I’ve never liked the idea of hitting children. I felt that hitting won’t accomplish anything, if anything it will cause more hate toward the parent and the child will surely not listen. Additionally its painful to the child and I couldn’t stand to watch a child cry so much from getting punished.
I felt a punishment should teach them a lesson not to repeat their bad action but at the same time it shouldn’t be too painful. So long as they learn their lesson there’s no need to make them feel more guilty. Plus a lot of times I believed that the reason why parents hit their children was more out of anger than for the child’s benefit. The parent was upset at what the child did and took their frustration out on the child.
Recently, I came upon an article of where a 20 year old had gone $5,000 over on her cell phone bill and was therefore hit by her parent, the 20 year old’s boy friend called the police and the parent was charged with domestic violence. I was wondering what the difference is if a parent hits their kid when their little or big. In either case its some sort of abuse. Although with little children they get away with it. But by little children it probably hurts them more and they can’t handle it as much as an older child that can deal with pain.
Then today I heard Shlomo Hamelech in Mishlei deals with this issue. He says there are three types of children. There is the Scoffer, the simpleton, and the one who understands. With each child he explains there is a different way to discipline them.
Basically he says that hitting will not accomplish anything in either child. But he says with the scoffer no sort of punishment could help him. There is no way to correct his actions. However, with the simpleton, you shouldn’t hit him because it will cause resentment. However, by hitting the scoffer the simpleton will see and will change his ways (the scoffer will not be harmed by getting hit). By the understanding son he says you should talk to him and explain to him what he did was wrong and he will be able to correct his ways.
“Strike the scoffer and the simpleton will grow clever; chastise an understanding person and will understand [even more] knowledge.” (Mishlei 19:25)