Tuesday, 20 March 2007

17 March 2007 - The Press - Being smacked no big deal - poll

Being smacked no big deal - poll
The Press | Saturday, 17 March 2007

An overwhelming majority of people smacked as a child report that the discipline had no lasting emotional impact, according to a special Press website poll

The continuing poll on www. press.co.nz showed that by Monday lunchtime, some 70 per cent of the 1500 respondents had been occasionally smacked by their parents and felt it was "no big deal".

Just 4% said they were occasionally smacked and really resented it.

About 21% said they were smacked hard and never thought about it, while around 5% said they were smacked hard and the trauma was still there.

The findings of the poll were borne out by a large number of emails sent to www. press.co.nz. And many criticise the anti-smacking legislation now before Parliament.


We 5 boys were "smacked hard", stock whip and razor strop. There are no criminals amongst us and we all respect people in authority even to this day. If this Bill is passed, then in line with the Treaty of Waitangi, we can take a retrospective claim against the Government for damages, yeah right. Does one have to have 72 convictions against one to get any Bill through Parliament.

Both my husband and I were smacked as children, it was no big deal. A smack never hurt anyone, except the child's pride. There is a big difference between giving a child a smack, and "beating them up". The problem with a lot of kids today is that there is no discipline in the home, therefore no boundaries. Thats why there are kids today, out of control and what are they going to be like as adults? If we were starting out again, we would think twice about having children.

My parents were diligent in teaching me right from wrong and how to grow up to be a responsible member or society with respect for the elderly and for others. The occasional hard smack I received was for mainly disobedience, lying, or any form of dishonesty. This proved to me that my parents really loved and cared about me, and I am extremely grateful that I have had parents who did not let me go my own way. These qualities that I was taught of love and respect we have passed on to our own children who have their own children now and who come and thank us for the way we taught them even with the occasional smack. Smacking did more good than harm and I would hate to see it outlawed. What kind of a rebellious generation would be looking after us in our old age then??

I am one of those people who received appropriate smacking as a child from my parents and am not in the slightest concerned about it. Boarding school was another story, because there was not the same level of love for me as an individual, and so at times the smacking felt like it had an element of injustice in it. Certainly did not kill me though. I have raised 3 kids, all at university now. One doing a phd, another in medical school. Third just started her B Coms. All have been smacked and all are turning out balanced, contributing, functional adults. I am rightly proud of my kids and would not have it any other way!

I was smacked as a child. It did me no harm, and definitely acted as a deterrent to me misbehaving. My mother said she disciplined me because she loved me and administered the smack in a self controlled calm way. It is a quick, simple, effective form of punishment. I read in the press that Sue Bradford's daughter was yelled at when correction was required. What would you prefer - a household where everyone one is yelling verbal abuse at each other or a peaceful house where the children are behaving (most of the time!)? I'm not saying that smacking is the only way to discipline our children. Taking the cellphone away form our eldest daughter works as well!

Careful calm smacking is the quickest, and most effective way to teach a child that painful consequences can ensue upon certain proscribed acts. This method is no longer used once an action's consequences can be explained and conceived by the child when older. If the young child learns to ignore prohibitions with impunity, then he or she carries on doing whatever they want until they find that their body is taken in hand by physical force by another authority, the Police and court system. We now see the terrible consequences of our young people being unable to consider the consequences of their actions or exercising self-control. Many parents now are not mature enough themselves to smack judiciously and wisely, but making those who are mature enough liable for prosecution will further exacerbate the situation, and give the children who need firm authority the most just the weapon they need to triumph against their first experience of authority.

We strongly oppose the anti smacking bill of Sue Bradford Children need to be corrected. Its a parents duty.

I think the biggest issue inside this debate is that children are incapable of reasoned actions and consequene awareness. They need to learn at an early age that immediate obedience is required of parents, grand parents, school teachers. Why? because in a life threatening or dangerous situation, when a command is given for that child's safety, the trained child will respond and be safe. The child who is accustomed to negotiation and debate will not respond quickly enough. The amount of times I have seen parents giving instructions, to be completely ignored is quite frightening. The concern of some, for the safety of a few, will have the long term effect of placing even more young lives in danger. And the abusers of children are not , nor ever have been the parents who use loving physical punishment.

I think the no smacking bill is silly. It will not stop the people that are beating their kids with fists etc, and their are laws to deal with that if a child is found to have been beaten. I was smacked as a kid, it help reinforce the fact that i did wrong. Time out does not work, it would have had not impact on me (or my sister). The smacking was never excessive. But if a kid starts pulling items off the shop shelves on to the floor, a parent should be able to give a kid a short smack with a verbal correction like "no". There are very few people that were given smacks as kids that are now murderers and rapists. Most of our current serious criminals either had no discipline or are the ones that were beaten very badly. If this bill passes we will in 7 to 15 years see a rise in youth crime.

i am a 70 year old who was disciplined as a child at home and at school if and when i deserved it. it certainly did me no harm but taught me to respect my elders and other peoples property. this respect carried through to my working life and served me well with regard to promotion. it also promoted respect from those people in my charge. this lack of respect is the biggest problem the young people of today face. it is the reason why there is such a big problem with youth crime and lawlessness. this all started in the schools many years ago when teachers taught their charges that they had individual rights and to stand up to thier parents if they tried to discipline them. so now we are all paying for that ill discipline fostered by the education system. it is time the government bought back Compulsory Military Training for all 18year olds female and male. this teachs you to respect and bond with your compatriots, to work as a team and to always have the others back. children need discipline to do well in thier future and for so many that, even now, is to late.

My wife and I were occasionly smacked and no big deal.

Sue Bradford asserts that discipling children by smacking is a violent act committed generally when the parent is angry. She confesses that she shouted at her own children and I would suggest that such shouting is as much if not more of an act of angry abuse as any smack. The things that stay with us through life are far more likely to be the vicious things said by parents and teachers rather than any smack. My parents will have given me a deserved smack as a child but I do not recall these incidents. I do remember, however, the belittling things said by my parents and my teachers. It would be interesting if The Press could go into archives and remind readers of the times when Sue Bradford as professional protester spent much of her time hurling abuse at the police and politicians. It is hypocritical to see her setting herself up as some type of model mother of the nation.

Despite the latest comments by Helan, Sue and Company that they are not banning smacking, the fact is they are and if the Police, Welfare or whoever take action you are gone. I was a long serving Police Officer, just a gentle push or even shouting at a person is assault if they believe they are in danger of harm. Parents have no defence apart from the discretion of the prosecuting authority. Remember the hysteria over repressed memories and the sexual abuse thing, SIPS were in there grabbing kids and breaking up families living out their own bad experiences. Lock up the abusers but leave our families alone Helen and Sue!

Here are my views; Sue Bradfords bill is just what Helen said last year on Shine TV, "against human nature" (shame she has changed her mind, and now it is not against human nature! this woman speaks with a forked tongue) children need clear boundaries, discipline, and love. an occasional smack is fine. Labour the Greens and the Maori Party have got it completely wrong. Issues like this should not be decided in such a political way, rather the best interests of the family and society should come before the interests of politicians. I am disgusted that they think they have the rigth to reach into peoples homes like this.

Thanks for an opportunity to comment. I am very uncomfortable with this bill being raced through. I believe it will arrive as a very unclear bill. And will criminalise many parents whose children are not in danger. Even if not prosecuted, they will be criminals. In testing and applying this bill, it will tie up police and CYF resources, potentially to an unreasonable degree. CYF services are already overstrained. It's not that I endorse smacking as a child-rearing tactic. I do not like the underlying assumption that force is okay. Yet, - "Section 59' DOES NOT give shelter for abuse of children; even if some cases defended under this have leaned towards "letting off" parents. I believe the current bill has been badly crafted, and is en route to becoming a bad piece of legislation. Current legislation is adequate and could be utilised better. I think it would be much better to spend some time in bringing the awareness of the people of New Zealand towards the philosophy underlying this bill, and to have a more reasonable process, for enacting a better bill.

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