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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:34 pm
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I read this article online and after seeing the results of the Telegraph online survey, I thought I would do a survey of Irish parents. The original poll used the word "essential" rather than useful. I changed it as I thought that using 'useful' gave a better idea of peoples feelings on the subject.

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The Mayor of London said the current system left families feeling “anxious” that they would face prosecution if they attempted to impose authority over their children.
Mr Johnson spoke after the Tottenham MP David Lammy claimed Labour's 2004 decision to tighten up the smacking law was partly to blame for last summer's riots, which erupted in his north London constituency.

Mr Lammy, a former education minister, said working-class parents needed to be able to use corporal punishment to deter unruly children from turning to gangs and knife crime.
Current legislation, enforced under Labour’s Children Act of 2004, says parents are allowed to smack their offspring without causing the "reddening of the skin".

Mr Johnson last night backed Mr Lammy’s stance, saying the current law was “confusing” and left parents unsure of how far they can go in terms of smacking their children.
“People do feel anxious about imposing discipline on their children, whether the law will support them,” he told the Pienaar’s Politics programme on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I think there ought to be some confirmation that the benefit of the doubt will always be given to parents in these matters and they should be seen as the natural figures of authority in this respect.
“Obviously you don’t want to have a licence for physical abuse or for violence and that’s very important.”

The Mayor said he believed he had the support of Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Mr Lammy, who admits smacking his three and five-year-old sons, said that previously, parents could use "reasonable chastisement" with a judge deciding if they had overstepped the mark. However, since the 2004 amendments the decision has been left to social workers.

Mr Lammy said a lot of parents in his constituency have been left confused by the changes and were reluctant to physically discipline their children in case they were contacted by social workers.
He added: "The law used to allow 'reasonable chastisement', but current legislation stops actions that lead to a reddening of the skin – which for a lot of my non-white residents isn't really an issue."
The politician argued parents in Tottenham had to raise their children "with knives, gangs and the dangers of violent crime just outside the window", but "no longer feel sovereign in their own homes", because of the laws.

"The ability to exercise their own judgment in relation to discipline and reasonable chastisement has been taken away," he added.
"Many of my constituents came up to me after the riots and blamed the Labour Government, saying: 'You guys stopped us being able to smack our children'.

"I have to say when this was first raised with me I was pretty disparaging. But I started to listen. These parents are scared to smack their children and paranoid that social workers will get involved and take their children away."

Cindy Butts, the former deputy chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority who advises the force on gun crime, refuted Mr Lammy’s claims, saying allowing parents to smack their children would not have prevented the riots.
“If parents were allowed to smack their children, I don’t think that would have changed the fact that we had the riots on the streets of London and other cities,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We would have just merely seen lots of young people rioting who also get smacked. The evidence base for that simply isn’t there.”

She added that families needed better educating on how to control unruly youngsters.
“I think there are some working class families who do not understand the law and do not understand what it is they can and cannot do in terms of disciplining their children,” she said.
“I think that should call for more education and trying to help those families to understand that an occasional smack I absolutely fine and that is within the parameters of the law but anything beyond that is questionable and probably isn’t within the law.

“Let’s not forget that the law is fundamentally there to protect the vulnerable, and the most vulnerable in our society are children and young people.
“We need to support, encourage, educate and help young parents to be able to discipline their children and to give them the right skills and techniques to be able to do that without reverting to smacking and beating.”


Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ldren.html

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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:39 pm
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Didn't we have a huge long thread on this recently? I think it boiled down to:

Many people thought smacking was not ok but it isn't the end of the world if you do it once or twice because you are scared/freaked/at the end of your rope
Some people thought there wasn't too much wrong with the occasional smack for discipline
Everyone agreed that beating/humiliating children was wrong - and some MMs had horrible stories from their childhood
One or two posters had very specific views about using smacking in particular circumstances
There was a big big debate about what happened in Sweden after smacking was banned. It seemed very important to us at the time :)


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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:42 pm
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Overhere wrote:
Didn't we have a huge long thread on this recently? I think it boiled down to:

Many people thought smacking was not ok but it isn't the end of the world if you do it once or twice because you are scared/freaked/at the end of your rope
Some people thought there wasn't too much wrong with the occasional smack for discipline
Everyone agreed that beating/humiliating children was wrong - and some MMs had horrible stories from their childhood
One or two posters had very specific views about using smacking in particular circumstances
There was a big big debate about what happened in Sweden after smacking was banned. It seemed very important to us at the time :)



I nearly choked on my diet coke at the last line. :biggrin:

Excellent summary. :biggrin:


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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:59 pm
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Well just went off looking for that thread and it is a poll on whether or not you were slapped as a child.

So nearly the same thing, but not quite. It's just that in general most people are pretty vocal when saying that (even if they have resorted to a slap) it isn't what they consider to be a useful discipline tool.

I was interested in seeing how a poll would go. So please vote anyway! :D

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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:00 pm
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So basically if people smacked their kids we wouldn't have hooligans. I suspect the parents degree of involvement and ability to parent and general environment might have more of an impact than the actual method of discipline.


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Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:05 pm
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I don't consider a light smack to be violence.
I don't like the last line in the original article where he says "smacking and beating". I think those two things are worlds apart.
I have never beaten anybody. I have smacked.

I would consider beating to be repeated hitting at full force with the intention of hurting someone and would expect it to leave bruises or even to break the skin. This is not acceptable behaviour towards any child.

I consider a smack a quick physical reprimand for a generally physical bad behaviour. I read someone else before comparing it to a bear cuffing its young.

In my opinion:
A smack is on the arm or the clothed bum. It never leaves a mark or bruise. It is a last resort and not a first correction. It has to be delivered within 5 seconds of the misdemeanour. It doesn't occur on a daily or even a weekly basis. It doesn't hurt physically to deliver it. Once you have the misbehaving child's attention you calm them down and explain to them what they were doing wrong and why. It is only for use on your own child and not for schoolmates or children you meet in the playground.


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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:51 pm
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This is a tricky one these days. Personally i think that a smack is ok in the right circumstances.

If i'm out doing shoppin or something and ds is actin up. I 'll give him a few warnings and if he doesnt stop he'll get a light smack on the back of his hand.
If he's sitting on the toilet (We're toilet trainin at the min) and he does somethin bold again he'll get a few warnings and then a light smack on the back of his hand.

Otherwise we use the bold chair. That works for us.

I dont agree with hard smackin though or smackin as the general disapline. I'd never redden ds's hand or anything. Its just hard enough to be felt. a little more then a tap!

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:55 pm
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I have to say I am firmly in the no camp, its not useful or necessary. I was never smacked and the idea is totally horrific to me I have to say. Stories, even mild ones, from other peoples childhoods, really make me cringe.......

Sooooo, that would be a no......

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:59 pm
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Definitely a no from me too. It doesn't work for a start. It may stop the bad behaviour in the short term but in the long run it sends out the wrong message.


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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:03 pm
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A definite No from me too.

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:08 pm
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No.


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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:40 pm
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No. I am twice the height and many times the weight of my little girls. Imagine how scary even a "light tap" from someone that much bigger than you would be.


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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:45 pm
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No.

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:47 pm
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I can't say it is right to smack but neither can I say I have never done so.

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:01 pm
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No, never ever in any circumstance, would I consider it right to smack. I am genuinely shocked that a whopping 58% think it's o.k......


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Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:00 pm
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Another one in the no camp !

For those who do smack, at what age do you plan to stop? Will you still smack a 15 year old? A 17 year old? What is the cut off age and why?


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Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:26 pm
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No, absolutely not.


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Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:41 pm
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leaev wrote:
I can't say it is right to smack but neither can I say I have never done so.


+1
Any time I have smacked either of my kids it was in the heat of the moment and it's because I was at the end of my rope, I was frustrated/tired/angry.. whatever. It was my lack of patience and parenting skills in that moment, not their behaviour, that caused it.

Happily it's happened rare enough and I try to always apologise afterwards, once we've all calmed down. I always resolve to myself that it won't happen again. I hope it won't.

Anyone that uses it specifically as a planned punishment (ie over the knee spanking etc) just leaves me cold.

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Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:57 pm
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1and1 wrote:
leaev wrote:
I can't say it is right to smack but neither can I say I have never done so.


+1
Any time I have smacked either of my kids it was in the heat of the moment and it's because I was at the end of my rope, I was frustrated/tired/angry.. whatever. It was my lack of patience and parenting skills in that moment, not their behaviour, that caused it.

Happily it's happened rare enough and I try to always apologise afterwards, once we've all calmed down. I always resolve to myself that it won't happen again. I hope it won't.

Anyone that uses it specifically as a planned punishment (ie over the knee spanking etc) just leaves me cold.


its definitley not ok to smack but I am exact same as 1and1, rarely for me too and its defintley my own frustration and never my childs fault.

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Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:03 am
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Smacking is a release for the parent more than a discipline for the child. A parent never smacks in a calm and collected manner, it's always from frustration, the situation has escalated or they don't know what else to do. If smacking is an effective form of discipline, i have a question for those who advocate smacking. Would you like to see it returned to schools. Ie a light tap on the hand or backside for misbehaving children ?


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