I see smacking is in the news again today with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling saying that he smacked his own children when they were young and has defended the right of parents to smack.
The Conservative minister, who has two grown-up children, told the Mail on Sunday smacking young children sometimes “sends a message”.
He said it was to be used occasionally but he did not hanker for when children were “severely beaten at school”.
Parents in the UK are not explicitly banned from smacking their children.
But the 2004 Children’s Act removed the defence of “reasonable chastisement” in England and Wales for any child punishment that caused such injuries as bruising, swelling, cuts, grazes or scratches.
Similar laws exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mr Grayling, who is MP for Epsom and Ewell, told the paper: “You chastise children when they are bad, as my parents did me,” he said.
“I’m not opposed to smacking. It is to be used occasionally.
Well – all I’ll say is:
“What are your children learning from you when you smack/spank them?
– It’s OK to lash out and hit another person when you are angry?
That it’s OK to physically hurt a child – who is younger, smaller and less able to protect themselves from you ?
So one tap this week – is it then 2 hits next week….?
Do you then hit harder, for longer?
What do you do if you really lose your temper?
So is it OK for your children to lash out at others in the playground and think physical violence is OK ?
Bringing up happy, healthy, polite and caring children has never been easy. Everyone gets angry with their kids at some time or another – it’s normal – it’s healthy. Kids know just what buttons to push and they push them! I know mine do!
But what sort of message are you sending to your kids if you hit them I wonder?
It’s OK to get physical when you feel annoyed, frustrated or angry? And because you are a role model in everything that you do…. guess what your kids will do when they get annoyed, frustrated or angry……. lash out too.
I know lots of parents feel a little “tap” never hurt them …… but times change, we evolve and a little smack can escalate……. I think a mum who came on one of my workshops put it really well when she said, “I didn’t smack my 13 year old son, but I did smack my 10 year old daughter because she was so strong willed. One day when I smacked her, she said, “That didn’t hurt!” I knew then that I mustn’t smack her again because of what might happen.”
Of course anger is an honest emotion, but it’s what you choose to do with your anger that’s important. How about just asking yourself some simple questions:
“Is this the best way to show my love and respect for the most important people in the world?”
“Is this damaging our relationship and their self esteem if I keep on smacking them?”
“What age is it OK to smack…. a baby, a toddler and teenager and at what age will I stop?”
Here’s my opinion on ITV This Morning being challenged by Eamonn Holmes on why a little tap never hurt anyone !
There are more positive ways to discipline children and a clear message that
hitting anyone is not right would benefit all of society.
FOR LOTS OF BETTER WAYS TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN
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