Antismacking laws

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Antismacking laws

Postby hashi » 2009-08-09, 12:45

Are there any laws in your country preventing smacking a child on the bottom or hand etc. as part of good correctional parenting? What is your stance on it, and what is the general public stance on it in your country and what is the stance of the government?

In New Zealand we've had a law preventing such measures for the last year or so. The labour government (left wing) brought it in with the help of the greens. It so far has seen about 5 parents put into jail or given community service hours for smacking their children. I remember one of them gave his son a smack on the bottom for throwing rocks at cars at a local park.

The idea of it was to prevent child abuse as it was brought in at a time when there was alot of extreme cases coming to light and they tried to do something about it. But the thing is it is only hurting those who stick to the laws. The child abusers and killers ignore tha laws and continue killing or seriously injuring their child, while those trying to be good parents are punished.

The general attitude here suggests it should be repealed. The current national government (right wing) are undecided and so at the moment are holding a public referendum which closes in a few weeks. So hopefully the law will be unmade. Local media have been doing polls and they show about 90% of new zealanders voted for it to be removed, but who trusts the media.

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby ''' » 2009-08-09, 13:51

I think it's technically illegal here but I've never heard of ppl being arrested for it. Smacking another guy's kids will land u in gaol though. Personally I'm pro smacking.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby hashi » 2009-08-09, 14:02

''' wrote:I think it's technically illegal here but I've never heard of ppl being arrested for it. Smacking another guy's kids will land u in gaol though. Personally I'm pro smacking.


Hmmm. So am I. If someones being a little shit, you smack them :P Worked fine for my parents so why won't it work for us?

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Narbleh » 2009-08-09, 15:51

Here's another pro-smacker :P I think extreme cases shouldn't be allowed, but those are already covered by anti-abuse laws. I think a lot of those paranoid people that think spankings and Tom and Jerry and the like should be banned seem to forget that they were raised with all of those things and turned out just fine :P
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Æxylis » 2009-08-09, 19:00

I think kids today have run amock with all these wussie punishments... "Oh, you've just broken a valuable vase, so I'll send you to your room to think about what you've done where you'll probably have more fun than out here" is really more of a reward than a punishment. Just the fact that they have a show like "Super nanny" and "Nanny 911" shows just how bad parents are these days that their kids are spoiled-rotten rotten little brats who have no discipline because their parents have no idea what to do. When I was growing up, whenever I did something bad, I got spanked with a ping-pong paddle, they've done it so hard before that they broke it on my arse... and had to get a new one... anyway, since then I didn't mess around and I learned my lessons quickly... things like grounding and disallowing permissions to things are like a band-aid, they work temporarily, but after it's over, the kid doesn't give a shit, it's just like "I'm glad that was over, now back to what I was doing before, but in secret" pretty much...
Anyway, it's pretty much frowned upon for the most part here, but with some of the shit I've seen from kids, I've wanted to smack them myself... When people grow up to be big bastards, I blame their parents for allowing them to be little bastards when they're younger...
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Oleksij » 2009-08-09, 20:12

I generally am anti-smacking, although it's a fact that many kids have been real naughty recently and, probably, an odd smack on the arse would do as a preventive measure before they learn and understand what constitutes to acceptable behaviour (but not systematic smacking). Still, I believe educating children towards being responsible is the key, and not threatening.

..Which reminds me of a case of a Ukrainian family, one of whom was serving in diplomatic service in the US being deported, after the kid incidentally revealed his dad used to smack him.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Sol Invictus » 2009-08-09, 21:45

Isn't that part of any basic child right legislation? I think it is right - even good parents can miscalculate and seriously hurt the kid, and spanking often is just a way to vent down the anger, which just makes things worse, instead of educating child why that was a bad thing to do

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Oleksij » 2009-08-09, 21:59

Sol Invictus wrote:Isn't that part of any basic child right legislation? I think it is right - even good parents can miscalculate and seriously hurt the kid, and spanking often is just a way to vent down the anger, which just makes things worse, instead of educating child why that was a bad thing to do

That's true - family tensions and violence often result in crime and social desolation.

It's a tricky question akin to chicken or egg, whether it is bad behaviour that leads to smacking or smacking that leads to more bad behaviour - I'm lead to believe the latter.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby hashi » 2009-08-10, 0:07

Jaakuuta wrote:I think kids today have run amock with all these wussie punishments... "Oh, you've just broken a valuable vase, so I'll send you to your room to think about what you've done where you'll probably have more fun than out here" is really more of a reward than a punishment. Just the fact that they have a show like "Super nanny" and "Nanny 911" shows just how bad parents are these days that their kids are spoiled-rotten rotten little brats who have no discipline because their parents have no idea what to do. When I was growing up, whenever I did something bad, I got spanked with a ping-pong paddle, they've done it so hard before that they broke it on my arse... and had to get a new one... anyway, since then I didn't mess around and I learned my lessons quickly... things like grounding and disallowing permissions to things are like a band-aid, they work temporarily, but after it's over, the kid doesn't give a shit, it's just like "I'm glad that was over, now back to what I was doing before, but in secret" pretty much...
Anyway, it's pretty much frowned upon for the most part here, but with some of the shit I've seen from kids, I've wanted to smack them myself... When people grow up to be big bastards, I blame their parents for allowing them to be little bastards when they're younger...


We were always smacked with the belt if it was bad enough, or the wooden spoon. Either that or fed a spoonful of pepper or soap which was nasty enough to think twice next time.

Yes there are those who use it to vent anger, but thats when it's taken too far and things have to be done about. It's a really hard issue to police properly because who decides how hard is too hard?

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby fireyez » 2009-08-10, 0:57

I'm so against it. Smacking's no good. Use your baseball bat instead. Go into their room and smash their TV, stereo, playstation or computer. Flush their IPod or cellphone down the toilet. These pedagogic methods may seem a bit pricey, but you only have to do this a couple of times. Little brats will think twenty times before they start acting up next time.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Æxylis » 2009-08-10, 5:38

Of course, spanking shouldn't be the only discipline, there's nothing better than a little raw education about why they shouldn't do something... but if they don't listen, and empty threats won't work, sometimes it requires action, whether it be in spanking them or as was suggested destroying their things and whatnot. Better yet, in stead of just getting them a new one once their punishment is up, make them earn it back :D
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Johanna » 2009-08-10, 15:30

Smacking children has been prohibited for 30 years here, and it hasn't made the kids any worse than in the countries where it's still legal, and I can't see how it would. If you have to smack your kid to prevent it from behaving badly you have failed as a parent, you certainly won't fail as a parent because you can't hurt your kid, you just have to come up with better routines and other consequenses so that you don't have to.

Sure, lots of kids behave really badly, but they wouldn't behve better because their parents could smack them, the problem is that many of these parents blame the school, daycare etc and not themselves for it. Heck, my parents blamed the then 12-year-old me for my 6 years younger brother's problems instead of giving him consequeses for his behaviour. Smacking won't make that kind of parents take their responsibility.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Narbleh » 2009-08-10, 15:41

Johanna: Being a good parent doesn't always mean your kid is going to behave and reflect your wonderful parenting. As a practical example, my roommate's two-year old is normally very well behaved, but for a few months he had the annoying habit of trying to grab my glasses off my face. All sorts of non-smacking punishment didn't work, since kids that age are too young to understand abstract things like timeouts, and saying "no" and the like only works until they forget what happened a day later. However, a few light smacks on the arm and he hasn't done it since. I think there's only so far that non-physical punishments can go.

It is true though that if someone's a bad parent, smacking isn't going to help. I remember being on the bus once and seeing this mother who was practically physically abusing her child, throwing him around, smacking him, and the kid was just giggling like mad and being even more unruly. Very strange sight.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby loqu » 2009-08-10, 16:39

I was never ever smacked. My mother always used psychological punishments instead.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Æxylis » 2009-08-10, 21:17

I think ultimately, regardless of what kind of discipline they receive, children end up becoming horrible adults partially from bad parenting. Of course there is their environment that contributes, but if the child is never taught that certain attitudes are wrong, they'll never learn it... So I think this whole shit that "they shot up the school because they listened to Rammstein and played violent video games" is a bunch of crap. I think it's a lot more likely that they did that because they had poor parenting and because they were psychologically disturbed because of abuse by their peers. If their parents and the parents of the other children had done a better job of caring for them, they might not have turned out as bad. I think their parents were probably negligent and didn't even realize their children were suffering and took the time to comfort them. So aside from punishment, you should also care for them emotionally and psychologically. So I figure you have to be careful of your psychological punishments too. If they're smacked when they're younger, they may be less likely to get into fights because they'd realize the pain it may cause. However, contrarily, if they're smacked too often, they may feel immune to it and likely to be even more resistant and rebellious so if you must, you should find a happy medium, as with everything else ;) Same thing with the psychological punishments, if you use them too often, you could mess up the kid's head and make them disturbed by feeling like they're being neglected or being denied too much by their parent and become scorned... anyway...
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby hashi » 2009-08-10, 23:44

loqu wrote:I was never ever smacked. My mother always used psychological punishments instead.


Your parents were lucky that worked then ;)

I remember my brother used to be told to stop, or go to the time out corner, or go to his room, but he just down right disobeyed and used to run off. Now, I can't say for certain it's bad parenting, because neither me nor my other brother did anything like that. My Mum blamed it on the friends he used to hang out with because they were having a bad influence. We could all see it. So in this case the threat of a physical punishment worked for a little while, then he used to turn around and say "I'd like to see you try", and one day when my mum actually did it stopped him from taking those risks again, he just found other ways around it.

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Varislintu » 2009-08-11, 9:29

mrhashimoto wrote:We were always smacked with the belt if it was bad enough, or the wooden spoon. Either that or fed a spoonful of pepper or soap which was nasty enough to think twice next time.


'Always'? So basically these methods weren't very effective since they had to be repeated so much?

I'm against smacking for the same reasons Johanna posted.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Levo » 2009-08-11, 10:03

First I thought that under the term "smacking" you mean a little hit on the butt in the bed for being bad, and still not sleeping, but smacking with belt... I know only one Hungarian who was punished like that and it can be seen on him from a long distance that something isn't all right with him.

To be honest, I was never smacked like that or in any other way, neither my brothers, nor my mother by her parents, nor my father by his parents.
The most I ever heard from my friends was that once or twice they got a parental smack in the face. That's actually my general impression of maximum punishment of children in non-violent Hungarian families.

Smacking with belts, or being fed with a spoonful of something bad sounds like something from those English TV-shows on "Spektrum TV". So is confinement in American films - I experienced it only once, when I wanted to hang out with a friend and I got the report that he was in confinement :? I wasn't the only one who was very surprised on such a strange kind of punishment.

At the same time I must tell, that maybe our methods wouldn't work on Anglo-Saxon children. I don't want to be impolite with it, maybe I'm very far from reality, but my impression is that the behaviour of Hungarian children is quite calm, they are more diciplined and have more respect towards parents compared to the Anglo-Saxon ones.

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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Oleksij » 2009-08-11, 12:43

Levo wrote:First I thought that under the term "smacking" you mean a little hit on the butt in the bed for being bad, and still not sleeping, but smacking with belt... I know only one Hungarian who was punished like that and it can be seen on him from a long distance that something isn't all right with him.

To be honest, I was never smacked like that or in any other way, neither my brothers, nor my mother by her parents, nor my father by his parents.
The most I ever heard from my friends was that once or twice they got a parental smack in the face. That's actually my general impression of maximum punishment of children in non-violent Hungarian families.

Smacking with belts, or being fed with a spoonful of something bad sounds like something from those English TV-shows on "Spektrum TV". So is confinement in American films - I experienced it only once, when I wanted to hang out with a friend and I got the report that he was in confinement :? I wasn't the only one who was very surprised on such a strange kind of punishment.

At the same time I must tell, that maybe our methods wouldn't work on Anglo-Saxon children. I don't want to be impolite with it, maybe I'm very far from reality, but my impression is that the behaviour of Hungarian children is quite calm, they are more diciplined and have more respect towards parents compared to the Anglo-Saxon ones.

I think there could indeed be a correlation - historically, British influenced societies have put a strong emphasis on disciplining their children, and the UK and Ireland were the some of the last countries in the civilised world to abolish corporal punishment in schools - somewhere in the early 80's, I think.

Still, I can't say it's ever so uniform from country to country, since I've known people who were smacked by their parents in more than one country, likewise I've known those who never were in many countries.

But from experience I know that while a form of physical hinderance may work during the early stages of childhood (up until toddler years or so), I believe after that it only makes it worse, since the child develops a conscious perception of the punishment and may harbour negative feelings thereof, which would accumulate and spill out later on.
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Re: Antismacking laws

Postby Boes » 2009-08-11, 15:02

In the Netherlands ' smacking' isn' t illegal, but like everything here it's bound to strong social rules.

For example it's perfectly normal to hit a child in a public place like a supermarket for example, as long as it is done reasonably and for proper reasons. You will not get away with hitting a child for a minor offense or smacking it too hard, because you'll generally be surrounded by others lecturing and swearing at you in no time.

It is also a taboo for someone other than the child's family to spank/hit the child in question. Not even close friends are allowed to do so, and neither is a teacher (anymore). Teachers will sometimes advise parents to smack their children if they complain on them being too wild or irritating though.

The age range in which children are spanked here, is pretty much set at 2 to 6. This happens to coincide with the phase in a child's life in which it becomes less controllable or susceptible to reasoning, so that's nice. :wink:

I personally think it's a good thing, and don' t really see how you can raise your kids properly without it.

It's much more clear to the child than all that psychological ' super nanny' shit you see on tv... with all the taking away toys, locking them up and sending children to bed without food. I think that's much more harmful to the child...


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