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Is there ever a reason to slap a child and is it a police matter if I do?

I’m about to make a confession. I have slapped my children. I’m not proud of it. I wish I hadn’t and it’s something I certainly don’t make a habit of. In fact, I can’t remember when it was or the circumstances around it.

But if we are about to debate the rights and wrongs of slapping, or physical discipline in any form, it’s only fair I don’t pretend to be holier than thou.

Yesterday, on Adam Shand’s drive program he broke the story of a mother arrested for slapping her 4-year-old son on the face after he took and apple from a supermarket shelf and bit into it.

The woman’s husband explained to Adam that the two slaps came when the bitten apple was paid for by his wife and then the child went into meltdown because he was denied the apple as punishment.

In the heat of the meltdown, and with two other young child in tow, the mother slapped her son on the face.

Someone saw the slaps, called the police and after speaking to the mother in the shopping centre car park police later went to the family home and arrested the woman before taking her to the station in a paddy wagon and charging her with common assault.

We’re told police don’t believe the children are living in an abusive household, but assault is assault and the mother must now go to court.

The questions I pose are these. Could this mother be you? Does she deserve a criminal record for slapping her child? Have you ever reacted in the heat of the moment and regretted it later?

922 11 882 is the number to call.

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