Archive for Smacking

To Smack or Not to Smack – Part 2

Posted in Child Discipline with tags , , , on 21/08/2009 by floroy1942

Referring to my article ‘To Smack or Not to Smack’ dated Friday 31 July, finally the results of the New Zealand referendum on the disciplinary smacking of children is known, and the overwhelming result from the people was a resounding No!

According to preliminary results, 54% of the population voted, and of those, nearly 90% voted ‘No’ to the government curbs on child discipline in the home.

According to OECD sources, New Zealand was the third worst country for child abuse and neglect in 2002 among the OECD Nations, and to address this, the government introduced the no-smacking law in 2007.

The referendum held this year has proved the law is unwelcome in New Zealand.

It is possible many New Zealander’s read my previous blog before voting, but I doubt it. I think it was more a case of sanity prevailing.

Experience in twenty-three countries that have previously imposed a ban on the most basic of child disciplinary measures, shows in the more affluent countries that we have lost all control over our children. The behaviour of children today is ample proof of the fact they do as they please, when they please.

My wife and I were visiting a friends house recently, and the wife of another friend was there with her child. The two and a half year old child was into everything. Opening drawers, removing the contents and dropping them on the floor, and an ice cream ended up more on the wall and floor than in his mouth.

I could see that our host was getting quite upset, but could not really say anything because the woman in question was his neighbour. At some point in the wanton destruction I could not help myself, and asked her point-blank if she had any control over her son. She just shrugged her shoulders, so I replied that perhaps it was time she started. Not long afterwards she left, so I guess my words hit home.

To have such an ill-disciplined child is one thing, but to allow it to run rampant in someone else’s house I find quite intolerable!

It is not the first time I have seen children behaving like this, and I am sure it will not be the last. One thing I do know, no child will ever behave like that in my home, and I don’t care if the parents are the King and Queen of Spain.

The case stated above is indicative of the general attitude of parents today, and their total lack of interest in bringing up their children in the correct manner. If questioned about it, all they can do is make excuses for their own failure.

The referendum in New Zealand is non-binding, which means in effect the government can continue doing what it wants.

Prime Minister John Key has already stated publicly that he will not change the existing law despite the overwhelming vote. He is however putting some proposals before the Cabinet next week, so everyone waits with bated breath.

It will be a shame, not only for democracy, but for the New Zealand people in general, if he ignores the referendum result.

Little does he realise, that he holds the future of his people in his hands. On the one hand he can uphold the law, and watch future generations devolve into little more than criminal anarchy, or he can repeal it, and thereby ensure future New Zealander’s retain a sense of discipline and respect for each other that is sadly lacking here.

To me there is no contest! The another alternative could be to bring back The Stocks (see photo).

Once, twice, thrice, smack!


To Smack or Not to Smack!

Posted in Child Abuse, Children with tags , , , , on 31/07/2009 by floroy1942

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????


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