Sunday, January 16, 2011

http://Should we hit our child? Ever?


Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 
10                       10                           10

Questioner: Tony

Subject: Should we hit our child?

Question: Hello

What is your opinion on hitting/spanking your child? Do you think that there can be any cases where hitting your child can be more beneficial than grounding or disciplining them in non-violent ways?


Answer: Dear Tony:

Absolutely not.

1. Violence against children is just not a parenting option. Research shows spanking and hitting to be ineffective and the long term trauma is proven.

2. Hitting or spanking your neighbor would get you an assault charge so how would acting this way with a defenseless child who is smaller be any different if not worse?

3. Violent parenting is always about the parents inadequacy and never about the child. Parents hit because they are frustrated, have run out of apparent options and sometimes because they are emotionally immature. It is just easier to hit a child than to find alternate solutions.

4. No research conducted on people who were incarcerated, people who suffer from addictions, people who dropped out of school, committed suicide, were diagnosed with a mental health condition, people who have been violent in their marriage or towards others, or any other social ills in our society has ever indicated that nurturing and withholding violence was ever a factor any of these research findings. 

Was there a specific behavior you were needing some advice on handling? I am certainly available to assist you.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller
----- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for your reply. I sincerely appreciate it! I want to go into more detail about why I asked you that question.

I'm 23 and I have a younger sister that's 13. The other day I saw my mom hitting my sister because she hasn't showered in a few days. I had an argument with my mother after because I did not feel that she was right doing what she did. I told her that hitting may seem like it solves the problem, but in fact it creates many negative impacts down the road. She should have disciplined her in non-violent ways

My mom's counter-argument:

1. She wants my sister to be clean / have good hygiene. Hitting will enforce that idea

2. This was not the first time my sister didn't listen to her about showering daily. She has grounded her in the past multiple times, and since my sister breaks the rule again, hitting her was justified

3. It has been years since she has hit her. Hitting your child is bad when it's done on a regular basis, but it's okay to hit once in a while, especially when the only place she hits is on the arm. Plus, she knows various parents who hit their children a lot more.

My counter-argument:

1. She should have grounded her again, using a variety of stricter means such as a longer period, taking away more of what she likes, etc.

2. Regardless if it has been a while since she has hit her, and regardless if she knows other parents out there who hit their kids a lot more than she does, it still doesn't make it a right thing to do, considering that there are always non-violent methods of discipline that are better.

Then we basically went back and forth, with my mom repeating her argument and me repeating mine. I told her that it's best to go ask an expert about this subject. Can you shed some light on the matter and let me know whose judgment was more proper, and if you were the parent, what you would have done in this situation and why? My mom and I will be reading your reply.


Answer: Dear Tony:

I absolutely agree with you 100%. Furthermore for you mother to hit a 13 year old girl to teach her a lesson is teaching he that her mother is more immature at her age than she is at 13.

It amazes me that she used the "other people hit their kids.." argument as this is often one that children use on their and so has a new car, can stay out late etc.....just because other people hit their children does not make it right.

I want to commend you for standing up to your mother. It took courage and your sister needs to know she does not deserve to be hit. Hopefully she won't end up in abusive relationships. Maybe the person you need to talk to is to her as your mom does not seem to be listening.

If you sister isn't showering regularly you mom needs to be more concerned as to whether or not your sister is depressed. Do you spend time with her? Can you? Tell her you are there to listen to her and you won't judge her if she needs to talk with someone.

You are a special person to be concerned about your 13 year old sister.

Also, if you need more information visit for further logic and arguments against hitting.

Thank you for standing up on behalf of your sister.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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