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To smack or not to

Posted by: Sharmila Rajah


As a child, I've experienced my fair share of smacks. As a parent, I choose not to smack as I believe that children refrain from repeating an act mainly out of fear when physical force is used. Instead of differentiating between right and wrong, they only learn to differentiate between what they get smacked for and don't get smacked for.

According to experts, smacking is just not effective. It sets a violent example and may cause injury. Those who are smacked tend to use physical force against their peers. Smacking also denies children the opportunity to learn alternative, less hurtful ways of dealing with anger and frustration. It also represents the abuse of power by 'someone big and powerful' against a very 'small, weak' individual.

Smacking is downright demeaning and humiliating to both parent and child. A child's self-esteem suffers.

Some experts believe that a smack on the hand or the bottom may be necessary in a dangerous situation in order to get an important message across to a child too young to understand words. The idea is not to inflict pain but to quickly call their attention to the seriousness of the situation. Once a toddler shows that they understand what you say, experts say physical force is no longer justifiable even when safety is an issue.

Where do you stand on this matter?

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