Mother faces court after punishing her daughter with a wooden spoon when the girl ate a burger that was meant for dogs.
Tania, 35-year-old, has been convicted of common assault after smacking her 9-year-old daughter with a wooden spoon, causing the girl to bruise.
The incident happened in October 2018 at their home in Ellenbrook.
Prosecutors reported that the incident happened one evening after the girl took old meat from the fridge and ate it.
The mother had warned the child not to touch the meat as it had medicines inside, which were meant for the pets.
Tania told 9 News:
“My daughter actually took out some food that I had in the fridge that was meant for the dogs the next day, and it had medication for the dogs.”
“I woke up in the morning she was nice and quiet just sitting in the theatre room eating away these burgers that were supposed to be for the dogs.”
“I panicked and out of frustration, having a lot of difficulties with her behaviour, I just had a moment of frustration.”
“It was the extreme panic thinking, ‘did I put that medication in those burgers?’ The fact that she could have been on the floor frothing at the mouth, that was my main thought.”
The mother said she pleaded guilty because she actually smacked her daughter, but not as hard as the prosecutors claimed.
Tania also said that she cried every day since being charged by the police, 9 News reported.
“I haven’t been the same since, shaking, mortified.”
“There are so many other people out there who deserve to go through what I’ve gone through, and they’re sort of putting all their time and effort onto me.”
The mother added that she still believes in disciplining children.
“I believe that discipline helps our society and our children, they’ve got to learn respect and integrity, and you just can’t get away with doing naughty stuff.”
Tania’s Lawyer, Stephen Preece, told the court that the mother had no previous criminal records and her child was having behavioral issues, including ADHD. He added that the child was under therapy.
Preece described the incident as “a moment of frustration.”
During sentencing in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, July 3, the prescinding Magistrate handed Tania a suspended $750 fine and a spent conviction.
The Magistrate said, according to WAToday:
“You struck your nine-year-old with a wooden spoon, and by your plea, you accept that the force you used was more than necessary to correct her.”
“I’m satisfied this is unlikely to happen again.”
The court dropped the second charges, reckless in child care, the woman was convicted with after her guilty plea.
The Australian law allows smacking of a child with “reasonable force.” As long as you do it with dignity, and you don’t cause harm to your child, many parents consider it appropriate.
However, excessive and violent corporal punishment can cause externalization of behaviors and an increase in aggressiveness on children.
A study by Ming-Te Wang from the University of Pittsburgh shows that physical and verbal punishment on children leads to negative consequences. It can lead to higher rates of vandalism, anger, and other forms of misconduct.