We would never allow an adult to hit a child. unless it is their child. Slapping, spanking. Physical punishment is violence, it is abuse, and it is unacceptable.
Cachetes the children, it is understood. It goes without saying, because who else was he going to spank? Cachets taxi drivers, waiters, spouses, detainees, college students, customers? Of course not!
Slaps are always for children. Not for all children, of course. The slaps are for the children or for the students. We would never allow another adult, a stranger, to hit a child.
A slap “in time”, of course. In time to prevent the child from falling down the path of vice and crime? In time, I think rather, to be able to slap him safely.
Without danger of returning, it to us, as it could well happen at 15 years old, when many are already taller and stronger than their parents. Without danger that he will look at us with astonishment or reproach, that he will ask us: “But, Dad, Mom, what are you doing?”, As could well happen at age 10, even earlier, when some already have more common sense and more moral stature than their parents.
Because if there is something that distinguishes the supporters of the slap, it is their courage courage to face them alone, unarmed, terrible two-year-old, little four-year-old tyrants. Courage to recognize that when faced with inappropriate behavior by a young child, they can think of no other response than a slap.
HOW CAN THERE BE DEBATE?
Many years ago, I was called from a radio station. The Spanish Parliament was debating the law that would prohibit parents from hitting their children and they wanted to invite someone in favor and someone against slapping. “But you are not going to find anyone in favor,” I told them, surprised.
I naively thought not. But to my amazement, yes, there was a psychologist who defended the convenience and usefulness of slapping children.
The most incredible thing were the calls from the public. I expected to hear extreme situations; I don’t know, “my 15-year-old son abused a 12-year-old girl, and I slapped him”, or “my daughter and her friends bullied another boy for weeks, and I slapped him”.
Such slaps I would not have approved of because, of course, hitting a child does not seem to me a useful method of teaching him that he should not use violence. But perhaps he would have understood. Perhaps he would have understood the mistake of a parent who loses his temper over a serious problem and acts without thinking. But those who called the radio did not face even remotely similar problems. They justified themselves with very poor arguments: “How else can you explain to a girl that you shouldn’t throw papers down the street”, “What else can you do if the boy puts his feet on the sofa”.
These are people who consider that throwing papers is uncivil, but hitting children is not. People who prefer to keep the sofa clean to conscience. There is nothing epic or tragic about those slaps just the ugly, grotesque, pathetic banality of evil. That dirties the sofa is not accepted, but hitting the children is.
BAN HITTING CHILDREN REDUCES VIOLENCE AMONG TEENS
A few months ago, the British Medical Journal published a large study on the relationship between the ban on slapping and fighting between teenagers.
The work consisted of analyzing data on more than 400,000 adolescents surveyed in 88 different countries.
- In 30 it is forbidden to hit children, both at home and at school (includes Spain, Germany, Sweden, Bolivia, Tunisia, Mongolia).
- Hitting is prohibited in 38 countries, but only at school (United States, Italy, El Salvador, Zambia).
- At 20 it is legal to hit at home and at school (neither of them is European).
- Just the opposite can happen: it is the most peaceful societies that have banned slapping. In any case, it seems clear that the prohibition of corporal punishment has not produced the wave of wild and limitless young people that some doomsayers announced.
- And it is good that these things are investigated. But, when laws are made against sexist violence or against bank robberies, do we wonder if now women fight less, or if bankers steal less from each other? No, we wonder if the laws were effective, if there has been less sexist violence and fewer robberies.
- We do not want the victims to change: it is the aggressors who have to change. That violence among teens decreases is an interesting and unexpected benefit. But it must be clear that the objective of the law was not to reduce fights between adolescents, but violence by parents and teachers against children.