Tuesday, June 21

Smacking and Violence

I have written on this topic before and usually get lots of negative feedback.  But I am undeterred.

Years ago when I had children, one of the ways of disciplining children was to smack them.  Yes, sometimes it was not just one smack, perhaps two or three. Usually on the bottom.  I have threatened to use a wooden spoon, but in reality, the hand was the "weapon" of choice.  It usually hurt me as much as it hurt my son or daughter.  It hurt me in my heart, but at the time as now, I believed that it was a good method of discipline.  They and I learned very quickly that they didn't get smacked very often - as they would generally obey, or avoid doing the things that caused this hurtful result!

I have read that this sort of discipline was the cause of people becoming violent.  I can swear that neither the children's father nor myself are violent people.  Not at all!  Neither of my children are violent either, and they have turned out to be good people, and good parents.  

However, I have been concerned for some time that parents are limited in the types of discipline they can legally used. Smacking a child can result in a visit to court and I know children know this and often threaten their parents.  Yes, I have seen that!

I have witnessed parents endeavouring to discipline using a range of methods - the naughty corner is one, and withholding treats is another.  They work with some children I have no doubt.

What concerns me is that I see that young people are more violent than they were in years gone by.  They appear to be more insolent and flaunt the laws in greater numbers than we have seen before.  I see young people, especially young men being quite happy to disobey a whole range of laws - especially road rules which sadly get them killed, but they nothing wrong with bashing people or raping women.

This article illustrates what I am saying.  Click here.   A group of teenagers get on the bus and one is smoking.  (Clearly that is enough to suggest that he was not a "bright" person.)   The elderly passenger asked the young man to stop smoking.  In any case it is illegal.  So the young fellow bashed the 71 year old pensioner. 

Let's recap.  A 16 year old breaking the smoking law, and then violently bashing an elderly man on a bus.  I am pleased to say that the young man has been charged.  But to me it is hard to believe that young people, (and there are many more young people committing similar crimes) seem to think they are invincible.  If convicted it will ruin this boy's life.  It will restrict his travel plans (overseas countries do not like to admit people with convictions) and it will restrict the sort of work he can do.  A prospective employer will be able to easily check his "criminal" record" especially if he is convicted.

I know some parents feel that if they could smack a young child - I don't mean "bash or belt" they will have a good measure of discipline.  

To me the argument that smacking causes violence is nonsense.  I think bashing might cause a child to be violent later.  I see with all the so called safer discipline we have indeed come to having a far more violent society. 

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