Smacking Children

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  • I disagree strongly about smacking full stop, as some of you already know from a thread about this when this forum first started.


    I have never smacked my children and never will...I don't think you can justify any physical punishment in my eyes. I stand by my beliefs in the fact that in my opinion, violence can breed violence ...and I think smacking is showing a child a violent act. I have never had any violent tendencies from either of my children which I think has proved to me that the no smack belief works in our house. I believe in time out and talking to them but still having clear boundaries as parent and child ... I am a believer in discipline but believe there are better ways to discipline than smacking....no empty threats either.


    Oh yes there have been times I could have but I haven't because I wouldn't.... I realise that it is my own anger and I don't want to show my children that hitting out is a good way to resolve problems. Communication is a much better way :)

  • Quote from Stormypagan

    I stand by my beliefs in the fact that in my opinion, violence can breed violence

    That's a gross simplification. For starters, "violence" is an emotionally loaded word that lumps everything from a severe beating to a light slap on the wrist into the same category. To discuss this issue meaningfully, you'd need to be very clear about precisely what level of "violence" you were talking about.


    Secondly, if you can refer to a light smack as "violence", then by the same token you could label many of the alternative methods of punishment as "emotional abuse". If we're going to start applying extreme labels, then what's sauce for the goose.....


    I was smacked as a child (occasionally and lightly) and punished through other methods (sent to my room, grounded etc). What I find interesting is that when I think back to my childhood, the smacks I received hardly register. It's the other forms of punishment that make me wince.

  • Quote from Atomik

    I was smacked as a child (occasionally and lightly) and punished through other methods (sent to my room, grounded etc). What I find interesting is that when I think back to my childhood, the smacks I received hardly register. It's the other forms of punishment that make me wince.

    I find it interresting, too, that you say that the smacks hardly register - because I can remember very clearly one occaision where my Mum didn't smack me, so much as slap me across the face - hard. It was hard enough to leave a lasting mark, too, because when I got to school, several people asked me, "Anne, what is that on your face?!" It's memorable to me still, after what must be 20 years because I was horrified to see my mum loose controll like that, and it fucking hurt, plus I didn't learn anything from it and I still think it was unjustified. It was in the middle of an arguement and it was in response to me saying something like "I know you said I couldn't do that, and I won't, but I still don't understand why I can't."

    I don't want to make my mum out to sound like some kind of a monster - really she wasn't - and she made some very good parenting descisions. I think I was only smacked very rarely.

    I think the best punishments tend to be memorable because ultimately you recognise them as being justified and you learn from them, but sometimes they're memorable because they're exactly the opposite.

  • Quote from AnnieAnne

    I find it interresting, too, that you say that the smacks hardly register - because I can remember very clearly one occaision where my Mum didn't smack me, so much as slap me across the face - hard.

    ... which is why I said earlier that it's virtually impossible to discuss this subject without defining precisely what level of "violence" we're referring to. I was never slapped in that fashion, and I would regard such a slap as an entirely different punishment to thosethat I received.


    TBH, I think this discussion polarises so quickly that it's fairly unproductive. People tend to have set opinions placing them firmly on one side of the fence or the other, and seldom the twain shall meet.

  • Quote from Atomik

    ... which is why I said earlier that it's virtually impossible to discuss this subject without defining precisely what level of "violence" we're referring to.

    I guess, utimately, this is the reason for changing the law - a blanket ban is easier to enforce, because it takes away that need to define what level is acceptable.

    Quote

    TBH, I think this discussion polarises so quickly that it's fairly unproductive. People tend to have set opinions placing them firmly on one side of the fence or the other, and seldom the twain shall meet.

    It's all becomming a bit of a circular argument, too. :zipped:

  • Quote from AnnieAnne

    I guess, utimately, this is the reason for changing the law - a blanket ban is easier to enforce, because it takes away that need to define what level is acceptable.

    Which is exactly what makes it a bad idea. Some areas of our lives are entirely inappropriate areas for legislation - this being one of them. We already have plenty of laws covering child abuse and violence towards children, making a blanket ban on smacking utterly unessecary. Changes of this nature need to develop naturally through an evolving set of social values - they can not be forced upon us by law. I'm all for a reduction in phyiscal punishment, but legislation would be a heavy-handed and counterproductive means of attempting to achieve that goal.

  • I think it's a ridiculous oversimplification and a pointless exercise designed to nothing more than gain brownie points.


    As far as abuse is concerned, there are countless types of abuse - and countless reasons why it occurs. The main ones are ignorance (not knowing it's wrong because it is/has been normal in your environment), acceptance (not caring enough to consider whether it's wrong because it works for you) and inability to cope.
    Ignorance can be changed by educating people, so as long as cases of physical abuse are investigated and the parents in question are taught a better way that's a good thing IMHO. Acceptance is more difficult to change, because of the likelihood of the parent to resent the interference and continue the abuse in other ways. Inability to cope can only be changed by a combination of introducing better ways and providing the necessary support. So, legislation isn't going to make a blind bit of difference unless it's backed up by a well thought out strategy for dealing with cases where abuse is implied.


    As far as smacking itself (note, I mean a gentle slap on the backside - not dropkicking, backhanding or inch punching) ... I do believe it has a purpose where younger children are concerned. Young children can't make rational decisions about what they should or shouldn't do - they learn by experimentation. So, walking into a road won't register as something they shouldn't do unless they get hit by a car. Or smacked on the bottom.
    It's a basic form of cognitive conditioning and has existed in the human and animal kingdom for millenia, for that very reason. There isn't a better way, where the very young are concerned.


    As for this "as long as it doesn't leave a mark" bullshit. That's ridiculous.
    You can torture a child for hours without leaving a mark if you know what you're doing.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote

    TBH, I think this discussion polarises so quickly that it's fairly unproductive. People tend to have set opinions placing them firmly on one side of the fence or the other, and seldom the twain shall meet.

    Though some have been known to change their opinions.

    A law can give the appropriate signal to society.

  • Its all part of a childs development so its relevant to circomstances of which the child has to be smacked.

    ITs human nature.

    Try hurting the one you love instead.:mad:


    [INDENT]

    Quote from Cybw

    I've yet to appreciate the problem with smacking a naughty child in some cases, providing it is not done with such a degree of force as to leave a mark, as law currently permits.

    Aside from the non-argument that it's not very nice for the child (isn't that the point?) - would anyone care to enlighten me?


    [/INDENT]

  • Quote from Atomik

    Assuming that we feel that it's the role of government to determining morality for us in such a contentious and grey area.

    I'd view it as a response to society rather than government leading.

    I view it as similar to the smoking debate, the majority know its not a good thing to do with some die hards complaining about their right to do as they want regardless of the harm to others.

    The law wouldn't be there for "little smacks" of toddlers nor for "light taps" to stop a child running in the road, these instances are just going to cloud the issue. The law would be used against people (fathers) who systematically hit their children, marking them or not.

  • Quote from Dapablo

    I'd view it as a response to society rather than government leading.

    I view it as similar to the smoking debate, the majority know its not a good thing to do with some die hards complaining about their right to do as they want regardless of the harm to others.

    The law wouldn't be there for "little smacks" of toddlers nor for "light taps" to stop a child running in the road, these instances are just going to cloud the issue. The law would be used against people (fathers) who systematically hit their children, marking them or not.


    Doesnt the serious assault law already cover this?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    Doesnt the serious assault law already cover this?

    I'd suggest it doesn't, a damaging (bruising) event maybe, but systamatic hitting wouldn't be, some people like to raise their children with fear, I think it should be clearly stated as wrong behaviour and at the moment it is not.

  • Quote from Dapablo

    I'd suggest it doesn't, a damaging (bruising) event maybe, but systamatic hitting wouldn't be

    Actually, systematic hitting would fall within the remit of the 1989 Children Act, which proscribes treatment leading to "the impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural)."

  • Quote from Dapablo

    I'd suggest it doesn't, a damaging (bruising) event maybe, but systamatic hitting wouldn't be, some people like to raise their children with fear, I think it should be clearly stated as wrong behaviour and at the moment it is not.


    How would you actually prove such in court? When putting something into criminal law you have to consider 2 things:
    1, Is it necessary to make a ruling on this
    2, Is it possible to prove an accusation of it within the requirements of a court of law


    If it fails on any of those two it has no place being in the law code.


    "Abuse" that leaves no explicit evidence is not going to be something that can offer anything but circumstantial evidence in court. If you want people convicted of this form of "abuse" you better make damn sure you can prove it "beyond all reasonable doubt".....


    And all children should be brought up with a degree of fear - fear is a useful thing for both self defence (lets not play with the gun children, look what happened to billy when he did) and for defending personal boundaries (a boundary that is not defended is not a boundary, and a boundary that is not respected is not one either).

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Dapablo

    I view it as similar to the smoking debate, the majority know its not a good thing to do with some die hards complaining about their right to do as they want regardless of the harm to others.


    In a survey of 1,939 adults by GFK NOP for ITV in mid-2006...


    Quote from Telegraph

    Parents aged 35-54 were most likely to have smacked their children, with nearly three-quarters – 74 per cent – saying they had done so, said the research. The vast majority of adults opposed moves for an outright ban.


    Between 80 and 90 per cent of parents and adults without families were against a complete smacking ban. Similar proportions did not consider a light smack the same as "hitting" a child.


    If this is to be believed it seems as though it should be the other way around. Even allowing for a massive margin of error it shows that there is no clear cut majority in support of banning smacking.

  • Quote from Coyote

    And all children should be brought up with a degree of fear - fear is a useful thing for both self defence (lets not play with the gun children, look what happened to billy when he did) and for defending personal boundaries (a boundary that is not defended is not a boundary, and a boundary that is not respected is not one either).


    Yep, I agree. Children need to know their actions have consequences, and obviously if those consequences are unpleasant they're going to fear them.
    Dylan doesn't like being told off, so he knows that following me from room to room whinging isn't a good idea, because eventually he'll annoy me and I'll tell him off. Likewise with his getting out of bed after bedtime, if he's in and out of the living room every half an hour he'll get a telling off for that, so he tends not to do it.


    I think adults need to be able to enforce boundaries where personal space is concerned, simple things like being able to cook without a child running around the kitchen or being able to pick up a book at 9 in the evening and assume you'll be able to read it without your child interrupting every five minutes. If we can't, then we're making ourselves subordinate to our children and allowing them to grow up thinking the world revolves around them.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Fear and pendatism.

    Obviously every single lifeform on the planet has the concept of fear within it, survival instinct prevails, but please that is vastly different from living in fear of a parent that thinks hitting you is a good idea, if not a requirement for child rearing.

    Some fear of giving powers to authorities seems to prevail, so should we just give money to childline then, continue to treat the affects rather than the cause ?

  • Quote from Dapablo


    Some fear of giving powers to authorities seems to prevail, so should we just give money to childline then, continue to treat the affects rather than the cause ?


    Legislation won't treat the cause though.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Fear and pendatism.

    I assume you mean pedantry. ;)


    Quote

    Obviously every single lifeform on the planet has the concept of fear within it, survival instinct prevails, but please that is vastly different from living in fear of a parent that thinks hitting you is a good idea, if not a requirement for child rearing.

    Animals regularly cuff their young to warn them off unacceptable or dangerous behaviour. Are their cubs damaged by such practices? Do we think cats are violent or abusive when we see them deliver a light cuff to their kittens? Do we fear for the emotional well being of the animal's young? As always, I feel that abusive physical discipline is getting hopelessly mixed up in this discussion with light cuffing/smacking.

    Quote

    Some fear of giving powers to authorities seems to prevail, so should we just give money to childline then, continue to treat the affects rather than the cause ?

    You're making circular arguments and ignoring the points that have already been made in this thread. It's been demonstrated that sufficient legislation already exists to prosecute parents whose actions might result in calls to childline.

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Fear and pendatism.

    Obviously every single lifeform on the planet has the concept of fear within it, survival instinct prevails, but please that is vastly different from living in fear of a parent that thinks hitting you is a good idea, if not a requirement for child rearing.

    Some fear of giving powers to authorities seems to prevail, so should we just give money to childline then, continue to treat the affects rather than the cause ?


    I'll add as well that pain is also part of life and that children should not be overly shielded from this - they learn very quickly to give the nettles and thorn bushes a wide berth and I've yet to see nettlestings and thorns cause long lasting psychological damage.....


    Causing a child a little pain should not be shy'd away from, as pain is part of the "dont go there" message in nature. Its hardwired into us and cuts past any reasoning capacity - very useful with children; who have yet to properly develope such capacity.


    Its bizarre how many folks these days react to the use of pain (I can imagine how some will recoil from what I posted above) as if its one step away from decapitation or torture. The proposal that lions lay down with lambs is all well and good...for the lion (as they get a nice lunch). Better to respond to the world as is rather than some pie in the sky extremism me thinks :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I don't think the law would be good as it would make parents afraid of punishing their children resulting in huge lack of discipline, what happens if you as a few people have said tapped your child to stop it running into the road or something like that and you get arrested :eek:



    However on the subject of smacking children. My dad used to hit me a lot and I remember it really hurting. I can't even remember what it was for, probabaly trivial things children do, I don't think I was particulary bad. It gave me great fear of him and I didn't want to go near him I didn't associate him being my dad I just thought of him as somebody who lived with us and got angry a lot, so I clung to my mum. I remember being extremely frightened of him but now I'm older I am not anymore, I just don't have any respect for him. Then again I have no good memories from then it was all hitting I'm sure it wasn't bad all the time I know we went out to places on Sundays and things but those memories probabaly got overshadowed. Beating children is wrong because it only makes you more apart when there are so many other ways issues can be solved. If he done what he did then today, I could probabaly go to the police and be taken seriously, if I went when I was 6 I think it would have been "dont be ridiculous" or something like that. I have very negative feelings toward my dad, more things other than this, but it was quite a big factor I think.


    I think most of the things I done were accidet things too that he had no tolerance for...not things I did on purpose that I would need to learn a lesson about.. I avoid him as much as can but..gosh I can't remeber now I think it was last year...yes it was I accidently broke the panel on his gun cabinet and I ran to my room locked the door and leant against it, and realised how it was now a response built into me.



    rant over, I think I was a bit too open there, but I felt like writing it.

  • i lived in a house with a violent family member
    i am still scared of them even now
    i will still hide in iether cupboards or under the bed if life gets too much as a coping strat
    think its something that i kinda difault too
    its a need for feeling safethat i still get sometimes
    small person, small space n all that
    so yeh naeni, i totally understand where your coming from on that score