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Is Holding a Child Against a Wall Child Abuse or Poor Discipline?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Recently, when our 6-year-old daughter wasn’t listening and my husband lifted and held her up against a wall. I sent him a link to show that this is considered domestic abuse and he agrees with me if it were me or another adult. But he does not think it’s considered child abuse and we’ve both been unable to find anything on the Internet to address this situation.

Is his holding her up against a wall a form of child abuse or an incident of bad parenting? Thank you for your insight.

Is Holding a Child Against a Wall Child Abuse or Poor Discipline?

Answered by on -

A.

I applaud you asking yourself these questions and there is a straightforward way to answer them. If you are questioning a practice the question itself reveals the problematic nature of it. Unless a child was in immediate danger of hurting himself or herself by- let’s say running into the street- or about to fall down a flight of stairs-physical restraint as you described it is considered abuse. Here is the official word on it-where restraint- (which is what it would be picking a child up and holding her to a wall) is considered a form of abuse.

More importantly, than the definition is the fact that you were courageous enough to question yourself, seek some clarity, and are willing to change. This is the hallmark of thoughtful parents, and I hope this response helps you seek other more appropriate ways of parenting your child.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Is Holding a Child Against a Wall Child Abuse or Poor Discipline?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Is Holding a Child Against a Wall Child Abuse or Poor Discipline?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/12/17/is-holding-a-child-against-a-wall-child-abuse-or-poor-discipline/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Dec 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 Dec 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.