The Smacking Law – Good or Bad?

With a toddler near approaching three and all the more mouthy with it, I found confidence in that I could always resort to the ever-effective, old-fashioned, smack to the arse

Let’s be honest: the odd red bum never did us any real harm and if we were to be completely honest, could we really say that we didn’t deserve it?!

Being a parent is testing – it is a job that requires a great deal of compromise, patience and tolerance as well as the nice parts: love, humour and self-satisfaction.

But, the reality of it is, we expected our parents to be super-human – resilient to all of the tests we put them through and the scary thing about it is, not only are our children over-expecting these days, but our government is too!

I am fearful for the parents of this day and age and I fear for myself. If we can’t smack our children when they’ve done something wrong and won’t take a telling or a yelling, then what can we do?

Is it fair that we should be held accountable for our children’s behaviour now that this new law is in place telling us that we can’t discipline our children in this way or that?

What if our children don’t listen? What if they don’t respond to idle threats? What if they suddenly realise that parents don’t have as much control over them as they once did?

When my son has a tantrum he lashes out – he kicks, he spits, he hits and he resists against my attempts to calm him down. Sometimes he hurts me in the process and he has even kicked my stomach (being 5 months pregnant at the time). Am I not allowed to smack him? Does self-defence not apply to us? Surely this is a breach of our human rights?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to hit my son with force or cause him any physical or emotional harm. I’m not saying I would hit him in the face if he struck me there. It’s not an “eye for an eye” but shouldn’t it be such, that a smack to the bum, at times, is completely necessary and reasonable when all other avenues have failed?

Those of us who are parents understand the pressures of having kids on top of our other responsibilities (work, bills, pets, house chores, medical conditions, etc.), so sometimes our tolerance to bad behaviour isn’t as great as it should be, and sometimes having that “last resort” to smack our child is enough to make us feel like all is not lost completely… when all else fails. But, what happens now when our hands are more or less, tied?

I heard on the radio the other day that a man had been arrested for the murder of his young child and though this is absolutely disgusting and unjustifiable, I couldn’t help but think that this story could be creeping up more and more with the implementation of this law… we all have “bad days” and some people can control more than others but if we are constantly having to control ourselves and restrain our frustration, surely that could lead to outbursts of uncontrolled, unrestrained anger? What would have been a smack last year has built up to a beating today. Perhaps this is quite extreme, but it could happen.

Ultimately, we are telling our children that they can do anything because we, the parents, have little control over the discipline of them.

Sure, we can shout and we can try to reason, we can bribe and therein bring up very spoiled children, we can even try sending them to their beds and “grounding” them but if they were to physically disobey our rules, we cannot physically react without being charged with assault.

This law has damaged our future drastically and I for one, feel it will do far more damage than good.



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