effects of slapping a child in the face
Big Kid Parenting

5 Effects Of Slapping A Child In The Face

What are the effects of slapping a child in the face? Although disciplining children can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming, Many people already agree that smacking isn’t a good form of discipline.

It can be difficult to manage children with the constant outbursts, temper tantrums and all the screaming, yelling and fighting back.

It’s no wonder children can be hazardous to others and importantly to themselves.

Related: Ten Punishments That Work

Here Are The Top 5 Effects Of Slapping A Child In The Face

  1. It Demonstrates To Your Child That Hitting Is OK To do.
  2. You Risk Serious Long term Injury
  3. Long Term Health And Development Issues
  4. It Doesn’t Necessarily Curb Disruptive Behaviour
  5. In Some Countries, You Can Face Jail Time For Child Abuse

Developmental Growth

As your child goes through each developmental stage they learn new information about themselves and the world at an alarming rate. Sometimes this can all get overwhelming and tensions can arise when they aren’t able to express themselves effectively.

With the popular rise of aggression, violence and general disruptive behaviour in children’s cartoons, it’s not surprising children are acting out.

Your child’s learning environment can have a very disruptive influence on their behaviour and make your job much harder.

Defintion of Smacking

Smacking is usually defined as:

“The use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correcting or controlling the child’s behaviour”.

Many parents are left with little to no choice and punishments can get more severe as the child gets older or the parent gets more stressed.

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The scary part is research shows that many physical punishments may have longer-lasting effects on children and some, like the effects of slapping a child in the face, can be irreversible.

Parents have a false belief that if you hit or spank your child often but then show them love and affection the positive attention outweighs the negative punishment but this is not true.

Effects Of Harsh Punishments

It’s important to understand that more exposure to harsher punishment has been linked to higher levels of anxiety in children. Also, children tend to lash out at siblings in reaction to what they have witnessed or experienced themselves.

A child who is punished tends to feel an element of guilt or shame during the incident. Although, this can be harmless at home or when children are punished in smaller doses this does not apply to all forms of discipline.

Slapping a child in the face can cause permanent damage to their self-esteem, especially if the action is seen by other family or friends.

Children can very easily be humiliated and a simple action can very quickly turn into a life scaring event that could take years of counselling to rectify.

Their risk of counselling, therefore, can increase with more exposure to harsher punishment. This is even greater when you slap a child across the face in public.

Hitting your child across the face won’t effectively help there behaviour as the ends do not justify the means. Your child has now witnessed that it is ok to hit others, it is ok to hit them across the face and this expression of angry is acceptable.

This will have a spiralling effect on his emotional and physical well-being and lead to a variety of difficulties in social settings.

I Hit My Child and Feel Guilty

Did you hit your child and you are having a long trip to guilt town? Children can drive you crazy for many reasons than any parent would care to count. 

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For starters, you might derive some comfort from the fact that it happens and you are not the only one to do it. In fact, you are not the first parent to lose it and smack their child for one reason or the other. While this might not make your guilt fade away, it will probably offer you some comfort.

Sometimes you are just looking for some peace of mind after a long day or are busy trying to complete a task and they’re always looking for a way to drive you mad.

Maybe your child is playing with a sibling or other children and probably hitting them. Or maybe they are throwing a tantrum in the middle of a supermarket aisle for no apparent reason.

When this happens, and the parent happens to be stressed or overwhelmed by other issues, a smack on the legs, hand, or other body parts might happen. 

If any of these or other reason has led you to hit your child, the first step is to let go of the guilt.

A guilty conscience will not do you or your child any good.

As a parent, you need to learn how to overcome thise guilt and how to deal with your child’s indiscipline. 

While hitting a child is believed to cause long term effect for the child and even straining your relationship, it’s not advisable to let guilt stop you from disciplining your child.

The last thing you need is to raise an entitled little brat who lacks empathy and hurts other people. If your child is impossible to deal with, perhaps consider other discipline strategies.

I slapped my baby across the face

As mentioned earlier, slapping your child can have detrimental effects on your child- from showing your child it’s okay to be violent to causing injuries. And, depending on how bad the child is hurt, you risk jail time for abusive behavior or losing custody of the child. 

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You can try sorting this by digging deeper into the issue, like asking yourself some hard questions.

  • Did your child do anything to warrant such extreme punishment?
  • Was there an easier way to administer a punishment that would have still taught your child a lesson on discipline? 

Its important you try to get to the bottom of the reason behind the action as then you can resolve the core meaning for your action.

How To Stop Hitting Your Child

Once you have answered the above questions, and possibly others that you might find useful, you will be closer to knowing how to stop hitting your child. One of the ways to do this is first understanding the pattern of your anger.

If this is not the first time you’ve hit your child, go back to all the times you’ve hit them and analyze why it happened in the first place.

Once you have narrowed down your triggers, you can work on staying calm during such moments. 

Another way is finding out what strategies work for you when you need to let out some steam.

  • Is a pressure ball good enough for you or do you need to talk a walk or run a few miles?
  • Perhaps you prefer listening to some music, motivational talks, or watch your favorite shows just to feel calm.

Whatever strategy works for you, try using it when you get angry. 

If your anger issues are extreme, you can seek anger management counselling for the sake of your sanity and that of your child. You do not want your child to grow up with an abusive parent whom they despise for the rest of their lives. 

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