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Disciplining other people’s children

 
“You may NOT smack my child”, says Masanda Peter.
Article originally in Parent24
Discipline these days has become complicated, especially when you mention smacking of children. Most people are not sure how to handle this one. In schools smacking is banned but you can still hear people asking for corporal punishment to be brought back in schools. I am just against it, period. One thing I am sure of is that I do not take kindly to another person smacking my child.

One simple rule

This can be an adult or his friends, the rule is simple: You do not smack my child. If he does anything wrong I would prefer that I be told and I will apply the punishment myself. There are cases where people feel the need to discipline other people’s children and smack them in the process. We have different methods of discipline and this can put one in an awkward position and I want to be the one responsible for applying the discipline. I do not condone bad behaviour but the smacking of my child by another person is not allowed.

This can also be tricky when you have extended family and you are perhaps at a family gathering you will find older aunt will smack your child. It is awkward because this could be the same woman who raised you and she might think to herself, who are you to tell her that she is not allowed to smack the child? Many people do not like to smack their own children especially if they were smacked a lot as children.

Even parents disagree

A friend mentioned that she and her husband have serious issues when it comes to smacking of the children. She is totally against smacking but the husband does smack the children occasionally, which breaks her heart and causes tension in the house. She believes in other methods of discipline. I can only imagine how tricky it is when you have parents disagreeing on the discipline method. In this case can you really say “you are not allowed to smack my child”? The child is his, too.

Discipline as a form of abuse   

A few years back I once saw a grown up lady hitting this young girl. It was a serious attack on the poor child and the screams of this young girl fell on deaf ears, this woman was charging at her and we later heard that she had burst her eardrum and eight of her teeth were broken. That is a sight I never want to see ever again and do not care what the child has done. This lady was upset with the mother of this child and took revenge on the young one. This was very unfair as she should have dealt with the mother. I would definitely go to the nearest police station to report the case because what I saw that day was cruelty.

What do you do when a child damages your plants, or your furniture, when a child is showing harmful behaviour towards other children? Do you step in or look away all in the name of not wanting to get involved with other children’s behavioural issues?

I do not even take kindly to my son’s friends feeling the need to hit him. I am the mother and you come and report my child to me.


Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.


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Would you allow someone else to discipline your child?
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