can’t touch this.

The other day I was confronted by a couple who I had to serve on my Saturday afternoon at work. They were lovely and kind, but their child was testing them in the seat of of their Coles trolley.

As the toddler threw a tantrum at the front of the store (something I am definitely used to), I continued talking to the couple about their day. They were satisfied with their visit to the centre, something they had never done before, but our conversation was interrupted by their child kicking and screaming something horrible. The father then leant over the handle of the trolley to smack his kid three times on his arm. The child (possibly two years old) grabbed his arm and started wailing. The couple were unfazed by their disciplinary act, but the line behind them were astonished. A mother, with her little girl, shook her head in disgust.

When I went home that night, I stopped to think about the consequences of child

Is hitting your child wrong?

discipline in today’s day and age. Reflecting on my own childhood, the wooden spoon had definitely become my nemesis, and it was something I learnt to fear. Back then, and even now, I had never thought of it as child abuse or stepping over the limit of teaching your child how to behave, but the modern age has definitely bought new social values.

So, I ask, is hitting your misbehaving child, wrong?

The Natural Child Project states that a parent hitting their child is illegal in 29 countries across the globe. They state:

“…all people have the right to protection of their physical integrity, and children are people too.”

I can’t help but think back to high school psychology, when Pavlov’s experiments were introduced; if children have no negative consequences to their actions, how can they learn? Is verbal threatening enough to show a child what is wrong and right?

Here’s what the Australian law says we can do:

“According to Australian Common Law, you are allowed to hit your child so long as you do so to correct behaviour and only use reasonable force”.

But, if you live in New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, Iceland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Belgium, Greece and Costa Rica it’s illegal. (Parent Collective).

In the end, it is all about personal moral values. If you live in this country, you have the choice on what method to take to discipline your child, but you must be aware that those around you may not agree with your actions, much like the customers I was left serving after this incident.

At what point is hitting your child not acceptable?