Monday, 4 February 2013

The Perils of Smacking Your Child

There was some debate today as Justice Secretary Chris Grayling spoke out that he 'smacked his children to send out a message' and this got me all angry and furious.  So I thought I would share my views on this controversial topic.
I would like to start by saying that I totally disagree with smacking my children.  I brought these little people into the world to love and care for them, so why would I want to hurt them?
I was smacked as a child, I remember it clearly, my Mum's approach was a good hard smack on the leg whilst I ran up the stairs trying to escape it!  My Dad's approach was scarier, he had a calmness about him but he used the slipper and made my legs bleed just from one hard smack with it!  This was when smacking was allowed so nobody would think anything of it then.  It did teach me a lesson, I learnt not to answer back as best I could!  However, I feel my parents did a good enough job bringing me up and teaching me manners and not to swear without beating it out of me.
My views on smacking these days come out of love and protection for my sons, my eldest is 7 and my youngest just 5 months, and my approach to discipling them is to hit them where it hurts!  Not literally but by taking away the things they cherish the most like the TV, giving them the silent treatment, (which my eldest son hates) and the good old naughty corner.
  I have used all these techniques and not one of them has physically harmed my son and I can sleep peacefully at night without the guilt of having used physicality.
  I see smacking as a form of letting out your own frustrations on them, because your angry, and you cannot deal with the situation in a calm manner.  Now, don't get me wrong, I get really really angry sometimes.  To a point where I have thought about smacking my son, either on the wrist or back of the leg.  But in hindsight, it would only be because I was angry and it was a way of letting my frustration out rather than using it as a punishment and that is hardly fair for any child.
  I was on a forum reading other peoples thoughts on this subject and I was surprised to see so many agreeing with Chris Grayling.  They justified it by saying that we are in a 'nanny state,' it's ridiculous how we don't smack our kids any more and that this is the main reason why kids have no respect these days!
  I put the reason down to lazy parenting.  If parents took the time out to learn how to discipline their children in a non physical way, and teach themselves to have patience and perseverance then children would have the respect and manners to give back what they have been taught.
  Lifestyles these days, with everyone rushing around and not having time for others has meant parenting has gone out the window and all parents want to do is put their kids in front of the Tv for a quiet life.
  I did not have kids to do that.  I wanted to share my love out with them and get excited when they hit their milestones, and for selfish reasons, teach them the skills I know so that I can be proud of them and me!
  I am not saying all parents are like this of course, this is just my opinion of what I make of the world from the outside.  But, my son is such a polite little man, he knows not to swear and although he is far from perfect, I know that it is down to me that he is the way he is.  I used the naughty corner and step on him and it taught him to realise that he had done the wrong thing and to say sorry and I will do the same thing again with my youngest son because I know it works.
  No one should have any right to hit another human being, so why should we be promoting this as a parenting strategy?  I know for years people did this but how much of that actually turned into physical abuse?  Where is the evidence that it actually worked on previous generations?  I doubt children these days sit at school and think to themselves that they will be naughty because at least they won't hit them?  If a child is going to misbehave, then they are going to do it.  Its down to their peers to deal with the situation in a correct manner.
  Sorry for the rant, I seem to have go off into another world but it just winds me up that smacking is something that half the world seems to agree with!
  You would not want someone else smacking your child, so why should you?

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