Smack My Kids Up

12 04 2008

Regular readers will have noticed that Textual Relations has returned to its news-based tradition. First, Random Roundup made a return, then Bite Sized News bounced back. Despite the lack of comments Mr President’s response is that this is the Textual Relations that you’ve known and loved (what do you mean you don’t love it?!) so you’re going to have to put up with it. Tough luck.

There was a news story that we considered including in yesterday’s Bite Sized News but then decided it warranted a post of its own, as we wanted to go into more depth. This is the news that a couple were banned from fostering because they smack their birth daughter as a last resort. Spanking is something Mr President takes great interest in.

Some of you will remember how Textual Relations had earlier covered the case of the bigoted foster parents and the interesting thing to note is that the same local council is involved in this situation, so perhaps there’s more to this case than meets the eye.

Given that, we won’t be discussing the specifics of this particular case, but rather taking a broader view, focusing particularly on the subject of smacking children. In fact we’ll dismiss the fostering aspect of the case by pointing out that there’s a distinct lack of foster parents. Mr President thinks there’s nothing worse than bratty kids and thinks anyone willing to raise ones they’re not related to is a masochistic idiot.

Even if potential foster parents admit they’ll be sexually abusing the kids, he says we should let them. These poor kids are in desperate need of love, who cares if it’s not “conventional” love? Would they rather be ignored in some orphanage somewhere, or worse yet, tortured in one? Who’s to say a little adult-to-child loving is wrong?

Setting that aside, Mr President’s official pronouncement on smacking is that it does work. He doesn’t care how many studies you can cite about how it doesn’t, he thinks sociological studies like that are only useful as toilet paper. Some children may not respond, and granted, the older a child is the less effective it will be (as they begin to understand reasoning and should then be reasoned with) but with little kids it works.

Forget your studies and psychological reports, he’s living proof it works. His mother beat him something rotten, although that’s not to say he didn’t deserve a great deal of it, even if not all of it was fair. No parent is psychic, and just as with any form of punishment, sometimes he’d be punished for things he hadn’t done. Yet there were plenty of times he went unpunished for things he had done. That’s life in a nutshell.

How, though, is that any different from other forms of punishment? Had his mother opted for grounding or withholding pocket-money as a means of discipline, would this have miraculously made her psychic? Of course not. Would I have resented her less? No, because it wasn’t the form of punishment I resented, but simply being told what to do.

There is one difference between hitting and other forms of punishment, and this is one he thinks all parents should be aware of. Occasionally his mother would take out her anger at other issues on him, and this is why if you do spank your children, you must never spank out of anger. Although he would agree that the same goes for other punishments, the risks is that spanking could become a form of child abuse.

Taking it back, though, to the case at hand, he would note the use of the words as a last resort. He doesn’t know enough facts to know if they truly did use it as a last resort or simply said they did, but he would say that if true, that’s excellent parenting.

Where spanking becomes an every day punishment it can lead to negative reinforcement, where the child craves attention and misbehaves to get it. Young kids, though, are like animals, pain is sometimes the only thing they understand. Toddlers are like puppies, and Mr President says the most effective way to toilet train puppies is to put their nose in the spot where they went and then spank it. It’s aversion therapy.

Having said all that how dare we villify parents for spanking? So long as it’s used appropriately it’s good parenting! Much worse are the parents who don’t discipline their kids and those are the ones causing the decline of western civilisation. The yobbos and gang members you see on the street are not the products of being smacked.

So what do you think, to smack or not to smack?

(Hint: if it’s not to smack, you’re wrong)



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