Is slapping a three year old in the head child abuse?

My friend recently struck her 3 year old on the side of the head by his ear after he bit her 1.5 year old while we were driving out of town. It was a pretty hard hit, but open handed, and he did cry. I was shocked, and I told her that many people would report her for child abuse. She told me what she does with her own children is none of my business, and when I insisted, she pulled over to the side of the road and kicked me out, leaving me stranded in a strange city and waiting 2 hours for someone to show up to get me. What would your reaction have been? Do you think that's child abuse? Would you as a parent have reacted the same way to my remark?

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer


    I think that your friend was way out of line with what she did. Yes, the 3 year old was very wrong in biting the 1 year old. She could have gone about it a different way.Yes the child should be punished, but I do not believe that anyone should hit a child in the head or the stomach.

    And she was definitely way out of line for kicking you out of the car. That was really uncalled for. Yes she was upset because she doesn't want people to tell her how she should discipline her kids but like I said, she could have gone about it a different way.

    If you see her do that again, or even do something worse, report her immediately. Because if she doesn't have any shame smacking the crap out of her child in public, just imagine what she does to when they are behind closed doors.

    Listen to your intuition, do what you think is right.

    God Bless

  • Hannah
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Small children can actually receive severe or even fatal head injuries this way. You ought to tell your friend that. She sounds really ignorant and abusive. The ONLY place you ever smack a child is the bottom or leg, and even that should not be too hard.

    • John4 years agoReport

      Children are mean and need to be scolded.

  • 1 decade ago

    Definitely and obviously that was child abuse. I would report her to the right authority.

    Her 3 year old is definitely wrong to bit the 1.5 year old. But there is other ways and more effective ways to punish the 3 year old. She could have cause the 3 year old brain concussion or burst the ear drum.

    This 'friend' of yours is not a person you could regard as a friend. A friend won't kick you out of the car due to what you've said. And I think this 'friend' is SICK in someway. If a person who can think straight:- 1) he/she won't react that way towards a child; and 2) he/she won't react that way towards a friend.

  • 4 years ago

    Yes, it was child abuse. And that is not from my mind, it is legal fact. Any one of those instances when he bashed your head could have caused brain damage, if it had he would be in prison right now. You are lucky you got out in one piece physically. And you seem to have a managed to keep your spirit alive as well. You are a strong person inspite of these horrible people. You are a survivor. Never expect an apology, people like this don't admit they are wrong. Always remember that this was their problem and their fault, not yours. Forge ahead in life and be a good person to further spite them. And when you have children of your own, keep one thing in the front of your mind, everything they did was wrong so don't repeat their actions. I read every book on child rearing I could get my hands on so that I would never never treat my children like I was treated. I know some awesome people who have gone through similiar horrid childhoods, you are in good company. And you know what, I saw no anger here, no bitterness, just hurt. You are an awesome person too!

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  • 1 decade ago

    If I was driving a car and one of my children was biting or attacking another child, I would slap what ever part of the child's body is accessible to get his/her immediate attention and stop the behavior. If the mother did nothing to protect the younger child from the abuse of the older child, that could have been construed as child abuse too. So she was damned if she did and damned if she didn't

  • 4 years ago

    It may be considered abuse but sometimes being rough with a child is the only way to get them under control

    • Jennifer H4 years agoReport

      No. Since this was written I have had 2 children, now almost 3. I effectively discipline them without assaulting them. Physical violence is never an option. If you are rough with your child, I strongly suggest a parenting class.

  • 1 decade ago

    That's abusive. I believe in spanking when appropriate, but slapping a child in the head is wrong. She could hurt her child- physically or emotionally. The fact that she freaked out enough to actually leave you stranded tells me that she probably treats him the same- if not worse- at home. I would call Children's Services since she won't listen to you. You need to make sure her children are not in danger.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would have suggested that was probably not the best way to handle the situation. But to engage in an argument about it right then was probably not the best idea either.

    I would have waited to talk to her about it later when her children werent crying and she wasnt trying to drive.

    smacking a child up side the head is not the right way for her to handle the situation. but If you know your friend and know that she is not one to abuse her child. Then try to talk to her about it again.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My former stepfather used to smack me across the mouth, spank me, and backhand me across the face and mouth all the time. The cops and CPS in Ohio which is where I live considered it discipline and closed the case. They didn't view it as child abuse.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I dont think she was right in hitting her 3 yrd old, no matter what he did. Now had she been in the street, she could have been easily reported to Child Care Services. Im not sure if that's child abuse... I just dont think it's good parenting.... u can report her anonimously (sp?) because if she hit her 3 yr old on the head then Im sure she spanks them and swats them... etc which is not right at all.

    We dont know how often she hits them, if she was so openly striking him in the head while YOU were there... imagine what she'd do if the kid misbehaves at home?

    It doesnt look very good, to be honest. If I were u I'd report her... without saying who I am.

    Source(s): Mom of two, 3 1/2 Matthew and 18 mos Gabriella
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