Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kiwi's perspective on the debate

taken from 21 June 07
Selected opinions from readers asked the question:
"What do you think of the new police smacking guidelines?"

Kiri's, Daniel Ionita's and Victim of Abuse's comments are exceptional

Baggy (Northland): We will now see, how far Sue Bradford's law will go. If I smack my great grandchildren in public for a trivial thing, I would like the police to arrest me and then they can baby sit them (all paid by our tax) and then they can find someone to look after them. (all paid by our tax) Maybe we can send them to Sue's home, Helen Clark's or to Cullens.

Kiri: If we can only use a smack if a child is about to do something - will this not confuse them? They haven't actually done anything wrong - but they were going to? How are we as responsible parents meant to manage this? If a child is running across the road despite attempts to stop it, are you then not able to give that child some corrective action? Would it not be more safe to get the child off the road first before doing anything? These rules are over the top and do not allow the discretion that the NZ public thought we would get. These rules will not stop family violence - in fact it may increase them because you will now be able to say - but they were going to do it so I had to smack them.

Bring Back The Wooden Spoon!
Ridiculous. Waste of time.The smacking policy is not going to stop those families who abuse their children, this even gives them the chance to rush home, shut the doors, and slam their children against the wall. Now this behaviour requires police attention. But smacking a child on the bottom after dashing out across a main road is a necessary action. We learn from the mistake at a young age if we are smacked A: it is unexpected, B: It leaves a little mark C: it stings for a bit D: we remind ourselves if we repeat our behaviour we might get another smack, so I might be good now.I babysit alot, and in my opinion the children are screaming out for discipline. They are foul mouthed, extremely rude, and have choice of what they want to eat, where they want to eat it and basically rule the house. I hope this stupid politically correct cycle hits the dust and we do a big U turn and bring back our morals to society.Love your children, discipline them, teach them respect and New Zealanders will be great people.

Daniel Ionita
I dearly wish to be the first with a criminal record as a result of the anti-smacking law (I have come first at very few things...). I deserve it and come out in this way publicly to confess to the police. The major issue is that I have no longer have an ungrateful little brat to beat the mickey out of...Our three children are successful well adjusted and productive members of society. Well two of them are, the third is at university. I obviously ruined them.Can I go to jail? I hope the law is retrospective.

Brenda Kumar
Hi, my name is Brenda and I am so against the law changes/ First of all, now parents will suddenly become criminals and children will get to roll the show.As for me, I will continue to discipline my kids. Who will anyone blame if any of my kids disobey the law. who else but the parents? I just don't understand 1 thing, why would anyone blame parents all the time for their kids bad behaviour instead of thinking, hang on: the law says "do not smack our children." Just because there are other parents out there who smacks their children until they had enough of smacking doesn't mean all parents are the same. There's more serious issues out there that it needs attention.I honestly think that it's stupid to turn parents into criminals because not all parents are the same.

Scott Lelievre
The smacking guidelines for the police show that the police will vigorously investigate any complaint of a parent smacking their children. So parents can expect they will be investigated for doing something that parents have been doing for centuries -- namely correcting their children. This is wrong, it will not prevent child abuse, it will criminalise ordinary parents and it will diminish the authority of parents. This has happened in schools since the abolition of corporal punishment -- as many as 30,000 children stood down, expelled, suspended last year alone from schools. Our schools have become more violent, not less violent, since corporal punishment was banned. I hope the next government restores section 59 -- so that parents can once again properly discipline their children.

The entire law is in opposition to the fast majority's opinion and an affront to personal liberties. "1984" here we come.

A victim of abuse
Observe how the other creatures of the earth chastise their young.This law makes criminals of humans exercising natural instinctive behaviour (which sexual and physical abuse is not!) and to top this all we are allocating much needed policing time to this ? Every parent will agree there is a huge difference between a smack, a hit or abuse. Worse abuse of a child is not being strong with the child when young and the child growing up with little or no self discipline. Are the makers of this law going to bear responsibility for what comes from this? Why do they think they are wiser than the elders from millennia before us? Has anyone met a 2 or 3 year old who understands time out? This at the very time the child adopts future behavioural patterns.Will the proposers of this law bear responsibility if this law has no effect on the real abuse of children - 'sexual and physical abuse'This law smacks of do gooding, voted in, high earning politicians justifying their existence. "a victim of physical and sexual abuse and deprived of a childhood."

Relic (Whangarei)
All Hail the mighty Helen! Well done... It is so wonderful that our Police have to have guidelines set on commonsense actions. Has our not so wonderful leader nestled in on stupidity in a broader way that was thought possible. Go the red party, go the greens and any other nambie pambie parties that have dictatorial beliefs. Look, to be real about any of this political dribble is beyond belief. Helen, for your own personal information the people of New Zealand do have a brain. Not everything needs to be legislated. Grow up or get out of politics.


This comment is the only one on the page (15 comments) which is pro the bill

Belinda (North Shore)
I think the smacking rules are justified and long overdue. This bill that has been passed and brought into effect will protect children from abuse. There are better methods of discipline than smacking like praise for good behaviour and an expression of disappointment for bad behavior. Children quickly opt for the praise, it's what they thrive on.


And a quick response to that...

Belinda, simply because "there are better methods of discipline than smacking" does not mean that smacking should therefore be criminalised.  Yes, Children do thrive on praise; but is it good for them?  Rules and guidelines which are fairly enforced are certainly just as - or more effective.  You're in the minority Belinda, the minority opting for a state-governed family.  Open up your eyes, this issue is not simply "to smack or not to smack", it is "who's job is child-rearing?"


Anonymous said...

This is from a blog in the UK

> >There is a 13-month old child trying to pull the network cable out of my laptop as I write this. Should I hit him? How hard?

Answer No 1:
> A light two-finger tap on the baby's hand together with sternly
saying, "No" has a small chance of getting the message across to a 1 year old, though it is probable that the baby's brain is not yet ready to make the connection,

Answer No 2:
The baby's brain most certainly is ready to make such a connection (the stern NO would probably do on it's own) - the trouble is that in most cases the parent won't be able to provide the necessary consistency.

Pain is an absolutely essential learning tool for children *including* babies. When a baby get his first teeth he will bite his tongue, it will hurt, he'll do it again, it will hurt again, and he'll quickly associate the two and learn not to bite his tongue. The same applies throughout early childhood - we evolved to feel pain for a reason - and young children *cannot* be taught not to damage their bodies in other ways. If anyone is stupid enough to think they can - try googling for the "Congenital Insensitivity to Pain" and read the stories of children with this disease. Or watch "A Life Without Pain". Most have their teeth pulled to stop then chewing their tongue to bits. Most end up in wheelchairs by the time they are teenagers, if they are lucky.

I'm sure if parents of these children had a button they could press to cause their child pain every time they bit their tongue, or ran into a tree, they'd do it, and probably be accused of violence by the loony anti-smacking brigade.

The causing of the child pain isn't the problem with smacking, since as per above it's an essential learning tool. The problems with smacking are consistency and association. In order to work, the child must be associate the pain with the "bad action", and the punishment must be consistent (it must happen every time the "bad action" occurs). This is very hard to achieve - but exactly the same problem applies to *any* system of punishment or reward.

Andy Moore said...

This is a fantastic article.
Many thanks; I'm going to post this on the blog now.

Thanks again, most impressed with this article.

Anonymous said...

I think Sue Bradford is doing great things for this country. Maybe she should also try to legalise bigamy? Just like some gay people will always ever be attracted to people of the same sex, some people will always be in love with more than one person at the same time. The law needs to change so that all people have the choice on how many people they are married to at the same time. Monogamous marriage is a Christian ideal and the Government and other politicians should not be focusing on Christian morals but, rather, the rights of all of the country's citizens.

Andy Moore said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny, or what.

You're harping on about "rights", but you appear to have no consideration for morals, or for the people who suffer from such practices as bigamy, sodomy and polygamy.

Monogamous marriage is a Christian principle, yes. You're advocating bigamy and polygamy. Look at the happy Muslim families where polygamy is practiced...

Anonymous said...

I am in no way trying to be funny. The fact is I cannot be married to both of my lovers at the same time. The law currently gives no consideration to the fact that I am currently in-love with two people. The current law regarding marriage only provides for monogamous marriages. The fact is people should be given a choice. I am heart-broken that the law currently discriminates against me on this matter. People suffer from monogamous marriages yet this is legal and is deemed acceptable and respectable in our society. People such as myself and other people in my situation are not in need of discrimination and hate, we are in need of a change in the law.

Thanks for reading.

Andy Moore said...


You're in the minority. You've just got to somehow grasp the fact that God designed people to marry, man & woman, for life. Your "preference" is the sort of thing that rots a Country at it's core.

Bigamy, polygamy, sodomy...

And what if your preference was (consensual) pedophilia? Would you still be voicing your opinion that it was your right?

See, it's not all about "my rights", it's about "what's best for the country, society, humanity?"

Anonymous said...

Since I believe in a bigger force and not God per se, I do not, nor will I ever decide to, believe that monogamous marriage is the 'right way'.

I am desperate to make a life-long commitment to both of my lovers. I want to be married to them both for life.

What is best for the country is not for laws to be implemented just because the majority participate in a certain type of behaviour. Laws are for all people, not just the majority of people, and therefore laws need to be made for minorities, too. It won't affect what the majority does, it will just be the law basically saying that my lifestyle is vaild, too. And just because the majority of people aren't in-love with two people at the same time, doesn't mean that there is something wrong with people who are.

What if the majority of people were bigamists? Does that mean monogamy should be illegal? I don't think so. Options should exist for people of both lifestyles.

Anonymous said...

By the way, how insulting of you to state that my lifestyle is one which rots the country at its core.

The truth of the matter is that supression of individual freedoms is what rots the country way more than my lifestyle.

Should all men and all women be forced to be a part of the majority of people, heterosexuals that are married to one person at the time? No, I don't think so. What happens if all people are legally forced to adhere to that is that people who will always be attracted to people of the same sex, and people who will always be in-love with two or more people at once, will be opressed as their desires are supressed by the Government which favours Christianity in a nation where not all of the people adhere to Christianity. This results in an escalation of crime and also of mental illnesses.

Andy Moore said...

Why do you want to get married anyway? Marriage is an institution designed by God.

Quite apart from that, "marriage" to more than one person is not marriage.

As for this "bigger force" you speak of. Mate, it's between you and God. On judgement day when God asks you why you did not put your trust in Him, what are you going to say?... "Oh, uh, they taught us evolution at primary school...". Excuses won't get you anywhere, that's for sure.

Check out this link...

Anonymous said...

Despite the majority of people being against the anti-smacking Bill, it has been passed of course.

It is one of my greatest desires that a politician will someday decide to take up the cause of fighting for the rights of bigamists, legally speaking. Hopefully this will happen before I pass away.

Are you going to publish my last two comments? Maybe not. But, the rights of minorities will not be denied forever, that's for sure. The anti-smacking Bill has proved this.

The political tides are changing, so to speak, and maybe someday it will be a case of those who live a lifestyle of monogamy being in the minority. If that happened, I personally would fight for the right of the minority monogamous people to live that lifestyle.

Thanks for conversing with me.

Andy Moore said...

So, summing up, anon, it would be fair to say that you think that the minority should rule the majority - rather, the minority is the majority.

It does not make sense, as you can see.

The anti-smacking bill should not have passed. New Zealand Parliament has acted in the most extreme anti-democratic way ever seen in our history.

As I said before, learn some self-control and love one person. If you're a man: a woman, if you're a woman: a man.


I mean heck, there's heaps of people out there who'd be keen to be able to legally "love", or "enjoy themselves" with more than one partner, and that with a good conscience.

But these people exercise something called self-control.

Anonymous said...

Just because a man may love another man romantically, does not mean that the man is not exercising self-control. He may be committed to one man, he may be in a relationship with two men, he may be in a relationship with a man and a woman at the same time, and yet he is exercising a degree of self-control.

I do not think the minorities should rule the majority. I think minorities should be represented more in law, that's all.

Not everyone is a heterosexual monogamous Christian and therefore I rejoice basically whenever the Government decides to bring in legislation which gives legal validity to the lifestyles of minorities. Just because the majority of people do something, doesn't mean everyone should do it. If the majority of people decided to jump off a cliff, obviously that doesn't mean that jumping off a cliff is the right thing to do.

I've said enough on the matter, I think. Support and understanding is needed for minorities.