Spanking an infant?

I was at a family gathering, and a young, distant family member admitted he spanks his 7 month old son. He was bragging about it almost. He said, “we already started spanking this one! Once we hit him, he doesn’t do it again!”

I was so taken aback. As a child therapist in the child welfare field, I couldn’t even fathom this idea! Aside from the fact that there is no way spanking is effective at this age (or any age), it can really be a detriment to their development and attachment.

I will be honest, I said nothing. I didn’t know what to say. No parent likes to be told how to parent. I am an expert on the topic, so maybe I should have spoken up. There’s just sooo much wrong with this. I cannot imagine ever hitting an infant. Does anyone else do this? Is this common practice?

I did not hotline this person. Spanking, when done properly is usually not something to hotline. With the child being so young, maybe I should have. However, they did mention they don’t do it frequently.