The smacking debate keeps raring its head but let’s go one step further and look into the fact that recently a stranger smacked a child at the shops. Of course the mother was outraged as I can imagine any parent would be, I know I sure would be.
That to me the idea of smacking another child opens a completely different can of worms. If you choose to smack your own child as a form of discipline then that is your parental right to make that decision. Whether smacking is right or wrong as a technique is something that you have made a decision on yourself as the parent. The smacking debate as a parent is not so much the topic of conversation here but rather is it ever appropriate to smack someone else’s child?
When someone else, who is a complete stranger, takes the discipline of your child into their own hands now that raises a completely different matter.
Is that not assault?
The fact that they have differing views on how to handle the situation isn’t that irrelevant?
But….. What about if the child in question is out of control? Who gauges if indeed the child is out of control? Is it the stranger who knows nothing about you, your child and parenting habits? Do they get to make a decision based solely on their own beliefs? What if there is a specific behavioural method being used and this stranger has interrupted that.
This particular incident that occurred to re-open the smacking debate I would hazard a guess would sadly not be a completely isolated case, but what makes this more inappropriate is the circumstances surrounding the smack. The innocence of the smack. Wasn’t it a harmless little game? You have to ask yourself (if you do smack your own child) would this incident have even been cause to smack them? I would think most parents would not say yes here.
The child has Downs Syndrome but that in itself is not the defining factor as such. To me the defining factor that makes this act so morally wrong is that the stranger not only had no right to smack but was downright inappropriate when you look at the circumstances.
In this instance the 3 year old (who as a result of having Downs Syndrome is developmentally delayed. She is approximately 1 year behind children of her age developmentally) was in a trolley and dropped one of her shoes over the side of the trolley. The woman picked it up and gave it back to her which to the little girl was seen as a game and so she did it again and dropped the shoe over the edge. It was this second time that the woman then smacked the little girl on the arm. Once something was said by the mother the woman then had what I feel is the hide to debate the fact she felt what she did was ok!
To me this is easily a huge over-reaction as it was simply seen by the little girls as a bit of fun and the adult reacted downright inappropriately. As an adult there was so many other ways she could have dealt with it. Things that instantly come to the top of my list is walk away and no longer engage with the child; speak to the parent and let her know she keeps dropping the shoe or mind her own business in the first place if you are the type of person to react in such a way.