Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Smacking Debate Continues in Australia

The debate on child-discipline rages on across the Pacific in Australia. Below are a few excerpts from an article www.thedaily.com.au...

"Outlawing parental smacking of children could lead to family break ups and brand parents as criminals.

Brisbane criminal defence lawyer Tim Meehan has released a statement arguing against the recent push to make “excessive” smacking of children illegal claiming the move could spell the end for many families..."

Later on,

"...[former attorney-general] Mr Wells said he believed outlawing smacking would force parents to discover non-violent ways to discipline their children.

However Mr Meehan, who works for Ryan Bosscher Lawyers, said parents needed education, not a change to the criminal code.

“You would just make them liable to be charged as criminals,” Mr Meehan said.

“An education program is a great idea and worth supporting but changing the Criminal Code to ban parental smacking is not the way to do it. Changing the Criminal Code is not an education move, it is purely about punishing people for crimes.”

Mr Meehan said New Zealand parents were attempting to overturn their nation’s anti-smacking laws.

“Our laws already protect children against excessive force and provides the option to prosecute parents who abuse their children,” Mr Meehan said.

“Nobody is suggesting parents, or anyone who abuses a child, should be immune from prosecution.

“The danger with changing the law is how they are interpreted and enforced. You could see parents being prosecuted for minor smacks that would usually be associated with part of the parenting process..."

And finishes up by stating,

"...The law, as it stands, allows for parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children."

I just hope that the people and legislators of Australia have more sense than we appear to be excercising over here in New Zealand. I hope that they can look at the dog of a law that we now have, and also look across to Sweden and the other few countries that have criminalised parents who smack their children; and think better of a law-change.

God defend Australia.


Sus said...

".. outlawing smacking would 'force' parents to discover .."

It's telling, isn't it, how public servants have no qualms in using the force they purport to oppose against the adult members of the public they're paid to serve.

julio said...

It seems that not all children are equal and the children can not raise them as if they were of military service, sometimes we have to give them such freedoms libertades.A be misinterpreted by children with its mix of innocence and thinking more about the Travesa mischief and can give more of a headache to say that this padres.No good slap to the children but there are certain attitudes and things that you can not allow the children to their parents and that there must be some respect also that the boy understood the message because when you are finished speaking the words, just patience and you know what that means.
I am against abuse of a minor family seems aberraciĆ³n.Una a family is built with love.

Sean said...

I was smacked as a child. It I believe it taught me the meaning of 'consequence', and an understanding why I should not do the wrong thing. It only did me good.
I see kids these days that haven't had a loving but firm up-bringing. These are the kids that think they can do anything they like and get away with it. It is why we have graffiti all over our cities and towns.

Parents can be loving, and still discipline they children. There is a difference between discipline and child abuse. The one is done without much emotion, with an aim to imprint an idea of 'you have done wrong, here is the consequence' in a child. It doesn't leave marks, and it doesn't harm the child. The other, is usually done with negative emotions, and leaves bruises, bone breaks, and achieves only harm.

There is a difference.

Leave parents alone. Corporal punishment is important to the development of a person who respects others and understands right and wrong.

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