Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Smacking advocates are wrong but...

The proposed law to criminalise corporal punishment of children concerns me, I've already written about why. Fundamentally I believe there are many bad behaviours parents undertake that I wish would end - smacking is one, but even more important I want parents (in relation to children under 16) to:
- Not ignore their kids, teach them to read, listen to them, spend time with them. It is the most important thing you can do, and parents who don't give their kids attention may supply the material necessities, but nothing more;
- Regulate who has contact with them, don't leave them with kids for babysitting, don't hold drunken parties in the same house as them, and for single mothers especially, be very very careful who you bring home if you form new relationships. The chances for abuse or negligence in these cases are considerable;
- Not be intoxicated around your kids, if you need to ask why then you're too stupid to even debat on this;
- Not verbally abuse or humiliate their children, don't tell them you never wanted them, that nobody loves them, that they are useless, stupid, ugly or anything else. All your doing is reflecting that this is what you really think of yourself, and in which case it's true, you don't deserve to be a parent;
- Feed your children adequately. Ensure they get breakfast, a packed lunch and a decent dinner. Most of the time these don't come from fast food outlets or the snack section of supermarkets. It isn't about money, it's about time and attention;
- Play with your children, go on holiday together, spend quality time with enjoying who they are. If you don't, they'll find others to do this with - often other kids who are also ignored, and then you complain when they get into trouble;
- Not teach children one religious or political belief system. Leave them be until they ask questions, and let them read and learn about all those out there. Let them use their minds, don't close them;
- Not use the TV as a babysitter, again if you don't know why you're too stupid to be a parent;
- Not give children everything they want, even though you might think "society" owes you the very same;
- Not teach children that people of different sexes, races, gay/lesbian/bi/straight or other backgrounds are inferior/superior by virtue of these features. Bigoted children are also being denied their minds;
- Not feed them guilt about their bodies, they own them and they should have ever growing control of them as they develop understanding about choosing how to use it, and their bodies are not objects of sin.
That and many other poor parenting practices are the core of the characteristics of most crime, underachievement, and possibly much suicide and self-destructive behaviour. Could you legislate against it? Not without creating an authoritarian, bureaucratic arrangement that would send shivers down the spines of anyone who values personal liberty.
and that is why I oppose the anti-smacking law. Force is sometimes necessary to restrain children or rescue them from their own foolishness, and indeed in self defence in extreme cases, and I fear the law change will jeopardise this. The agenda to nationalise parenting is my concern. I don't believe most supporters of the Bill agree with that bigger agenda (you know the Cindy Kiro one), I believe they genuinely are opposed to smacking, the way I am.
I hate smacking. That's why, by and large, I am very uncomfortable with those who protest the anti-smacking law because they think smacking is good and positive.
It's not, and I viscerally despise those who protest with slogans that imply that smacking IS a good thing. Religious fundamentalists are violent people, they glorify corporal punishment and support capital punishment. They devalue life, and glorify the judgment of their ghosts after death and existence after death. They advocate the use of an authoritarian state to impose their religious will on us all, in plenty of cases where peaceful people are hurting no one.
It is like another issue - the banning of bigoted speech.
Christian fundamentalists want the right to denigrate homosexuals, lie about AIDS and generally be completely vile about them in their literature. I believe they have this right because it is a right of free speech. However, I absolutely despise these sentiments, and despise those who advocate them.
Leftwing gay activists support such a ban on such speech. I oppose that ban, but completely agree with their sentiments.
So let me make it perfectly clear. I will defend the right of parents to exercise very limited physical force over their children, because it is necessary in some cases and because banning it is worse than not. However, I believe any individual who roundly advocates smacking is either:
1. Lazy and/or old fashioned (and hasn't bothered to think about it); or
2. Evil.
If you think it is a good thing to hit your children from time to time then I don't like you, and I think you're at best a failure, uncreative and having a bad day, at worst abusive and incompetent as a parent. What sort of person LIKES hitting a child?
A sadist that's who.
This is the sort of image that disturbs me (Hattip Kiwiblog)


MikeE said...

This is why in principle I'm against smacking.. as I can't understand how one can have a right to hit a child under any form of libertarianism.. I think the concept of a right to hit your kids is contradictory.

Agree with you 100% on this:

"I hate smacking. That's why, by and large, I am very uncomfortable with those who protest the anti-smacking law because they think smacking is good and positive."

So I think that the greens have the right "idea" and are well meaning.

But ....

I fear that there will be unintended consequences of this. Kinda torn on this.. really don't like the arguments used by the pro smacking lobby though

MikeE said...

Also - cindy kiro isn't the only one:

"Tony Blair faced charges of taking a further step towards turning Britain into a "surveillance state" as he set out plans to monitor all children for signs of criminality, to allow police to collect more DNA samples and to expand the use of CCTV cameras."

Craig Ranapia said...

And it's always fascinating watching virtu-crats at work - funny how you can legislate virtue, until (of course) it's the despised "religious fundamentalists" who want to poke their well-lubrciated beaks into your uterus; your hard-drive; what you read, watch and listen to; the gender of the consenting adult you're performing oral sex on in the privacy of your bedroom; what recreational chemicals you're pouring in your bloodstream.

Anonymous said...

and your point is ?

Unknown said...

Parental violence to children underlies our acceptance that violence is a part of normal social living.

The path to socialising a criminal does not include beating, and the path to reasonable socially fitting in behaviour by children is not hitting them, either.

An observation of school life in the 70s. The kids who got corporal punishment again and again were the only disruptive influences in the classroom.