Is Smacking A Child Acceptable?

cwt edt


I Say this Because..

As a Little’ Un, I was smacked once or twice, (clearly it was soooo devastating that I can’t even remember how many times I was hit!) and in spite of this I think I have turned out relatively okay!

I was hardly a hellish child and my crime was forgetting to bring my swimming cap to the swim baths and getting my hair wet, in spite of valiantly trying to keep it dry. (Damn those dive bombers!)


Earlier on this year, in a similar conversation online, I was told by a young gentleman who sounded like he had swallowed a book thin pamphlet on the psychology of child hitting, that despite my insistence that I had not yet hurt any cats or hit people or ‘gone postal’ as a grown up, that I was in fact deeply and traumatically disturbed and hurting inside and just didn’t know it. This was a bit like telling someone they had an incurable deadly disease however, it would never cause pain, it would not in any way alter their life, hurt them or kill them.


I have to also differentiate between a tap on the hand or bottom administered way after the ‘crime’ by a calm, measured parent and horrific, purposeful and sustained child abuse. There is a difference. Your answers will enlighten me as to whether that difference is still considered unacceptable in today’s world.


So School Me People!

Is smacking a child today ever acceptable?

What say you?



278 thoughts on “Is Smacking A Child Acceptable?

  1. I was the reason my mom did not gain any weight during my pre-teen years!!! πŸ˜› And I did get smacked more times than I can possibly remember…and I am sure it has left me psychologically scarred so deeply…that I am unable to dig it out! πŸ˜‰ And surely a person who calls himself Know-All definitely has serious issues…probably caused by all those smackings! πŸ˜› Your take?

      1. Hehehe…and it seems Lady Ed has got a double negative there!!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ Imp is in itself little, right?…**gives an impish grin** πŸ˜€

  2. there is for sure a great difference between a thumping attack and a smack. I can remember receiving a wallop or two as a child and I hated it so much because of the anger it was administered with. With my own children I tried really hard not to smack them, and only did a few times, but felt as awful then as I did when on the receiving end.

  3. Yes, I am a curmudgeon who thinks that most kids these days could use a good spanking or two… There is a huge difference between physical abuse and giving a two-year old a good smack on the diaper to keep them from sticking their tongue in the electrical outlet. I hate to say this because it makes me sound like my grandparents, but kids these days do not know how easy they have it – grow up.

  4. I believe that there is a distinct difference between abuse and corrective discipline. I have smacked my children VERY infrequently, and usually it was for offenses that put their lives or the lives in danger. Two memories that stand out is when my oldest ran into a busy road without looking for cars first nearly getting hit. You can be sure I smacked her hind parts once I got her out of the road. The other was when I caught my son playing with matches and ALMOST starting a fire in the house. Again, his hind parts received a firm introduction to the hand.

    I think that in this world there are many ways to more deeply scar our children than spanking them time to time. LACK of discipline, I think, is one of the worst forms of abuse a parent can give a child. We fail to teach them right from wrong, consequences to poor choices, and many other important lessons. I feel that neglect, ignoring them, saying terrible and hurtful things to them ALL leave scars far deeper than the time to time spanking.

    I also agree with previous posters – it should depend on the child. What works for that child? What makes the greatest impression on them in regards to modifying the unwanted behavior? Every child is very different, and loving discipline NEEDS to take this into account in order to deliver the lesson in a way that is understood without being needlessly harsh.

  5. Absolutely the same in my family. We are all from the deep South, and there were times that my brother and I (and cousins, in the event we were running in a small, wild pack) got discipline in whatever form was handy to ensure we did not replicate whatever we had done. Things like running into the road without looking, or going on “safari” into the woods for hours (parents almost died when we came home just fine…then commenced the punishment when they recovered), and destruction of the property of others all come to mind as epic events for which we were punished. We never ever got punished for nothing – there was always some catalyst, and my family was very fair and very clear about where the lines were drawn. I have two children of my own now, and my husband and I have both reached the stage where a discussion (read: lecture) seems almost as bad as punishment for both parties involved. In fact, there are things which can be said that cause more psychological damage than spanking, in my opinion. The fact is that you will always have people who disagree with you in some way. No one will be 100% happy with you 100% of the time, and if they say that they are…then something is up. I think that if we do our absolute best at anything, parenting included, then we will have done right by the children and ourselves. Parenting is also something that evolves as your child ages – we have to bend with the process. My 11 year old cannot be dealt with in the same manner as my 6 year old – we are far beyond that now, and her hormone-driven emotions are scaring me a little bit (even though I have some of my own). Can I go through this pre-teen thing twice, and come out alive? I hope so…hahaha. If a person is beating or abusing a child, then I hope they get caught…if I catch them, I can guarantee a report to the authorities…if I can refrain from laying hands on them first (either way I guarantee a report). There is a great gap between discipline and abuse. Whatever methods you use in parenting to help guide your child into becoming a contributing, responsible adult who can operate in open society…best of luck.

  6. Thanx for following u have a great blog in here, bigger u.

    Here’s my contribution: d scripture says “spare the rod and you spoil the child” rod doesn’t mean whooping all d time a child goes wrong, ur word can be a rod (talking sense into d child when he/she is in a receptive mood. Rod can also be punishment like denying a child what he/she loves to do most until d right thing is done. We are all children in God’s hand and I can’t recall Him ever whooping us but he does chastises us in several ways.

  7. I could never understand people who have kids and then smack them around. Don’t have kids and save your nerveous system.. SIMPLE!

  8. Hitting a child is never acceptable, first and foremost because children are defenseless and have no real say over it.

    And before you go and say “but my children ask for it”, they only do that because by that time it’s too late and they start blaming themselves for how their parents treated them.

  9. I do not view spanking as child abuse. It is a punishment that teaches the child to not act a certain way or not do a certain thing. I have read some other comments, and sure, it might teach them to just not get caught, but I think it also reinforces the idea that there are consequences. Granted, my husband and I are still young and we do not have kids of our own, but both of us were spanked on occasion, and we are both just fine and have a healthy outlook on life and a healthy relationship.

    1. The no members to this debate will have you know that you are not at all fine, in fact you are very disturbed, lowered in IQ with a chance of a number of mental and physical ailments, you just don’t know it.

  10. I don’t think its a bad thing, as long as you are not doing it for just the sake of it. I got smacked as a kid and am not scarred or anything. And all the times it happened i totally deserved it…

    1. I think smacking a child is fine but it shouldn’t really ‘hurt’ if you know what I mean. I was smacked as a child and it didn’t do me any harm. It’s the ultimate punishment though isn’t it, you know you’ve gone too far when you get a smack. But it shouldn’t leave bruises or marks or anything, that’s a bit much. Just a smack on the bottom or back of the legs to say “stop it now!”
      Really interesting post πŸ™‚

  11. It is a fine line. And many of us grownups have some problems with emotional regulation ourselves. If I was to use spanking, it would be very easy to lose my temper and cross that line.

  12. Saying “I got spanked and I’m okay” is like smokers saying they don’t have cancer. Just because something isn’t always harmful doesn’t mean it’s okay.
    Research has shown that spanking can lead to kids being more aggressive and not doing as well in school. It also shows it is ineffective long term. And since there are so many other ways to help children learn how to behave, (like, for example, showing them) why risk it?
    My theory is that children are people, and should be treated with the same respect as adults. Granted, they are inexperienced people, who have yet to learn emotional regulation, and therefore need guidance.
    Would you hit an adult in order to control their behavior? Moreover, do you want your child to learn that it is a valid way to act? If the answer is yes, then spanking is fine.
    Violence begets violence. Respect isn’t won through fear. It’s earned through respect.

  13. I am a calm, measured parent who has spanked — defined by me as a wooden spoon on the hands– and have rarely felt it was the wrong thing to do. My children do not fear me at all. For us spanking happens after multiple chances and opportunities to do the right thing. Spanking is a consequence when all other methods have failed. I was beat with belts as a child over trivial things like forgetting or losing something. That is not the type of parenting we use in our home. I do believe children should be cherished and loved and not abused. Just as we distinguish between parents who don’t feed their children and parents who restrict snacking, parents who unschool and parents who send their kids to public schools, parents who allow TV and parents who do not, we surely can distinguish between parents who spank occasionally and measuredly, and parents who beat and abuse.

  14. People really should stop being so damn judgemental. Every child is different, not everything works the same for everyone. Me and my sisters all got hidings as kids – only when the crime really fitted it, but still. I was raised by two loving parents who have always loved and supported me and still do – I never felt that they loved me any less or that they were being violent? Also, I consider myself and my sisters as highly intellectual, and not animals. Even though sometimes I would like to tho k I am a tiger, or a wolf… Anyway. I have only ever given my 3year old a hiding – we were crossing a road in the parking lot when she decided to pull away from my hand, throw herself on the floor and throw the biggest tantrum because I didn’t buy her a toy – there was a cR coming and I guess I did it mostly out of fright. She has never thrown a tantrum since and I have never had to give her a hiding again. I am so glad that some of you live in this perfect world were you are so together and never have to resort to losing your mind, but some of us are only human. There is a fine line though, and no child should ever have to suffer abuse.. And heaven forbid if anyone else ever raises their hand to my child. Just try to be more understanding to people’s circumstances before you spew hateful, mean things – maybe you are the uneducated one. You can’t go through life like that.

    1. thank you for acknowledging that we give whoopings when we’ve lost our minds. I know we’re all human and all make mistakes, what I’m in opposition to is the institutionalization of corporal punishment, the acceptability of whooping kids on purpose, when it’s not a mistake, and when we think we haven’t lost our minds.

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