UPDATE: My life will be greatly improved when someone invents an emoticon that conveys this sentiment: I don’t really mean this; I’m using hyperbole to make a point.
UPDATE.2: Cosimanian Orthodoxy provides an elegant solution. From the combox:
The man is a fool. You don’t slap a child. What you do is use a little gadget about the size of your hand that puts out sound, about 125 decibels (same as a jet engine) and around 21,000 hz. Adults cannot hear it. Children find it unbearably painful.