Essay, Pages 4 (834 words)
Being a parent is a tough enough job – the last thing we need is someone telling us how we can and cannot punish our children. Being smacked does not damage children, it is gone as quickly as it happens, but it does serve a valuable purpose, if your kids respond to it. Most parents know the difference between smacking and beating a child and the two are very different. One of the most used definitions of smacking is ‘lawful chastisement.’ In most cases it is legitimate to strike children for that purpose where it would not be acceptable to strike an adult.
This is usually referred to as smacking or spanking.
I asked my sister who is 11 years old if she can remember any harm of smacking. She said: “Smacking never did me any harm. When I was younger the threat of a smack from my father was usually enough to stop me from misbehaving, but I very rarely actually got one.
” Smacking is a punishment for some wrongdoing and a reminder not to do it again.
Before 2004 when the riots started because of the children’s Act parents were allows smacking their children. They were able to use “reasonable chastisement”. After that Act the parents are allowed to smack their children without causing the “reddening skin”; Social workers could decide what to do and decide whether parents have overstepped the limit or not.
I believe it is unnatural for a parent to hit his own child. The fact that the practice is so widespread and long lasting suggests that it is an effective disciplinary method.
Academic views on whether smacking is effective or not go in and out of fashion but the unscientific evidence from millions of responsible parents never changes. It’s hard to know exactly what percentage of parents or grandparents actually spank a child, because many who do don’t admit to it. But essentially, people who spank, at least occasionally, include:
* Caregivers from older generations, who were spanked as children and believe that they turned out to be absolutely fine.
* Stressed parents, often of multiple young children, who spank (but usually refer to it as an occasional “smack” or “slap” rather than spanking).
Only an outright ban on smacking will enhance child protection. I am from Germany and I have seen in most newspaper only one topic: “CHILDREN SMACKING AGREEMENTS IN THE REICHSTAG” or “CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE”. The number of children reporting being beaten to the point of bruising in Germany has declined from 3 in 10 to 3 in 100 since 1992 after a ban was introduced in Germany. I strongly believe that a culture that tolerates smacking makes it easier to hide more serious abuse and this is the danger for Britain. In a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, children are the most vulnerable members of society, yet the only group which can be legally assaulted.
Boris Johnsons, Mayor of London, recently made a statement about the current smacking legalisation, enforced under Labour’s Children Act of 2004, which states that parents are only allowed to smack their offspring without causing a “reddening of the skin”. “People do feel anxious about imposing discipline on their children, whether the law will support them.” He told BBC Radio 5.
David Lammy said that parents should to decide what way their children are going. He meant it is very hard for some parents to discipline their children to stop them from mixing with the wrong people. He said that the state is not on a 15th floor block where there are drug dealer and other criminals. Children have to rule out what is wrong and what is right for them.
Smacking is down to the individual. There will always be parents who misuse smacking, but that is because they are not good parents, and does not mean that smacking in itself is not an acceptable form of disciplining children. Nevertheless smacking teaches children that being stronger gives you the right to have power over others.
There are few situations that I can think of where a child deserves a smack, and if you raise your child in a loving environment where you talk through issues rather than raising a hand, that child will grow up with the same values.
I believe that a child should have some form of discipline, and if that means either threatening, or actually smacking a child, then so be it. I have found that if I try to reason with my cousins when they misbehave, they just laugh. But if I threaten to smack them, they behave, so smacking does work for us or rather the threat of a smack. Parenting is an awesome responsibility – and I have the utmost respect for those who do it. Politicians and policy-makers will debate parenting until the cows come home – but one thing is clear: a child’s well-being centres on a time with a happy family where interactions are consistent and secure.