So we are looking at making it a crime to hit our children...?
So we are looking at making it a crime to hit our children...? believe it is wrong to smack children although I know that it will be difficult to police and also I don’t really want parents to get into too much trouble for a small smack when they just ‘lose it’. However much I wish they wouldn’t. I would hate parents and children to be separated by something like that.
Also I worry that just like our traffic rules where people go through red lights and never get caught or prosecuted it will just be ignored. I would hate it to become something that we think we have ‘done something about’ and then ignore the problem. After all I notice that despite the fact that corporal punishment is not allowed in school it still happens – that stick on the blackboard shelf is not just for pointing out things on the board...and very little is really being done to bring about a change in the way teachers discipline children. We are a country of many good laws but our law abiding is not too good, nor are our law keepers doing too well...
The plus side would be that children living in abusive homes would be more easily taken to a place of safety.
And I am truly grateful to live in a country where there is no capital punishment despite the undeniable fact that most people in SA think that it is a shame. Unfortunately those who believe in capital punishment do not realise that if we had better policing and a higher arrest and conviction rate that would bring about more lawful behaviour – one won’t do it if the likelihood of getting caught is just too high. And in such an unequal country as ours still is miscarriages of justice are all too possible. So maybe that means that having the law is good on its own?
I suppose I would prefer us to all come to the realisation that physical punishment is unnecessary and undesirable in bringing up our children.
There are many reasons why: Babies who are smacked have lower IQ scores later. It interferes with the good relationship between parent and child. It does not encourage self-discipline. Violence against those smaller and weaker than you seems ok in our society. Using violence to attain an end seems a good idea to those who have been at the receiving end of any violence as very small children. The more you use violent punishment the more it becomes possible and ‘necessary’ to use it. That parental voice inside (the super ego) can be a very angry, cruel one when ones parents really do use violent punishment.
And any wish and action to cause another physical harm is violence. So yes, perhaps make illegal – but at the same time I think we need to create many spaces for people to be helped to think about this subject in a non-defensive and judgement free way.
So I hope that people will start to talk about it a lot – honestly and really look at the ‘why’ inside them that leads them to hurt their children even in ways they feel is 'slight' and 'does them good'.
I will continue to be boring and go on and on about this for a bit - in my next blogs...