Smacking children??

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    Today FM’s The Last Word are going to be talking about whether it is appropriate to smack children.

    This comes on the heels of a study by a group of students in Sligo about hitting children and they are calling for an outright ban on hitting children.

    Today FM have plenty pf people who think smacking is wrong and bad but they are looking for someone to pose the opposite side of the argument. So someone who thinks the odd smack may not be the worst thing.

    If anyone is interested in discussing this topic on the show in favour of allowing parents to be able to discipline their children with slapping, please call Aideen on 01-8049022


    Good luck with that one. I don’t think that you will get anyone who will go on air and actually admit that they think it is ok to smack their children.

    Children bring out the best and worst of us. They drive us totally demented to the extent that we sometimes wonder why we had them. Only to smile at something they do two minutes later.

    Disciplining your child can be a very hard thing to do – you want them to know that their behaviour is unacceptable and not do it again. You also want them to respect you as a parent. I do not think that hitting teaches a child anything – except that mam or dad is very angry and that it is ok to hit.


    I think smacking them teaches them that its ok to smack and then they will go and do it at school and while out playing etc

    sometimes mine drive me mental but I try to be as calm as I can and not lose the head too much. I don’t even like raising my voice at them but sometimes it happens…


    I once heard an debate on this subject & one thing that was said really stuck with me it was if you were having a disagreement with someone in work & you hit them that would result in you being sacked from your job so if its not ok to hit an adult it certainly isnt ok to hit a child.

    I hope I will never hit my daughter but I know that sometimes kids push parents buttons to the limit but i hope i can discipline with talking & ‘the naughty step’ & generally bargaining & bribing!!

    pinata ruth

    I heard this debate on the last word and the students came up with some unbelievable stats.

    They sat in a shopping centre in Sligo for 3 hours and in that 3 hours they witnessed on 52 occassions a child being slapped by a parent!!! WHAT THE HELL. If this is 52 separate parents giving each child one slap each or a handful of parents giving multible slaps I don’t know but either way this is shocking. This was in public and on one three hour slot. I can’t remember ever seeing a parent slap a child in public never mind that many in a three hour trip to scotch hall!!!

    In fact if I wentto scotch hall and seen this happen I’d swear I was on canid camera. 😕

    Do any of you think that this study might be bogus???


    Im laughing as i type this, i know this is going to open a can of worms…. sorry girls!!!
    I dont think the odd slap does any harm, there are times my ds1 gets the odd slap on the bum, it wouldnt be hard but enough to make him stop and think….. now this would be after repeat warnings and time outs etc.

    I cant see the harm, sure didnt we all get smacked at home and at school! We knew when to tow the line and not to cross that line! Look at the young kids out there today, they make my blood boil the anticsof them, somethings i think its because they need a bloody good slap.

    I dont believe in the extremes, like beating a child, im talking a single slap!
    52 slaps in 3 hours!! Wow, that doesnt sound right at all


    I seen a woman slap a child on the backside in LIDL recently and the child continued to cry and the woman got more and more annoyed so she slapped the child, full force across the face. I was stunned, really stunned. I almost felt the sting myself….I had to restrain myself from getting involved.

    It was upsetting to watch so I can only imagine how the poor child felt…

    there have been times when I have been tempted to grab my 4 year old when she was hurting the new baby but I restrained myself. Instead I take her out of the room and talk to her to explain why its bad for her to be mean to her sister….its a hard job being a parent sometimes!!!

    friends of mine have smacked their children around me and I feel very uncomfortable with it. I would not hit an adult so I would not hit my children either. I was smacked as a child (not much but I remember the wooden spoon coming out a few times!!) and I personally don’t want to do that to my children. its naughty step, no toys ,to their bedrooms or something like that in our house as punishment for bad behaviour!


    I cant believe she hit the child across the face!!!


    When he was about 18mths old I used to give my little boy the odd smack on his bum whenever I would ‘loose’ it with him.. but he started to hit me back. This shocked me and made me really think about constructive discipline.. I was hit as a child and I would not say that it did me no harm. I still resent my parents for doing that to me and feel that they were inadequate in their approach to parenting, I was a very angry teenager and rebelled against authority. Maybe my parents were doing their best in the circumstances but I aspire to better.
    Now when I feel that I am going to loose it I have to walk away take a few minutes, deep breaths and then go back to try and explain to him what behaviour I expect from him and 95% of the times this works………I haven’t slapped him in over 3 years and he is a very confident little boy with great self esteem. Yes he does push my buttons every now and again but I have to remember that I am the adult and the parent. If I cann’t control myself how can I control my children?
    It is not easy being a parent but smacking is not an effective ‘tool’ as it really does teach children that violence is ok and is damaging to their self esteem.


    I agree with most of what everyone above has said.

    It wouldn’t be acceptable to hit an adult.
    The odd slap won’t kill your child, although there are better ways of disciplining.
    Kids can push parents to the limit & a slap in anger is not a good example and can cause a situaion to escalate.
    Parents (ie me) usually feel worse than child after a slap. I usually regret it.

    That said, if my three year old (for example) is pulling the baby’s hair while both are in a supermarket troilley and won’t let go, he might well get a sharp slap on the hand and a warning to stop that messing. It is enough of a shock that it usually gets his attention. Then I distract him. What are you supposed to do? Negotiate with him while the baby goes bald????

    Another example is when he shook off my hand and went to run across a busy road in traffic. He got a sharp slap on the hand then AND a lecture.

    I don’t think slaps are the best way to discipline. Any form of violence rarely is. BUT I don’t think criminalising a parent who resorts to an odd slap (not beating child up) is the best way to discourage the practice.

    I’d bet that most slaps are dealt when the ‘offending’ parent is exhausted /stressed to the point of madness.

    If people really want slapping to die out, instead of standing on the sidelines critising ‘awful’ parents, offer to help.

    Many thanks to the following:
    – the lady who held my baby in public toilets so that I could wash my hands and those of my two pre-schoolers,
    – the man who got out of his car at Lidl in the rain to help me pick up my groceries when the bottom went in my cardboard box,
    – the pensioner & her grandson who watched my sleeping baby in abuggy in Riva while I went downstairs to order a cup of tea
    – the man after hurling training last year at the Marist grounds who offered to help me load my kids into the car as my newborn screamed
    – the multitude of people who have helped lift a double buggy up steps & over obstacles…

    These are the people who will make slapping a thing of the past – not legal bans which will just drive uit underground


    Yesterday I was in Tesco and a woman whacked her child on the back, the screams from the child were awful. I thought maybe the woman would be sorry because she possibly hit the child harder than she meant to (and to save face as her child was obviously hurt & upset) but no, she said ‘that will teach you’ and walked off and left the child there stunned. She did not talk to the child, she just left him there and he ran after her screaming crying.

    Shopping with kids is a nightmare, they can drive you nuts but a slap on the bum is one thing, hitting a child hard is another. there is a big difference between a smack and hitting and seeing an adult really hit a child, is unacceptable behaviour in my opinion. we are much bigger and stronger than them so we can really hurt them with our strength if we hit them

    I find it very upsetting to see it going on; maybe I’m just a bit softie!

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