Smacking Children - Acceptable Or Not....? 38 replies

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FileTrekker Über Admin

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#1 2 years ago

I have no children myself, so I've never been the position, and it's not something I've ever had to do, but I was talking to a guy at work who does feel it is acceptable if it comes from the parent, but not from anyone else.

It's a curious thing because as recently as the 1980's it was commonplace and considered acceptable, but in the last few decades feelings have changed on this dramatically.

I read a story that a man from NI is to be sentenced next month for beating his kids with a belt. Both were under 10 years of age and the father's getting charged with child cruelty by wilful ill-treatment and assault likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.

I personally wouldn't advocate physical violence on any level, but I am curious for those of you who are parents, do you think smacking a child is an acceptable form of discipline or is it unacceptable?


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Lysdestic VIP Member

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#2 2 years ago

I was spanked growing up, sometimes reasonably, but there were times when it was...excessive. For me personally, I am against it.

I don't have children myself, so I tend to not really advocate one way or the other, I grew up as a kid that was disciplined, so I have that perspective -- but not the other way around.

Ultimately, I still say leave it (mostly) in the hands of parents.




Lord Wiener VIP Member

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#3 2 years ago

Difficult subject. Especially since I will probably be facing this issue in about 5 years time...

Growing up, I only got smacked when I had *really* crossed the line. Never more than that though, and I do believe it is an acceptable form of discipline. Never more than that though, especially not with a belt or whatever else.

Let's be honest - being caring, firm and understanding is the way I want to go, but there's only so much reasoning you can do with a 2 year old trying to touch a stove.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#4 2 years ago

I think that it's sometimes acceptable, but only when structured within otherwise good parenting. And the irony is that when it's structured within otherwise good parenting you're looking at very few cases where it's going to be necessary. Like one of my friends has kids, and on rare occasion he smacks them, but they're a functional family and at least from what I can see get along very well.

I think it's the height of absurdity for SS or the police to sail in and royally fuck a family up over it. Like, the care system is much worse than the occasional tap on the arse. The outcomes for people leaving care are terrible.




G.R.A.E.M.E. VIP Member

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#5 2 years ago

I can't speak as a parent, but I was smacked once or twice in my lifetime. Remembering vividly, I was [apparently] perplexed at just how well I could flex my buttocks and it wasn't exactly appreciated by my mother–especially not at age 12. So, she hit me hard down there and finished it off with a hard twist to one of my ears.

Can't say I didn't hate her for it at the time it happened, but looking back, I'd say I don't really mind. It's not like I turned into a rebellious criminal as a result. Arguably, admittedly and quite obviously, however, every individual handles these kind of actions differently and chances are it'll not be for the better.

Ultimately, were I to raise my own children, I'd never damage them in any way. Punishing them through other means is much more viable as a general solution and it'll teach them their lessons much more quickly.

The real problems start to occur when the child has become a pampered brat thanks to the parents. Try to fix that and you'll essentially be fighting fire with fire.


Formerly known as Graeme and Arld.



Goody. VIP Member

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#6 2 years ago

As a parent I can say that yes it is ok to smack your children. I have had cause to smack my children a couple of time when they were younger. With a belt or to cause them harm is not on but a sharp tap with you open hand and only with your fingers is a great tool to divert a child from a temper tantrum or as closure to them crossing the line.




Mikey Über Admin

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#7 2 years ago

I was smacked as a child, and it hasn't done any lasting damage. I don't see what is wrong with it.


Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer



Serio VIP Member

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#8 2 years ago

@Mr. Mikey That's not a particularly good argument. "My father cut my hand off, but I turned out just fine!"

What if you grew up with autism, and your father or mother thought you were just stubborn? What if your parents view your sexuality as something to beaten out of you? What if your parents want you to be religious, and intend to beat the spirit of god into you with a holy bat? There are too many nuances, and too many bad parents to make an easy "Yes or no" question out of this.

I have seen far too many stories of children and teenagers being beaten up or hit by adults for having psychological issues. Parents will perceive depression as laziness, because they're unwilling to accept that something might be wrong. And where is the line? 

Here's some anecdotal shit. When I was a kid, I wasn't the type you'd usually see in trouble. Well, I was. But I wasn't a bully. I wasn't a "troublemaker". I was a mischief maker. I was the type to giggle in class, to hide things from the teacher and to make people laugh. I was the class clown, and I fucking loved it. My teacher... Not so much. He was nice. He had humour. But he had a job to do, and I interrupted it. More than once, he'd grab my arms. Not hard enough to really hurt, but it kept me from running.

And he'd shout my ears off. But he never once struck me. Not once. And I respect the hell out of him for that, because he put me in my place without having to use force or exert his authority. And that gave me a hell of a lot more respect for him than anyone using violence would have managed.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#9 2 years ago

@Mr. Mikey Inherently? Nothing. Not all disputes can be resolved without the use of force, after all and evolution has given us this great 'Pay attention!' button. But it's a tool that's easy to abuse, so it's worth at least being cautious around. ^_^




Emperor Benedictine

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#10 2 years ago

Well, I suppose it is easy to sit here, without having any children of my own, and pontificate.

So without further ado, using smacking as a persistent form of discipline is an admission of parental failure and a way of teaching children that social interaction is really all about violence and control.