How confused are the anti-smackers? Let me dissect one discussion I had with one of them just recently as I was gathering signatures on Wellington’s Manners Mall.
He said, or implied, that by virtue of my size (I am not small) that I shouldn’t need nor want to initimidate my children into compliance with my will. I believe this is consistent with Sue Bradford’s desire that this bill "should eliminate the colonial mentality of ownership of children and being able to do with them whatever I like, including beating them." So, the implications of what they are both saying are these:
- Because I am large, I am intimidating (funny, my kids don’t seem to think so – they have no problem running into my arms at the end of each working day).
- Force is defined in law as both the actual act or even initimdation to use force.
- Therefore, the removal of reasonable force for the purpose of discipline makes not only smacking illegal, but also the threat to use smacking.
- Therefore, how long do you think it would take before my kids work out I can no longer physically punish them for wrong-doinging? That’s right, about 0.5 microseconds after they hear the Bill was passed.
- Therefore, how long after that will they test the boundaries that once existed (for their own safety) that can no longer be effectively enforced? (Smacking is the punishment that gets instant results.)
- My kids are not monsters, and are not beaten every day. (Since Sue has redefined all smacking as abuse, by her definition I must be a child beater. However, as I do not consider a smack with the wooden spoon to be beating, I do not.) But they can be mischievious and need to be kept in line. A short sharp shock is often all they need.
- My 10 year old said yesterday "I prefer a smack to losing my favourite TV programme."
- Exactly my point: a smack delivers parently disapproval of behaviours, without dragging out the punishment way beyond the original offence.
- If punishment doesn’t curb behaviour, why do we have laws, the police and the court system?
Some other thoughts, if I were paranoid about the direction this country was headed:
- Therefore, if I, who am large, look cross about certain behaviours, will I look initimating?
- Therefore, could a concerned busy-body inform CYPFS that they are worried about the potential of force being used?
- Therefore, could CYPFS preventatively take my children "for their own safety"?
- Therefore, we end up just like Sweden, where parents are afraid of their children.