To Smack or Not to Smack!

Is it right for parents to give their children a smack now and again as a form of discipline? There are many proponents for and against, and who is to say one or the other is right. We all have our own opinions.

Personally, I am for this form of punishment for wayward children, and I believe I have tradition, and the child’s well-being, on my side.

First let me make quite clear that I am not in favour of any form of child abuse, and those guilty of such things should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, having said that, I think discipline is essential for a child’s proper development into a responsible adult.

If you walk the streets of any town or city today, you see the youth doing as they please with no regard or respect for their fellow human beings. Hanging around on street corners in an often threatening manner, getting involved with crime, drugs, alcohol and general mayhem.

This is a sign of our times, and in my humble opinion, is a direct result of poor parenting, coupled with stupid laws that have criminalised the smacking of children since Sweden first introduced the law in 1979, followed by others in later years. For the last 20-30 years, these laws have forbidden any form of ‘hands-on’ punishment for misdemeanors by children.

Parents have lost all control over their offspring, and it must be admitted, some have used these laws as an excuse not to get involved in their upbringing, or have given up any hope of disciplining their children.

There are of course other factors that have been a great influence on the attitudes of children today, chief among them the total disintegration of ‘family life’. This however I will save for another time.

You only have to watch a family in a supermarket to see how much actual control parents have over their children. I have seen countless children told to stop doing something in particular by mummy or daddy, only for the child to show total disregard for them and continue what it was doing.

You could be forgiven for thinking I am talking through my hat, but I have had two children of my own and made sure I brought them up in the traditional way.

As a child, I was often given a slap when I did something wrong or didn’t listen to what I was told. In school I had the slipper or cane from my teacher or headmaster for misdemeanors on many occasions. None of this did me any harm, but it did teach me to respect property, laws and rules, and of course, my elders, even if I don’t have many ‘elders’ at my time of life.

The main point of it all was that it disciplined me to have respect for those things I should respect, and that is what is missing in today’s society!

With the failure of proper parenting, and the law forbidding the most basic and effective means of punishing a child, it has has gotten so far out of hand, that sad to say, I see no going back.

Any child that grows up without any form of discipline becomes what I would call a ‘rogue’ element, and we see them daily on our streets today.

I am thankful, and I must admit, proud, that my two children have grown up to be hard working, respectable citizens, and have never ‘gone off the rails’ like the majority do today. They have never been in trouble, and never turned to drugs or alcohol to fill the gaping void so many of today’s young people seem to live with.

I always had a simple method. They knew that I would tell them once, remind them once, but if I had to tell them a third time they would get a slap on the legs or buttocks. They got the picture in a very short time, and after making my point once or twice, I very rarely had to resort to such methods again. The ground rules had been laid down at a very early age and they knew what to expect if they didn’t do as they were told. As with me, it did them no harm, and this has been proved by their attitude now they are grown.

The news article that prompted this blog describes a referendum that is to be held in New Zealand on whether to continue the ‘No Smacking’ laws of that country.

The crazy thing is, the reason for the referendum is not the lack of parental control or discipline, or a general breakdown in respect among children, but whether or not it would affect the number of parents who are investigated for child abuse, but use ‘discipline’ as an excuse for escaping prosecution. In other words, it misses the point completely.

Quite possibly New Zealand does not yet suffer from the child and teenage problems that we have in the northern hemisphere. The law was only passed in 2007 so it will take a few more years before the lack of parental control manifests itself in child behavioral attitudes. By then of course it will be too late, as it is here.

Proponents of the anti-smacking law say ‘positive, non-violent parenting’ is more effective, however, it is clear the children themselves have not read the book, because they see it as an opportunity to do as they please, knowing full well their parents can do nothing about it.

It cannot be denied that children in countries having this law have become less obedient, less respectful, and more violent, as a result of the lack of discipline during their formative years, and I dare anyone to prove different.

A Smack in Time Saves Nine????


One Response to “To Smack or Not to Smack!”

  1. You prove right again. I am also a firm believer that smacking helps children to get their boundries right between respecting their parents and not going off the rails, as it so often happens today. Some children look upon their parents not for guidence, but for means to show them that they are there to furfill only certain duties for their children. Anyhow, we also live in in times in which our philosophy is that a good talking to a child is better than smaking, but I disagree. Perhaps times will change and parents will realise that a good smack now and again works to set the rules and norms right between real parenting and no parenting at all.


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