As children I guess all or most of us had been hit by our parents at some point in our childhood. Our parents went by the saying, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. We all know that yes, compared to our childhood, our children are in a different generation all together. We try and provide them with things that we had missed out in our childhood, like that expensive remote-controlled toys, or bed sheets printed with cartoon characters, or an expensive hobby class. We work and earn and then spend it all on children, for we strongly believe that we can provide for our children so that they are not left wanted for anything. At our heart we very strongly believe we are much more aware and involved parents than our parents ever were, not that we do not understand why our parents had done what they did. We actually understand and empathise. And yet we all believe that this is a different generation all together. But how many of us can honestly say that we have never hit our children, that we do believe that same results may be obtained through discipline, than an occasional slap or a hard spank? How come our thoughts haven’t changed much from our parents in this criterion, even if we believe that we are from a different generation, the one which thinks independently? My child is ten and the last time I had hit her was when she was two years and had thrown a glass of water on the wall, just to check if it breaks. Needless to say the tumbler had shattered and my temper had hit the roof. I still remember the shocked look in her face when I spanked her, and the utter incomprehension of her punishment. It’s simple; she did not understand why she was hit. It was that look which pained me the most and made me rethink on our maternal tendency of reaching out to hit a child, most of the time when we lose our patience, reach end of our tether. Most of the time hitting in a temper makes for erratic disciplinary action, for in a calmer frame of mind, often we let the child get away with the same or similar act. Since then I had been plagued by this question, to hit or not to hit my child to enforce discipline? It was then I heard someone say that hitting children when we lose temper is so grossly unfair on the child. And I agree. I haven’t hit my child since then, and do not intend to hit again in future also. Last eight years of my parenting had been utterly taxing, for I was much tempted to resort to spanking, but thankfully I didn’t. I have used all sorts of rewards and punishment on her to ensure good behaviour and the difference between right and wrong getting imprinted on her mind. Today my daughter comes to me and expresses her surprise on hearing her friends’ moms’ hitting them. A friend of her had to be hospitalised because her mom hit her and unluckily the blow made her fall very hard on the floor. It pains me to see children in pain. It pains me further when such pain is inflicted on them by their parents. Why do we treat our own children so badly, when we claim to be the well-read, knowledgeable and savvy gen-next of parents? Is there no replacement to spanking in terms of disciplinary action? We all say and know that violence begets violence. So if we raise our children amidst violence, there is a strong chance that they will grow up to be violent personalities. My father had never hit us in our entire life, and maybe that’s why it had been very easy for me to stop hitting my child and nurture her in a loving and yet strict disciplinary environment. She knows she need not be afraid of violence, and she knows that discipline do not mean physical pain. In a lot of countries, corporal punishment is illegal, be it in school or at home. It’s banned in schools in India as well. And yet, everyday huge number of children gets hit, bruised and battered, and we, their custodians, are most often responsible for it. We hit children without even thinking anything about it, when we will think ten times before we will hit an adult. It makes me wonder why we do that, or if we can at all stop the draconian practice of hitting our children altogether.