Monday, August 25, 2014

In Re A.E. (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 4, 2014)

Do not spank your two-year old child with a belt.  Ever.  She's two.

I don't care if this was the fourth time she was misbehaving in an hour.  I don't care if she was talking back to your wife, or "acting out," or even that she said "No" and tried to kick you in the leg.  I'll say it once more:  She's two.

Are these things okay for a child to do?  No.  Is discipline appropriate?  Absolutely.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Should you spank this child?  On that subject, I readily concede, people disagree.

But do not spank a two-year old child with a belt and leave marks.  Ever.  On that issue, I believe there should be no dispute.  Even admitting -- as I must -- that some would indeed dispute this fact.

All that said, I also say this to DCFS (and the trial court):  Don't remove a parent from the home solely because he once disregarded the above.  Not when, as here, there's no other misconduct, no drug use, no arrests, no mental illness, no nothing.  That's overboard.  Way.

There may one day come a time when the spanking of a child is considered child abuse.  But that day is not today.