For most Indians, the sight of a child being spanked or beaten (not enough to cause harm, of course) is a very normal sight. In fact, most Indians have been spanked by their parents/teachers/elders at least once in their life. For a culture that frowns upon people using bad language in front of kids, we are disturbingly complacent about someone raising their hand on a child. We even have proverbs about it in each regional language.
- How come hitting a child is acceptable, while hitting an adult is not? We look at people, who raise their hands on adults, with such censure and horror. I have heard of so many marriages or relationships break up because one partner raised their hand on the other. Then how can we justify hitting children? Aren’t children humans too? Don’t they warrant as much, if not more, protection as adults? Are mild spankings truly harmless?
- How can I justify to my child that I am allowed to hit or spank her, but she is not allowed to hit another child or elder? How can I explain to her why hitting another person is wrong? Children learn by example. If you hit her today, she will surely hit someone tomorrow.
- Is it really an effective disciplinary action, as people claim? The child may obey you due to fear, but that does not mean that the habit or value you tried to instill in her was truly absorbed by her. She may just do it when your back is turned and learn how to hide it better from you.
- You are your child’s universe. She believes you will keep her safe from harm and pain. Her trust is blind and absolute. How can you betray that trust? How can you ever meet those wounded eyes? For that matter, how can you meet your own eyes?
- Accidents can occur! However softly you hit a child, the fact is that you are a big grownup while they are such tiny and fragile beings. They can easily fall or hit some furniture and hurt themselves. If something like that happens you wouldn’t be able to forgive yourselves….ever.