Smacking is crucial tool in parenting
I WRITE in response to Devi Rajab’s article, The Mercury, October 27, and others on the issue of corporal punishment.
Not denying that the motto “spare the rod and spoil the child” has been misused by some parents to condone their lazy and narrow-minded approach to parenting, it is difficult to see how “corporal punishment over the years has resulted in a litany of abuse that is a frightening indictment of societal oppression against children”.
Supposedly smacking children is part of the reason some end up being burnt, raped and maimed by their parents. Amazingly the “bizarre situation of the 21st century” of children turning on their peers, parents and teachers is seen as reflecting “the sorry state of social relationships”, but then the cause of this sorry state is of course corporal punishment. All other possibilities are ignored, including the reality that when corporal punishment was in effect, these social relationships were not as they are now and their deterioration corresponds with its abolishment.
We have been told that research proves corporal punishment to be ineffective and lately it is always presented in a negative light. However, nothing is said about how this research is conducted.
A Google search reveals that most of these researchers do not want to discover if corporal punishment has any positive effect. Instead, the evidence, derived from some laughable experiments and conclusions, is made to fit their presupposition that it is bad.
Also, research showing the positive effects of well-balanced parenting, incorporating smacking, is never mentioned. This is why the connection between the supposed research and the reality many of us see can’t be made.
An imbalance of both positive and negative child-rearing methods has detrimental effects. Responsible parents will use all means at their disposal to promote respect, co-operation and balanced behaviour in their children and consider when, where and how to do so.
However, an important tool in this process has been labelled illegal to supposedly protect children, while turning a blind eye to all other influences.
The consequences of this decision will become evident in years to come. If Summerhill is what you want then Summerhill is what you will get. J PIATER Howick