Rav Avigdor Miller on Potches and Child Abuse



Should parents hit their children?


Let me tell you something.  What I’m going to say is my own opinion, but it’s said in the Tanach: If you love your children, smack them.

Of course today, unfortunately, it’s a wicked world.  I know a nice boy, a frum boy.  He has a frum father.  His father hit him; a boy of thirteen years old and he called up the police.  It’s a terrible thing.  Police came.  The police should come and hit the boy, “What are you bothering us for?! Your father has a right to hit you!”  No, they wouldn’t say that today.  There are committees, child abuse, meshugaim, psychology.

Another case.  There’s a girl who went to a frum girl’s school.  The girl’s school had a dress code.  This girl didn’t want to follow the dress code of her school and so they said she has to leave the school.

So I told the parents, “Why didn’t you give her a slap and force her to follow the dress code?”

They said, “Well, she has emotional problems.”

So the girl become worse and worse.  This school expelled her.  She went to another school, they expelled her there too.  And now they have a great deal of trouble with her.

If you want to save your child, one slap could save the child.

One of my children once didn’t dress properly when he was young.  A little, little child.  I gave a good slap and never did it happen again.  This child never did it again and he grew up frum and happy today.  He even thanks me for what I once did to him.  A good parental slap is a blessing min haShomayim.

Of course, you can do it with chochmah.  You can say it like this, “My child, for what you did, I have to hit you.  I should hit you four times.  I’ll do you a favor, I’ll hit you only two times instead of four.  You’re getting a bargain.”

There’s no such thing as not obeying.  A child must obey!  Unfortunately today, it’s such a crooked mixed-up world that they say, “I’m going to call in the child abuse committee.”

I once had that too.  People in our shul once called in the child abuse people against a couple and the couple was so angry that they moved away from us because of that.  And they were right! Don’t use the child abuse committee at all.  They have wicked ideas that the modernists have brought in order to make up for problems that in olden days were solved very easily.

TAPE # E-240 (July 27, 2000)