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Smacking of Children
03-11-2004, 03:12 PM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2004 03:18 PM by Bonsai.)
Post: #1
Smacking of Children

How do you feel about the smacking of children ? Do you do it / have done it - and do you think that it should be banned ?

Parliment today voted against a complete ban of smacking, which i believe is the right thing to do. It would be terrible that families could get ripped apart because a mother / father gets a criminal record for smacking their own children.

Now - im not a big lover of smacking, and i was only smacked once or twice in my childhood, but because it wasnt used regularly i knew that when i got one it was because i had done something VERY serious. I.e. something that was a danger to me, or the people around me. I didnt do it again - which is the aim of a smack.

I dont see how banning smacking will stamp out abuse (which is what the experts hoped might happen) ... as in my mind they are two totally separate things, and shouldnt be confused.

People should be able to discipline their own children, and light discipline is fine in my eyes, whether that be a firm telling off or a light smack. Maybe if some of the kids running riot on the streets now had a smack once in a while, or had a cuddle the world might be a better place.

I will contradict myself now though and say that i HATE to see adults smacking children in public for no / little reason. I think some adults are too smack happy.

I think if the child is putting themself or others in danger, then sometimes a smack will reinforce how bad and dangerous what they have done is .... but sometimes (and i think it depends on the child) they will listen to reason, and will understand why you have said no - and why they cant do it again.

I think it can depend on the level of understanding in the child.

I'm not perfect, but im so close it scares me
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03-11-2004, 04:39 PM
Post: #2
Smacking of Children
I find this a hard subject to discuss because I don't actually have any of my own children. So, I'm in no position to judge whether smacking is right or wrong.

In an ideal world parents would be able to find ways to discipline their children without hitting them, and I wonder sometimes if smacking is done not so much to discipline the child as for the parent to vent their anger/frustration.

But being childless, I haven't experienced the pressures / frustrations of parenting and I'm sure that sometimes, with some kids, smacking them must seem like the only way to teach them right from wrong.

I do think though that it is not the place of the government to dictate how a parent should raise their child, but I understand the concerns of the childcare authorities. Smacking is different from abuse, but how hard does a smack have to be before it becomes abuse. Obviously, broken bones and black eyes are clear signs of physical abuse, but with a smack......how do you know when does it go too far? Is it too far if the skin gets red? If the skin doesn't change colour, then its not much of a punishment, but if it does change colour, is it going to bruise? And if it brusies, is it abuse?

But if smacking does become outlawed, who deals with the parents who continue to smack? Do the already stretched social services have to prosecute these parents, perhaps ignoring the kid down the road who is being beaten black and blue on a regular basis?

The whole subject is a bit of a minefield, but ultimately, I think it has to be up to the parents to decide the best method for disciplining their children. If they actually abuse (e.g. kid ends up in hospital) then there are measure for protecting the child and prosecuting the parents. But plenty of people argue that they were smacked as children and it never did them any harm, and they are probably right. Other people argue that the fear of hitting children has been one of the major reasons why many kids are running wild now. Perhaps they are right too.

But, when all is said and done, a law forbidding parents from smacking would be hard to implement, even harder to monitor, and could end up distracting attention from the children who are really being abused - seriously. Many of those get overlooked already, so I can't see that there would be much to be gain by burdening the Social Services with extra cases where it isn't necessary!

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03-11-2004, 08:08 PM
Post: #3
Smacking of Children
Do I agree with smacking children - no. Because it is a bad habit for children to learn, ie. to get your point across you smack someone, esp someone who is weaker than you.

Did I smack my child - yes. Because sometimes reasoning, shouting and tears don't work and it was always a last resort which is a bad thing cos by then I'd reached the end of my tether.

Bringing up children is a very hard thing to do, bringing them up properly must be even harder (I must try it one day!). I don't think the government should have to much say in the common sense running of families, but unfortunately not all parents have common sense.

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05-11-2004, 08:17 AM
Post: #4
Smacking of Children
I pretty much agree with what's already been said. A law against smacking isn't going to stop those who abuse children and would be very hard to monitor.

I must admit to smacking my children when they were a lot younger but it was only ever one smack and I do regret it now as it really is just a release of anger. (Watching 'Little Angels' has made me feel quite inadequate as a parent.) Mind you, I think that shouting and screaming at a child can be quite harmful. I often think that when Mr M completely loses his rag over relatively minor things that those are probably the times that will stand out in the children's memories more than one sharp smack.
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05-11-2004, 10:01 AM
Post: #5
Smacking of Children
maxine Wrote:I often think that when Mr M completely loses his rag over relatively minor things that those are probably the times that will stand out in the children's memories more than one sharp smack.

I think you're right there. My mum was always the one who punished us. Sometimes we would have to stay in the house instead of go out to play, sometimes we would be sent to our bedrooms (which was cool as i had a TV / video / sterio and a fridge there so it didnt feel like punishment), once or twice we had a smack.

BUT it was when my dad got annoyed we knew we had done something VERY wrong. He never smacked me, but the way he looked when he shouted was scarey :eek:

I have grown up though with huge love, admiration and respect for my parents - so i think they brought me up perfectly Heart

I'm not perfect, but im so close it scares me
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06-11-2004, 12:18 AM
Post: #6
Smacking of Children
I am not or have never been a huge advocator of 'smacking', in fact through nearly 25 years of raising children you could probably count on one hand the number of times i have smacked my children,(that is one hands worth of fingers divided between five children over 24 plus years.)
Don't get me wrong, children can be, and are at times, very obstropolus.*
I just think that there is always a way to work things out.
Frustrating it is definately, and i do have to raise my voice, or inflict 'pocket money' punishments, but you know we always make up and cuddle - and i feel so much better for that.


*Pain in the arse.
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09-11-2004, 04:26 PM
Post: #7
Smacking of Children
My parents' policy was "never discipline in anger". Although occasionally they strayed from this, generally I received any corporal punishment some measured time after the "offence". This was to give my dad time to calm down so that he didn't smack me in anger.

I believe that physical punishment should be a last resort, but I believe that physically disciplining a child out of love is sometimes appropriate. If the discipline is adminstered lovingly, then this will not cause children to think that violence is an appropriate response. I was smacked quite a lot when I was little. Look at me: I'm as meek as they come!

My wife has quite a few non-physical discipline strategies up her sleeve (from teaching) which we plan to implement.

Oh, and I agree totally that banning smacking is a huge red herring, and would end up dragging many well-meaning non-abusive familes through the courts and social services (a fate worse than death, almost).

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09-11-2004, 09:42 PM
Post: #8
Smacking of Children
I feel there are some areas that this Nannying government should just keep it's nose out of.

Disciplining a child and abusing a child are a million miles away from each other.

It's policies like this that create the soft liberal environment where anti-social behaviour is to be understood and accomodated rather than eliminated.

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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13-11-2004, 06:43 PM
Post: #9
Smacking of Children
I was smacked and have smacked.

My parents smacked me as a last resort..."you''ll get the back of me 'and my girl if your not carefull".

I certainly don't remember any thing as a small child, but as a 15 year old who didnt' come home at the allotted 10pm time, but at midnight drunk...I will never forget my dad opening the door (they never gave me a key...I had to wake them up - good thinking).. his red, raging face...the smack he gave me sent my flying up stairs..."didnt' hurt" I cried...bloody did.

You got the smack as a last resort..it was only one hard, get straight to the point and don't do it again smack. It worked.

The older boys can be catered for in withdrawal punishments, but sometimes Freddie (2) can spin so out of control and beyond reasoning, physical restraint is the only solution and if still no joy a smack on the back of hand.

Just one sharp shock.

I would have been horrified by an all out ban.
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26-06-2007, 08:52 PM (This post was last modified: 26-06-2007 08:56 PM by Coastie.)
Post: #10
Smacking of Children
Playing a variation of Dols game...

I was smacked as a child...but only ever as a last resort.

Mama Coastie would use a wooden spoon across the backside and would only ever give one smack as punishment if and when the threat of grounding, no freinds round, banished to ones bedoroom or the biggest fear for me...no TV...failed.

I still remember now...if it got to the wooden spoon stage Mama Coastie would say 'Right I am going to get the spoon!' she would then give us til the count of three... '1 (pause) 2 (pause) 2 1/2 (pause)' and if she didn't get compliance and an apology by 3...thwack across the bum.

Needless to say it very, very rarely ever got that far and that my brother and I always had nothing but respect for Mama Coastie even if we did push the boundaries at times.

Mind you as we got older if my Bro and I had a fight Mama Coastie would simple say she was going for a walk and leave 8us to it...thing was she would say in such a way that would instantly make us feel guilty about our behaviour and by the time she got back we were the model children any parent would dream of...not that I wasn't simply adorable anyway! :wink_kiss

I think that smacking can be used as a last resort, in moderation and only across the bum. We always knew that Mama Coastie hated having to get the wooden spoon out and soon learnt that it was better to give in before that stage because we didn't want to upset her by making her have to smack us.

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