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When A Child Hits BUT When An Adult Hits

A Special Education professional, behavior coach, writer, freelancer and most importantly a mother making life simple and fab as possible.


Of Fallacies and Ironies

Our world is filled with fallacies and ironies. There is nothing new to that.

Parenting is no exception.

I have chosen to avoid hitting my daughter. I get questioned on how I reprimand her behaviour. I receive criticisms for being lax and complacent on her. I have seen and felt aggression and hostility growing up, I refuse it between me and my child. I get angry. I scold her. I know I have spanked her couple of times, she negates it. But I have had too. I am guilty and have been in an effort to undo it.

Why Undo?

The thing is; when a child hits a child, we call it aggression.

When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.

When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.

In reality, all these behaviours are perceived as negative behaviours.

But, somewhere along the line, when an adult hits a child, we call it discipline. It is perceived acceptable.

On a personal note, that makes it questionable. I am made to question my values too. In such frame of mind, it suggests that adults hitting, being aggressive and hostile to children is okay.

But then, we expect children to show kindness; in most cases, adults demand it.

Completely, irrational. Ironic!


Hard Truth To Swallow

It should not make much difference.

When a child hits a child, it is an aggressive behaviour.

When a child hits an adult, it is a hostile behaviour.

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When an adult hits an adult, it is assaultive behaviour.

When an adult hits a child, the behaviour is aggressive too.

It is hostile.

It is assaultive.

The intention may be to discipline but the behaviour isn’t disciplinary.

Where Are We Leading Our Children?

The inconsistencies and double-standard culture we express leads to permissiveness of this violence. The road to tread is determinable for children. There is but a fine line to these children being aggressors or victims in the long run. It breeds the cycle in the minds of the children; willingly or unwillingly. In most cases, it is an unwilling impression made over the repeated occurrences.


The Loud But Subtle Message To Our Kids

When a parent hits a child to get him/her to behave better, that parent is telling the child that hitting someone smaller or weaker than you is an acceptable way of getting what you want from them.

Hence, children who are hit identify with the aggressor and are more likely to become hitters themselves, that is, bullies and future abusers of their own children and partners.

They tend to learn to use violent behaviour as a way to deal with stress and interpersonal disputes.

The Beginning of A Cycle

On one end of the line, when parents permit themselves to physically discipline their children through hitting, the parents are at the risk for becoming an abuser.

The trusted adult becomes an abuser over whom the child cannot get angry or resentful.

The children eventually learn to submit into the aggression and hostility accepting that there is nothing wrong with hitting.

It becomes a vicious cycle in the children’s life as they grow.


Final Note

We are the parents. We are the authority. We are the models by which our children learn from. We can stop the culture of aggression, hostility, assault, bullying, and abuse. Let's clear the inconsistencies, ironies and scrape of the fallacies.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Christine Garay

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