Parenting advice: Is it ever OK to tell your child to hit another?

Would you tell your child to hit if you felt like you had done all you can to protect her?

Most parents will teach their children hitting is not acceptable. From those early days of toddlerhood when frustration leads to lashing out at siblings, to the teenage years where rebellion may come as a result of peers and hormone changes, we spend our years reciting things like "We don't hit" and "Do NOT smack!"

But how do we maintain that moral compass when someone else is creating a magnet effect that makes you want to react in a not-so-moral way?

How to raise resilient kids


How to raise resilient kids

"She has asked him to stop"

One mum has posted to Mumsnet asking if she is being unreasonable for considering telling her daughter to hit another child. And before we all jump up and judge, ask yourself what you would do given the same situation.

She said her five-year-old daughter has been having issues with a boy in her class. They have a rug in the classroom with pictures on it and each sign is assigned a picture to sit in the same spot each day.

Tina Fey (mom to daughter Alice): “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible - oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”

"The boy next to her is continually touching her, stroking her hair, face and her arms and legs and she has asked him to stop," the woman wrote.

"I have been in and spoken to them about it and it's still happening almost two months later."

She says the school "don't seem to be doing much" about it. They have spoken to the boy on several occasions but he continues to touch her.

She asks if it would be unreasonable for her to tell the teacher again, but if nothing changes this time, to tell her daughter to hit him.

She says, "I know it's trivial to some but this child is invading her personal space multiple times a day and if this were to happen to an adult I'm sure heads would roll."

Image: iStock.

The young boy was always sat next to the little girl. Image: iStock.

"Never condone violence"

While the responses online were mixed, many quickly pointed out that it was very wrong of the mother to suggest her daughter resort to physical violence.

"What if he hit her back?" one person asked. "That's not the answer. Ask the teacher to separate them, surely they can move spots on the carpet? And have a word with the boy's parents too. But never condone violence."

Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don't worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. That's the name of the game.

"The teacher really should have separated them by now," added another, adding "I think you have a teacher problem too."

Many advocated for separating the children or demanding the girl be moved, while others pointed out the boy should be relocated, not the girl who has done nothing wrong.

"She has the right to defend herself"

There were also more old-school style responses supporting the need for physical violence.

"That is creepy," wrote one. "You tried the proper channels, it didn't work, she has the right to defend herself."

Another said it's "not ideal, but I would certainly be saying the same thing to my daughter in those circumstances. I never hit back at school and hugely regret it now."

"Tell her to shout"

Many suggested the little girl assert herself loud enough for the boy to stop, or the teacher to hear.

"Tell her to shout, 'get off me' or 'stop touching me' every single time," suggested one person, adding, "He will stop or be stopped."

Another agreed, adding the woman should also "go into the school and tell them that's exactly what you've told her to do."

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don't give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it.

"She does need to tell him to stop quite loudly and the teacher needs to keep them apart ... And I would go up the food chain if it's not addressed immediately," said another.

Have you ever been in this situation? Share how you handled it with us in the comments.