Every child will misbehave and be unruly at some time. But there is a fine line between you disciplining them effectively and authoritatively and being considered in the eyes of the law as being a bullying parent.
What Can I Do as a Parent to Discipline My Child?
As a parent, you have the legal and moral obligation to ensure that your child is both looked after and well behaved. Many parents feel that by shouting at their child they are making sufficient strides to ensure their behaviour. However, this is not always the case and may be considered to be emotional bullying, especially if reported to the relevant authorities.
Smacking Your Child is something that the law says we probably shouldn’t do, but there are some who say it is the only way to ensure their child understands the message they are trying to reinforce.
The Law on Smacking
Smacking in some countries, including Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, has been banned, but in the UK smacking or 'reasonable chastisement' is acceptable in the eyes of the law. A light smack to the back of the legs is acceptable and many say this is the best way to discipline their child. However, any smack or punishment that leaves clear marks, welts, bruises or scratches is a prosecutable offence, and a parent could face up to five years in jail.
How Best to Discipline Your Child?
Every parent has their own ideas as to how best control their child. For many, a light smack to the back of the legs or hands is sufficient for the child to know that what they are doing is wrong. This can be supported by a verbal scolding but really should not go any further than that.
Other forms of punishment include grounding your child (denying them playtime outside with friends), loss of privileges such as television and computer game console time, and loss of pocket money. These are, of course, only suggestions but it is the right of every parent to have the final say on how to discipline their child.
If you are in any doubt as to what the law says on the subject of disciplining your child, it is worth visiting the website of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) who offer practical advice and support on this rather tentative subject. Your local authority’s child welfare department can also offer advice as well as parental training classes for those parents who might prefer some additional help.
my girlfriend has a eight year old girl , an recently her daughter had a episode an began hitting her mother . after several attempts to put the child in time out an trying to reason with her, my my girlfriend reluctantly spanked the child with her hand. no marks or bruises where left on the child. is this acceptable when all other attempts to deal with the child had no effect and actually just made the girl act out worse.
phish - 28-Jan-13 @ 11:08 PM
My grandson is driving my daughter crazy.He is extremely unruly to the point that she just moved to an apartment complex and the management is writing a letter with complaints.He is aggressive, vulgar, disrespectful and does what he wants whenever.He has been getting counseling for years including seeing a psychiatrist.He smokes potand for that reason the medication given to him for his possible manic depression is ineffective.My daughter wants to turn him over as a ward of the state because she seems that to get support from any of the agencies she has gone to.Should she get an attorney or what agency can she contact.We are from the state of Ohio.
lalila - 10-Sep-12 @ 4:10 AM
first of all, as a parent you are allowed to chastise your child by smacking. absolutely NO-ONE else is allowed to smack your child no matter how hard or soft.
my only advice to you is to report the abuse to the police, if possible take your children to the police station and get them to tell them. by law they have to investigate it. if you notice any marks, reddening, bruises etc. photograph them and keep as evidence. you could try the social services, but generally they're f*****g useless and never listen. you are finding it hard because you are male, unfortunately the system always favours women. i bet if you had to smack your child and you ex reported it, you would be arrested like a shot. but seriously if you are concerned go to the police, make and keep records of everyone you speak to and everything that is said. dont accept no, if the officer you speak to does nothing, ask to see a superior officer and so on. you could try the social services first, but if this person is smacking your child, then that is a criminal offense and the police must act, if they only go and question him that will be a start, and send a message to watch out.
hope this helps
best of luck
chunky monkey - 20-Jul-12 @ 7:45 PM
Hi, long story made short. I have suffered 5 years of the worst kind of emotional abuse from my ex wife, who is a cruel, uncaring,manipulative control freak.
The stories I could tell you would make your hair curl, and how she has manipulated the authorities,and basically anyone who will listen to make HER appear as the victim.
Last year, after much to'ing and fro'ing, after myself and my mother were abused on a 4 day short break holiday, I was left with no choice after her final, despicable deed, I left her.
Just one week later, she went to a nightclub and met another guy, 1 week after that, my kids are sleeping at his house, 3 month's after that, she has moved in with him.
My 4 year old daughter reportedto me on pick up for access one Saturday " Daddy, *** called mummy a bully and slapped her REALLY hard on her hand,and mummy was crying"
My 3 year old son was playing with toys in my flat, he accidentally knocked a tv remote from a low coffee table, he immediately stood bolt upright, lowered his head, looking down at the floor and said " Sorry" in a very timid voice-he had never behaved like this before, I cuddled him and told him not to worry.
I emailed my ex, asking her why my daughter had said those things, she said, " No, it was *** (new b/f) He smacked my daughter as she was winding up her brother.
It would appear to me that this in itself is wrong anyway, but has tried to deny my daughter had said her boyfriend had slapped mummy on the hand.
I am extremely concerned for my children's welfare, my ex wife has profound psycholgical problems, and is always yelling at someone for no good reason, always either manically happy, or incerdibly angry, her moods have always vascillated like this, that's the reason I left as I had taken all I could.
I have met a lovely girl and we have a great relationship, she is gentle, kind and secure, a complete contrast to my ex.
I can assure you I am no vindictive ex, I am just so worried about my children living with her, and now it seems another man is smacking my kids too. I have full PR, but no one listens to me, my concerns are ignored, no one helps. Please, just someone listen to my concerns and tell me what I can do????