“What’s the big deal?” some say. “So what if a parent beats their kid? I was beat and I turned out all right.”
There are many things our parents and grandparents did that are not all right. For instance, there used to be no law against raping your wife. She’s your property, right? The fact that your parents thought this was just fine does not make it just fine.
At the same time, there certainly are people who go way too far in the other direction — I’ve had cases where parents were charged with neglect for the most ridiculous of things (“You left your kids alone for ten minutes while you went to the store!”) I am not falling for the slippery slope argument here. But beating your kid? I mean, really beating them so it hurts? No, we should be past those days now.
My parents would whap me with a flyswatter on my butt. That was the extent of their “beatings.” It only hurt psychologically. But even so, that was in the 60s, and things have changed. I don’t want to open the door and make distinctions (“If you hit your kid with a soft flyswatter, that’s OK, but a hard one? No way.”) I think we should be telling parents not to hit their kids at all.
An assault is an assault. It doesn’t become a “not-assault” simply because it was your child. Your children are not your property.
It is wrong to hit your wife; it is wrong to hit your husband; it is wrong to hit your friends; it is wrong to hit strangers; it is wrong to hit your pets; it is wrong to hit anyone.
And it is especially wrong to hit a small child.