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Is hitting a child with a belt legal if you are the parent?
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Is hitting a child with a belt legal if you are the parent?


It depends on what you state considers appropriate physical discipline. There are many factors when deciding if something is abuse or not.

In Texas, using a belt is generally not considered abuse as long as it is limited by the posterior of the child. There may be very light marks from the belt(some children are very fair skinned), but there should never be any bruising.

Age plays a very big role in this, as well as spanking. If someone is spanking a 7 month old, that will be considered abuse whether the guidelines above are followed or not. The spanking given to a 11 year old would likely not be acceptable on a 5 year old.

Now, Texas does not recommend corporal punishment, but it does abserve the parents right to determine how to discipline their child.

There are very creative ways to discipline your child, you just have to figure them out. Also, you must be consistent, and maintain discipline with your children. I have a 5 year old, and have it to where I can give her a look and she will usually stop being bad. If it doesn't stop, I just ask her "do we need to go have a talk?". Generally, at that point, she knows she better straighten up. Very rarely have I ever had to spank my oldest. My youngest is only 1, so there is no physical discipline for her at all.

Shaun N
No it isn't legal...., also it is illegal if you hit your child with a closed hand (fist).
You can dicipline your child but when you bring in objects, that is considered abuse/assault and battery with a weapon.

Jeremy S
No it is not illegal, as long as there are no marks left; so it is pointless to spank a child with a belt when worried about the legality. Same goes with the hand or any other object. There are many other ways to discipline children without beating them in anyway. Even the most difficult of children do not need to be physically harmed to get them to behave or to teach them a lesson. It doesn't work anyway. Please do not hit a child with a belt.

I agree with child abuse. You can't be teaching a child anything but to hit their children. I've seen kids do things that would tempt me but there has got to be a better way. My father beat me once with a belt and it did nothing but make me absolutely hate him. . .for years and years. . .it certainly did not change my behavior. All he would have had to do was spend the time to explain to me why he thought what I was doing was wrong and ask me not to do it again. I would have honored his request.

Here's what I don't understand about spanking. Why do it at all. What's the point? We're trying to teach our children to use their heads when they get in a situation they cannot control and not use physical violence yet when we as adults lose control we want to hit our kids. This makes not sense. Learn to discipline your children in other ways rather than striking out, you'll be happier for it and so will your children. When you lose control as an adult this sets a very bad example for your child.

But to answer your question. It is illegal in most states to hit your child with anything other than an open hand. Also, leaving a mark constitutes child abuse.

It depends on what state you are in, how hard/how many times you hit the child, and if bruises are left. If bruising is found, that would be considered excessive force and you could be arrested for child abuse depending on the state/local laws.

NO and it would almost definately be a felony assault charge among others. I vote no, hitting anyone with just your hands is a crime, let alone your own child.

NO. Even if you use your hand to "swat" a child, it must be to an appropriate area (buttocks) and if you leave a mark or any kind it is no longer punishment but a crime. Advise the person using this technique to take some parenting classes, soon.

It is child abuse, and that is illegal

It should be, but no.

i dont think so dats how my parents hit me when i was little

yes its assault and it is a criminal offence if you get reported, there are other avenues other than physically assaulting your child, email dr phil.

Its technically legal, but it might soon be outlawed in California for those 3 or under. If the spanking goes to far, it is something the court can take action.

no..even though your the parent but its not good to hit a child because they have their own right..talk to them and explained the mistakes they commit..

Dawn S
I believe it's illegal but if you hit a woman with a belt, it's a different story and it's called fetish lol!

Although I believe that the laws vary from state to state, it should be considered child abuse everywhere!!
One time, on the butt, with your hand only, should be the limit for physical punishment!

it how bad they hit them. I waste no time to hit my kid when he acts up. but I keep it in reason. if the kid is bleeding. the parents might have took it to far.

If someone is going to spank a child, it should never be with anything other than a swat with their own hand.

A belt or switch? NEVER !

I've experienced that. Nothing wrong with it. It's just another way to teach children a lesson. Sometimes spanking never works anymore.

Very Upset
I just found out over the past couple of years that my ex-husband makes my daughter makes her hold onto her bed while he whips her with his belt. She went to live with him when she was 6 and now she is 11. She is scared to talk to me - he intimidates her. I found out thru his soon to be ex-wife how he punishes her - is legal in Texas. I feel incredible pain just thinking about what has happened to my little girl - what can I do?

Hitting a child with ANYTHING is plain wrong. Never mind the stupidity of the Law that says you may hit a child with your hand ... or a belt ... or anything else. It is just not necessary. Discipline means to teach - try doing that instead of hitting a defenceless child. Will you hit your wife/husband if she or he does something like forgetting a bill payment ?? Not unless you want to be slapped in jail. Will you hit your pet or neighbours dog ?? Again no, not unless you want to go to jail. I fail to understand why even criminals in jail are protected from being hit - but a small child isn't. NO ONE deserves to be hit - and especially a child. You don't like spanking your child but feel you 'have to' ?? You tell them 'this hurts me more than you' ? [You have NO idea about that by the way - physical and emotional abuse takes time to show ... I know ... I am 56 and still feel angry, hatred and resentment.] That is your conscience - you don't get that when you hug your child do you?? Hitting and love do not fit in the same sentence.


it better be illegal it is sick and just a way to intimidate. I recently witnessed someone threatening this. Not even doing it. It was just wrong. Don't hit children. We tell them don't hit. We shouldn't hit. We have to be creative. Believe me I know it can be hard. But there are other ways. Find what works best. Children are so very precious. Take the time. Hitting is lazy..

A parent is allowed to discipline his/her child. Now, depending on the parent's economic status, the law/police can charge it (parent) with child abuse.

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