There may be no other way of convincing a toddler not to run in the road or bite a new baby brother or sister than a smack on the back of the hand or leg. It might produce a short lived flood of tears but the amount of force used should be the very minimum to make the point.
I can’t actually remember applying this punishment to my now grown up children. But I must have done because I can’t think how else you get life and death messages across to a young child after reasoning with them has failed.
Beyond that point I’ve never given the ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ philosophy house room. To this day I think it is positively sick that until relatively recently British teachers were free to thrash other people’s children.
These thoughts come to mind after reading about the videoed leather belt beating US family court judge William Adams gave his daughter Hillary when she was 16 back in 2004.
She secretly filmed the assault and released her video on the internet this week where it has been viewed millions of times. I found it impossible to watch all the way through.
I can’t recall any one teaching me that it was morally repugnant to strike a child in anger; doubly so if the decision is taken cold bloodily to cause pain.
To do so you have already lost the argument, your child’s respect, and probably their love.
What you may also have done is continue a cycle of abuse down the generations. It would be interesting to know how Judge Adams was treated by his own parents. I can guess; if he was he's been damaged, if he wasn't he should know better. Either way he is damned.
Instead of questioning his daughter’s motives in uploading the video – immaterial given his brutality – he should be begging her forgiveness.
Aransas County Court needs to consider whether Adams judgements need to be re-visted.