Smacking Children

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  • Quote from The Telegraph

    Parents could be banned from smacking their children after the Government announced a full review of the law yesterday.
    Family campaigners immediately denounced the move as "unnecessary state interference" and warned that it could criminalise responsible parents.


    I've yet to appreciate the problem with smacking a naughty child in some cases, providing it is not done with such a degree of force as to leave a mark, as law currently permits.


    Aside from the non-argument that it's not very nice for the child (isn't that the point?) - would anyone care to enlighten me?

  • Parent big.Child small.Plus parents dont smack their kids coz it an effective form of discipline,they do it coz they lose control.Toddlers lose control and lash out and get in trouble.So how come its ok 4 adults to do it

  • i think you answered it in your own question to be honest cybw. It is hard for any governing body to enforce just how hard you should/shouldn't hit a child and for that reason it should be taken away as a discipline completely. Given that other measures are just as, if not more effective for disciplining a child, then why not make it harder for violent parents of abused children to explain their way out of it?

  • I do not condone adults smacking children but will confess to having done so approximately 5 times in his (25 year) life! Each one I can remember cos I still feel dreadful when thinking about them now!

    1. Ran into the road without looking! (That was a knee jerk reaction to the absolute shock and horror I felt when the ice cream van screeched to a halt just in time)
    2. Raised his hand to me (he was a testoterone filled teen at the time and hard measures were called for)!
    3. I foolishly (perhaps) thought he was ready for responsibility and so gave him my pin number (he was 14 doh!) and asked him to do the weekly shop - he emptied the account, fucked off and had a wonderful time... I got in trouble with the bills/living for the rest of the month and it took me 6 months to get straight again!!!

    Better not say anymore - I'll get locked up!!



    So yes, teach people to parent properly and the occasional tap won't harm anyone (though definitely not the canings youngsters used to get in my day -

    - but don't let the pigging government keep dictating what we can and can't do!! I have known kids who would test the patience of a saint!!

  • Lilylove - im amazed after he emptied your account at 14 he got away with a smack - that shows amazing levels of self restraint!


    I think that a valid point is raised when you recall some of the reasons you've had to give your kid a clip around the ear for. If he raises his hand against you and you (very understandably!) hit him back - then under a law outlawing smacking you'd have presumably broken the law as regards smacking a child - but that's a crazy situation!


    You can bet that after being smacked for running out into the road he'd at least have thought twice about doing it again!


    Quote from Hedgewitch

    It is hard for any governing body to enforce just how hard you should/shouldn't hit a child and for that reason it should be taken away as a discipline completely.


    If it doesn't leave a mark how would anyone know anyway though?


    I couldn't really care either way if people smacked their children or not, but so long as it isn't cruel should be a personal choice surely?


    This just seems yet another nanny state initiative to tell people how exactly to bring up children, and seems to smack (forgive my choice of words) of the attitude of increasing respect for the childs every preference and emphasis on their rights without due responsibility that seems partially responsible for such large numbers of literate, erudite and generally well mannered hoodies even in sunny south-lincolnshire!



    If it is only done occasionally and in moderation does anyone seriously grow up thinking "oh god, how on earth could my parents have smacked me when I was naughty?"

  • Physically stopping a child from endangering themselves or somone else is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. however hitting a child will cause them to be frightened of thier parents instead of respecting them.


    In the long run i think that hitting your children does more damage than it prevents. Besides, there is always another way without resorting to violence, hitting children seems like the lazy easy way out.

  • Quote from Cybw


    If it doesn't leave a mark how would anyone know anyway though?


    cctv :calmdown:

    Quote from Cybw

    I couldn't really care either way if people smacked their children or not, but so long as it isn't cruel should be a personal choice surely?


    In a perfect world i'd agree completely. :hippy:

    Quote from Cybw

    This just seems yet another nanny state initiative to tell people how exactly to bring up children, and seems to smack (forgive my choice of words) of the attitude of increasing respect for the childs every preference and emphasis on their rights without due responsibility that seems partially responsible for such large numbers of literate, erudite and generally well mannered hoodies even in sunny south-lincolnshire!


    No, it doesn't seem that way, it is that way. But the question to ask is why do they want to ban smacking children? Do you reckon they all went to the pub one day and just made it up for the hell of it?....lol, probably in a lot of cases but i think they thought this one through.

    Quote from Cybw


    If it is only done occasionally and in moderation does anyone seriously grow up thinking "oh god, how on earth could my parents have smacked me when I was naughty?"

    And if it is done daily and brutally do you reckon theres some pretty broken adults out there reckoning it's a terrible thing to do to a child too? Its all about perspective isn't it and when theres other ways to discipline then why not try and change peoples habits?
    I think my quoting rivaled Atomiks and Coyotes there. I've given meself "the fear" :eek: :D

  • Nothing wrong with curiosity but it does raise my own when a 17 year old male wants to argue the case for the right of adults to hit children.

    Mr Cybw has agreed that I have the right to assault him if I see him, would he care to offer an age limit for when this should cease or is this a lifetime right he has conceded. :)

  • Quote from Hedgewitch


    I think my quoting rivaled Atomiks and Coyotes there. I've given meself "the fear" :eek: :D


    Watchit Wedgehitch! :mad::harhar:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I think its totally fucked up if the child is bad and says hits another kid and hurts it, then the parents smack the child!! You teach your kid not to hit others by hitting it!!! - wheres the sense in that?

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Nothing wrong with curiosity but it does raise my own when a 17 year old male wants to argue the case for the right of adults to hit children.

    Mr Cybw has agreed that I have the right to assault him if I see him, would he care to offer an age limit for when this should cease or is this a lifetime right he has conceded. :)



    at 17 you're not really a child though are you.


    i don't think there's anything *really* wrong with smacking a child when it does something wrong - my 'rents smacked me when i disobeyed them, but it didn't happen much when i was little, just for thing like running through the flowerbeds or swearing at my dad when he threw my go-kart out!! (i had spent weeks making that go-kart :mad: )
    but it never really hurt and it was more shame than anything else - but it stopped me doing it again.

    obviously if parents are hitting their kids so it really hurts them that's not good as it'll just make the kids afraid of their parents.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Quote from Zim

    Physically stopping a child from endangering themselves or somone else is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. however hitting a child will cause them to be frightened of thier parents instead of respecting them.


    In the long run i think that hitting your children does more damage than it prevents. Besides, there is always another way without resorting to violence, hitting children seems like the lazy easy way out.


    I was going to write a post about this but your excellent post covers all my points. :thumbup:

  • Quote from John

    I was going to write a post about this but your excellent post covers all my points. :thumbup:


    You don't have to be in favour of smacking children to be in favour of a parents right to bring up their child according to their own rules - so long as this wouldn't spill over into abuse or neglect.


    You might not think it isn't how you'd like to bring up your own children, but surely no-one honestly considers a smack that leaves no mark when a child has done wrong to be a case of abuse?


    If it's not a case of abuse - then what concern is it of Nanny to outlaw a method used by very many good parents to bring up their kids?

  • I disagree with violence generally. Using it on children to enforce your will is not a way to retain their respect for you. It is crude, unnecessary and endows children with fear; instead of a genuine reason of why not to do something they're just left with "Don't do X or I'll hit you". Why is it that when at adult hits an adult it is assault but when an adult hits a child then it's reasonable?

  • Is it just me that thinks the rule "as long as it dosn't leave a mark" seems to sound a bit like "do what you like as long as you dont get caught".


    oversimplification maybe but its just a thought. it sounds like too much of a grey area and could be misinterpreted

  • A change in law on this is more about changin attitudes than arrestin every parent who smacks their kid.It used to be acceptable for husbands to give their wives a slap-we had the "aargh,nanny state,how are we supposed to keep the woman in line if a little slap is made illegal,societys gonna fall apart" stuff bak then too.It was a question of 'ownership'-just like with kids now.Is it ok for an adult to smack a strangers kid?No.But if its your own you can do what you like to them.Changin the law wud mean,eventually,we'll be just as appalled by this as we are at men/women hittin their partners.
    And yes I've smacked my kid,bein a parent is the no1 most frustratin thing in the world sometimes.But its not right and I'm all for changin the law,and peoples thinkin on this.All smackin teaches is that the huge adult has lost control

  • Quote from John

    I disagree with violence generally. Using it on children to enforce your will is not a way to retain their respect for you. It is crude, unnecessary and endows children with fear; instead of a genuine reason of why not to do something they're just left with "Don't do X or I'll hit you". Why is it that when at adult hits an adult it is assault but when an adult hits a child then it's reasonable?



    that's one extreme with another - the strength of hitting an adult would hit another adult with for it to be considered with assault, would also be considered unreasonable for a child.

    we're not talking about beating children black and blue, just a gentle smack.

    i know very few children who weren't smacked at some point or another by their parents and none of them are 'endowed with fear' or think any less of their parents.

    I personally wouldn't want to hit my own kids with any degree of strength but I understand that that's my own choice, and to be honest, I am more put off when I see a parent screaming and swearing blindly at their child than I am if I see a child clipped round the ear or whatever.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Quote from Zim

    Is it just me that thinks the rule "as long as it dosn't leave a mark" seems to sound a bit like "do what you like as long as you dont get caught".


    I read it more as a limit on how hard one is allowed to hit a child. It appears to accept that it is the parents choice, whilst imposing a basic limit to prevent excess cruelty by allowing the provision to prosecute in cases where a child has really been hit far harder than necesary to get the point across.

  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    none of them are 'endowed with fear'

    Didn't work then, did it? The whole point is to make the child afraid of being hit again so that they don't make the same mistake. I don't know about you but I'd rather a better reason than "Don't do it or I'll hurt you" for not doing something.

  • Quote from John

    Didn't work then, did it? The whole point is to make the child afraid of being hit again so that they don't make the same mistake.

    Not necessarily. That may be the point of smacking when applied as punishment, but it's equally possible to argue that a light smack can be used (rightly or wrongly) to draw a child's immediate attention to something rather than to intimidate them.


    This is a subject where simplification on either side of the argument tends to undermine the discussion.

  • Quote from John

    Didn't work then, did it? The whole point is to make the child afraid of being hit again so that they don't make the same mistake. I don't know about you but I'd rather a better reason than "Don't do it or I'll hurt you" for not doing something.



    no it's not. well it wasn't when i was smacked. it was like being told to go sit on the stairs (which you couldn't do if you weren't at home). it always made me feel bad because smacking was always the last resort so I knew I had really made them cross, so I refrained from doing whatever it was again - not because I was afraid of being smacked, but because I didn't want to upset them and I knew it was wrong to do whatever I'd just done.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Quote from Atomik

    it's equally possible to argue that a light smack can be used (rightly or wrongly) to draw a child's immediate attention to something rather than to intimidate them.

    Hmm, I didn't experience that... Not sure where I stand on that one... The problem is though, even if I agreed with that and not violent punishment, the law probably wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two. I guess that, really, moral viewpoints don't translate into law very well...

  • Quote from John

    I guess that, really, moral viewpoints don't translate into law very well...

    I think that is indeed the main problem. The law can only deal in black and whites, but areas such as this are often more about complex shades of grey, making legislation an inappropriate tool, IMHO.

  • as a child we all got smacked...little too much in some cases so we as siblings (ie my sister and I) swore we would never smack (hit!) our children.
    My sister however had an incident with her little girl who is exceptiionally excitable and loves driving anyone to the edge just to see if they will fall off....My sis has the patience of a saint.....but in this incident when my Sis opened the car door while trying to watch for traffic, my niece had unlatched my nephews carseat and pushed him out of the car causing him to have a mild head injury as my sis couldn't catch him on time. Much to my Sis' histerics of having to rush to hospital she smacked my niece across the butt.
    This up set her so much as she felt she had failed as a mother for losing control. I had to say that I think my niece needed a serious warning because she could have killed him. So where do I stand....hopefully on the side of no smacking at all...but to be honest sometimes I feel that there are circumstances where it is called for as a reminder. And I don't mean assault!

  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    no it's not. well it wasn't when i was smacked. it was like being told to go sit on the stairs (which you couldn't do if you weren't at home). it always made me feel bad because smacking was always the last resort so I knew I had really made them cross, so I refrained from doing whatever it was again - not because I was afraid of being smacked, but because I didn't want to upset them and I knew it was wrong to do whatever I'd just done.

    You can do "time out" - which is essentially what sending you to sit on the stairs was - just about anywhere. You just have to tell the child to stand or sit in a certain place (a safe one, naturally!) and then you turn your back on them, so they don't get any attention. You only need to do it for a short time - usually one minute for each year of the child's life. If the child gets up, moves about too much or talks, you just extend the time - children don't like being ignored and they very quickly learn that the best thing to do is sit there quietly, so that it's over quickly. I've seen parents do it very successfully in lots of places - in supermarkets, at the London Aquarium, on the pavement outside the Tower of London etc.

    Another option (particularly if you can't stop, for example if you have a train to catch or something) is to insist that the child comes and either holds onto a buggy if you happen to have one with you, or holds an adult's hand. The adult then holds hands with the child, but ignores them (it's totally possible to do this - you just don't look at them or engage in any conversation with them - you do talk with the other people you're with though). It works really well with older kids (especially boys) - I've done it when I've been one of the 'responsible adults' on school trips, and often the threat of hand holding is enough to stop the messing about - I'll say to another adult, but so the children can hear "well, if anyone else runs off, you can send them to come hold hands with me - I don't mind, I'll hold hands with anybody!" - it pretty much guarantees perfect behaviour from year six boys - especially after they've seen I mean it and have made one of them walk holding my hand for TEN WHOLE MINUTES, me all unconcerned, him squirming with embarrasement.

    As to why I think smacking is unacceptable, it teaches children that hitting (at least sometimes) is OK. You can end up giving very mixed messages, particularly in situations like this: *smack* "how many times must I tell you? Don't hit your sister!" *smack, smack*. Plus the fact I've never seen a parent hit a child as a calm, thought-out response - never seen anyone go "OK, well the most appropriate way to respond to my child doing this is for me to smack them". It's always been really clear that the parent has lost controll.

    My Dad never smacked me, my Mum did a few times that I can remember. But on each of those occasions it didn't make me respect my mum more, it just made me resentful - it would have been far more successful either to send me to "time-out" (sitting on the stairs or whatever), or to have a breif but rational discussion of why what I'd just done was unacceptable. I strongly beleive that if you want children to change their behaviour, they first have to understand why it was wrong, and to know what they're supposed to do instead - you don't get this from a smack - you do from a discussion, either on its own or following a period of being ignored.