Erk, I’m at odds with some recent readings in the papers. Before I start let me say that I fully support the NSPCC FULL STOP campaign. Child abuse of ANY form is evil and, personally, I think the people who perpetrate it should be subjected to the same emotional and physical abuse they dole out to children (the punishment fits the crime).
However when you read that the NSPCC are stating that ALL forms of ‘violence’ should be outlawed, I begin to worry. They state that by spanking your child, you are sending the message that love and violence are acceptable, intertwined. That children are better served to be punished in other ways. I kind of agree with this, but one thing rankles.
There has been a rise of instances reported in the news of children (8-16) involved in stealing, threatening behaviour, violence etc. In every aspect, through my eyes, I see a lack of respect, a lack of realization that they will be punished, and I can see no other reason than the lack of punishment they received at a younger age. The softly, softly approach does work on occasions, but there are still occasions, and they will remain, where a smack is more effective. Yes it should be a last resort, no it shouldn’t be a violent act, often the shock of a smack is enough, whether it actually inflicts pain or not. I am aware that not everything is black and white and that there is a thin line between punishment and violence, but a balance must be found. This kind of thing is a waste of resource, and surely discipline should be installed in the home. As members of the older generation are apt to say “It never did me any harm”.
I often wonder what it is about our society that has lead to this kind of situation. Where have we gone wrong? Answers on a postcard please.