Hitting children (spanking) is being shown to be an ACE - See Afifi, et al study. We are trying to enlist businesses to become and support NO HIT ZONES as an awareness raising / educational prevention effort. We often hear stories from people who see children being hit by caretakers in public places and businesses. We'd like to hear your stories. Have you seen children being hit in stores? What happened? Did anyone intervene? What was the store? How did this personally make you feel? How did it make you feel about the store? Do you think it would be a good idea if grocery stores and others became NO HIT ZONES? You can send your stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your help!
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When tackling this issue, it's always important to keep in mind the stress level and ACE level of the caregiver. It's SO easy to heap judgement and shame on a caregiver that's already steeped in it, making things worse, not better. Before I understood trauma I saw a Mom get really frustrated with her kids and shove them to a sitting position in a cart and tell the kids she was done and they were leaving the store. I felt shocked and upset for the kids and made some comment to her about her being harsh. Now, I'm more apt to see the stress of the caregiver and think about how I might communicate care to him/her to help reduce the stress. And now, after parenting an adopted/highly traumatized child I know how really tense it can get in public trying to parent a child whose behavior is challenging due to their own fear and stress (think: a child screaming at the top of her lungs in a karate dojo parking lot for an hour and a half because she really wanted to try it but was afraid). Fear of public judgement/shame only increases stress and one's ability to handle things well more challenging.
Totally agree with Marti Howard! Providing support and compassion are more helpful to both parent and child than public shaming.
Hi there. I recently worked with the Scottish Government in relation to ACEs, and continue to provide training and strategic system change work across the UK.
You may be interested to know that The Scottish Goverment has made smacking illegal, with ACEs being the main reason behind this.
The change means children will be given the same legal protection from assault as adults, with the legislation removing the defense of “reasonable chastisement".