Should parents hit their children as a way to discipline the child?


Even though I was raised under a physical punishment philosophy (without being too religious my parents belonged to that generation that believed that if you did not hit your children on time you would risk spoiling them forever), I did not get too much physical punishment. The main reason being that my parents were getting old (I was the 7th of 8) and I understood at early age what would get me licked and tried my best to avoid it.

The short answer would be NO. I have not had to recur to physical punishment with my children and now that they do not live with me (8 years now divorced) there won’t be a need for that. I think that except for exceptional behavioral problems rooted in some congenital defect, most children respond positively to loving but strict discipline.

I have proven that notion with my children and with my friends’ and relatives’. Physical aggression can only lead to fear and rejection. Children may “straighten up” to avoid punishment but that does not mean they will appreciate whatever lesson parents were trying to teach. As a matter of fact, whenever they have the chance, children will do exactly the opposite.

Physical punishment hurt both the child and the parent. If you lose sensibility at inflicting physical punishment to someone you allegedly love, the sky is the limit for what you will be able to inflict to others. Physical punishment breeds resentment and more violence. Whether the children victims of that return the favor or redirect it towards others is just a matter of time. So, no need for that. If parents love their children dearly and show them limits at early age with solid principles and consistent behavior, children will not need to be hit to get it.

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People who think you need to hit a child to teach them are bad at teaching children.

If the child is so young that they cannot understand reasoning then they will not understand the reason they are being hit. They just know that whoever is hitting them is hurting them.

If the child is old enough to understand reason then reasoning should be used.

Where most parents fail is that they simply aren't consistent with their teaching. They aren't consistent with setting boundaries. It doesn't take a child long to realize that their parents aren't following through with their threats, and when they no longer respect your word they wont respect your reasoning.

Let me give you an example. Over the years I have taught thousands of children and this has given me a great opportunity to observe the difference in parenting methods from a hands on position.

Example: A young child runs into the shop at our gym and starts to demand a treat from the snacks. Their mother said no but the kid kept demanding. "You can't have anything now because your class is in a few minutes", "BUT I WANT IT NOW!". It went back and forth for about 2 minutes before the mother gave in and bought a packet of crisps.

For this family this was clearly the norm and the child had simply learnt that arguing gets what they want.

Should the mother now strike her child? Or should she have set boundaries earlier on?

She can still set those boundaries. The child will argue, and inevitably be upset, but they will learn.

It could have gone something like this;

"You can't have anything now because your class is in a few minutes", 


"That's not how you speak to people, you are not allowed to speak to me or anyone else like that. If you carry on I'll take you outside."

So now there reaches a turning point, if the child argues, take them outside, don't let them even go to the class they enjoy. Or give in and let the child know you were bluffing and they don't have to worry about this or future threats.

What if she hits the child. The child will be upset and at some point they will stop, nobody likes to be hurt.

But what is the child learning? They are learning a few things actually, not just to listen. They are also learning that it's absolutely fine to use violence to get what they want. They are learning that someone who they are supposed to trust is capable of physically harming them.

You know what studies on children that are spanked have found? Young children have no idea why they are being hit. They don't make the connection. All they know is that mummy or daddy hits them sometimes.

I think we shouldn't have a society that says it's OK for grown adults to strike children. I think we should have better communication.


No. Studies have shown that corporal punishment does not work in the long term. It may quell misbehavior in the short term but in the long term you only get more of bad behavior. The best way to influence the behavior of your children is to connect with them on an emotional and an intellectual level. Explain why certain behaviors are wrong. Over and over again. There are other ways to make them suffer unpleasant consequences for their bad behavior. Besides, in the developed world, hitting your children to punish them is illegal. And, what it is worse, may get the social services involved if it comes out.

Here's an article that discusses the causal links between corporal punishment and various behavioral outcomes:



Ordinarily, I would say no as I don't intend to hit my children.

But I stay in Nigeria where it's standard practice. Sometimes a simple smack tells the child he's doing something wrong. It works a lot too.

However, I believe the best method is to talk to the child (when he's grown enough to reason), or take him away from that environment.


As a kid growing up I thought it was cruel when I saw my brothers getting "punished". When I experienced it too it did not make me feel good at all. It made me question why I deserved such treatment. I think I was about 4 or 5 at the time. I don't remember anymore. 

Hitting a kid first for doing something and not explaining fully why they deserve it is just so wrong. I mean, why hit the kid when they will stop doing whatever they should not do after talking to them?

Anyway, in our country, more people are not disciplining their children by hitting them with anything anymore. Most adults in the cities get reported now for hitting or physically hurting kids even if it is for much needed disciplinary purposes. Plus more parents and other adults nowadays are not able to be authoritative to the kids that's why I think more of them are so hardheaded, entitled and ruder than before. Of course it all depends on the way parents and other adults brought up the kids and various factors but hitting a child can be one way of disciplining a very unruly school age child. 

Some children understand they need to behave or stop doing bad things when also dealt with a physical blow, others when they are only explained to and communicated with. I say it really depends on the child's personality and age on what kind of discipline method they should be given.


Well it all depends on what kind of hitting you are talking about,it's it an aggressive or abusive way or in a discipline way.

Firstly it's important for parents to discipline their children and correct them when they are going in a wrong path.

For me personally I don't see anything wrong if a parents decides to flog a child with cane if they misbehave as a way of discipline.

It is not allowed in some countries but where I came from using came to correct a stubborn child is very welcome and I myself was also flog with a cane when I was younger by my parents and came is also been used in our schools by our teachers.

But hitting a child with hard objects or with your fist as a parents is totally unacceptable and very wrong.

And parents should discipline their children out of love and not hate.


I say no.

Indeed, hitting children is not something that sounds new anymore. Especially if the child is considered to be contradictory and does not want to follow what the parents do, it is not uncommon for them to beat him. Hitting children is considered the right way to make children become obedient and obedient to parents. Though a very negative impact that can occur due to the blow of parents to their children.

Even the blows of parents cause children to have anti-social attitudes, be aggressive, and mental health.

Be careful of parents, instead of making children better, hitting turns out to have many negative effects on children.


Don't think parents should hit kids to discipline them. That is cowardly and a dispicable way of overpowering someone who is weaker and exhibiting one's poor communication tolerance as violence. Not to forget the detrimental impact that has on the child, and by doing so parents are creating a permanent wall of no communication between them and the child. The child will grow scared of the parents and that's not healthy. Parents should be approachable and should be the first point of contact for all the queries that the child has and to help the kid develop reasoning and logic. Hitting kids is the worst thing to do. Parents should encourage communication and the child to confide in them.


I have one daughter, she has 4 years during the first 2 years my wife and I never hit in any sense to her, it is due in that interval the baby can't make association between the action and the punishment, his brain is not develop enough.

During this period of time the kids even get scare about themselves because they don't know how control their  emotions and is out of their control.

The first time in which I hit her was when she gave me a clap in my face.

(In many occasions the people around us aim to hit the girl because she cry a lot... The Bible says that or that... When she grows up I will can't control... Etc)

In that moment in which I punish her I used my belt, according to the advice in which you wouldn't use your hands instead an external object.

She has 4 years now, and we don't hit her anymore, we make a deal; As long as she does not shout at us or hit us we will not shout at her or hit her

We are trying to treat her like another human being, and we don't go by the street hitting people.

Is easy to say the answer is No, however is not always easy to do. In the real world there are unacceptable behavior who gets punishment, like parents we need to prevent that kind of behavior in our home in order to avoid the kid do this outside.

Sometimes is more easy to hit a kid instead of take the time to explain, and find the solution... That is be lazy. We need to think in kids like persons that we love. The question with that point of view could be similar to: Could the husband hit his wife as a way to discipline her?


Outrage - a feeling you can't control

Some of the time it shows as crying, similar to mine, or some of the time it shows as yelling.

Some of the time it shows as hitting.

When it includes anybody — particularly a kid who can't battle for themselves, who doesn't have any power, who does not have a voice—it is... miserable.

As an overcomer of maltreatment, I can't underscore that hitting does not influence a kid to learn, it ingrains and breeds fear. It doesn't let them know not to rehash the activity, it makes the kid fear you. Moreover, "discipline" can be taken excessively far.

As an individual who has been hit in the head with a seat, and by incalculable different hazardous articles, I can disclose to you that an individual who should ensure you can change into a beast in 1 second. It harms you mentally, and frequently, more so than the wounds that you can't disclose to other people. I actually told individuals I fell on my head. It is difficult to control outrage, it is difficult to control yourself, so as opposed to thinking twice about it, don't do it in any case.

Like creatures, people are comparable in that uplifting feedback enables a tyke to recall what to do as opposed to being confounded of why they got hit.

Would you like to be recognized as mother, the individual who thinks about you, or mother… the individual who harms you?


Spare the rod and spoil the child is a popular saying in my place Nigeria. Hitting children plays an important role in discipline.

However hitting a child too much can lead to child abuse, it needs to be moderate at the same time is shouldn't be too much, there are times you spare the rod and have a heart to heart talk with them, but after constant corrections and they remain adamant, its nice to introduce the rods.

This is the way i was brought up, and most likely the way i will bring up my children.


1 Comment

To me, I say it is right to hit a child because children could be stubborn you know. If you do not hit them when you have corrected them and they are still paying deaf ears then the best thing to do is hit them. When we talk about hitting it should be a slight whipping not the one that will have anything to do with the child's health.

In my country, it is a normal thing for a parent to hit a child. You might be so surprised how a child might turn out to be if you don't hit them when you have corrected them before and they still commit the same offence.

There can be so stubborn and might not regard your advice and corrections when they are wrong and you don't hit them.


In my country, it is necessary to hit your child in order to pass the information cos in a situation where the use of Cane is prohibited causes more damage to the future leaders, we need to create some fears in them so they can be useful to themselves and the community at large...

There is a saying, spare the rod and spoil the child.... Though it should not be something you do at their slightest mistake but if your child should commit a grave offence, do not hesitate to discipline him with cane.


Hit them like abuse? No. 

A simple spanking now and then? Yes I see no problme with it to correct bad behavior. I was spanked as a child and I have spanked my kids. It is effective and it fixes the problem instantly.