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ok to slap?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Question - we went to observe a karate class that our neighbour's son attends. Our neighbour was full of praise for the teacher and apparently had checked out 3-4 others before choosing this one. I saw that the teacher was very competent and had good rapport with the students. He did however, slap anyone who was distracted. It was not a painful slap but I wonder what I would tell my daughter if she should ask me about it - it is okay for a teacher to slap to get kids to pay attention, as long as the slap does not physically hurt? This does not sit well with me. On the other hand, the entire world is not going to follow my ideas on nonviolent communication. Does this mean that sometimes we have to adjust our expectations?
post #2 of 42
No way is that ok with me, and I would not put my child in the care or teaching of someone who does it.
post #3 of 42
This wouldn't be okay with me. At all.
post #4 of 42
Absolutely no way! My son is involved in martial arts and there would be nothing of this sort going on, in fact not even raised voices. Martial arts are as much about respect and discipline of self as about being tough and strong. This is a bad message and not within the teacher's remit. I don't know what you mean by a slap but it sounds bad news to me.
post #5 of 42
No way! I would not let my child take a class where the teacher slapped the kids. Even if it doesn't hurt it's certainly not a respectful way to communicate.

And what is it teaching the children?
post #6 of 42
This goes against everything DS and DH have learned in martial arts. Their instructor teaches the skills are only used in self defense. The underlying concepts are self discipline, self control and respect. An instructor slapping a kid goes against the principles I want my son learn. That aside, no adult should be hitting a child.
post #7 of 42
Uh...no. I grew up with mean and scary ballet teachers. Even with all the mean stuff they did do to us (forcing us into splits while we cried), they never laid hands on us.

I have a lot of friends that are professional martial arts people. The vibe in their studios has always been pretty serious, but mellow. I've never seen an atmosphere where slapping kids would be accepted/tolerated.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgewitch View Post
Absolutely no way! My son is involved in martial arts and there would be nothing of this sort going on, in fact not even raised voices. Martial arts are as much about respect and discipline of self as about being tough and strong. This is a bad message and not within the teacher's remit. I don't know what you mean by a slap but it sounds bad news to me.
Yes, this. My 3 and 6 year olds, as well as myself, train in martial arts, and our sensai would never *ever* lose control with one of his students and strike them, or even raise a voice. That speaks very poorly of the instructor if he does not have enough self control to avoid striking a child. Self control, respect, and only using physical contact when the situation absolutely warrants it are all huge parts of martial arts training.

Heck, even during full blown sparring, there is no violent contact--everything is very self controlled to the point where in the course of a 90 minute class of full sparring with adults, you *might* get 1, maybe 2 bruises because of a block.
post #9 of 42
We've had two taekwondo instructors and neither of them slapped or tapped kids to get their attention. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it isn't normal.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Okay, glad to get these responses.
Quote:
That speaks very poorly of the instructor if he does not have enough self control to avoid striking a child.
I dont think he sees this as a lack of self control. He thinks that it is an acceptable way to discipline a child.

I should say that the kids did not seem to mind this and got along well with the instructor. However, it goes against what we do. We have never raised our voices in order to dominate (in fact I find it more attention-getting to lower my voice) and never slapped, lightly or otherwise for the purpose of "discipline" and I would not like to introduce my dd to such a practice.

Karate can wait.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
Uh...no. I grew up with mean and scary ballet teachers. Even with all the mean stuff they did do to us (forcing us into splits while we cried), they never laid hands on us.

I have a lot of friends that are professional martial arts people. The vibe in their studios has always been pretty serious, but mellow. I've never seen an atmosphere where slapping kids would be accepted/tolerated.
My martial arts teacher was known for forcing stretches too...but he never slapped. He was more into the "silent intimidation" technique. Like, kid isn't paying attention, he stopped talking and just stared until everyone was staring...
post #12 of 42
That's absolutely not something I'd ever consider acceptable, and there's no excuse for it. My son studied aikido, and the children paid attention because the instructors were competent and respectful enough to capture their attention with no coercion. - Lillian

post #13 of 42
I think slapping people of any age for any reason is not appropriate.

It's extra awful as a way for a teacher of a hobby to keep the kids' attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
That's absolutely not something I'd ever consider acceptable, and there's no excuse for it. My son studied aikido, and the children paid attention because the instructors were competent and respectful enough to capture their attention with no coercion. - Lillian


I would not ever want my child in any extracurricular class where "discipline" was the response to wandering attention. If my kid can't pay attention, after a couple gentle reminders, I remove him from the class so he doesn't disrupt it. I would not allow him to be "disciplined" by an instructor of anything, beyond being calmly sent out of the class.

Slapping children is totally out of the realm of acceptable.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
My martial arts teacher was known for forcing stretches too...but he never slapped. He was more into the "silent intimidation" technique. Like, kid isn't paying attention, he stopped talking and just stared until everyone was staring...
Oh same here. Our ballet teachers never actually physically forced us into splits. But they would thump their canes on the ground, raise their voices at times, and get the class to mock you if you wouldn't hold a split despite trembling/hurting/crying. Good times.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheery View Post
It was not a painful slap but I wonder what I would tell my daughter if she should ask me about it - it is okay for a teacher to slap to get kids to pay attention, as long as the slap does not physically hurt? This does not sit well with me.
A good martial arts (or other) teacher should be able to manage the class without using physically or emotionally abusive techniques. The good martial arts teachers I've seen have had a presence that inspires respect without having to resort to abuse.

However, to form a true opinion, I'd really have to see it. A truly gentle "slap", without the intention of causing pain or humiliation, might not be a dealbreaker for me if the class otherwise seemed good, though I have a hard time comprehending it as truly necessary, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
Oh same here. Our ballet teachers never actually physically forced us into splits. But they would thump their canes on the ground, raise their voices at times, and get the class to mock you if you wouldn't hold a split despite trembling/hurting/crying. Good times.
Honestly, this kind of thing would bother me more than a non-painful slap.

In the end... if the lessons being taught, either directly or indirectly, are contrary to what you want your child learning about themselves and appropriate ways to interact with the world, then the class is probably not a good fit for your family.
post #16 of 42
Much of what a good martial art teacher should be demonstrating/modeling is a respectful, centered, grounded, and dignified demeanor which automatically elicits attention and mutual respect. To slap someone - especially a student, and a smaller person - even symbolically, is not in keeping with any of that. - Lilian
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post

However, to form a true opinion, I'd really have to see it. A truly gentle "slap", without the intention of causing pain or humiliation, might not be a dealbreaker for me if the class otherwise seemed good, though I have a hard time comprehending it as truly necessary, either.
I agree with this.
post #18 of 42
nope. i would find another class. there are TONS of martial arts studios out there, if your dc is interested you can find something good. i would also ask my friend if they were aware of this.
post #19 of 42
You're also more than welcome to ask questions at any reasonable studio! You can explain to the teacher that this is something you're not quite comfortable with, and ask him to explain his intentions, and then see how the answer sits with you.

This also sends the message (especially if you choose against that studio!) that the slapping may be something that isn't ideal or universally acceptable, and gives an otherwise good studio a chance to reconsider and make improvements.
post #20 of 42
I would not leave my child with anybody who would slap them. No way.
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