I have yet to meet a parent that hasn’t experienced the impulse to hit their own child. Perhaps the thought occurs when a 15 month old bites mom and then laughs, an 18 month old slaps his sibling, a 3 year old runs into the street. The impulse of course is normal, but is the act of hitting normal too? And if normal for a great number of parents, is it an effective tool for discipline? Will it harm your child in the long-run?
It is easy to understand the argument that supports an aggressive response by parents to the actions mentioned above – ‘my child will only know that hitting hurts if she experiences it also. My child doesn’t respond to time-outs or is too young to understand loss of privilege as a means of discipline… We only ever hit in an attempt to show the severity of the infraction — running into the street has to be met with a greater punishment – otherwise it is only as bad as everything else we discipline for…’