The Australian Childhood Foundation has called for Governments to make laws banning parents from smacking their children. There are already laws in place to prevent parents hitting their children above the shoulders and I, for one, support that ideal. However, to suggest taking away from parents what is perhaps one of the most effective tools they have for stopping children getting out of hand seems to lack an understanding of what parents have to endure.
I do NOT for one minute condone physical abuse of anyone, especially children. However, using the palm of one’s hand to deliver a bare-handed smack to a child’s posterior is quite often the only effective deterrent available to a parent. A smack is one thing, delivering a beating is something entirely different and cannot be tolerated.
Mr Joe Tucci, the CEO of the aforementioned Foundation, claims positive behaviour reward techniques are more effective. Perhaps so, but how do you create the right sort of environment when your child has decided to chuck a tantrum while you’re at the supermarket? A quick smack brings the child to brook quickly and effectively. Once the parent and child are home, then the parent can sit the child down and talk with the child about the child’s misbehaviour (assuming the child is old enough to comprehend fully). I never suffered detrimentally as a child from the occasional smack, and neither have my children who are today well behaved, polite young adults. Smacks are just one small part of a parent’s armoury of correcting a child’s behaviour, and I grant they should be used sparingly. But for heaven’s sake, these bloody interfering “welfare” groups should mind their own bloody business.