The idea that hitting children is justifiable is ridiculous. Lecturing or yelling at gets a similar result but without the physical damage or emotional scarring. However, if your child is out doing drugs, and hooking up with prostitutes while getting drunk or raping someone, that is an exception.
And yes, this does happen
I do not completely disagree with those who say yes to hitting your child as discipline, but you have to have a valid reason as to why you hit your children. If a child lives in fear of their parents, it may have a long-term effect on the relationship between parent and child. It will also affect the way your child acts toward other families as well.
Parents who have come to a place of maturity in themselves will not spank a child because of their own anger or frustration. Spanking should be a loving corrective device. The child should be very aware what they are being spanked for and should never feel bullied. A single parent should think doubly hard before striking a child. He or she is under such unrelenting pressure that it's hard to make the best decisions with the kids.
If they are hitting in anger, then no. If they are popping them on the butt with their hand, belt, or switch, then yes. Children should be disciplined, and popping a child on the butt with your hand or with a belt is not abuse. My parents and their parents spanked us, and it did not kill us. It taught us to be better people.
Throughout time, parents have used physical means to discipline their children. In an age of awareness for human rights, it is understandable that people have questioned this tradition. However, there is a big difference between a quick spanking and actual child abuse. And, while we should watch out for abuse, spanking can be a useful means of discipline. As generations before us have been exposed to spanking without permanent harm, so can children today also learn right from wrong with spanking.
As long as it is light and causes no harm, hitting or spanking a child is a perfectly justifiable form of punishment. It is not always possible to convince or reason with a child that their behavior is unacceptable. A light spanking is a simple and clear message that anyone can understand: don't do this. A spanking is often an effective deterrent against future such behavior, whereas lesser punishments are often ineffective and cause stress and misery for both children and parents.
A child may be trying to hurt their siblings, their parents, or themselves, and physical force may be the only way to stop them especially if they have a weapon.
Imagine a toddler reaching up for a hot stove or a pot with boiling water in it. A parent says "No, don't touch." They can try to put the child in time out. But the child may not obey. A slapped hand, however, will teach the toddler not to reach for the hot items, preventing grievous burns. Hitting the child to teach them to avoid the dangerous prevented far worse harm than the minor "hitting".
Society as a whole has become overly sensitive to the discipline of children by their parents, making it wrong for a parent to hit their child. In some instance a quick slap to the back-side helps make children aware of the dangerousness or inappropriateness of their actions. The key is that when parents do hit their children, the parent is in a calm rational mind set so they can both control their force and explain their reasoning for the slap. If a parent can do this, hitting their child as a means of discipline is acceptable.
I do not by any means condone a parent hitting a child to the point that they're in a lot of pain. However, when a child does something dangerous, such as attempting to cross the road when a car is coming, I see no problem with hitting the child. Of course, not to the point that they're hurt badly, as I said. But to teach the child NOT to do that.
I was hit alot as a child. It got to the point where I didn't care what mistake I made. I was a very gifted child, so my parents viewed this as a child who was being defiant. I robbed a bank at age 13 and beat a customer almost to death, he was trying to be a hero and I viewed this as defiant. Many many banks later and after many years in kiddie prison, I learned that what my parents taught me was wrong- hitting, slapping and viewing everything others do and feel as an act of being defiant and I wasn't going to let them win by going down the wrong path. I straightened up, went to university and the rest is history!
Parents are just using an excuse to why they hit their children because I'm sure that deep inside they know its wrong and feel somewhat of a regret or guilt. Kids do not need to be disciplined with violence. There are many alternatives out there yet many people have anger issues and take it out on their own children. By using violence, parents are not showing their kids the difference between right and wrong. They are just showing them that when they do that certain thing they will be spanked or hit.
I was abused as a child, and I know that it only leads to that child resenting and hating the parent for doing it. There is no lesson learned when a child is hit, other than violence is the answer to problems. The child will lash out at people around them, and fight and hit people, because that is what they were taught is the answer to problems.
I am a parent myself and I do not believe in hitting a child. I use other methods of discipline such as time out and rewards system which is more effective than hitting. I was hit as a child in my childhood and through my perception that only made me fear my parents not respect them. Overall achieving children's respect is more effective than having them fear you.
The American Psychological Association states that all violent reactions that result in human contact are a learned trait from an environment or humans. This goes to show that if a child is hit for any reason as punishment, he or she will learn that this is they way you deal with other forms of punishment.
Corporal punishment shouldn't really be used as a last resort. Because, if it's a last resort then, by this time, the parent is too angry. Things are more inclined to go too far. I believe an adult has the right to spank their child, but if they are not 100% sure that they can do it without going too far, or crossing the line to abuse, than they shouldn't do it at all.
I do not believe in the idea of allowing a parent to hit their children under any circumstance. This type of abuse can affect the child long after the incident has occurred. There are better and more efficient alternatives to hitting a child. A child has no way to defend themselves against a parent, especially one who is especially violent in physical punishments.
There is no reason why a parent cant punish a child in a way where they don't have to use physical abuse against them. Threatening a child with taking away a belonging or privilege should be enough to make the child behave. A child that is subjected to corporal punishment is more likely to crow up and be a criminal.
In order for physical punishment to be justifiable, the punishment would first need to be effective. Physical punishment may create respect from fear, but it does not convince a child that their action was wrong.