lifestyle

Australian doctors call for ban on smacking kids

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Australian doctors have called for the smacking of children by parents to be made illegal, saying it was too easy to blur the line between reasonable discipline and abuse.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians said Australian laws needed to be changed to make all forms of corporal punishment illegal "so the law protects children from assault to the same extent that it does all people".

"Many cases of physical abuse are the result of physical punishment that became more severe than intended," said Susan Moloney, president of the college's child health division.

"And the difficulty with allowing the physical punishment of children is that the line can be easily be blurred between abuse and 'reasonable' force or chastisement that is currently permitted in some states when disciplining a child."

Research suggests most Australian parents smack their children, but acceptance of the practice is falling with 75% of adults surveyed in 2002 saying it was sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child compared to 69% in 2006.

Moloney said studies were increasingly showing that those subjected to physical punishment when young were at greater risk of harmful effects.

"These include mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, aggressive or anti-social behavior, substance use problems and abuse of their own children or spouse," she said.

"While many children will not experience negative outcomes as a result of moderate or reasonable physical punishment, why put your child's future health and emotional wellbeing at risk?"

Moloney said the reform made sense given other laws.

"If you hit your dog, you could be arrested -- but it's legal to hit your child," she added in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.

The college, which represents more than 14,000 physicians in Australia and New Zealand, said the physical punishment of children was already illegal in 33 countries, and there was evidence that the legal change and public discussion on the issue had helped shift attitudes.

It said these countries had also experienced other benefits such as increased early identification of children at risk of abuse and very low rates of mortality associated with child abuse.

New Zealand introduced a law in 2007 which banned parents from smacking their children, meaning adults could no longer use "reasonable force" in disciplining their kids.

Other countries with a ban in place include Germany, Israel and Kenya.

The government said at the time it would help tackle New Zealand's poor record on violence against children after a 2003 UNICEF report found it had the third-worst rate of abuse and neglect among developed nations.

© (C) 2013 AFP

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77 Comments
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Society getting weaker and weaker by the day. What's next, No yelling at your kids?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

That's a step in the right direction, although there are many occasions where a good ear boxing might be the only solution to a problem, but still I think it's a good idea to reduce the amount of mental problems children get from abusive parents.

0 ( +4 / -5 )

Wow, phail. I rarely used spankings on my kids but when I did I did it calmly and for a well understood reason. Anyone telling me I cannot do this as a parent needs to GTFO.

-1 ( +8 / -10 )

“While many children will not experience negative outcomes as a result of moderate or reasonable physical punishment, why put your child’s future health and emotional wellbeing at risk?”

I can think of plenty of other things that would put a child's future health and emotional wellbeing at risk.

Uncaring/unloving parents

Parents who are too busy working to spend time with their kids.

Parents who spoil their kids rotten.

Parents who cave in to kids demands because they are scared of being reported to Child Protection Services.

Parents who have bad eating habits, that gets passed on to the kids.

Parents with anger/emotional problems.

Parents who use the TV as a babysitter.

etc. etc.

Shall we just ban all those activities too?

5 ( +9 / -5 )

Excellent post papa smurf!

These "doctors" do they have kids?

Kids test their limits with their parents, unless you want kids running all over the place, getting into trouble, causing accidents because they don't know any better you need to show kids what they need to do and what they don't. Sometimes a spank is required.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Good to see there are still parents that discipline thier children. The people that oppose it or trying to ban it, do not understand the difference between the word "Discipline" and "Violence/Abuse"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I really don't know if banning of smacking kids would improve the present situation so greatly...

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Progress. People who believe in violence towards children whether it be a gentle snack or a hard sack are living in their grandparents generation

Cal me grandpa....but with three boys, an occasional controlled smack on their bums, does wonders....ever try to reason with a hyper, screaming four year old?

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

grandpa -

ever try to reason with a hyper, screaming four year old?

Yes. Smacking isn't the answer. Ask yourself how and why the kid came to be hyper and screaming in the first place. Ignoring the problem and trying to deal only with the symptoms never cured anything.

TDA -

The people that oppose it or trying to ban it, do not understand the difference between the word "Discipline" and "Violence/Abuse"

Read any news report of a child being beaten to death by a parent/step-parent/parent's lover and in almost every case the pathetic excuse is 'I was disciplining the child'. Discipline doesn't have to involve hitting, smacking, thumping or beating. And all that physical stuff can easily get out of hand.

Those of you who think hitting kids is good - would you be happy to have some adult stranger hitting your kid if (or if said stranger thought) he had stepped out of line in public? Would you smack someone else's kid?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Let them call for it, I was raised using ' healthy smack' and didn't turn out better or worse than the kids who NEVER got smacked nor did anybody I know.

Some kids need pressure in order to perform better than others varies between individuals. My son was raised as I was and again he is not any better or worse than the no-smack kids.

Proof that says a 'healthy smack' results in a beating or worse?

And yes I also got disciplined by neighbours/strangers and wish more kids today shared that experience.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

What Cleo said. Smacking is surrendering to base insticts. It's not good....

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Where do those 'base instincts' come from?

Like the base instinct to procreate, etc, which are good and bad for the species survival?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@It"SME

There's a big difference between the instinct to procreate and the urge to punch someone in the face because you don't like what they're doing.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

Lucrabasi.

I ONLY got smacked because I went over set boundaries set by the community. Having served, etc I have seen humanity at its worst and ONE smack is far from it.

BTW, I am a Buddhist and we regard all living organisms as equal as I myself get reborn as any animal. What we experience is due to our accumulated karma in previous lifetimes.

In short humans are NOT better or superior to animals.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Smacking is surrendering to base insticts.

It gives people a sense of doing something about a problem when they don't know what else to do, and aren't sure or aware what the problem is. It's a lazy, 'quick fix'.

I was raised using ' healthy smack' and didn't turn out better or worse than the kids who NEVER got smacked...again he is not any better or worse than the no-smack kids.

You're saying that the so-called 'healthy smack' did you no harm but also did you no good, and is doing your own child no good.

So what's the point of it? Why would you choose to hit your child when you know it does no good? What possible sensible reason is there for it?

Proof that says a 'healthy smack' results in a beating or worse?

In most cases, it doesn't; almost everyone who claims corporal punishment is good claims that they administer it calmly and deliberately and never let things get out of control. Yet abused/dead kids still end up in the news. It's similar to drink-driving; we all know that we are perfectly capable of driving safely after a couple of drinks, and in the vast majority of cases we get home safely; but there's always the fool who thinks it's OK to get behind the wheel after he's had a skinful who ends up as a road accident statistic, often taking others with him. Too many people who 'discipline' their kids physically aren't capable of keeping things calm; they hit out because they've already lost the plot and don't know what else to do; and when they start down that path it's all too easy for things to escalate. Just as we need laws to keep the drunken fools off the roads, we (sadly, and to the shame of the human race) need laws to keep knuckle-scrapers from 'disciplining' their kids to a pulp.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

Cleo.

Not all of us are like YOU want us to be. ;)

What I was saying is that the 'non-smack' kids got as many calls to the principal as we did for overstepping boundaries.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What I was saying is that the 'non-smack' kids got as many calls to the principal as we did for overstepping boundaries.

So, smacking or not-smacking had no discernible effect on kids' naughty behaviour. If that's the case, what benefit do you think the smacking parents got out of smacking their kids, if it didn't make the kids better behaved than the kids who didn't get smacked?

Not all of us are like YOU want us to be. ;)

And how exactly do you imagine I want everyone to be?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Read your posts and you will come across as being superior due to your views and convictions.

Also reread mine, ONE smack is an attention getter and only causes a short sting.

Explain to me why a classmate that never got smacked is doing 40yrs for killing his 3yr old and wife? Very few of the smacked kids are into drugs, violence, etc.

There is no correct or better way to bring a child into maturity. Life is struggle to be at the top and it takes all basic instincts to get there.

Non-smack kids are not angels or superior as we can see now with current young generation. Had a 20yr old threatening and cussing me today and I only asked him to give me some space.

Finally ignored him and walked away.

0 ( +4 / -3 )

ONE smack is an attention getter

You can find no other way to get your child's attention? How does your child get your attention? By hitting you?

Explain to me why a classmate that never got smacked is doing 40yrs for killing his 3yr old and wife?

Anecdote. Explain to me why the son of my neighbour, who ruled his family with an iron fist and regular beatings, is serving a life sentence for killing two middle-aged women. That non-argument goes both ways.

Very few of the smacked kids are into drugs, violence, etc.

Do you have any stats to prove that smacked kids are less into drugs & violence than non-smacked kids?

Didn't think so.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/talking-smack-spanked-kids-higher-rates-psych-drug-ills-study-article-1.1106109

Non-smack kids are not angels or superior as we can see now with current young generation.

And the smacked kids are? No, you said yourself they didn't turn out better or worse.

Had a 20yr old threatening and cussing me today

And you knew he had been raised without smacks because how? Lack of bruises? More likely he learned to threaten and cuss from parents who threatened and cussed him.

0 ( +3 / -4 )

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/talking-smack-spanked-kids-higher-rates-psych-drug-ills-study-article-1.1106109

Bahahahaha, that article is riddled with the reasons that everyone knows psychologists are bad scientists.

It found that kids who were spanked or hit sometimes had a greater chance of developing depression, mood disorders, phobias, drug problems or major personality disorders.

SOMETIMES. That nearly definitely means that the relationship was not statistically significant.

Here's another thing to consider: Violent crime rates shares a VERY strong positive correlation with...drum roll...ice cream sales. Show that data to a psychologist and they'll recommend banning ice cream. Show that data to a statistician and they'll say "hahaha, that's a funny result of a confounding variable."

The increase wasn’t dramatic

Roger that, not statistically significant. Proceed to disregard the data.

The researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics that up to 7% of mental illnesses could be attributed to the punishment.

UP TO...COULD BE. As in, probably much less, and probably not.

“Parents often feel like it teaches the child a lesson,” said Fornari. “But it can have a profound negative impact"

CAN. As in, if it is done in an overall negative family environment which would have led to degeneracy regardless of the use of spanking.

“Certainly anything to do with physical touch is a sensitive thing. But if there’s love in the family, if you emphasize that this is a home and that Mommy and Daddy love you, and it’s a safe home environment, then I think it works.”

Ever notice how researchers say "spanking is bad" and ACTUAL parents say "spanking is ok?" Ever think that maybe, just maybe, spanking done in the right way could be good for a child? Of course not, because all the self-important people who buy into this garbage think they're better parents and people than all the barbaric monsters who dare to disagree with them.

Yet studies have found as many as four out of 10 parents spank, and corporal punishment is not outlawed in North America.

Nice unbiased reporting, here.

Every single study that "proves" spanking is bad looks exactly like this. Bad science, bad conclusions drawn from bad data. People need to grow up and accept that their way is not necessarily the best way, nor will their way work for everyone.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Read any news report of a child being beaten to death by a parent/step-parent/parent's lover and in almost every case the pathetic excuse is 'I was disciplining the child'.

Honestly I don't think changing the law is going to decrease child abuse one bit. You think the psycho parent's lover intent on beating the living daylights out of a kid is going to say "oh wait a minute, dang, I'm not allowed to hit the kid anymore so let's sit down over a cup of hot milk and discuss our issues?" Sure, idiots use the term "discipline" as an excuse for child abuse, but the two are not the same.

There's a big difference between the instinct to procreate and the urge to punch someone in the face because you don't like what they're doing.

Bit extreme isn't it? Most parents that smack their kids don't punch them in the face, and they don't simply do it because they don't like what their kids are doing. Abusive people like that will hit their kids regardless of the law. The rest of us, believe it or not, are responsible parents, who, using what we believe to be good judgement, will discipline our children appropriately.

I don't hit my son, by the way. But I do not believe making it illegal to physically discipline a child is going to produce wonderful, peace-loving, well-balanced kids. Do you think taking a child away from their family and sticking them in a foster home because dad smacked them on the bum will be good for them?

You think the police coming around and taking dad away for slapping his child on the hand for stealing will have a positive impact on the child?

I wager there will be more long-term damage from these over-protective laws than any good that will come out of it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't think changing the law is going to decrease child abuse one bit.

Neither do I. As you say, abusive parents will abuse regardless of the law. Taking a child out of a truly abusive situation is in the child's best interests and may be necessary for the child's safety, but for normal families who think their kids 'need' a smack, surely education is the way to go. Teach people how to communicate with their kids without getting physical.

It's sad that enough kids are getting hit/smacked/slapped/beaten for folk to come to the conclusion that a law is necessary. If it makes a few parents stop and think of more positive ways of dealing with their kids, it would be great; but I think the reaction will be either (1) hell, it's my kid, I'll hit him if I want (=no effect) or (2) what, you mean I'm not allowed to discipline my kid at all anymore? (=kids running wild).

Ever notice how researchers say "spanking is bad" and ACTUAL parents say "spanking is ok?"

Lemme see, I'm an ACTUAL parent and I don't say "spanking is ok." Neither do I say "spanking is bad". I say spanking is gratuitous. Yes, clocking the kid is one way to get his attention, but it's not the only way; and if there are other, more positive, ways (and there are) why would any loving parent choose to hit their child? And the more responsible parents you have giving their kids a well-aimed, well-timed physical 'correction' with the blessing of society, the more you nurture an atmosphere in which those who cannot distinguish between discipline and abuse will feel justified in beating their kids.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

why would any loving parent choose to hit their child?

Because it gets the desired results and produces a high-quality child when done properly.

And the more responsible parents you have giving their kids a well-aimed, well-timed physical 'correction' with the blessing of society, the more you nurture an atmosphere in which those who cannot distinguish between discipline and abuse will feel justified in beating their kids.

So you would infringe upon the ability of responsible, loving parents to give their children the correction they deem appropriate because of the misdoings of a minority? A minority of people commit vehicular manslaughter, would you advocate the banning of automobiles?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I can't believe there are so many people who think hitting kids is acceptable in the year 2013. There is honestly no need to ever hit kids to discipline them. There are loads of harsher punishments for children than a smack; every adult with half a brain knows that physical discipline is really not necessary, and is just something certain people choose.

Every time I have seen an adult hitting a kid, it was an out-of-control stressed out adult losing what little patience and self-control he or she had, and striking out at someone smaller and younger. This behaviour is justified by statements like, "It never did me any harm". Really? Well, maybe not, but something has made you believe that it is okay to strike the ones you claim to love. If an adult you claim to have a great relationship with upsets, disobeys or annoys you in some way, are you going to attempt to physically discipline him or her too? Or is this reserved for the people smaller and weaker than you, that you can legally get away with hitting? Yeah, thought so.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Some kids (especially boys) sometimes are extremely wild and unruly and need a smack upside the head to show where lines can't be crossed.

Whoever claims that no children should ever be smacked have never had children.

When my friend's boy wouldn't quit screaming at the top of his lungs and kicking everything in sight because he didn't "want to" sit in the car's child seat, I was so grateful that the dad smacked him upside his head. It was the only way to calm that kid down.

Yes, abusive parents will use the excuse of disciplining their kids while actually abusing them but that shouldn't make using corporal punishment by those who use good parental and common sense illegal for the parents who aren't abusive. Some kids really need it. That's all.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

it gets the desired results and produces a high-quality child when done properly

But the desired results can be obtained without the smacking. If smacking produces a child who thinks it's OK to solve problems by smacking small people (I was smacked as a child and I turned out OK, so I'm gonna smack my kids too), then I would have my doubts as to how 'high-quality' the results were.

And as Saxon Salute points out, so many, many times it is not 'done properly' at all - it's just a frustrated adult losing the plot.

A minority of people commit vehicular manslaughter, would you advocate the banning of automobiles?

If otherwise rational, sensible people were getting it into their heads that it was not only OK but laudable to copy the dangerous drivers, I think it would need to be looked into, don't you?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

from my experience of australians maybe they should start with teaching adults to stop smacking each other when they are in the pub....if that sinks in then move on to the children

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't believe there are so many people who think hitting kids is acceptable in the year 2013.

I can't believe there are so many people who think hitting kids is not acceptable in the year 2013.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Some kids (especially boys) sometimes are extremely wild and unruly and need a smack upside the head to show where lines can't be crossed.

Those who don't agree don't raise boys...it always makes me smile to see those parents who are engaging in discussions with 4 year olds who just kicked some unsuspected kid, because they felt like it... Those who say that the line between a smack on the bum and child abuse is vague, are more likely to have a problem themselves...a lack of common sense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cleo and others pls write a book against non-smacking and give reason/proof for it from your own experiences using both methods.

Simple answer is you can't as you miss the data/knowledge and thus rely on sources that fit your viewpoint.

Waiting.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Fine by me. Ignore millennia, etc that made the human race into what it is now.

Remember only the strong survive and why because they beat all competitors.

Up for a one to one with a wolf, bear, etc of course bare-handed.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@letsberealistic

Lets be realistic. If they were to ban smacking children all over the world, then humanity will take a step backwards. I can't imagine a world full of weak, wussy children.

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

Like in MA you need to be flexible and respond to a situation.

My son only gets it after all other methods fail and hear this Cleo there is no pleasure or satisfication in it only regret and pain. He knew the rules before. He loves me more than anything.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If otherwise rational, sensible people were getting it into their heads that it was not only OK but laudable to copy the dangerous drivers, I think it would need to be looked into, don't you?

Ok, now you're just being intellectually dishonest.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Like in MA you need to be flexible and respond to a situation.

You equate raising a child to physically overpowering another person by brute force? Being flexible and able to respond to the situation is also required in gardening, which I think is a closer example; you train a plant to grow the way you want it to by providing the optimal environment with the necessary nutrients and the occasional bit of staking, not by hitting it when it wilts.

My son only gets it after all other methods fail

The problem is, when smacking is on the table all other methods 'fail' because they never get tried; a slap becomes the method of first resort, not last resort. Like the man with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail, the parent 'armed' with a slap runs the risk in time of seeing every misdemeanour as deserving of physical chastisement. meanwhile form the child's point of view, everything goes until the pain starts.

reason/proof for it from your own experiences

The reason is easy and simple, hitting people, even small people who share your DNA, is unnecessary and demeaning to both parties. The proof from my own experiences is purely anecdotal - two fine, upstanding young adults who are a very positive asset to their family and to society.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Great, take that attitude just one step further and start thinking outside the box about how you might discipline your child without raising your hand to him.

Like others, you are attempting to unfairly frame the issue. You are trying to put the discussion in a place where we already assume from the beginning that spanking is bad, and therefore you don't have to prove the basis for your beliefs. Sorry, but it's just way too transparent.

Can you prove, not using the junk science in the article nor your own personal opinion, that spanking is bad? No, you cannot.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Being flexible and able to respond to the situation is also required in gardening, which I think is a closer example; you train a plant to grow the way you want it to by providing the optimal environment with the necessary nutrients and the occasional bit of staking, not by hitting it when it wilts.

You left out pruning, which is telling. Growing kids the way you want them? Sounds like something from Dr. Moreau.

The problem is, when smacking is on the table all other methods 'fail' because they never get tried; a slap becomes the method of first resort, not last resort.

What complete and utter nonsense. My wife and I parented two children. The number of times they needed a physical intervention could be counted on the fingers of one hand. That they knew a physical intervention could be forthcoming made a word of caution FAR more effective.

the parent 'armed' with a slap runs the risk in time of seeing every misdemeanour as deserving of physical chastisement

For the vast majority of parents, that "risk" is ZERO. What nonsense.

The proof from my own experiences is purely anecdotal - two fine, upstanding young adults who are a very positive asset to their family and to society.

That is not proof of any kind. Millions of fine, upstanding adults have been raised in homes in which parents spanked when necessary. And problem kids have turned out from homes where there was never any physical punishment.

What this article speaks to is the State using its power to prevent parents from using the methods they decide work best for them. They should have that right. The people who would approve the State acquiring and exercising such a power over parents have heads filled with complete delusion.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You left out pruning, which is telling.

Pruning is for unwanted growth on trees, not for delicate seedlings. It's telling that you'd turn the analogy into a visualisation of lopping bits off your kids.

That they knew a physical intervention could be forthcoming made a word of caution FAR more effective.

A 'word of caution' given in those circumstances is no more nor less than a threat.

For the vast majority of parents, that "risk" is ZERO. What nonsense.

For the majority of parents, I sincerely hope so. But far too often we see parents slapping kids in public for minor infractions that are far from being anywhere near 'last resort' level for it to be safe to assume that the risk is anywhere near zero.

That is not proof of any kind. Millions of fine, upstanding adults have been raised in homes in which parents spanked when necessary. And problem kids have turned out from homes where there was never any physical punishment.

Like I said, anecdotal. Good kids come from homes where spanking occurs and from homes where more positive methods are used. Problem kids also come from homes where spanking occurs and from homes where more positive methods are used. You seem to be agreeing with me that it isn't the use or absence of spanking that determines whether a child turns out right or not.

Even parents who do spank tell us that there is no pleasure or satisfication in it only regret and pain. So why, when other methods with results at least equally good are proposed, do some parents refuse from the outset to even consider the efficacy of other methods? It always seems to boil down to the 'right' of parents to do what they want regardless, not the effect on the kid.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Pruning is for unwanted growth on trees, not for delicate seedlings. It's telling that you'd turn the analogy into a visualisation of lopping bits off your kids.

You were the one who brought up the analogy, and it's your visualization. The "bits" being lopped off are unacceptable behaviors -- such as doing something that will seriously violate another person's well-being. It is telling that you cannot distinguish between "kids" and "behaviors" when it comes to what is being "lopped off."

Some folks have never heard the expression: "Nip it in the bud."

A 'word of caution' given in those circumstances is no more nor less than a threat.

No more so than how a wise captain of a vessel would respond to dark clouds on the horizon. Nature presents all manner of such "threats." In peaceful times, perhaps the raising of "delicate" people who bruise easily can be gotten away with. There are times when people have no option but to use physical force to defend themselves and those under their protection. If such means are foreign to them, it is a weakness that can't be easily excused.

You seem to be agreeing with me that it isn't the use or absence of spanking that determines whether a child turns out right or not.

Not quite. Children are more likely to turn out best when the style of parenting is in tune with their style of growing into their real selves, and not some character who is necessarily pleasing or an "asset" to parents. For some, it will mean "no spanking." For others, spanking will be needed. It is the extremely foolish parent who thinks "no spanking" is best for all.

Even parents who do spank tell us that there is no pleasure or satisfication in it only regret and pain.

The few times I spanked, it was neither. I felt like a doctor might feel who has to administer a procedure that is painful, but necessary to someone they love. Consider a harmful, destructive behavior as a disease -- a good parent will do anything that has been tested and tried to remove it. If they love the child, they won't put physical means out of play any more than they would put non-physical means.

when other methods with results at least equally good

You are seriously deluded if you think "equally good" applies to each and every young person. Not every person responds to the same medicine the same way. Good doctors know that. So do good parents.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Cleo.

Pls, write us a book on those other methods. Kinda like a quick guide to raise kids.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Pls, write us a book on those other methods. Kinda like a quick guide to raise kids.

There is no 'quick guide' - like yabits says, every child is different and what works with one cannot be applied in exactly the same way to another. But there are already out there any number of books on positive parenting, no need for me to write yet another. What it boils down to is respecting the child as a human being.

The "bits" being lopped off are unacceptable behaviors -- such as doing something that will seriously violate another person's well-being.

Or instead of going through the painful process of 'lopping off' an unacceptable behaviour that has been allowed to develop, you could put a bit of proactive effort into seeing to it that the behaviour doesn't develop in the first place. It takes a bit more thought and parental input than a quick slice of the pruning shears/clip around the ear, but no one ever said raising a child wasn't time-consuming.

There are times when people have no option but to use physical force to defend themselves

If you find yourself having to use physical force to defend yourself against your own kids, maybe that's a hint that something pretty basic is wrong?

Consider a harmful, destructive behavior as a disease -- a good parent will do anything that has been tested and tried to remove it.

A good parent will do anything that has been tried and tested to ensure that the disease doesn't catch hold in the first place. If they love the child, they will steer him away from places where those diseases are rife, teach him how to avoid infection, make sure he has the inoculations etc., that he needs. Though that involves the effort and forethought of getting the child the inoculations when he shows no visible signs of disease.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People smack their kids?

-1 ( +3 / -5 )

People smack their kids?

People call their kids worthless and stupid and other debasing epithets?

People let their kids play games for hours on end, because they don't have the willpower to spend time with them?

People feed their kids junk food because they are too lazy to cook healthy meals?

People smoke in front of their kids?

People don't bother to make sure their kids wear seatbelts in cars, or helmets when riding bikes?

People don't say a word when their kids cut in line, push other kids, or commit other anti-social behaviour? "They're just kids" they say.

People don't care that their kids can't/won't/don't look adults in the eye and say "Good morning", even after being addressed by an adult?

People don't care that children show no respect towards teachers or other parents, and in general have very limited social skills and bad manners?

Today's kids are screwed up enough, and I doubt whether or not they were "smacked" had much to do with it.

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

Today's kids are screwed up enough, and I doubt whether or not they were "smacked" had much to do with it.

I disagree Smifman

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fuzzbutt, are you saying you think kids are screwed up because they are being smacked, or that kids aren't screwed up?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Today's kids are screwed up enough, and I doubt whether or not they were "smacked" had much to do with it.

...Your point is? Because people do all those things, smacking kids is justified?

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

My point is, psuedo-science that presumes "mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, aggressive or anti-social behavior, substance use problems and abuse of their own children or spouse" are caused by physical punishment, is completely bogus. The fact is there are a huge number of factors that no doubt lead to those outcomes - so how they somehow narrow it down to smacking being the cause is a truly amazing piece of research.

If they admit that there are other causes, why not make them illegal too? Why not make smoking in front of kids illegal? Too much TV illegal? Double-income parents with no time for kids illegal? Too many games illegal? Not giving up your train seat for strangers illegal? No religious/moral education illegal? If "doctors" and the government want to take on the responsibility of disciplining children, then they might as well go all the way.

Now I know I'm about to contradict myself, but I should add that although I don't agree with everything Cleo says (and I'm sure the feeling is mutual), I do think she raises some good points. If smacking becomes illegal, then surely responsible parents who thus far have used the occasional smack as discipline should have little difficulty in finding another method to substitute physical punishment.

Those who currently use it as an excuse for child abuse, will, on the other hand, have nothing left to hide behind - at least in public - and that can surely only be a good thing.

Should the majority have to change their ways because of the stupidity of a few? Well, if children's lives are saved, then I guess the cause is a just one - despite my personal reservations about its overall effectiveness, and the claim that smacking kids produces bad adults (excessive physical punishment will probably have detrimental effects on kids, but I'm sure so would excessive time-outs, or excessive pandering, or excessive coddling, or excessive anything).

However, my objection with the whole thing is with the demonization of anyone who uses smacking as a method of discipline, and labelling of them as a child abuser. I was smacked as a kid, by both parents and at least one teacher. They weren't child abusers, but if they did it today, my parents would be arrested and I'd be taken put under the "protection" of community services. Is that really the best way to raise a child?

So what's your point?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As a single parent I often can't give timeouts , etc as I am mostly pushed for time. Wife died 4yrs ago.

So I will use what is needed to get results now.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My point is, psuedo-science that presumes "mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, aggressive or anti-social behavior, substance use problems and abuse of their own children or spouse" are caused by physical punishment, is completely bogus.

Did you actually look at the data, analyze it, or are you just making assumptions?

If they admit that there are other causes, why not make them illegal too? Why not make smoking in front of kids illegal? Too much TV illegal? Double-income parents with no time for kids illegal? Too many games illegal?

These are not real, legitimate arguments because they merely serve to distract attention from the main argument.

Why is it illegal to hit adults and even animals, but it's legal to hit a child?

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

Even if I did confine him to his room which has a TV, PC. Games station and a phone is no punishment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you ban, this will still happen, then what? Ban kids?

Yet abused/dead kids still end up in the news.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I often can't give timeouts , etc as I am mostly pushed for time

You're illustrating my point that smacking is often no more than a 'quick fix', not the 'last resort' as many smacking parents claim. I appreciate that it's hard as a single parent and that some corners have to be cut, but that doesn't make smacking OK. If you're busy at work and and come across a problem, do you solve it by hitting someone?

Even if I did confine him to his room which has a TV, PC. Games station and a phone is no punishment.

Who put the TV, PC, games station and phone in his room? You have no control over your child's environment?

You're also still thinking reactively. Instead of waiting till he does wrong then clocking him one, find out the cause of his bad behaviour and fix that.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Not at all.

First I ask him to do a certain task, most of the times no problem. At times he refuses and a discussion ensues, he knows that at a time the countdown timer starts. Once the verbap Countdown is needed he is given 10 seconds yo rethink. After timer is out I ask him OK and he nods = clap

Usually apologises and hugs me when task is finished

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At times he refuses and a discussion ensues, he knows that at a time the countdown timer starts.

How do you think that translates to the outside world? He grows up, gets a job, has no problem doing most of the work, and when he doesn't want to do what he's been asked to do, his boss hits him and the whole office claps?

BTW, if he has no option but to do whatever the task is, you're not asking, you're commanding. Does the 'discussion' focus why he doesn't want to do the task and how to resolve that problem, or about what you're going to do to him (thwackk) if he doesn't obey?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abuse to ones partner verbal and physically is considered wrong by society and can lead to criminal convictions. The same abuse directed at children is considered ok by many and also by the law if not too extreme. Smacking is violence and is not the answer to bringing up a child.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Cleo ever been in the military or a top of the line school recently not much difference.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

ever been in the military or a top of the line school recently not much difference.

You think the way the military trains people to kill to order is a good model for raising a child? Seriously?

A 'top of the line' school does not inflict violence or the threat of violence on its charges; (1) It's illegal and (2) If it did, then by definition it would not be a top of the line school.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Check again.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Did you actually look at the data, analyze it, or are you just making assumptions?

Like you, I'm going by what's written in the article, and the conclusions seem pretty vague to me.

Why is it illegal to hit adults and even animals, but it's legal to hit a child?

Abusing your animal is illegal. Disciplining it with whips (horses) choke chains, prong collars, electric shocks (dogs - just ask Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Milan) is legal.

Assaulting an adult is illegal, as is assaulting a child. I'm pretty sure, however, if you got an adult to bend over your lap with his pants down, that he'd probably enjoy the spanking.

Your problem is you can't see the difference between reasonable force (mentioned in the article) and abuse. Is Homer Simpson a child abuser for spanking Bart? Or George Bush Snr for that matter?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5IiqK1rCk

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

Cleo

I served and did what needed to be done still makes me sick and my son has to serve when he turns 18.

Myself a buddhist but I see the need for his growth and counrty .

R

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

papasmurfinjapan

Assaulting an adult is illegal, as is assaulting a child.

So hitting a child is wrong, as is hitting an adult.

I'm pretty sure, however, if you got an adult to bend over your lap with his pants down, that he'd probably enjoy the spanking.

...what? I'm pretty sure, that that is called "perversion". You do realize, that he would "enjoy" it precisely because he has experienced such things in the past? He was humiliated and he attempted to fuse his humiliation with sexual pleasure. Children would do anything to not be abandoned by their caretakers, even if they are being abused. This is all getting studied in neuroscience...

Your problem is you can't see the difference between reasonable force (mentioned in the article) and abuse.

You would never think that any kind of hitting or "smacking" is okay for adults. Why take the chance? Children are even more vulnerable and susceptible to hitting and physical pain and abuse. Their brains are still plastic and developing rapidly and they could be easily shaped and molded by their experiences. They could develop brain wiring in the wrong direction, such as developing "spanking" perversions mentioned in above.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So hitting a child is wrong, as is hitting an adult.

Crikey, I'm talking to a brick wall.

If you think an occasional smack on the bum George Bush style for the purpose of "discipline" and punching a person in the face out of anger are the same thing, then God bless you. Your parents and teachers, and most of the people around you are all probably guilty of child abuse. Let's lock em all up and let the holier than thou crowd who think they know how best to raise other peoples kids try and do a better job - then in 20 years time we'll have a whole new batch of studies showing that children brought up in foster homes or with a parent serving a jail sentence, or even just the trauma of a police car showing up at the house to question dad have been emotionally scarred.

I don't know why I need to explain the bleeding obvious to you, but normal adults don't hit other adults for disciplinary purposes, because in most cases we are not in situations where it is our responsibility to discipline adults. I'm not a military person so don't know for sure, but I presume if you enlist in the military - where it is your superior's job to discipline you - there is going to be more than just a time-out sitting in the corner with a dunce hat on your head. They may not punch you in the face - but you will be given some form of physical punishment.

You don't have kids, nor any idea what raising a child is really like, do you?

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

Crikey, I'm talking to a brick wall.

If you think an occasional smack on the bum George Bush style for the purpose of "discipline" and punching a person in the face out of anger are the same thing, then God bless you

No, crikey, YOU think that it's okay, despite having nothing to back it up other than that it's apparently "common sense" and "bleeding obvious". But what is common sense? How do you know that it's not harmful? Why take the chance? The fact is, we still don't completely know, yet you're acting like you're the God of everything right and True. What you say does not automatically become a fact.

They may not punch you in the face - but you will be given some form of physical punishment.

Since when the F do you ever discipline adults by hitting them? Even in the military, I'm not so sure.

You don't have kids, nor any idea what raising a child is really like, do you?

Are you suggesting that ALL parents hit their kids? The majority of them probably DON'T. "Wah wah wah, it's so difficult to raise kids without hitting them!!" Maybe you shouldn't be having kids?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Is Homer Simpson a child abuser for spanking Bart? Or George Bush Snr for that matter?

Homer Simpson is a cartoon character with the brain of a jellyfish, he makes people laugh and feel good because they're better than him. And are you seriously putting Dubya's Dad up as a model father, considering that he produced a semi-literate, war-mongering, draft-dodging dry-drunk druggie? I can't think of a better example of what not to aim for in raising a kid.

choke chains, prong collars, electric shocks (dogs - just ask Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Milan) is legal.

I've only ever seen Milan advocate the use of chokes, prongs and shocks in the case of dogs with major problems caused by previous training methods (or lack of training) that have severely damaged the dog and made ordinary positive methods ineffective or dangerous. Start off with a brand-new puppy and train it properly and responsibly using positive methods and there is no need at all for the 'torture tools'. Assuming that you raise your own child from birth, if you find yourself needing to use the child equivalent of the shock collar, ie smacks and slaps, it's an admission that so far you've messed up big time. The use of a shock collar on a puppy is no more appropriate than the use of slaps and smacks on a small child. Train the puppy/raise the child right, and there is no need for them at any time in its life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fact is, we still don't completely know

WTF are you on about? "We don't really know the effects" is what I have been saying from the first damn post. It would help if you had comprehension skills.

yet you're acting like you're the God of everything right and True

What is your problem, Thomas? I can understand how trying to weigh both sides of the story rather than see everything in black and white is probably not a popular course on a forum that thrives on polarising opinions, but that is what I am doing. I'm not advocating hitting kids. But I have reservations about making it illegal, and I state my reasons why. As far as I can tell, you are the judgemental one here, not me.

Since when the F do you ever discipline adults by hitting them?

Again, get some comprehension skills. I'm sick of repeating myself for people who nit-pick over words but fail to understand the context.

Are you suggesting that ALL parents hit their kids?

No. Read the actual article, and get some comprehension skills. - it says most parents hit their kids. You seem to be hell-bent on attacking me, but by the sound of it you probably haven't even read the article, nor most of my posts, for that matter.

Maybe you shouldn't be having kids?

I don't hit my kids. I'm not advocating hitting kids. I even said I agree with Cleo that if that small minority of people who use it as an excuse for child abuse, then it is probably a good idea. What I disagree with is labelling all people that smack their kids as bad parents or child abusers. I also think splitting up families because dad smacked his child will do more damage than good. So save your judgemental attitude for someone else.

Homer Simpson is a cartoon character with the brain of a jellyfish

I'm sorry Cleo that you, like Thomas, nit-pick over small details but miss the entire point of the post. I'm using Homer Simpson as an example of a person who uses spanking because it's easier to judge a hypothetical person than a real one. The question is, is he a child abuser? Should community services put Bart, Lisa and Maggie in foster homes because they have an "abusive" dad? Do you think that would be best for them?

I've only ever seen Milan advocate the use of chokes, prongs and shocks in the case of dogs with major problems caused by previous training methods (or lack of training) that have severely damaged the dog and made ordinary positive methods ineffective or dangerous

Again, you are missing my point. I'm not advocating using shock collars on your animals. I'm responding to the point in the article that says "If you hit your dog, you could be arrested". It's really getting tiring repeating myself over and over again, so this will be the last time. It's LEGAL to use physical methods to train/discipline animals. It's ILLEGAL to beat/abuse your animal for no reason. It's not my personal opinion, that's the law - so what the woman in the article is saying is incorrect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

papasmurfinjapan

WTF are you on about? "We don't really know the effects" is what I have been saying from the first damn post. It would help if you had comprehension skills.

lol "comprehension skills".

Okay, so since we don't know the extent of the damage that physical punishment may cause to children in the long term, what's wrong with outlawing corporal punishment?

Apparently, you think that it's okay because "I'm pretty sure, however, if you got an adult to bend over your lap with his pants down, that he'd probably enjoy the spanking." Ignoring the fact that he such perversions and fetishes because he was likely spanked in the first place.

What I disagree with is labelling all people that smack their kids as bad parents or child abusers.

There is absolutely NO reason to hit children, adults, or anyone. I'm pretty sure we can both agree on that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Okay, so since we don't know the extent of the damage that physical punishment may cause to children in the long term, what's wrong with outlawing corporal punishment?

Please read my earlier post.

If smacking becomes illegal, then surely responsible parents who thus far have used the occasional smack as discipline should have little difficulty in finding another method to substitute physical punishment.

Those who currently use it as an excuse for child abuse, will, on the other hand, have nothing left to hide behind - at least in public - and that can surely only be a good thing.

Should the majority have to change their ways because of the stupidity of a few? Well, if children's lives are saved, then I guess the cause is a just one - despite my personal reservations about its overall effectiveness, and the claim that smacking kids produces bad adults (excessive physical punishment will probably have detrimental effects on kids, but I'm sure so would excessive time-outs, or excessive pandering, or excessive coddling, or excessive anything).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

papasmurfinjapan

If smacking becomes illegal, then surely responsible parents who thus far have used the occasional smack as discipline should have little difficulty in finding another method to substitute physical punishment.

Ya, well that's why you should teach and educate them not to. Didn't you know, that people in general simply follow what everybody else is doing? If everyone was smacking their children, then they would decide, that it's okay to hit children.

Should the majority have to change their ways because of the stupidity of a few?

My opinion is that you should not be hitting kids at all. It's clearly an abuse of power, since that adults are much stronger, and are in a much stronger position than the children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My opinion is that you should not be hitting kids at all. It's clearly an abuse of power, since that adults are much stronger, and are in a much stronger position than the children.

That's your opinion, and you're entitled to that. However, I disagree with laws being made on opinions and presumptions and not hard facts - and these results don't seem like hard facts to me. Sure, if I was privy to the actual studies I could go through the methodology and see exactly how they reached their conclusions, but all I have is a news article to go off.

Personally I think the cry it out method for babies is despicable, but unless there is concrete evidence that it mentally scars them, then parents are free to choose that option. I disagree with humiliating children to prove a point, I disagree with parents who scream at their kids and use bad words, I disagree with parents who ignore their kids, I disagree with double income parents who willingly stick their kids in day care for 12hrs a day 6 days a week so they can pursue their careers..

I also think circumcision is barbaric, but it is perfectly legal, and I don't question a parent's choice to mutilate their son's penis for religious reasons. I disagree with a lot of religious education that promotes hate and disdain for people who are different. I disagree with a lot of things, and suspect they are all detrimental to a child's well-being, but that's my opinion. Obviously others who do these things will disagree with me.

I, for the most part, also disagree with smacking as a means of discipline, but if I see a mum smacking her child on the hand or bum in a supermarket for trying to steal something, or throwing a tantrum because mum won't buy them a snack, then I don't immediately suspect her of being a child-abuser or bad parent, and I'm not going to call the police. If she kicks or punches the child or in other ways gets overly emotional and violent, that is another story.

And that is what it comes down to. Society is made up of different people with different temperaments and different personalities - each family has a different story to tell, and I have faith that most parents really have their childrens best interests at heart. I don't have the right to criticise other parents for their discipline techniques unless I know what they are doing is detrimental to the child. Sure I can go around saying "I'd do it this way", but the fact is "my way" that works on my kids doesn't necessarily work on other kids. I think it is presumptuous to tell a person how to discipline their child without knowing the child intimately yourself.

I'm all for laws that protect children, but I would be weary of supporting a law that bans smacking unless I knew exactly what the penalty would be for a dad who smacked his delinquent kid on the bum. Unless the authorities tread carefully, I honestly believe the punishment could cause more psychological damage to the child than the crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's LEGAL to use physical methods to train/discipline animals.

And in terms of results, it is still not a good idea. You get much better results with positive methods. Same with kids.

I agree with you that banning spanking is not the way to go and would do little or nothing to stop real abuse; but at least the 'it's legal, so it's OK' argument would go away.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Take away doctor's right to prescribe medicines because it too easy to blur the lines between treating them for sickness and committing murder.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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