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What do you think about physical punishment in parenting?

by annep (follow)
Parenting (216)      Family (309)      Culture (37)      Asia (5)     

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It is quite common in Asian families for parents to use physical punishment whenever their children misbehave. What do you think about this?

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I think it's wrong. In so many ways and on so many levels. There's no grey area here - it really is black and white for me. Hitting a child is wrong.
Plus it's ineffective..... there are much more effective forms of discipline than abusing your child.
I don't like it.
You can give a little tap to a child on the hand, who is trying to touch say a fire, or stove.
They remember that.
Talking will do no good, as their little minds change so much.
Or on the bottom a little tap, if they really do not listen.
Children over 4 years, you really should talk and explain.....
I think it should be illegal to hit children. It's illegal to hit adults. Why should children not be protected by the same laws?
The other one is that when children get hurt from parents who go too far, and the child has bruises...That really makes me insane.
by jonaja
The problem is if they are protected by the laws, will it be better? In worst case scenario, if they get taken away from their parents, what will happen to them? Disciplining children by violence seems to be a traditional thing in Asian culture, but I don't think the parents mean to hurt their children on purpose.
by annep
I don't know about 'Asian' families, but, from what I understand, it is quite common for eastern European families to mete out physical punishment. My husband and I resolved we wouldn't use physical abuse, intimidation, or bullying when disciplining our son. According to some, this means my husband and I will end up in an insane asylum. So far, our son is most happy, energetic, and well-behaved (unless over-tired and voracious, in which case he becomes testy). We are admittedly less energetic but very much in love with our boy who smiles incessantly and is very affectionate.
by Vee
I think a light smack is okay. I remember seeing a woman in the car park at a shopping centre give her child a light smack. I congratulated her for not being ashamed to smack her child lightly. She wasn't really going to town. I don't recall but I don't think it made much difference to the childs behaviour. I never hit my kids and they turned out okay. I don't recall ever being hit as a child, even though it was legal then. It would have to be something extremely bad I guess for mum to ever be tempted. I never did anything extremely bad. Sometimes the threat of a smack is all that is needed to control a child and that's what my mother did. I wouldn't enjoy it but a light tapis okay in my book. I do think the ban on physical punishment should stay, as there will always be those who love to beat their kids, and allowing it legally gives them license to do it as often as they like, in the name of modifying bad behaviour, when their behaviour is not really bad. If you give a light tap in the comfort of your own home, AND it is effective, ONLY if it effective, then that is okay.
Great answer. We used to get a slap on the bum if we were being really naughty, but like you said, it was the 'threat' of a hiding that (mostly) kept us in line. And both my brothers and myself have grown up to be well adjusted adults. I think that is what's missing with today's kids. They get away with murder and then carry that attitude into adulthood. They think that if they carry on enough they will always get what they want. Trying to 'reason' with a kid is like herding cats - it just doesn't work! They understand a smack a lot more than "now dear don't do that".
by poppy
Young children don't understand reasoning or what they have done wrong. They need training to keep them safe. Punishment (done with love) may sometimes work as reinforcement during training.
Spot on - couldn't agree more.
by poppy
I don't believe there is any place for hitting or smacking children as punishment. This is child abuse. There is no real proof of its efficacy and should never be used.
Nothing wrong with it as long as you are not heavy handed.
by Finy
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