The Slapping Incident

Okay, six months ago, when I had house guests and very little blogging time, I took Elizabeth to the doctor to get her twelve month shots.  We had to wait in the waiting room for FOREVER (that was the main flaw of that doctor’s office, they took terribly long to call you back, even when you were the first appointment of the day) so Elizabeth was playing with the bead thingie and watching all the other kids.  It was moderately crowded, so there were probably four other families on the well side of the waiting room.

There was this one little two year old girl who was into absolutely everything.  It was a classic case of “SERIOUSLY, can you control your kid already?”  By into everything, I mean this child was taking the pacifier out of a newborn’s mouth (a random newborn, who had just been brought into the room by her parents who clearly did not know this two year old girl) and stealing the sippy cup of another child.  She also went and snatched the cell phone out of the hand of that previously mentioned newborn’s parent.  I mean, SERIOUSLY.

This little girl’s grandmother did not look up from her cell phone the entire time.

So this little wild child at one point walked up to Elizabeth and smacked her in the chest.  Elizabeth was perplexed.  Elizabeth continued minding her own business and kept playing.  Ten minutes or so later (during which a lot of those other misbehavior incidents were occurring), this little girl walked back up to Elizabeth and slapped her in the face.

Again, Elizabeth is totally perplexed.  She didn’t cry.  Her brow furrowed, as she thought about whether she should cry or not, but she decided that she was way too confused to cry.  (Besides, it wasn’t a terribly hard slap.)  I picked Elizabeth up and entertained her on my lap for the rest of our wait.

(No, I didn’t say anything to the little girl’s grandmother.  I should have, but I am non-confrontational to a fault.)

A few minutes after the slap, the little girl walked up to her grandmother and tried to take her grandmother’s cell phone.  The grandmother slapped her hands, but continued to pay no attention to her.  I witnessed another smacking of this little girl while we were waiting to be called back.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t believe in hitting children at all.  Children that are hit become hitters. I’ve seen it over and over again in my teaching.  I know a lot of people believe that spanking and hand smacking are excellent disciplinary tools, but I tend to disagree.  I think it teaches children that physical violence (no matter how mild) is acceptable and something that adults do.  It becomes a way to get what they want.  Children want to be like adults and they learn from what we do.  If we don’t want them to do it, we can’t do it either.

*Jen steps down off of her soapbox.*