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Is it legal to slap your child across the face or to slap them on the bottom to discipline them?

Everett, WA |

my daughter keeps yelling & screaming at me saying horrible things & then threatined to call CPS if I slapped her or did anything about her behavior.

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Filed under: Child abuse
Attorney answers 3


It all depends on how hard you slap them,. If you leave a mark and someone notices, you're probably going to get a visit. Corporal punishment by a parent is not illegal in Wa. state, but it's a dicey proposition because school teachers are required to make a report to CPS if they believe a child is being abused. It's easy to lose your temper with kids and that's why it's better to devise a more controlled way of discipline to insure that if you lose your temper, the child does not suffer the consequences.

The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.


I would think it legal . The question would be whether or not the slap is abuse.
This is a control issue. Suggest that you carefully select a psychologist to assist you with developing an effective approach.
Personally, I'd slap the kid and tell her to do whatever she wanted to do about it.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


Consider the age of your daughter, the circumstances that provoke the behavior, and your range of options to deal with the behavior or the problem underlying it. That may require consulting a professional, or just an experienced parent. Striking a child in anger is a questionable practice as you often cannot control your own response and it sets a bad example for the child. School nurses and counselors are often good sources of information. I would treat this as a parenting or psychological problem before treating it as a legal problem.

DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the reader may rely as the commenter has no actual knowledge of the facts of the case, has not interviewed persons or examined evidence, and has not researched the applicable law. The comment is based only on the facts provided, which are extremely limited, and may or may not be true. Complete defenses may prevent the success of any claim. Competent legal advice should always be obtained before taking any legal action or filing suit. Readers employ any information provided herein at their own risk.

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