Our expert says:
A baby is exploring, not being deliberately naughty, and physical punishment is not only consider Wrong by many people, but even if it were to be considered Right, it doesn't work and isn't of use. I'd guess that your husband got smacked a lot when he was a child ? He needs to recognize, for a start, that no discipline works unless BOTH parents agree on and operate by, the same rules. I think several readers make a sensible point, that while HITTING a child is wrong ( and unhelpful, too ) tapping --- a firm pat on the nappy or the bottom, as a punctuation mark and not an assault, can be acceptable. Of course beating children is wrong ---beating anyone is wrong. I agree with Ness on the distinction between a smack and a beating.
But more effective is the approach demonstrated so often on DSTV in the Nanny and Little Angels programs, how simple behavioural techniques, with time out on the Naughty Spot, and rewards with starts on a chart adding up to real rewards, WORKS and surprisingly rapidly, in bringing about good behaviour --- and then behaving well is something a child does of their own accord, and not only out of fear ( which they might then choose not to do if there's no smacker around ).
BUT again, all this should apply to a child being really naughty and generall older than a mere 18 months.
NOT giving a child a reasonable, consistent and fairly enforced code of conduct, is, for me, also child abuse.
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