On smacking children.

 

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:

 

Firstly,

 

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.

 

Secondly,

 

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!

 

Thirdly,

 

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.

 

There!

 

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.


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8 Responses to “On smacking children.”

  1. coldcomfort Says:

    Sorry Olga but you are quite wrong. All the sources you cite confuse a smack with a beating. Any authoritarian regime knows that ‘ discipline by fear of physical punishment’ works but that is not the purpose of a single smack. Of course a beating is wrong & ineffective but a single smack simply captures the attention – especially of very young children. A caring parent being verbally abused in public for delivering one does nothing either for good parenting or the good of the child.

  2. John Hemming Says:

    http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2011/08/21/six-under-fives-expelled-from-birmingham-schools-66331-29274036/

  3. olgaivannikova Says:

    Dear coldcomfort, I disagree. Smacking can be a from of beating – definitely in child’s mind. Caring parents should know better ways of ‘simply capturing the attention’
    But thanks for the comment anyway: its good to have a debate 🙂

  4. Carolyn Meggitt Says:

    Olga: I think you have expressed this really well and agree with you. I always find that people who think it is OK to smack children defend this by saying:
    (a) there’s a difference between smacking and beating – the odd slap on the bottom/hand won’t hurt, and/or
    (b) I was regularly smacked as a child and it never did me any harm, and/or
    (c) I only ever smack my child when he/she is getting into dangerous situations etc
    Who says that adults who were smacked as children know the difference between right and wrong any more than an adult who was smacked as a child?
    I had a friend who regularly smacked her two pre-school daughters around the legs and found I couldn’t remain friends with her – plus the older girl was often spiteful – biting other children etc..
    It is fundamentally wrong to use any form of physical violence on children – and that includes shaking them.

  5. olgaivannikova Says:

    Thanks Carolyn!

  6. mobile910 Says:

    I agree with you olgaivannikova. I found some disturbing evidence on the damage smacking can do to a child.

    A study on spanking was even featured on CNN’s website uncovered that spanking can lead to long – term bad behaviour and anti – social behaviour. The study interviewed the mothers of 3000 children http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/9708/14/nfm.spanking/ to compile this study.They also found out that Corporal Punishment is ineffective and was responsible for more anti – social behaviour, which would be evident in later years.

    Another study conducted by Will Meek PHD also argued that spanking children had negative effects on their well being http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/02/24/negative-consequences-of-spanking/ .He found out spanking was no more effective than any other disciplinary measures which didn’t use physical force. Overall, he observed that spanking could cause emotional and behavioural problems and even increased aggression in children who would use violence to solve their problems.

    By Rhys Klu

    Is it ever ok to spank your child?

    Spanking is a controversial subject which leaves many people divided on whether it’s ok to spank your child or not. One thing that can be said about spanking is it’s a very emotional subject. Many people have very strong views and oppinions about it. When it comes to spanking, there’s no middle ground. You either believe it’s right or wrong.

    So what I have done for this month’s post is I’ve decided to look at 2 opposing views about spanking. Those in favour of spanking and those who are against spanking. Both views will be backed up by case studies to argue their case. I’ll also examine if there are any alternatives to spanking.

    After that, I will give my views about whether I’m in favour of spanking or not and explain my reasons for doing so. This will be followed up with tips on how to discipline your child without spanking them. You are more than welcome to share your views on this matter by leaving your comments and discussing whether it’s ok to ever spank a child or not.

    Arguments In Favour Of Spanking

    Many people in favour of spanking believe it’s an effective way of disciplining a child because it acts as a deterrent to stop the child misbehaving. The child experiences pain as a reminder not to commit the offence again. Spanking itself derives some of its ideas from Capital Punishment, where if somebody has broken the law, the person would face punishment. Punishments ranged from execution, the electric chair or lethal injection. All of the methods used in Capital Punishment were designed to deter for would be criminals.

    The common link between spanking and Capital Punishment is simple. They both send out a clear message about breaking the rules is: ‘Don’t do it!’ Which is followed up by punishment to make the message clear in their efforts to deter them.

    Another reason why spanking is popular with those who advocate it is because it helped them to know their boundaries and respect authority. Spanking back then was used to control boundaries and give respect to authority. Some may argue that spanking even shaped them into the person they are today by knowing one’s place and being respectful to authority. The thought of rebelling against authority was unthinkable back then. Committing any of the acts above was guaranteed to be met with severe punishment, which was not even worth thinking about. The clever thing about spanking from a psychological point of view, is that it relied on fear to control a child’s actions and have the right desired effect on them. It is a well known fact that if you consciously focus on a thought long enough, the mind will intensify recreate the emotions and the actions associated with it. Take for example Hypochondriacs. They have a tendency to exaggerate minor symptoms in the belief that there is something more serious behind the illness.

    It is those children who are now adults who would support spanking because it helped them to become disciplined. It’s only natural that they would use disciplinary measures that worked on them as children because it was successful in disciplining them. It is easy to see why they still use spanking to discipline children.

    On January 04 2010, a study discovered some interesting findings about the benefits of spanking. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-01-04/entertainment/17945428_1_parents-child-kids. It claimed that young children who were spanked by their parents performed better at school at later stage in life. Calvin College Psychology professor Marjorie Gunnoe observed that children smacked before the age of 6 grew up to be more successful. She also noted that there was not enough evidence to show that spanking harms children according to the Daily Mail.

    “Why would young kids benefit from spanking while older kids were harmed by it, as Gunnoe’s research suggests?

    Most parents spank young kids to keep them safe, Dennis explains. A parent may slap a toddler’s hand if they touch a hot stove, or spank a child who runs into the street. In that context, she says, a smack can be considered a way to keep a child out of danger or to assert parental authority, she says.”

    Arguments Against Spanking

    There are those who are against spanking because they believe it harms the child’s development and well being. They actively seek more humane ways of disciplining a child without using physical force. Some can even draw on their experiences as a child when they were spanked. They even remember the trauma and anguish it caused them as a child.

    A study on spanking was even featured on CNN’s website uncovered that spanking can lead to long – term bad behaviour and anti – social behaviour. The study interviewed the mothers of 3000 children http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/9708/14/nfm.spanking/ to compile this study.They also found out that Corporal Punishment is ineffective and was responsible for more anti – social behaviour, which would be evident in later years.

    Another study conducted by Will Meek PHD also argued that spanking children had negative effects on their well being http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/02/24/negative-consequences-of-spanking/ .He found out spanking was no more effective than any other disciplinary measures which didn’t use physical force. Overall, he observed that spanking could cause emotional and behavioural problems and even increased aggression in children who would use violence to solve their problems.

    There was even more disturbing evidence to suggest that spanking could even lower a child’s IQ in a study conducted by Professor Murray Straus http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/spanking-long-used-by-parents-to-discipline-naughty-children-can/story-e6frf00i-1225779278575.

    Professor Murray Straus is calling the U.S government to outlaw corporal punishment. A quote from Professor Murray Straus highlights the seriousness of the situation. “After studying 800 toddlers aged between two and four over a four-year period, he found those who were subjected to smacking had an IQ five points lower than that of a child who wasn’t physically disciplined.

    “The results of this research have major implications for the well-being of children across the globe,” he said.

    “All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding smacking and correcting misbehaviour in other ways can help that.”

  7. Francesca Daniels Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I abhore smacking and my husband and I are constantly and loggerheads as our daughter, who I might point out is 21 months old and was 3 months early and only weighs 17lb 4oz, keeps on hitting out of frustration! I sit her down and explain that it hurts and she gives me a cuddle and says sorry mummy, every time. Then in another burst of frustration later we will repeat the scenario. My husband continuously tells me that I can do it until I’m blue in the face and wants to smack her and we end up in an arguement about it ourselves as I agree with and repeatidly point out your own comments. This is unfortunately an ongoing argument as he doesn’t seem capable of understanding that she is, again, only 21 months old. He said me trying to make her give me a cuddle and say sorry when she did something wrong would never work and it only took me two months to get her to understand so I don’t see why I should just give up my approach and hit her when I think she is being naughty. Violence breeds violence as far as I’m concerned. Amazingly I have found it difficult to find much support for this on the internet so when I found this I felt justified in my belief that I am doing the right thing, no matter who else wants to disagree with me! So thank you for giving me the extra push to stand up for my beliefs!

  8. Stephen @affordable essay writing services Says:

    I agree with you that spanking may cause psychological harm to the children. Like you, I also do not like spanking as a form of discipline. There are studies which say that aggressive behavior is linked to spanking. I have written persuasive essays against spanking. You can also check it out.

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