Home » Religion » To hit or not to hit, is that the question?

To hit or not to hit, is that the question?

There was a debate on Radio 4 this morning about whether or not it’s acceptable, & whether or not it should be a criminal offence, for a parent to hit their children.

A generation or two ago it was similarly considered socially acceptable for a man to bring his wife into line by hitting her, a bit (witness Sean Connery’s attitude, for instance). I see this issue as the same, the debate has just moved on as our society has grown & matured; we don’t even ask that question anymore. Surely hitting children is no different &, on this reasoning, may  – & I think should – be criminalised.

I was hit in the name of ‘discipline’ as a child – at school with straps & rulers, at home with wooden spoons & curtain rails.  I used to support it but, although I don’t blame those who hit me (apart from a few of the more sadistic teachers) as they were mostly just doing what they thought was right, I now see that it’s caused me problems in my adult life, particularly in anger management.

I never have, & I never will, hit my children: the very thought to me is horrifying, an anathema.

“Spare the rod & spoil the child” is the (Old Testament) bible text often used to justify hitting children. The same book that tells us that we should tie adulterers (only women, of course), & unmarried non-virgins (again, women only: you lucky lucky people!) to a post & throw rocks at them until they’re dead. I don’t hear those texts being quoted so much – funny, that!

Hitting people in our somewhat less ignorant & backward society, whether with hands, fists, rocks or wooden spoons – regardless of age, size, gender, race, sexual orientation  –  is now regarded as assault, a criminal offence. Whether the person being hit is a complete stranger, a man, a woman, a child, your spouse, or your child – it makes no difference: it’s hitting, it’s violence, it’s wrong.  Hopefully this loophole will now soon be closed & all violence against children will be brought into line with the rest of our criminal justice system.

Apologies if this post offends anyone. I have friends & family who I greatly respect, & even admire,  who have religious beliefs: please don’t take it personally x


2 thoughts on “To hit or not to hit, is that the question?

  1. I am very glad to see that someone else agrees with me. It is a diifcult subject because it has been an accepted form of discipline since the beginning of time to hit or spank our children. Even animal behavioral studies, done with dogs for example, show that hitting does nothing to teach the animal what acceptable behavior is. It has been proven that hitting an animal such as a dog causes them to be aggresive and even dangerous to humans. There are, as other studies show, many ways to discipline and teach proper and acceptable behavior to all animals including human beings. Let’s teach with patience and love instead of violence and anger. I truly believe that we would change the future of the entire world if we could just change the way we treat our precious children. We have the power to effect the world by how we raise our children. It’s our choice to keep going with the old school way or open our minds and try other methods which actually work much better than hitting, yelling and spanking. Thanks for sharing my article and for your support of my oppinion. It means the world to me. : ) I am sorry it took me so long to reply to this. I had a hard time finding the link on my comment page.

  2. “I truly believe that we would change the future of the entire world if we could just change the way we treat our precious children.” Some may regard that as grandioise, but not me, I couldn’t agree more! So many problems in our lives start in the home, & how we are treated as chidren; it becomes a vicious circle & we pass our faults on to our chlldren. That here are people like you trying to break the circle tells me that there is hope. We CAN change the world, our world, & the world of the future, our childrens’ future, we can make it a better place through how we raise our children. Thanks for you support 🙂

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