Is Hitting Your Child the Only Way to Teach Discipline?

respect

It was a Sunday evening and we were returning from the “Forum mall”. My daughter had got new skater shoes as a gift for her birthday this year and she wanted to try them out in the mall. We spent some leisure time of the Sunday noon and were on the way back home. We passed through the “Adigas” restaurant, chit chatting in the car about various things. There was a traffic signal showing red ahead us and hence my husband who was driving the car was going slow. My daughter was facing me and I was looking at her. I also overlooked into the window and could easily watch the passers-by on the other side of the road.

Suddenly from nowhere we all heard a loud sound that felt like a slap “Phat”. I knew it was a slap as I saw through the window that was happening in the middle of the vehicles parking space in front of the restaurant.

hitting-a-child

My daughter, who was talking to me, was shocked hearing the sound and asked what was it? She immediately turned behind and looked out of the window.

What we witnessed was a mother in the parking area slapped her son so hard that the sound was heard miles afar. But the expression of the boy was heartbreaking, which I probably will never forget in my life.

No, am not trying to criticize the mom here, because I have no rights.

My daughter became silent as she remembered one such recent incident that happened between us. A couple of days back, for reason I do not remember now, I was very angry at her and did scold her on the road while I was dropping her to school. Unfortunately, my voice came out a bit harsh and loud. A friend of her was passing by and heard our conversation. After getting into school, this friend particularly came to her to ask as for why my daughter was being scolded in the middle of the road. My daughter felt it very embarrassing and came home in the evening with a sad face. She told me with tears in her eyes that if she is wrong, she will correct it when I tell it at home but not to speak as harshly in front of her friends and in public.

It’s impossible for me to express how sorry I felt then, but I did convey it to her that it will never happen again.

Coming back to the incident what we saw in front of the cafe, my daughter was able to relate to the situation and probably it made her remember her experience. But what I saw on the boy’s face was painful. He was not more than 13 years of age I suppose. Whatever mistake he did, as detrimental it might be, standing in front of a fast food restaurant where so many people are in the open and facing to the main road, hitting your child as hard as it looked was totally wrong. The boy looked scared, and did not move; his eyes had no tears because fear and pride did not let it role down. But I know, he would have shed buckets later.

Is that right from the mother part? I don’t know what the experts say or the mother’s of grown up kids say for something like this. Am sure given the chance, the mother who slapped the boy will have multiple reasons to justify her actions. For me whatever it is, is not reason enough. Simply because I saw the boy’s face when my mind was calm and could able to feel the pain he must have felt at the moment. No, not the pain of the slap. But the slap, seen by hundreds. For a child, it does not matter that everyone who saw the slap is a stranger and will be forgotten within minutes or maybe in a day or two.

I was not as harsh on my daughter, but I think it’s still not a way to behave as a mother. I owe it to this mother in the parking space we saw who opened my eyes and taught me a lesson. I hope even that was just a first and the mother did realize her behavior too.

We parents, stand as the protectors of our children emotionally and physically both. If we become a reason for our children to feel let down, then there will be no meaning in being a parent. Most often than not, we mothers do lose our calm with the hundred and one things our children do wrong or irritate us in all possible way. But, aren’t they are called children for a reason?

child-needs-you

It is illegal to hit children in many countries. Hitting a child may control his or her behavior for the moment, but it can damage them and your relationship. There are many other ways to discipline our children and hitting is not one of them. I am no novice and I do make mistakes as well. But like our children, we too have some limits. Crossing our limits can harm our own children.

So, be careful and be responsible.

PS: The boy and the mother resembled strongly with their looks which made me believe their relationship as the mother and son!

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9 responses to “Is Hitting Your Child the Only Way to Teach Discipline?

  1. True, we all have our moments but learning from it is the important thing. Its great that you are not following the cycle and doing your best to break it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. It is the cycles of abuse that are the culprit most of the time. I always admired my father for growing up in a very physically abusive household, of which being a mother now I can’t imagine how his parents did what they did, and breaking that cycle of abuse. I am an advocate of leading by example and showing my kids I practice what I preach. We all have our moments and sometimes, depending on the harm a child may incur from their actions, we may react drastically, but the way we learn and resolve it is a lesson for everyone.

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  3. Hi Saroja. I’m with you on this one. I have never found it necessary to hit my kids to teach them any life lessons. I treat my children how I want to be treated, with love and respect. It saddens me when I see parents hit their children in stores. If that was okay then why does it hurt my heart to see it? It is just my opinion and obviously we aren’t the only people who see it this way but I just don’t understand it. There are so many ways to reach children other than hitting them into submission.

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    • True Diane. I see stress and being impatient is the main cause for hitting children. I am praying God everyday to give me more patience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  4. What a great message Saroja. As someone that grew up with very strict grandparents I believe parents should not hit children. Unfortunately it was like that in the olden days and the next generation believed hitting a child was the only form of discipline. In schools it was acceptable also. Luckily it’s illegal in schools now. Children can be naughty yes and parents sometimes don’t have the patients and are stressed for other reasons, but there are other forms of discipline and also talking to the child to find out what’s behind the behavior. Kids in my family always talk to me about whats bothering them and why they acted out . I’m a child at heart but also have adult experience so it’s easy for them to talk to me. I’m glad to be a sounding board because they need to talk also. If not to the parents then to someone that can act as a mediator. I wanted to write something about kids but because I’m not a parent I thought parents might be offended by it. I still believe these things need to be said.

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    • True Lorenza. Most times parents are stressed and tired is why the hitting happens. Not that children do everything right. Oh! they are a handfull but hitting always causes lot of damage. Children need someone to talk to and its good you are there for them. Trust me, being a parent is not easy. So you being the one who can listen to these tiny minds with patience will definitely help those children. Thank for your comment and shares BTW. 🙂

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  5. This is a tough subject, I personally am raising my children without any physical hitting of sorts, time out is the way to go for us. It’s hard and at times you want to give up, but I can’t see physical discipline as the right way.

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    • Totally agree with you. Iam seeing the results of hitting and it is definitely not a way. Time out is the best possible way I guess. It may not give immediate results too probably, but it definitely works in a long run. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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