Child Discipline vs. Child Abuse Simply put this is a paper describing when child discipline becomes child abuse.

Essay by doebopCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2003

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You see your child misbehaving, and you tell him to stop. He ignores you, and you tell him again. You are getting frustrated. He says "OK, I will", then 10 minutes later the same thing is going on. You're really angry now. It feels like your authority as a parent means nothing. If other adults are around then it's even worse, you feel ineffective and inadequate. So you yell, "I TOLD YOU TO STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. GET OVER HERE." You grab him by the arm when he comes to you, give him a shake, and tell him to go to his room. "YOU'RE GOING TO GET A WHIPPING FOR NOT MINDING ME." A few minutes later you go into his room with the belt and spank his bottom with three good licks; Is this Abuse or Discipline?

The definition of child abuse and the line between child abuse and child discipline is a legal matter that differs from state to state (within the U.S.)

and from country to country. It is therefore, not possible for me to give you a specific guideline however I will do my best to explain my opinion. I'll give you a couple examples to help with the clarity of my opinion:

1.Your child attacks you physically and you react instinctively.

It is certainly appropriate to not allow your child to cause physical harm to yourself or others by physically stopping him from acting this way. An appropriate response would be holding him as gently as possible away from you or from whoever he is trying to hurt and continuing to hold him until he has calmed down. Certainly you would not be expected to sit and not stop your child from hurting you.

If, however, by reacting instinctively, you mean "hitting him...