Ban The Smack Smackdown

Late last week the call, by a bunch of paediatricians, came out again to not just ‘ban’ smacking, but make smacking kids illegal.

I think it got lost in the current media/political farce that is going on at the moment.

It seemed to fly under the radar this time. The same call, I suspect by the same bunch of paeds, was brought to our attention ooooh … months ago. There was a big media beat up about it and I, personally, was interviewed about it.

I’m hoping it was because everyone was rolling their eyes and saying “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” as much as I was.

Not because I have little or no respect for paediatricians, these ones or otherwise. Quite the opposite; I have great respect for them and the job they do, the things they deal with on a day to day basis and the amazing things they do with and for kids and their families. Great respect!

It’s not because I’m of the “Oh, give ’em a smack, that’ll sort ’em out!” ilk, either. Not at all. Again, quite the opposite; as a rule I am generally against smacking and think there are many, many more productive, efficient and considerably more effective ways to deal with children’s behaviours and/or disciplining them when needed (apologies to those who are going to get their knickers in a knot about the word “discipline” – it’s all getting ridiculous).

I’m not even going to delve into the “but how would they police it” rhetoric, because that’s just obvious and leaves me with a hurty head. I just can’t get my head around how this is going to be monitored.

I do think banning/making illegal smacking is a really dumb idea. At least, right now it is. Sure, maybe sometime in the future it might be a feasible option, but for now – it’s just a stupid idea, really.

Why? First and foremost, I really, really struggle with – in general terms – the analogy drawn between a ‘smack’ and ‘abuse’. A mother or father giving a child a smack one smack on the bum when said child has repeatedly and/or relentlessly persisted in a behaviour that they have been warned against doing, or not doing something they’ve been repeatedly asked to do is not, in my view, abuse. Frustration levels rise – because, newsflash, parents

2 Replies to “Ban The Smack Smackdown”

  1. ARGH! Case in point. Child reaches for a knife/hot drink/pan/oven. Parent says “Stop! Hot!”. Child says “Hot!” and continues to reach for potentially dangeous situation. Like fuck I will not smack said child’s hand away if they continue towards the danger!
    just… argh. Sometimes life would be easier if we were 4-legged. Mumma cats have the right idea.

  2. Christie Harris, I think you’re onto something with your cat analogy. It might be very telling if we looked into what that mumma cat does to her kitten to protect her kitten e.g. swat them away from danger, or give them a nip to the head to say stop, as compared to what their punishment is if their kitten behaves in an unacceptable kitten-like manner?

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