Whether to smack your child or not

Whether to smack your child or not is an insanely difficult topic to contemplate. In my opinion, only a question you can answer for yourself. I, myself was smacked as a child, to the extent that I would call it child abuse today. Let me put it to you this way, the thought of hitting my children with a belt or a sjambok has never crossed my mind and never will. However, I still do not find myself opposed to giving your child a good smack on the bum, or the hand depending on their age. I tend to lean towards the thinking that is; children under 3 seldom understand anything other than a good smack. If you need the behaviour to stop immediately (especially dangerous behaviour like running in the street), sometimes a smack is the only thing that works, and sometimes it has no effect at all, but you can’t tell me you’re going to be able to put your irate 2 year old on the Thinking Chair and get them to sit there for 2 minutes… And on that note, if you are out and about, where does this time-out take place in any case?

Having said that, smacking is no longer effective on my 3 year old. We tried a number of different discipline routes, including the “Thinking chair / Get Good chair”, I just could never get my kids to sit on it, no matter how hard I tried, so I ended up putting them in the bathroom for 1 minute per year of age. This didn’t last long as, in true Keira style, she started playing with the soap and the water and this was no longer a punishment 🙂 We are now onto the Reward Chart. Today the Reward Chart is one week old and so far so good. Keira needs to get 9 stars and then she gets a sweetie as a reward. With all the ups & downs, it took her an entire week to get her sucker, but the threat of removing a star has proven most successful. On the other hand, Gabby is too young to understand the reward system and thus it fails horribly on her.

Children need to understand boundaries, we as parents are teaching them the difference between good and bad behaviour. And honestly, different strokes for different folks, just don’t leave the behaviour unchecked. And the current topic under discussion: Proposed changes to the Children’s Act could make it illegal for you to smack your child. Seriously, banning smacking in the household is not going to stop the sickos in the world abusing their children. Think about it…

Note: If you enjoyed this article, and would like to stay updated with more, you can:

Author

Gabke

Gabke

GabKe is a full-time mom, personal shopper, tutor, law enforcer, coach, chef & librarian to daughters Keira (6) and Gabby (5) plus doting wife to husband Etienne.  Read about the everyday challenges she faces raising daughters  and the rewarding journey of being a mom.

9 Responses

  1. As a much older Mum, my girls are now 17 and 24, I sometimes joke that a little "abuse" goes a long way. I too was subjected to severe strapping as a child and know the damage it can cause and have resisted the urge to hit out when my daughters have really pushed. On the other hand, sometimes, especially when a child persists in a behaviour that really is dangerous, or when a child simply will not behave in a socially acceptable manner (like screaming for something in a supermarket) a swift smack on the bum does get their attention. And it doesn't have to really hurt, the shock value is much more effective than pain. I had a favourite phrase for both girls: "NOT YOURS". So they soon learned not to touch things. I also found that reward or withholding rewards worked wonders. And my girls have turned out quite amazingly well. I am definitely worried about the law taking our choices away from us. Teaching our kids morals is critical. My sister refused to smack or even allow for raised voices to her kids and now they treat her like dirt. I have even heard her middle son tell her she is "not a proper mother! Go figure!

  2. I agree! not necessary to smack! How would you feel if someone smacked you for doing something wrong? your boss for example? a cop that stops you for speeding or using the cell phone? you would loose respect for that person and wouldn't you want to kill them? I would! Its abuse of a defenceless kid! enough said!

  3. Hi Kirsty, I hear you…but one feels so helpless sometimes cause you talk, ask, beg, repeat what you said several times, but it just don't seem to reach the inside of their ears. Sadly, I think we smack our children out of frustration rather than as a form of punishment, as one cant seem to find the correct way to come accross for them to understand you. Lindy, some good points too….God, please grant us patience and not strenght…
    How r u by the way? Havnt spoken in ages!

    1. Kirsty, please visit the website creative parenting for info on the best parenting programme in the world. I promised myself I would NEVER hit my kids. Not only did I never need to hit them, I also never had to punish or reward them. My kids are now teens and we have a fantastic relationship. I do not have the teenage problems that other parents are experiencing. I can really recommend this programme to ANY parent out there, regardless of their kids ages. It is called Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon. Visit their website as well. Good luck mom, and keep up the good work.

  4. I have never smacked my own children now 16 and 21. Both doing well and teachers have always commented on their good behaviour and self discipline. Always stay on your childs side and smacking becomes unneccessary. We often punish our children for the very 'sins' we ourselves have taught them. They observe everything we do – so first heal yourself before trying to 'fix' your child. Violent 'discipline' is a parental failure.

  5. Well said Kirsty I could not have said it any better. My daugher does not need to be smacked just have to raise my voice but where as my little boy, well his at the challenging age and will not sit on the chair so a smack on his nappy seems to be much more effective. Obviously when nessasary of course.

  6. Well said Kirsty I could not have said it any better. My daugher does not need to be smacked just have to raise my voice but where as my little boy, well his at the challenging age and will not sit on the chair so a smack on his nappy seems to be much more effective. Obviously when nessasary of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay updated, subscribe to the free Jozikids newsletter for parents in Gauteng.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Unsubscribe anytime.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay updated, subscribe to the free Jozikids newsletter for parents in Gauteng.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Unsubscribe anytime.
Send this to a friend