Friday, April 06, 2007

Smacking is ok, hitting is not.

Seeing as how the "supermarket scenario" is so popular, I will use this.

Mum is pushing the trolley, little Gracie is sitting in the trolley. As they pass the soft-drinks aisle, little Gracie says that she wants a bottle of red-bull. "No Gracie, you can't have that". The situation goes down hill and little Gracie starts crying - and as Mum pushes the trolley further away from that desirable bottle of red bull, little Gracie goes into hysterics - a tantrum.

Now the pro-repeal people are saying: "hitting or smacking your child will not help, it will only make the problem worse". I agree whole-heartedly. I hope I would never physically discipline my child in a public place. I have never seen a loving smack applied to a child in a supermarket - and I believe I never will. I do see frustrated, wound up parents however, lashing out at their children - at the end of their emotional tether. A slap on the thigh. The parent roughly grabs the child by the had and drags him/her along.

This is unreasonable and unloving force. And parents do this because programs like S.K.I.P. say "don't smack your children" - so the parent tries not to, but eventually gets really annoyed. As Helen Clark said "a ban on smacking would defy human nature" - and so, the parent lashes out at the child in frustration.

S.K.I.P., Greens, Labour, you have caused the problem.

"Gracie, you'll be getting a smack on the bottom when we get home". Mum's words cut through her crying and yelling. Suddenly little Gracie is a different girl, she controls herself and sits still - she knows that if she continues with her silly tantrum - that Mum will give her another smack.

At home, little Gracie heads down to her bedroom and waits for her Mum. When her Mum tells her "I really don't like doing this", Gracie will doubt it - but later, when she's 16 or 17 years old, she will look back and say: "ah, yes, Mum really did care enough to smack me".

Parents, don't hit your children!


Anonymous said...

This is a classic example of bad parenting. Ritualised "smacking" or corporal punishment can cause emotional damage long term. I speak from experience because this is how I was treated in childhood. The anticipation causes ingrained fear and anxiety and this can become 'ingrained' in the developing brain and cause flashbacks and anxiety throughout adulthood. In my case I suffered suicidal anxiety resulting from such childhood treatment.

Andy Moore said...

Hi - I too was smacked as a child mate. And I hated it! But looking back, I am actually thankful that my Mum and Dad cared enough about me to smack me (or punish me in some other way) when I disobeyed.

A smack does not create suicidal tendencies in a child, or an adult. Hitting and family violence do however - your situation I presume.

Emotional violence is by far the worst - leaves a light, loving smack in the dust.

Parent's, don't hit your children!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

You are right. A smack does no harm.

It is the ritualised hitting that did the harm. I became suicidal as a child; and consequently attempted suicide in adulthood. The anxiety associated with the ritualised hitting caused the flashbacks and led to my suicide attempts. I gained this valuable insight during psychotherapy that helped me take control of my life and understand why I became suicidal as a part of my healing process.

I add to say, that the treatment I received as a child is still sanctioned under Section 59. I was hit with sticks and other weapons.

Andy Moore said...

Not sure what you mean by ritualised hitting. Section 59 does not allow parents to get away with hitting their children with sticks and weapons.

Anonymous said...


It did in my day. It was common practice to hit children with wooden spoons as such like. And the law is still the same then as it is now.

By the way, I see you are into web design. Join the club. I learned XHTML recently.

Andy Moore said...

Come on Anon, - a wooden spoon isn't a weapon - it is just that, a wooden spoon. I was smacked with a wooden spoon - a spatula - occasionally a belt if I had been really naughty. careful and loving smacking is not abuse.

Yep, been into webdesign a few years now...
my website
my blog

Anonymous said...

That is not smacking - that is hitting!!!

Anonymous said...

Just looked at your website. Black text on a blue background is hard to read. Not good for users who are colour blind. I had trouble seeing it. I like your design ideas though.

Andy Moore said...

hmmm - That used to have a blue background - it doesn't now - perhaps try refreshing?...

- Back to the smacking debate though - do you think that the Government should be disregarding the outcry of aprox 85% of the nation on this issue?

Sure, some people have got "discipline-related" horror stories from when they were children - but criminalising thousands of good parents - and wrecking good functional families is hardly going to help.

Anonymous said...


I really think it is poppycock that parents will be prosecuted for smacking in it's true context when and if the law changes. As I said to you before, it was the fear, terror and consequent anxiety from hitting with weapons such as wooden spoons that severely compromised my mental health.

I think you were very fortunate that you did not suffer the mental consequences of your childhood hittings with the wooden spoon. It is probably your makeup and your loving parents that prevented this.

However, many have not been so lucky. I have had many years in psychotherapy - over 25 years all told, to deal with the outcome of my childhood 'discipline'. I have been with people who had to confront emotions pent up from childhood when they were hit. Many of these people were suicidal.

I have to say though, that a lot of harm was caused as result of school corporal punishment in my day. You are probably very fortunate, again that this was outlawed before you got to school. School corporal punishment was outlawed in 1990.

Andy Moore said...

See this post.

Anon, listen to the politicians if you want - but If I was you, I would just read the bill itself. Bradford's bill reads:

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction.

See Bradford's bill here.

There is no question about it - if not immediately, then within 10 or 20 years of the bill being passed, parents will be prosecuted - families will be torn apart and children will be removed from homes if CYF finds out that smacking has been used.

Hmmm, I'm just one of many who has not "suffered the mental consequences of my childhood hittings". My three sibblings seem to be functioning perfectly normally - and my friends who were smacked - they don't appear to be psychological wrecks.

Remember, smacking is not hitting.

Anonymous said...


To be honest, I do not have a problem with the law change. I do not even think that it is any big deal.

I have probably seen the other side of human nature far more than you when it comes to child discipline or "discipline".

I believe Section 59 needs changing. NOT because I have listened to the politicians, but because of my own experiences and the harm I have seen from sanctioned hitting. I have opposed child hitting for many, many years - way back to the 1970's and certainly after I had attempted suicide.

I am not going to argue with you - but Section 59 is about hitting. It is about corporal punishment. It is certainly NOT about smacking. There is no such thing as an "Anti-smacking bill". It is the "Child Discipline Bill".

You can thank the media and other misguided lobby groups for whipping up the frenzy, misinformation, myths and misleading claims surrounding this issue.

Anonymous said...


I want to move away from this very painful issue of child bashing.

I want to ask you about your website venture and exploits. Have you studied JavaScript yet ?

Andy Moore said...


The repeal of Section 59 is a very big deal. 80% of Kiwis are opposed to repeal.

The "other side" of human nature has nothing in common with loving parental discipline of their children.

Repeal of Section 59 will not save one child - it will only wreck funtional families and tear children away from their mums and dads.

Section 59 is about the state controlling the children. This is one of the goals on Helen Clark's list that she made before she got into power.

Smacking is one form of corporal punishment.

Bradford's bill is the anti-discipline bill, as it attempts to remove the authority of parents over their children.

Just flick through one of the ridiculous SKIP brochures and see all the examples of how a parent should surrender to his/her child's wishes/demands/tantrums.

Section 59 must not be repealled.

I am trying to learn JavaScript, MySQL and PHP - see
for an example of some javaScript.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

(Section 59 discussion closed)

Sorry, but the JavaScript link you have provided appears not to work.

It certainly sounds like you are having lots of fun with website and web programming.

I have had a look at PHP but have not been able to get a handle on it yet.

What application do you use for website building? I use Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. I have heard that some web designers do not like this package. I have found it very annoying when I work in tables when Dreamweaver sometimes involuntarily puts in tag attributes, illegal in XHTML Strict DTD. Then when I test for validation on and find the added attributes due to a failed validation, it really narks me. And this happens, even though I am working in code mode only. (not design mode)

I am doing a course in VB Script later this year. I want to learn programming and hope I may be able to have a go at learning C++ as well as JavaScript. I have been told that by learning Microsoft VB Script or Visual Basic, will give a good grounding to basic programming. Do you agree with that?

Andy Moore said...

Nope - discussion not closed. This blog is the Section 59 blog after all.

JavaScript redirect demo.

- let's continue the programming discussion on my other blog -

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

What an excellent idea. I am fed up with this pathetic website and the rubbish on it.

I even checked it in and it does not even validate!!

It has 362 errors.

Hence this sample:

This page is not Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict!

Below are the results of checking this document for XML well-formandness and validity.
1. Error Line 20 column 99: end tag for "link" omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified.
You may have neglected to close an element, or perhaps you meant to "self-close" an element.
2. Info Line 20 column 2: start tag was here.
Error Line 21 column 93: end tag for "link" omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified.
3. Info Line 21 column 2: start tag was here.
Error Line 28 column 24: there is no attribute "src".
body iframe
You have used the attribute named above in your document, but the document type you are using does not support that attribute for this element. This error is often caused by incorrect use of the "Strict" document type with a document that uses frames (e.g. you must use the "Transitional" document type to get the "target" attribute), or by using vendor proprietary extensions such as "marginheight" (this is usually fixed by using CSS to achieve the desired effect instead).
This error may also result if the element itself is not supported in the document type you are using, as an undefined element will have no supported attributes; in this case, see the element-undefined error message for further information.
How to fix: check the spelling and case of the element and attribute, (Remember XHTML is all lower-case) and/or check that they are both allowed in the chosen document type, and/or use CSS instead of this attribute. If you received this error when using the embed element to incorporate flash media in a Web page.

Andy Moore said...

Haha. Haven't you got something better to do than to see if my blog validates or not? You seem pretty clued up... How about you explain to me what those errors mean...?

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

Well, I do not have too much knowledge - but I do validate my code.

I really do want to get away from this website.

I have just posted a message on your own web page.