with my younger son we have found that there are times that the time out did not work and there for he reseves a small tap on his hand and a firm no. My 4 full brothers and I all were spanked as children none of us have ever been in any magor trouble. on the other hand my half brothers were not dicepleplned in a physical way and have gotten into criminal trouble and have not even reached the age of 16. I have and will use a tap on the hand when needed after redirecting and time outs dont work.

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It is not VIOLENT to tap your childs hand. Jeesh. That is Not Violence. Has anyone seen what some teens are like now a days?? Ive seen it first hand! I also have a friend who did the whole talking and explaining to her children while they grew up. You should see her try explaining to them now....as teens. She wonders how mine are so well behaved. Ill tell you what i told her. Tell them no, tell them why not and if they dont listen, tap their hand or butt! You only have to so it a couple times to get your point across. My 16 year old boy is well liked by all ages... whether it be 2 year olds or 80 year olds. He is loving, caring, kind, trust worthy, talks to me about anything and everything.....he schools and works and i couldnt have asked for a better child. 4 more boys and a little girl to go! .....and i will continue doing whats the best kind of discipline for our family.

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At Ella, I am so glad that you are the perfect parent. How can you be certain that she didn't cause her children any damage. My mother tap my hand and I graduated from college and have a wonderful career, a loving husband, and three wonderful, well behaved children that got/get there hands tapped. At Amanda, please keep up the good work.

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NEVER!!! What for? Why would one even consider smacking a baby's hands as an option? There is no need for that. Parents can use words to teach a baby what is right and wrong. "Smacking" a child only teaches them that hitting is an option that they can use later on in life. I am a teacher and I know what I am talking about. I never raised a hand to my two wonderful children and they knew their boundaries and grew up to be well adjusted and happy young adults. No SMACKING necessary...EVER.

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super inflammatory topic. all children are different. some are so easy to teach and they listen. others are so head strong and argumentative (even as babies, yelling and yelling). the parents with the easy kids think it's their parenting and pat themselves on the back - but maybe number 2 won't be so easy or no. 3. the parents with the tougher kids to handle, wonder if it's the child or them........you can't have a hard and fast rule, because children don't come out all the same. family's situations aren't all the same. so everyone do what you think is best. love your child, and they will turn out just fine. i can say some situations require immediate reaction and for the woman who said you should watch your children closely - i hope you never get something in your eye or sneeze or distracted for a moment - because that's all it takes for a child to bolt their way into danger and the most important thing to do in that situation is grab them and hold them still - talking doesn't work here - like i said situations are different and people shouldn't think they have all the answers for everyone at all times. acceptance is the key.

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Preeta, your answer was beautifully written. Either I agree or not with you or anybody in this forum is not the point. I tend to read the answers and take advice and points of views on the different topics discussed here. This is the second time in less than a month that I read someone asking or mentioning about corporal punishment.
Like the first time I read a similar post, I was VERY surprised at the amount of judgement that was passed here. I am sure that people that ask questions or ask for advice are not looking for anybody to tell them how wrong or right they are. I certainly am not. Respect for other people's opinion is something that I try to teach my children.
Children, every single one of them, are different. Medically, socially and in all other aspects DIFFERENT. What works for one might not work for another. I have a special needs child and one normally developing. Totally different education. One more social than the other (the special needs one is the more social) and one listens to me more than the other. My parents had three kids. Raised the same way and one of them turned out completely different. Not better, not worse, just different.
I have seriously considered leaving the forum because I didn't like that people were so judgemental and mean to others that had different beliefs. I believe in respecting and accepting and agreeing to disagree when I am confronted with a different opinion than mine. My husband and I have different opinions on a lot of things. My parents did too. I was allowed to listened to both of them and come up with my own conclusion.
What you teach your child is up to you. You, the parents, know what is best for your child. You know them the best. Not everyone else.

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agree

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Ditto Kathy, ditto! I think you've hit the nail on the head (please excuse the pun) Like you I have taken advice from some of the responses here, and others I've just let wash over as I find it difficult to read things that come off as being quite harsh or like an opinion is being rammed down my throat (I tend to ark up when put in those kinds of situations). From all American movies/ t.v shows (I'm in Australia) regarding some kind of justice I know there is some rule in the constitutional rights of the citizen to "freedom of speech", so I find it rather interesting that there is the level of judgementality in this forum as there is... My husband frequently reminds me that opinions are like rear-ends, just because someone has one doesn't mean you want to hear it :P Just something I thought I might mention.

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If parents knew what was best for children, we wouldn't have so many messed up adults. Have you seen prison inmate numbers? Ex felon numbers? Drunk driving numbers? Mental illness numbers? Child abuse numbers? Not to mention people who don't get caught or seek any help and just slip through as bad people without being counted... Obviously, many parents have no idea of what is best for their children.

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How about NEVER? And ESPECIALLY since that BABY is in the CRUCIAL EARLY LEARNING STAGE(S) of his/her life? You want to teach a child that that's how you discipline? Why doesn't a FIRM NO!! work? It should. That firm NO! has to include a WHY, however. What happens if you tell a child JUST no? They keep doing it, because they don't understand why. And you know why they don't understand? Because NO ONE tells the child why. So they already know that that's all that will happen. Also, you have to TAKE AWAY whatever it is the child/baby did wrong. She threw her plate? Oh ok. Except it's NOT. Tell her NO! OUCH! Throwing hurts! And take away the plate IMMEDIATELY. Babies aren't stupid. We are the ignorant ones for not showing them the correct way to handle these things. Once the baby/child has mastered that "throwing things hurts", then you can teach him/her that it's also RUDE to do so. One step at a time with the babies mama....they are smarter than we give them credit for! Have patience. You can do this!! :P

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There is a HUGE differance between spanking an abuse, Abuse leads to very insecure children, Spanking in LOVE leads to very secure children..All we have to do is look around at the next generation that is coming up, Kids throwing tantrums, falling on floors etc as the parents try to regain control....I can guarantee in my childhood you wouldn't have seen half what you see now, Thats the problem with America is the parents are not the respected authority figure anymore..Interesting story of a family that was eating at a fast food restaurant, The child was acting up so the dad to him out in the van an disciplined him, That fast someone called the police, When the police arrived the dad nicely told them if I don't deal with them now, you'll deal with them later..If you have a thing against spanking or tapping your childs hand that is totally your right,but don't try to make the moms that choose a differant form of punishment feel guilty..Thats the beauty of living in America is freedom of choice, freedom to parent the way you feel you should! There are, sadly, abusive situations, for these children there SHOULD be intervention, but if you are loving your children an disciplining them in love then it really is no-one else's buisness..

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I do not think we are trying to make people feel guilty. I have said it before and will say it again. The issue is not how a child is disciplined, these days, but that most parents do not even attempt to discipline them at all. In richer societies, parents don't even raise their own children. I can not speak for others, but my intention is not to make parents who choose to hit their children guilty. Just to explain that there are other solutions. There always are. With everything in life. My significant other and I were raised differently. I had been spanked, only once, and he never was. He has less of a temper than I do. Coming from someone who worked in a daycare, I can tell you absolutely that parents are respected as THE authority figures. The only people who have more authority over the life of a child get involved if the child or the parent are doing something illegal. How can you justify hitting someone because you love them. That is like saying my ex was justified in hitting me with a shoe rack because he loved me and didn't want me to endanger myself by getting between him and our mutual friend when he was attacking him? I mean after all, I had to learn my place right? I am younger than him, I made less money. It's not a valid point when you're talking about children either. You do not hit out of love. If it is against the law to hit a child, then by living in that country, province/state, city whatever the law is, then you should abide by that. We aren't saying that people who spank their children are evil. Just that there are other solutions. People who tap or spank their kids aren't always in the same category. Spanking is another issue altogether. But the point is, we are trying to say there are always other options. There's more than one way to skin a rat... or however that saying goes.

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do you think "spanking with love" would be an acceptable defence for, say, a man beating his wife, or someone hitting their servant? It would have been 100 years ago but these days we consider ourselves more enlightened, why is it still acceptable to do it to a defenceless child?

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I'm sorry, Jordanne, that you had to endure abuse...and I understand fully that it makes you wary of physical forms of discipline. However, there is no comparison between being "hit with a shoe rack" and correcting a child through spanking, hand slapping, etc. We are not demeaning our children if it is done correctly...by this I mean, not spanking when you're mad... I truly agree with Drusilla ..if people truly are abusing their children..THEY should be dealt with by the law, but as for the rest of us...it's our choice how to discipline our children and to raise them the best we can. The less people take responsibilty for teaching their children consequences, etc..the more society deteriorates. Look at the past 100 years for proof!! We are not moving forward and becoming enlightened..we are moving backwards and the youth of today are a disgrace and out of control as a result.

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That's quite the lot of generalizations. I know plenty of people who were never hit in any way, and they are model citizens. I also know that the ex who hit me was hit as a child. He has recently been arrested for abusing his more recent ex girlfriend. I do not think the issue is with how a child is disciplined, but more THAT a child is disciplined. I appreciate the concern. However, I learned while I was in school for Early Childhood Education alternatives to smacking a child for punishment. I was averaging the highest grades in my classes. If a teacher in a day care hits a child, they do not only get arrested, and fired, the entire centre get's inspected, and potentially shut down. Why should parents smack their children, yet it be so wrong for someone else to smack your child? Either way, well before I ever met my ex, positive reinforcement had been drilled into my head. I know the stages of growth, and the psychology behind it. It may have been a few years now, but it was common knowledge to me. This is why I finished that class with an A+

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This country was founded on God, and biblical principals, God is the author of the Bible, He inspired it, In this book you will find that it say's (every translation varies, Mine says)Dont fail to correct your children,discipline won't hurt them! they won't die if you use a stick on them..I believe other translations say "spare the rod, spoil the child" I was personally spanked in love growing up, I have a friend who wasn't and trust me there IS a differance, If a child is talked to before she/he is disciplined and the parent isn't doing it out of anger, That child is a much happier child after the spanking then before..Now if it would have been done in anger etc..Like I said that would most def create insecurity an unhappiness! There is def a differance between disciplining your child with their good in mind, then there is "hitting" them, Its not even in the same category!

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I live in a country where any kind of physical punishment in regards to children is illegal and that law is enforced. Saying, "I can guarantee in my childhood you wouldn't have seen half what you see now" is about the same as saying "We didn't use car seats or seat belts when I was growing up and I turned out fine.' As we humans evolve, we come to realize that things we once thought were okay are not. And we change with that new knowledge. Also, if you look at any generation in the past, you will see many who believed that children and teenagers were getting out of control so saying "We are not moving forward and becoming enlightened..we are moving backwards and the youth of today are a disgrace and out of control as a result" is like saying "That rock and roll music will ruin our youth and our society." I am very proud of the fact that Canada has outlawed corporal punishment in all aspects of society but especially with regards to how we treat our children. I was hit once as a child and all it taught me was that I couldn't trust that person and it made me want to hit her back. Time-outs and consistent discipline work; they can be very time consuming and sometimes exhausting for the care giver but they do work. Give them a try before you resort to spanking or hitting of any kind.

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I agree with a light smack. I believe, others may have different opinions, but I see parents in the mall with three year olds trailing behind and the parent is texting and either not paying attention or ignoring them. We are raising a generation of no personal responsibility. Those parents above mentioned are using the stigma of disipline of anykind as an excuse for no responsibility themselves. Use what works for your child. Just make sure you use it and stick to it and don't change it up any or every time it will confuse them and they will not learn how to behave with out confusion. We started at 18 months after up to three no's we even asked my Mother in law what she thought and she agreed with us. Thank you.

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The thing that boggles my mind is that we complain about kids running rampant, disrespecting, and becoming little criminals, that we don't look at the styles of parenting that are so popular in North America. From CIO and sleep training, to separate beds, to a lack of breastfeeding, to slapping the hand of a six month old, to circumcision -- all these factors lead to a general detachment which -- guess what -- leads to unruly youth who don't listen and don't respect. It's only through love that children learn respect, and they don't learn it unless they are treated gently and allowed to form attachment. For those who say their kids are perfectly attached and you've done all these things -- how do you know? Every parent I know who parents their first child in a mainstream manner (including spanking) says that their gently-parented later children are much more compliant, open and in need of less 'discipline' than the first one. Let's not forget that Jesus led his 'disciples' not through anger and punishment, but by teaching and through love. To 'discipline' simply means to teach, not to teach violence.

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@ Drusilla.First of all, I have to laugh. You automatically assume that everyone who is on here lives where you do. Secondly, I hope you realize that your statement "This country was founded on God, and biblical principals" if you do indeed live in the USA is faulty. It is easily researchable the will of the founding fore fathers. They did not want religion interfering with state. It's quite clearly stated in most history books. Even the ones I get here in Canada. Many of the pilgrims, when founding the US were running to escape religious persecution. Also, I'm pretty sure the bible also says ""If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death." Deuteronomy 21:18-2. I assume you also agree with this? Maybe you should leave religion out of this discussion. Also, this is not an either or situation. Neither turns children into hardened criminals. One hurts them and the other does not. I have the tools and patience to teach my child he should not do things by leading by example, time outs, "no"s and removing him from danger. It's up to others how they raise theirs.

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Ha ha:) Yeah my bad, I'm aware there are tons of people outside of the USA..I was coming more from the arguement of America being founded on God, umm its even on our American money! prayer in schools was a given etc...I'm gonna just agree to disagree, there are strong opinions on both sides an I know what works best for me, you know what works best for you, And as parents, we are responsible for our own kids, not each others, and thats where I'll leave it..Have a good day..

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Lorien and Jordanne, I could kiss you. I believe the raising of children to be the responsibility of society, Drusilla, and intelligent debate furthers our understanding of the world and elevates us all.

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BRAVO Melanie! I couldnt have said it better myself! People that say our generations have become enlightened and learned new ways to discipline our children really are ignoring reality. Yes, maybe you've found some ways that do work for your family, but looking at society as a whole, we are definitely moving backwards. Children these days definitely do not know how to respect authority, or obey rules. They don't realize (or don't care) that there could be consequences to their actions. They do stupid things just because they know they can get away with it, or will just have to "sit in a corner" for a short time... Years ago, when spanking was 'socially acceptable', the kids of those generations didnt act up as much because they knew the consequences. Going along with this, but partially going of topic here... I believe that the will to work as greatly diminished in the kids of this generation. I believe that kids years ago who were expected to work hard and help around the house, etc didnt get into as much trouble because they didnt have so much time on their hands. Many many kids today spend hours watching tv, playing video games, using their cell phones (did you know that the #1 reason kids receive phone calls in school are because their parents are calling, 98% of the time about something meaningless?) or other things where they basically are just sitting still... no wonder they have so much built up energy! Teach them to work and they will have a better appreciation for life in general. (No, I am not saying to be slave drivers to your kids, but a few age appropriate chores here and there can go a long way not only for their behavior, but their attitude as well). Kids today are spoiled. They think they can just have whatever they want when they want it. To quote Melanie and drive the point home, "the youth of today are a disgrace and out of control"!!!

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agreed 100%^^

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You should research it Drusilla. The money did not say "in god we trust" when America was founded. Or rather deemed as indipendant of Great Britain. "The United States of America was never truly "founded" as much as it was declared independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. This date marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. This colonies were governed until the Articles of Confederation until the adoption of the US Constitution, completed on September 17, 1787. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_the_United_States_of_America_founded#ixzz1XTQXUSzX "In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. It is also the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. The phrase has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust Which was 70 years later, when the people who signed the declaration of independence were most likely no longer alive. Also, there are fights against prayers in school, and that fight is winning. Not everyone believes in the same religion, not everyone even believes in a religion. It is unfair to children who come from a non Christian/catholic home to be forced to say a prayer they do not only believe in, but sometimes have quite opposing views on. I know if my child were to be forced to say a prayer in school there would be an uproar. I'm done arguing this though. It's obvious that it is not doing any good. My point is just that hitting teaches that hitting is ok. And the absence of hitting does not teach the absence of boundaries. Just as tapping a child on the hand to teach them no does not make you a child abuser, telling a child no, and teaching them that way does not make you an enabler. Kisses back for Ella :P I know what you mean. :)

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I agree with you Drusilla, I believe that the generation of kids growing up right now do not respect authority, do not expect consequenses when they do something wrong and do not respect their elders. I raised my girls with the knowledge that if they did something that was unacceptable they would be reprimanded, not beaten but made to realize that what they had done was not going to be tolerated. My girls are 11 and 13 and they respect me and know that I love them for making sure that they act as young ladies should. As far as alternative for letting a child know that they can't do something, it is a little hard to tell a 1 year old that because they touched the stove you are going to take away their computer privilages. Maybe when a child is older you can do this but not at 1. And really Jordanne, comparing a tap on the hand to your ex hitting you with a shoe rack? Hardly in the same category. Lets not get fanatical about this.

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And who gets to decide whether it was abuse or "ok" that hit was ok. If physical contact is made and it incurs any kind of pain or intimitdation it is abuse. You's all talk about it being a method of teaching. How would we all feel, as mothers, if our school teachers had that same theory. You go pick up your child from school and they are crying because the teacher used a smack here or there to teach them something. How would you react then??? It's ok for you not anyone else???

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Druscilla, I completely agree with your response. Times have changed with child rearing compared to when my husband and I were growing up. It is sad but many children these days lack the respect for authority and boundaries that should be instilled in them beginning at an early age. I was spanked as a child, not abused, but spanked and I consider myself to be a vey respectful and confident young woman. There is a fine line between abuse and spankings and this needs to be clarified. My husband and I believe in spanking when needed but we also utilize other ways to discipline. In addition to discipline we constantly edify our son and reward him for his positive behavior. He is a very confident kid but a respectful one. He is allowed to be a child but he knows boundaries. I guess I don't understand why people say that appropriate spanking teaches violence but the kids you see on television and in the stores not being spanked are the ones hitting, cursing and abusing their parents. When we watch shows such as Super Nanny and Dr. Phil it is usually those kids who have not been disciplined who are violent. Not that I am saying that any parent who chooses not to spank their child is wrong because we all have our own beliefs. However, I am saying that people should stop belitting those who decided to spank their kids, not abuse, because many times these are the kids that have the upmost respect for their parents and society as a whole. As for self esteem issues, seriously, a lack of self esteem can come from many things in life so I believe that it is unfair to blame this issue on spanking a child when they are young. A fair judgement can not be made when the entire picture is not seen. Thanks for your comment

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Oh my God!!! Smacking, slapping, hitting, What is wrong with people???? Just move the child from the situation that can be harmful to him/her. and talk to them. They are smarter than you think!
There is no reason to be putting your hands on any child except to hug and caress him/her. Let me slap someones hand that agrees with this and you tell me how you feel. I am disgusted!

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We used to slap hands when our kids were young, but quickly stopped. Their hands are their way of exploring things. If they are getting into something they shouldn't, tell them no very firmly and then move them to a safe place. Give them some toys to play with. That's for babies. As toddlers they know they are doing something naughty and putting them in time out is appropriate. I think that slapping hands makes them timid and scared to get out there and be confident.

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Some kids maybe but other kids nope not at all. My son got wee smacks sometimes when he was about 1 onwards. He is 3 now and you could not meet a more social and adventurous wee mite. :) But as i say all kids are different

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for me personally i feel smacking a child at all is wrong! my son who is now 18months old has tried to push the boundries and yes i have felt like smacking his hand but i never have as i feel if you have to resort to violence to teach your child right from wong then you are not setting a good example. i have had this argument many times with my own mother and mother in law and have stated very firmly that they are not allowed to smack my child. i use the distraction tecnique and i remove his toys if he continues. my little boy is pretty good and now knows if he misbehaves then he loses what he was playing with. he hasnt always been good and on many ocasions has really tested my patience but with a little time and firm talking he normally calms down. im not here to judge but i always look at it like this if you start to tap or smack a 6 month old childs hand when he or she reachs 2 and that no longer has an effect you will proberly smack harder to get the same effect and then where does it stop?? im not saying that you all beat your kids. i no doubt believe that you love your children very very much and are doing your best by them. this is after all just my opinion and i dont wish to cause offence but i truly believe that smacking is wrong and vilolence will never solve a problem. ive seen it many times before at baby group. if a child hits another child is it then okay for the childs mother to hit them to teach them a lesson?? of course not. your now telling your child thats its okay to hit people because mummy just did it to you. the same with biting. ive seen mothers bite thier own children to teach them it hurts when they bite people to then see that child doing it more. children learn from our behaviour and we must always set a good example and control ourselves. 2 wrongs do not make a right.

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NOT EVER! I didn't know people still did this openly. I thought this was a thing of the past.
I hope any mother who does not know better, will rethink doing this.

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It is, of course, a personal choice for all of us. I believe that a good age is when they are old enough to understand cause and effect. (IE: if I touch that, I'll get hurt.. I don't want to get hurt so I won't touch it) Most of is were given more than just a tap and we turned out just fine. I think my Grandmother worded it best as 'applied psychology'. She says 'A little psychology applied low enough, and firm enough, is good enough for anyone'.

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Oy. I've been an Autism specialist for 15 years. Yes, there is some merit to the surprise of, what we have been referring to as, "a tap", but even if the behavior that creates anxiety enough in you to make you want to "surprise" your child with this type of intervention disappears for the moment, Preeta made an excellent point about turning the activity into a challenge, and it's likely that your kid is going to find a way to meet that challenge. ANY NON-VERBAL child responds to your facial gestures and your tone of voice. If you don't want your kid to do something DON'T make a big deal out of it, and by that I mean reserve your "animated self" for the things you DO want to see more of! For example, when my kid gets too close to something dangerous, I redirect him, without making loud or exasperated noises, to something else, and thengive him a big smile. The more you "change" from your normal neutral self, whether it is what you consider to be positive (laughing, smiling, enthusiastically spinning your kid), or negative (screaming, making grand gestures with your body or face) the more you can count on your kid trying to illicit that same response from YOU! It's not about wanting to touch the hot stove, it's about wanting to see mommy's face do that funny thing again, or hear her voice change to that high pitched shriek. Those changes in you are what we call in the autism field "reinforcing". So what does this mean? This means that when you think that your kid is "trying to make you nuts", well he might be, but not because he doesn't like you, or because he has any sort of meanness to him, it's because when you change/contort/show reactions on your face and in your voice, it is exciting to him! It is in some way a reinforcing agent.

Take, for example, the kid who found a recorder (musical instrument) and blasted a loud note on it. The response of everyone in the room was to put their fingers in their ears and make faces that conveyed displeasure. Go look at a mirror and do what I just wrote about. Doesn't your face look funny? And your fingers are in your ears!! That's so silly!! THAT is what your kid is responding to! So, next time you deliver a big (or animated) response to your kid, know that it is your response that they are going to try to recreate: not their actions, but YOURS. Try to remember that babies are little processing machines!! They don't understand language until they have enough experience with it to be able to make associations that are meaningful to them. Do your best to use as little verbal language as possible (that actually helps them to understand the important language, like "dangerous" or "gentle") and take stock of how you respond to each behavior.

Like Preeta, I have been getting these emails for years and never felt the need to respond, but seriously, hitting your kid, even a light tap, in this generation is simply not "cool". It probably won't hurt your kid, or present any significant challenges in his future, but (a) it's not nearly as effective as awareness of your animated-self, (b) if you DO accidentally leave a mark of some sort, you're now involved with child protective services, a burden to the social services system and an unfortunate way to spend a few years for something as silly as a little smack to "keep him safe", (c) it can effect the trust relationship that is developing between you and your kid, and (d) while some moms say that it works and they are pleased with the results, I don't know any moms who don't loose a little bit of themselves when they actually strike their children. For me, I'm still haunted by one moment from when my preemie was still under 5 lbs and I put him hastily into his bassinet - he bounced. Oh my goodness, it is now like a nightmare to see his tiny little face looking so surprised!!

Last statements on this: (I'm copying this straight from Preeta!!) I am 100% with the parents here who are saying: if you don't want your child doing it to other people (or to you!), don't do it to your child. Practise what you preach: otherwise, you're just teaching them that hitting is okay as long as the other person is smaller/weaker.

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no one is teaching that hitting is okay and that spanking is bullying. I swear I bet all of you saying that have the kids that I would never let my child play with. The kind of children that are bullies and bully other children at school. Children with no discipline by parents that give them everything and try to rationalize everything are at a huge disadvantage. Everyone wants to say that it is teaching them this and that and it's not how the world works but um.... when people commit crimes, they end up in prison, jail, work farms and death row. If those are not all bad realities then what are they. These punishments are 'not talking and rationalizing' as all you people keep saying our world does. What is wrong with you people? It is this attitude of non-discipline that is creating a new generation of people that don't know the meaning of the word 'no' or what real repercussions are.

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I want to know how many kids you actually raised at home? hitting, striking and spanking are not the same. I love how people like you use the word spanking and striking interchangeable. See to me, I will spank my child and talk to them too because they need to understand completely what is going on but have never 'bounced' a baby in a bassinet. Now, that may borderline as abuse compared to a 'tap' of a finger on a hand to some people's interpretation. Get the point?

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Instead of smacking, when my child was probably about 6 months' age, and he got into something he wasn't supposed to, I'd clap my hands really, really loud. This creates the same negative reinforcement (and startles him) like you guys talk about, but without striking them. It's still working now, and he's two and a half.

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Some people would say that you are cruel to your child by scaring him and probably scarring him for life, that he'll probably grow up socially maladjusted and afraid of everything. I'm sorry, but just because the "my way is the only way moms" don't spank or tap, that does not prove that ALL children will respond. I was spanked, I do not spank, but honestly, I have a child who is easy going and compliant. If I needed to use slight physical discipline, I wouldn't feel like a bad Mom.

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I'm sorry, but I'm hearing a lot of things I don't like on here.

Firstly, a smack to a child to deter from dangerous behaviour when the child WILL not take no for an answer is not violence. Let's just get that out of the way. We're not talking smacking a child round the ears or kicking the child. Most of us here are of the age where a smack was encouraged, would you call your childhood abuse? Has anyone noticed the behaviour of teens (particularly in the UK) or children in school and linked it to the fact that we're not supposed to smack our children anymore? I have.

Secondly, it does NOT teach the child to hit, I was raised with a smack and never thought I could hit others because I got a smack, I knew the smack was for my behaviour and I souly was to blame for it.

When I was a child, there was an open fire in the front room, a large woodburner in the kitchen and none of these could be moved for me. Furthermore, what does that teach a child? Only touch the things that are available to you? Great, until you go to a friends house, then it's sockets, fires and wires aplenty? My mother moved nothing, I have moved nothing, I modify the behaviour of my children and I can take my child anywhere, I don't (as friends of mine who co-incidentally don't believe in smacking do) allow my child to run round touching whatever they please in the homes of others, expecting them to move things for my child.

This is important, there is danger here and it is GOOD parenting to ensure that your child is safe and understands danger.

What works for one child will not work for another. My first child would sit in a room with a pile of toys and not move whilst I got washing/dishes and sorted out the kitchen, my second cannot be left for 10 seconds without sticking his head in the oven. Those who smugly announce that they raised their child without a smack have won the kiddi lotto. As I did with my first. If I'd have stopped there, then rubbed it in that his behaviour as a tot was exemplary, you'd all be rolling your eyes. Why is it different for you?

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Angela, please see Preeta's eloquent response above about "I was hit and it didn't teach me to hit", if you smack your children then it HAS taught you by example to hit others. There are also some great examples of using the proximity of dangerous items as an opportunity to teach your child without needing to resort to physical punishment. There are sadly many parents who do not take the time to parent their children at all, not smacking is not the same as not disciplining and I believe there are many complicated reason for the current problem with youth but I doubt that a lack of smacking is the problem. Extreme poverty and a rampant consumerist culture butted up against each other is becoming a widely respected theory. Lastly please don't confuse a desire to find alternatives to smacking with a smug attitude to parenting or that those of is that parent without corporal punishment have easier children that don't need discipline, it is just that we have explored other methods and found them effective, personally I have a wide experience of seeing these methods work with all kinds of children with a range of challenging behaviours.

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She who does not judge eh? Ok Ella, what do you do with my ADHD borderline Autism older son when HE gets his eye on something dangerous. Patience is not enough, I have taken 8 years to parent him, I've been there every step of the way, for hours, saying no, taking him away, distraction, diversion. It is not enough. It is a smug attitude to parenting that you have been fortunate enough not to have a child born to you that needs regular attendance to ADHD clinic, special grips to hold pens, 1 to 1 teaching at school, yet, where they can't smack, he STILL does the things they tell him not to, so please do not try to tell me it is a case of my not giving him my time, they give him from 8am to 3.30pm and like me, they still cannot get him to stop just by saying no. A smack is ALL that works, I know this because he is MY son, not yours and I have tried it ALL.

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It seems, and I may be wrong, from you are saying that your child probably needs some specialist help. My sister has a child with the problems you describe, she takes him to a specialist play therapist and also, on advice, changed his diet. Both have helped enormously and he is much calmer and more responsive.

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Ella, my child's diet is better than any child's I know, since he was weaned, he will not (from his own choice) eat sauces, processed foods, eats dry pasta, vegetables of all kinds, any unaltered meats, fruits. He's a perfect child in that respect, he goes to a therapist, for play AND daily life and they BOTH know better than you, they say I have to watch him like a hawk, which I do, his behaviour will NOT change unless he is medicated - which I will not tolerate.

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Angela I feel for you it must be so hard dealing with this day in and day out. And to be told you can not disapline your child with a tap on the hand by someone that does not live in your shoes every day is wrong.

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Ella, how many kids did you raise at home?

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I think it's a little ridiculous that so many people are being so rude. There is a way to share your opinion without bashing others. I was raised in a very loving household in which my siblings and I were spanked. I see no problem in lightly smacking your child's hand or giving them a quick swat on their diapered behinds when reasoning or redirecting are unsuccessful. I had a great childhood and of course I do have memories of being spanked, but I do not feel as if I was traumatized or suffered any lasting psychological effects.Once my parents felt that we were old enough to understand consequences and listen to reason, they stopped using spanking as a disciplining tool. I can count on one hand the number of times I was spanked, and most times just the threat of a spanking was enough to stop the bad behavior. I never hit anyone or lashed out because I was spanked. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My parents were constantly being praised for the fact that we were incredibly well behaved in any situation and very respectful. My daughter is 19 months old, and my husband and I both agree that in certain situations, a quick swat on the butt or thigh is perfectly reasonable. My daughter is incredibly strong willed and sometimes chooses to ignore any kind of reasoning. Now having said that, she is one of the happiest children you will ever meet. She is very well behaved and loving towards her father and I despite the occasional spanking. She also has never intentionally hit anyone. Her pediatrician has even commented on the fact that even when she's been very sick, she is happy and smiling. I do think it's the parent's choice to decide how to discipline their child, and no one should call them a bad parent. just because they disagree. There is a HUGE difference between spanking and abusing. Both of my parents came from abusive households, and they made sure we never were subjected to anything of an abusive nature. Most of our spankings were followed by a hug or cuddle and them telling us how much they loved us. As long as you don't take spanking too far, it can be a useful tool to stop bad behavior. I personally don't smack my daughter's hands because I feel like hands are too sensitive, whereas a diapered behind or a clothed thigh doesn't really cause much pain so much as it just gets the child's attention.

I know many people may disagree with my point of view, but it's just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions; they're like buttholes. Everybody has one and they're all full of crap.

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Lol, I made the same comment about opinions :D That being said I agree with you whole heartedly... My son is 28 mths, and can be *increadibly* stubborn & determined, so when he sets his mind on something he doesn't let go of the idea very easily. A lot of the time my husband and I can avoid a spank with a lot of reasoning, diversions or simply moving him away from temptation, but there are times when a spanking as a last resort can be neccesary to get his attention, and like you, I avoid smaking hands and only lightly a nappied bum.

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NEVER! I made that mistake with my first son and he still has a hitting problem. I have sense then learned attachment parenting and physical discipline is never necessary nor the best solution. Physical discipline can lead to bullying.

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Most would argue that physical discipline works, which it can, but with long term consequence. it does not lead to healthy problem solving nor closeness between parent/child.

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I can't believe so many think your relationship with your child will be weak if you discipline in this way! I was spanked and love my parents...and I discipline my children and we are very close and loving...I'm sure it would affect your relationship if you beat your child and were actually abusive..and so it should!! But when you discipline b/c you love them and want to teach them something, you'll never convince me that it ruins closeness.

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I can't believe that you caused that either. That is a poor excuse unless he was actually being abused. Most likely he picked it up from TV or as a way to react to when he is not happy because he watches someone else doing it not as a result of actual true discipline.

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That depends on how early you want them to learn to hit. "smacking" and "spanking" simply teach a child that it's ok to use hitting as a form of communication. They do something wrong and you smack their hand. If you do something that they don't like, and they hit you, they get in trouble. It's confusing and not necessary at all.

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Babies are not developmentally able to understand that they are touching something dangerous and that's why you are telling them "no." It's not their job to try to keep track of which things they can touch and which not. It's YOUR job as a parent to remove dangerous items from their reach and/or remove them from a location where they might get into something dangerous. Then there is no need to smack/slap/tap a baby's hand.
If you want to get their attention about something dangerous in a way that doesn't model that hitting people is okay, many parenting books give good alternatives. Even when our strong-willed oldest was a baby, we had good success using the "clap-growl" method in "The Happiest Toddler on the Block."

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Absolutely! Well said.

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In that case, it's okay to terrify the child by scaring them with loud noises and growls (like an animal?) ? Some people may see that as overdoing it as well. We need to realize that a smack on the hand IS NOT child abuse. Neither is the "clap-growl" method. They are all different ways of parenting OUR OWN children. Nothing more, nothing less.

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The "clap-growl" is not meant to frighten the child. It merely disrupts their focus on the dangerous item/behavior so that they stop what they are doing and look at/listen to you. Once you have the child's attention, you can redirect them to a safer alternative. If one reads the instructions from the book, it is clear how it works- in a non-violent, yet effective way. I'm not saying that a smack on the hand is necessarily child "abuse," but it does send the message that hitting is an acceptable way to get someone's attention. Children can also interpret a smacking to mean that s/he is "bad" rather than the BEHAVIOR being the bad thing. I believe that there are healthier ways to send the right message, which is why I do not smack my children. However, you are free to parent YOUR children as you see fit. I'm just presenting an alternative for those who want to correct a problem behavior in another way.

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so what have you actually taught your child, say you fall and hit your head or something bad happens and they are by themself for a moment. Did you ever really teach them that things are bad that they do. A tap is 'touching.' Many people do this as a form of attention getting in life so why wouldn't parents? Also, exactly what point is it to scare them? That is worse than touching a child's hand! I also want to see the one pretentious person like you that has seriously NEVER had their child get away for 2 sec. Plus that is not teaching independence at all, just more sniveling brats and momma's kids who can't take care of themselves and have to live at home until they are 35 because their parents were too afraid of actually parenting their children, instead they follow them around until they can't at which point the child learned nothing except how to manipulate their parents.

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Yeah, ok, Amanda. Sure.

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never

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Does your boss smack you on the hand? Parenting is about preparing our children for the world

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Your boss is not your parent.

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I think this is just ridiculous. The ones who are against this are most likely the ones with the spoiled kids who get everything their way and don't know the meaning of the word "no". The type of people that no one wants to invite over because their kids run through their house touching and breaking everything. I've seen others say "there are better ways" but I haven't seen any "examples" offered up. Smacking a child's hand is not "abuse". It is teaching them that there are some things you can't have/touch. Yes, children love to explore. But would you allow them to touch the hot eye on a stove? No, they can't "explore" that. Just like they can't explore the breakables/magazines/TV remotes on the coffee table. People say to put that stuff out of their reach instead. So you want to teach your child that the world will cater to their needs? That's not being very realistic. They need to learn that there are some things that are simply off limits. The parents strong-willed children have to employ this technique to get the message across. It works and your children are no worse for the wear. Those parents who allow their children to go into other's homes and tear their house down because they don't want to discipline their child are just ridiculous. These are the cases you see on shows like Nanny 911 and Super Nanny. The parents don't know how to discipline anymore. Look at how much respect the kids, teens and pre-teens of today have. NONE! Don't be afraid to discipline your children, people. The ones who do are NOT bad moms. It's better to smack them on the hand or the butt now than bail them out of jail later.

0 4

Very well put!! I agree with you 100%! people cant figure out why kids dont have respect and are so self centered these days, its because they are not taught otherwise. People can say that spanking is wrong but i have not met ONE child that doesnt get a spanking now and then that it well behaved. One of my closest friends, one a cop, the other a nurse, ONLY spank. They do not do time outs or any thing else. It sounds rediculous right? You think to yourself I could NEVER spank my kid that often. Heres the thing, I have known them for 5 years and have only seen 3 spankins and that is because they are SO well behaved. The most respectful kids I have ever been around! They dont just get "hit" they explain why thier behavior was wrong and why they get the consequence they do and then they get a spankin. Not out of anger but with the attitude that there are rules for a reason and you need ot obey them. These kids LOVE their parents and have absolutely NO signs of abuse what so ever! Parents these days are too afraid of their kids. They are afraid of them not liking them or damaging them, by living in that fear they are doing more bad then good. All of the people that are calling it abuse do not have an understanding of what disalpline is. Spanking if done correctly is a very if not the most effective way to teach your kids right from wrong.

16 14

i dont want to sound judgemental,but i think as a parent you wouldnt want to hurt your child for heaven's sake.Spanking or tapping lightly your child's hand doenst mean you are hurting them,its only means that there are some bad consequences for not following orders.As a parent,you know your kids better that anybody else and you understand pretty well what works best for each one of them.Don't judge,dont feel guilty'God trusted you enough to give you that kid,so be the best to them the best way you can no matter what others think.

0 10

I have found this whole subject rather comical. In my opinion, and that is all it is, is that a tap on the hand to get a little one's attention is far preferable to either removing item or child from the problem. No matter what the parents who think that they are able to watch their infants 24/7 thing it is just not possible. In the time it takes to sneeze a child can have their fingers in an electrical socket. For the ones who will say that of course you should have safety caps everywhere, do they carry them with them and put them in every outlet around or do they just carry said child for the rest of their lives? If a parent is able to watch a child 24/7 they won't live long enough to keep protecting their child anyway. Of course I watched my child but every human has things happen to them multiple times a day where even a blink can prove dangerous and realistically if a child has never had to face any danger they are the ones most likely to get hurt.

66 1

Well, Mandy ha heart, 99% of people in jail were hit & 90% of people today still hit their kids, so if kids are disrespectful today, that's clearly not working! Never hit my kids once, not spoiled. How does hitting teach to not be spoiled??? 😂😂😂 to teach a kid not to be spoiled you A. Don't give him/her everything they want. B. Have them work for it c. Have them see less fortunate by doing charity work.

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