To Smack or Not To Smack Your Kid?

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Smacking is always been a big issue in a debate or forum when it comes to parenting issues. Some experts are saying that smacking is not good or even unhelpful in disciplining a child. It gives long-term negative effects on a child's brain development.

In a study done by Murray Straus, a University of New Hampshire researcher; from 800 children aged between two and four, and 700 children aged five to nine who experienced corporal punishment (including their cognitive ability and the number of times they were hit) when have been tested four years later, finds their IQs were significantly lower.

The children in the younger group who were subjected to corporal punishment is five points lower on an IQ test than others of the same age. With the five to nine-year-old group, it was 2.8 points lower, even taking account of parental education, income and other socio-economic factors. Straus finds the more frequent the spanking, the bigger the IQ gap, though even small amounts of smacking made a difference. He says children are stressed and frightened by hitting, which may make it harder for them to focus and learn.

Is smacking effective or not to discipline a child? What is the gauge in considering smacking as a crime? We are hearing a lot of opinions on this issue. But what is a Corporal Punishment? According to Wikipedia, Corporal Punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender with an implement, whether in judicial, domestic, or educational settings.

Most of the mothers or parents are defending their sides that they are smacking their children to teach them what is right and what is wrong. It is confusing them though, that a slight slap or smack on the wrists of their children could be taken seriously against them as a crime. Dorothy Scott, Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, says the method authorities use to determine whether a parent has stepped over the line into criminality in their physical treatment of a child puts children at risk. "Breaking the skin or actual bruising is often the measure, but this is too crude a way to work out the damage to a child. Ultimately the impact on a child psychologically should be an important consideration too," Scott says.

Each and every one of us have been through from childhood. A child is naturally naughty and playful. A strong word of "NO", is enough to show your child that you are the one who has power and authority over him. Explaining the reasons for stopping him from what he is doing in a nice but in authoritative voice will be enough for a child to pick that you are disciplining him. But if you think you need to smack him because your child seems can't get by words after several times of giving him warnings, one tap on a hand is enough to make him realise that you are serious. Then followed it by an explanation so the child will understand why you have to do it.

If you can't control yourself and can't avoid smacking your child, the parents must remember - never hit your child if you think you are losing your temper or angry. There will be a tendency that you will be out of control; might over hurt your child and might hit the sensitive and delicate parts of his body which may result to serious injuries or worse is death. The best thing you can do if you are angry is to stay away from your child for a moment. Take a deep breath and count up to 20, and then go back to your child after. Disciplining a child is one of the difficult challenges in parenting. As parents, it is our responsibility to raise up our children as good, responsible, well-disciplined, happy and loving individuals.


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