In Reply to: Re: Spanking Kids Increases Risk Of Sexual Problems As Adults posted by Jyl on March 11, 2008 at 19:51:53:
Jyl, you said: "I don't believe that if I swat my toddler on the behind to raise their awareness to the severity of the situation I have done anything wrong."
In my post below to James I explain that I think assaulting children is immoral and ought to be illegal, just as assaulting adults is. In fact, some countries have made it illegal.
You are making the common argument that if there is no physical, emotional or psychological harm done, then there is nothing wrong with hitting or threatening to hit a child. In other words, you are basing your belief that it is ok to hit children on whether or not harmful consequences ensue.
However, if you believe, as I do, that children are people then you must necessarily believe that children have the right to have their personal dignity respected just as adult persons do. That is why I refer to the corporal punishment of children, including swatting a toddler, as assault. I certainly believe the line should be drawn long before weapons are used or bruises appear, which is where you suggest the line is.
Assault can occur whether or not actual harm results because even just threatening to harm someone constitutes assault. In other words, the affront is to a person's dignity. It is this concept of an affront to a person's dignity that is often left out of discussions of child abuse or neglect, especially where the definition of such abuse is focused solely on actual or risked harmful consequences.
I have simplified my argument here, but that's the gist of it. I'm no child care expert, but I can't help but wonder if there is not a better way of achieving the desired result with toddlers rather than assaulting them?