Apparently, John Hemming MP said:
“…Smacking children rarely does any long-term harm but allowing children to grow up in an undisciplined manner is damaging for the child and society as a whole. Children have been placed on the child protection register for being smacked. This undermines discipline.”
Come on now Mr Hemming! I thought that people in this country moved from what is basically ‘discipline by fear of physical punishment’ long time ago!
There are three main arguments against it:
Everyone’s strength is different. Some people can smack a child without meaning to hurt them but not taking into account how strong they might be and how weak the child might be. It can result in physical harm, such as scratchings, bruises or even scars.
It can also leave the psychological damage, particularly if it is exercised in front of other people.
I am no behaviour expert but I fail to see how it can help a respectful and loving relationship between a child and a parent.
Research by Save the Children and the National Children’s Bureau showed “that smacking does not work and that the best and safest way forward is to ban all forms of physical punishment and encourage alternative ways of disciplining children.”
‘..The comments also showed that many children did not see much difference between parents smacking children and other forms of hitting. They compared smacking with being hit by bullies and realised they could not hit back when they were smacked because their parents could hit harder.’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/252607.stm)
What could possibly justify smacking children who are vulnerable, helpless and can’t defend themselves? (I just said three words that mean the same thing, I know) Discipline can be ensured in other ways. My parents never ever hit me – it did not make me go rioting!
Children are people too! I could not possibly put it better than Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, Children’s Commissioner for England:
‘There is no good reason why children remain the only people in the UK whom the law does not automatically protect from being hit.‘
P.S.I apologise to Mr Hemming if the Express completely misquoted him but I thought I shall express my opinion since the issue was brought up.