Slapping kids – is it really effective?

Out shopping at a modern trade stores one weekend I was shocked and dismayed at what I am going to narrate. On middle aged urban looking mother of two slapped her younger son (would not have been more than four) not once but thrice in public across the face. I was aghast at what I saw and so were many others. A couple of onlookers in fact were brave enough to try and counsel the hot tempered women which only led to the husband becoming abusive in defense and asking people not to interfere in the family matter.

To be fair to the mother, I don’t know what the boy had done…but could it have been so grave and serious to meet such a punishment . It has been over two years since I saw this and till today the scene is etched in my mind. A lot of us reading this may think, so what’s the big deal…the mother was only trying to discipline the boy…but was she really doing that or leaving a scar in the boy’s mind which may or may not heal with time….sounds melodramatic but true…the boy was shaking and crying …the husband agitated and embarrassed.

Will this act of physical violence help the mother in ensuring that the boy tow’s her line? Temporarily, maybe, in fear of getting a repeat treatment…but is this really the way we should bring up our children…or is something deeper…maybe our frustration which we conveniently vent on our unsuspecting angels…in management books it a very common teaching…award in public and admonish in private….shouldn’t this mantra be applicable to our personal lives as well…?

I think it would…because for me slapping and that too on the face is a strict no-no and should possibly never be indulged in…in fact some developed countries have law to protect kids from parental violence…do we need such a law here?

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2 thoughts on “Slapping kids – is it really effective?

  1. Hi Rohit,

    Frankly this is the first time I’ve read your blog. I tend not to read parenting blogs, especially by Dads who have no training in child behaviour or pyschology, because they are usually smarmy, sentimental and misleading. I think one of the HT editors fancies himself as a model dad and writes one column on this topic every week too. In parenting; what’s sauce for the goose need not be sauce for the gander. In fact it rarely is, because no two kids are alike, nor for that matter are their parents or their home environment.

    I think slapping or smacking your kid on the face or bottom should generally be avoided as much as possible. But there is something to be said for a timely and judicious slap for a particularly egregious offence. No amount of explanation and counselling can deliver a life-lesson like a slap can, particularly for boys.

    I think we Indian parents are over-indulgent, especially when it comes to our male progeny. That is why we have the common spectacle of little children running riot in restaurants & malls, abusing ayahs, throwing tantrums in toy shops, et al. Surely, a well timed, publicly delivered slap would work wonders – arresting the going-out-of-control-situation immediately and ensuring compliance in the future.

    • Thanks for your reply and thoughts Mohan. You’ll find that my blog is on real situations i come across while raising my son.I try and keep sentiments and gyaan at bay 🙂

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