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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clementine Grace View Post
    So why is it not assault to smack a child who is smaller in size and strength and more vulnerable?
    It is assault. The point is that parents have a defence under common law, based on the wide discretion parents are given to make decisions based on what they believe is in the "best interests" of the child -- a discretion the courts currently hold can only be taken away if their actions are shown to be significantly detrimental to the child. This discretion also limits interventions by child protection agencies and, if the Quick Poll on this site is anything to go by, is widely supported by the majority of parents, who clearly believe that on a wide range of controversial issues (eg non-vaccination, religious brainwashing, non-therapeutic circumcision) they have a right to make such decisions for/about their children.

    So the smacking controversy is part of a larger ethical debate that in my view is not going to be resolved by enacting legal instruments which do not have overwhelming community support and are not meaningfully enforceable.
    Last edited by JohnC; 26-07-2013 at 21:39. Reason: missing word

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  3. #82
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    I don't smack. I have smacked but I see it as useless, ineffective and hypocritical and so I do not choose to do it. I do agree that many smack in anger once they've lost control, but I also believe you can smack without having lost it. There were times in the past when DD would know it was the punishment we had told her would come if she continued on. She continued on. I would sigh internally and dish out the smack to follow through. It wasn't in anger, it was sticking to my guns. I am more likely to yell when I lose my sh*t tbh.

    That said, I do not really think that I believe making it illegal will do much. People who want to beat the hell out of their kids still will... people like that don't care too much about the law. It's illegal to sexually assault a child too, but how many children are molested?

    I also dislike comparing actual physical abuse - beatings that result in bruising, broken bones, drawn blood etc - and smacking. I was smacked, but I was never abused. I resent the implication that as a person who was smacked as a kid for misbehaving, I must have been the victim of abuse. I assure you I was not.

    Outlawing smacking doesn't "draw the line," or prevent child abuse.

    As for the, "what if my husband smacked me... would that be okay?" line that people ALWAYS bring up in these threads. No, it wouldn't... but what about putting you in timeout? "Grounding" you? Taking away your personal items? Etc? People do these things when disciplining their children too... and IMO, your partner has no job disciplining you, a grown adult with the right to make your own choices. Actually, I think it would be considered emotional abuse if your partner did this. Does that mean we're emotionally abusing our kids if this is what we do when they play up?
    Last edited by SassyMummy; 26-07-2013 at 21:31.

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  5. #83
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    Not sure about making it illegal. But I definitely agree that everyone should be educated on how to manage behavior with non-physical methods and maybe this is something that needs to be done before babies are born.

  6. #84
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    I'm usually quite certain of my own personal stance on parenting issues, especially the big ones, though I have always been a little on the fence with smacking. I thought when I had read through 9 pages of discussion I would find some clarity and be swayed one way or the other, but nope, I'm still on the fence! Lol.

    I don't intend to use smacking as a form of discipline with my DS (he is still far too young anyway) but I'm also not convinced that outlawing is the answer or that those parents who do just give a pat on the bum (and I really mean just a pat) should be classed as criminals. Like other PP's have said, where does it end!? Soon we won't be allowed to yell / shout at our kids because it will be considered a form of verbal abuse.

  7. #85
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    Over many many years gone by we have seen corporal punishment be something that is normal to making it illegal and advertising against it!

    You used to be able to use corporal punishment.....
    on slaves
    on wives
    on prisoners
    on employees
    on school children

    All have been made illegal! However we are still allowed to use corporal punishment on innocent defenseless children???

    Speaks for itself really!

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  9. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarylee View Post
    Over many many years gone by we have seen corporal punishment be something that is normal to making it illegal and advertising against it!

    You used to be able to use corporal punishment.....
    on slaves
    on wives
    on prisoners
    on employees
    on school children

    All have been made illegal! However we are still allowed to use corporal punishment on innocent defenseless children???

    Speaks for itself really!
    This.

    If I walked up and smacked some random adult in the street, id be charged with assult....and the adult is big enough to smack me back and/or give me a mouthful (hold their own)

    Yet, it would be ok for me to smack my own child...because...he is mine? He is small? I felt like it? its not right! He is the one who nerds protecting! He can't smack me back or stand up for or protect himself.

    For the record, in my darkest, most regretful moment as a parent, I have once tapped (not smacked, basically a flick with my four fingers) him on his fingers after weeks and weeks of trying to redirect his behavior of not plugging things into power points, or unplugging things (yes they had safety things, but there was one particular power point I had to have plugged in and couldn't block it off due to its stupid location....he would always pull the plugs out and try to plug then back in), as a last resort I tried it, and felt soooo ill over it, I literally went and threw up after, because I had lightly tapped his fingers. It also had no effect what so ever on his behavior and I've never done it again.

    I always said before I had children I didn't like smacking, however if for their own protection they needed a light, simple one, I would be ok with it....things like fork to power point, Running into traffic etc....where there is the potential for death...I felt that a few seconds of stinging pain (with an open hand on the bum/hand) was preferable.........until I had my own child and done it once....now never again!

    I don't understand it.... just because we don't like something a child does, we can smack? I don't like that the cashier at the supermarket charges me money, but I don't smack them!

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  10. #87
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    Yes.

  11. #88
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    I don't believe smacking is effective, having said that I am not opposed to a parent that smacks a child on the bum without force and not out of anger. I do believe parents resort to smacking as they don't know how else to deal and somewhat too lazy to discipline in other way. Should it be illegal no! There are so many more things that parents do to their kids that cause a significantly more damage than a harmless smack (smack and abuse re two very different things). If the government banned junk food for kids under 5, if the banned smoking in your own home, if they made vaccinations compulsory and regular doctors appointments, if they made put more resources into preventing the 1 in 5 kids that end up sexually abused them perhaps their resources are better served. Smacking is significantly down the list of serious issues the government should put resources into, smacking when done by 90% of parents does not lead to any serious harm.

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  13. #89
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    Yes, I don't think it will stop anyone gently tapping a hand that's too close to the oven or anything minor. It might make someone who thinks smacking forcefully or with spoons/kettle cords think twice (I'm seriously appalled at all the people who were flogged with cords, thats just terrible).
    I got the odd smack here and there (open palm), I also had things thrown at me by my mum (ouch). While it didn't do me any harm, it wasn't needed either. I was a good and reasonable kid. My dad smacked me once, it broke both our hearts. He found other ways to discipline me, and they were way more effective anyway lol.
    The line between smacking and a beating is completely reliant on the parents temper (and kids can be frustrating). It's better to say no smacking, especially in wake of those other countries who have had such good results I'm seriously so tired of hearing about kids who have been beaten to death If this helps I'm all for it.



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  14. #90
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    I get the arguments that people are putting forward (for making it illegal), and my personal position is that I don't smack, BUT a lot of the arguments - to my mind - lead us to dangerous territory, and I'm very wary of a government being given the power to over legislate.

    1. People are saying that it should be illegal so that parents can receive education about better means of discipline. So, any 'lesser' parenting choice should be legislated against? Feeding children coke? Shouting?

    2. People say that you don't do it to an adult so you shouldn't do it to a child. There are lots of things you can do to a child and not an adult. If I held an adult down and impaled their ear lobe with a piece of metal then it would be illegal. But I can do it to a child. Not saying ear piercing for kids is right, but one piece of legislation based on these grounds could extrapolate out to others. Vaccinating?

    3. People are saying that children are subject to forcible hitting that kills/ damages them. There are already laws against that.

    4. People are saying that making it illegal sends a message to society that we are not okay with smacking children. So, do we create a law against anything that 'we' (and who are 'we'?) don't like? I'm not okay with shouting at kids. Many people are not okay with formula feeding (and I am NOT including myself in that camp). Do we legislate against these things, so that people 'do better'? And who is deciding what things are right and what things are wrong?

    5. People are saying it's cruel because they are defenceless. Well, that's a great argument for not doing it, but not a great argument for legislating against it. I think it's cruel to shout at a little kid, but plenty of people do it.

    6. People are saying that parents don't know the line between a gentle tap and a beating that kills. I don't believe this to be true. The vast vast majority of parents who smack (whether or not you agree with smacking) do it because they believe it to be the best form of discipline for their children, and do it in a gentle and controlled way. The majority would be aghast if they hurt their child. The small minority that take it too far are not 'normal' parents who didn't realise that it's not okay to kick/ beat a child. They are not going to sit up and go "Oh! I thought that was okay, but now there's a law against it I won't batter my kid any more!"


    If we legislate to make everything that could possibly be detrimental to a child illegal, OR everything that is good for a child mandatory, then I believe we are giving the government too much power, and that it could also have ramifications that many people would not like. And it's not really accurate to say that we just want 'this one thing' legislated against, as the reason behind allowing this legislation opens up many more doors.

    A silly example, and one that is extrapolating what I'm saying 'too far' to make a point, but do we legislate against hugging or kissing our kids because some parents abuse theirs? Do we legislate to say a minimum amount of food our kids must eat, because some parents starve theirs? Do we charge parents who allow their kids to become overweight? Do we make vaccinating mandatory? Do we criminalise ear piercing for babies? Do we make it illegal to co-sleep? Or to do controlled crying?

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