Is Hitting Your Children Acceptable?
Every child deserves to be happy, healthy, safe and loved. The question is how many children does that actually apply to? According to the NSPCC in 2014, there were over 48,000 children under the age of 18 in England alone that were identified as needing protection from abuse. Just imagine how many more fall under the radar of the authorities; or those who are simply too scared to speak out, in fear of what will happen to them.
Abuse or neglect can happen to any child, in any home. It can have devastating effects on a child’s development, as well as having huge impacts on their mental, physical and emotional health; both as a child and in their adult life.
So how much is too much? Let’s face it, most parents at some point can have their buttons pressed and want to smack their child. The fact of the matter is, it is not clear what is acceptable in terms of punishing your children. For me any form of hitting, striking or inflicting violence upon a child is abuse. Not only is it child abuse, but a terrible abuse of power towards those most vulnerable in this country and it DOES have an impact on their child’s development.
Working with children for several years within schools and in private clinic, I have seen my fair share of the impact on our children as a consequence of parents mistakenly thinking that the punishment towards their children is at an acceptable level. I shudder to think about how many children are forced to secrecy, so just live with it daily. What goes on in the home stays in the home! Numerous parents think it is okay to beat their children with hose pipes, belts and bamboo sticks. Let’s not forget the emotional abuse inflicted on them, leaving their children feeling worthless and having devastating effects on their development.
Children talk to me and our other therapists at Tappy Twins; because they are very unhappy. Too scared to speak, it takes some time to ensure you have the trust of the child, before they have the courage to speak out. Our mission is to help as many of them be happy, safe and the people they deserve to be, irrespective of personal circumstances. However, we find that so many times our society lets them down and fails to protect them from the people that are hurting them.
There have been countless occasions when the authorities have decided to send children home, when a child protection issue has been raised within schools. What message does that sent out to the parent? That it is ok to do what they do. What about the poor child that has opened up to you and thinks that things will change.
We are letting our children down, so how can we complain when they are growing up to be angry, detached from society and their future prospects look bleak. It is not rocket science; if things are broken then they need to be fixed. The system that is supposed to protect our most vulnerable is merely letting them down. If we expect to make our future generation as well balanced as possible, action needs to take place NOW!! It starts with the education of parents to what is and what is not acceptable in terms of punishment.