Kelly Jennings asked parents why they beat their children, and tries to understand why.
This is not to say you are never tempted to smack your child (just once! Just one time! What could it hurt!) when she is screeching and wailing about something truly ridiculous that you can do nothing about (“Why did you pour the milk into the cereal? Why, why, why? I wanted to put the milk in the cereal! MEEEEE! MEEEE! MEEEE!”).
But you take a deep breath, you ask yourself, “Will hitting her make her cry more or less? Will hitting make this child better or worse?” And you find a different way.
Whereas, once parents take the path of raising a child with violence – once parents decide, in other words, that violence is an answer, well, you know the joke about hammers and nails.
And talking to parents who hit their kids, this is what I have found. Once you decide that hitting your kids is an acceptable disciplinary tactic, pretty soon you’re like that woman in my class a few years ago. You don’t just use it as a last resort, or when the child’s behavior is especially egregious.