It is morally wrong to hit a child?
Yes it's wrong to hit a child, especially in the setting that you described. You cannot hit a child in a daycare, preschool, or school setting. In fact doing so can get you put in jail, make you lose your teaching license, and/or have to take child abuse classes. You do not have the authority nor the right to lay a disciplined hand on anyone's child but your own. Some would argue you shouldn't hit your own child, but that's something your family can decide and no one else.
Children learn by example. If you lose your temper when the situation gets rocky, they will be quicker to lose their temper. They can also "smell fear" as they say, if you start to panic in a situation, they are going to take full advantage of that situation and your state of panic to continue acting out/trying to get their own way.
Ways to handle young children without hitting:
Time out - don't just stick a child in a corner, but stick them somewhere away from the other kids. The idea is to isolate them so that they will want to behave to rejoin the fun. Ask for a genuine apology when you put the child down for time out, and make it clear that the child cannot participate until they are ready to apologize. The recommended time out length is one minute per age, so a five year old gets a five minute time out. Make sure that distractions like toys, doors, etc are away from the child so that all they can do is sit there
Make them a helper-you would be amazed how many wild children can be tamed by turning them into a helper. If you start to see a child acting out, say something like "Kristin I could really use your help passing out the crayons" or "Josh do you want to pass out the napkins for snack". Many times a child acts out because they don't feel important and assigning them a task makes them feel important
2 hours ago