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