IS SMACKING YOUR CHILDREN RIGHT OR WRONG? – Spare the rod spoil the child; that was the mantra for what now appears like an eon ago and many will ferociously argue that spanking a child is monstrous.
During a recent interview with Piers Morgan, the TV cook Mary Berry admitted that she didn’t have any issues in dishing out corporal punishment to her three children within the home; indeed she used a butter pat to smack her children with when they got out of turn.
When I was a small boy, my mother had a bamboo cane and oh did that sting when administered across my bottom. In all fairness such punishment was a rarity and often just the waving of the cane brought me and my siblings into line.
Those were the days; when if I forgot to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ or didn’t show respect to my elders a clip around the ear was administered in order to remind me.
Back then the teacher had full control of the students, for all the children in the classroom not only respected their teachers but also fully realised that the headmasters’ office was well equipped with the cane.
In those days we wouldn’t have even considered being rude to a Police officer, for he or she was a well respected member of the community and was there to ensure law and order was upheld.
Anyone brave, or rather foolish, enough to be a bit cheeky to a police officer would have received a clip around the ear, taken home and then given the cane by the parent – yes those were the days where we learned, sometimes the hard way, to respect our elders, teachers, parents, those in authority and indeed each other.
To many people’s dismay, times have changed and certainly not for the better. It is nothing unusual now to hear of our youth beating up the elderly, engaging in a foul mouth rant at their teachers or parents and as for law enforcement, well let’s just say there is no respect for the law or those who try to uphold it.
So is it right for a child to be smacked by a parent and indeed should we reintroduce corporal punishment in order to once again instill discipline?
Like any social issue there are two sides; those that feel that a smack doesn’t do any harm and those who feel that any physical abuse could, and does, have long lasting psychological effects.
Going back to my childhood, I twice received the cane from my headmaster both for different offenses; neither for using foul language at my teacher and certainly not any form of violence – those notions were quite frankly not even a remote consideration.
As for being punished at home, I honestly can’t remember how many times I was on the receiving end of the dreaded bamboo cane but it really wasn’t that often, for I was brought up to respect those around me and therefore created self-respect.
We are no longer allowed to use any form of punishment, in fact even criminals are no longer punished but rather rehabilitated – or at least that’s the delusional notion we attempt to convince ourselves of.
Today it’s common place for children to use foul language at their parents, teachers and indeed the police. Whilst we may have removed ourselves from the perceived Victorian era, it certainly appears to me and many others, that such a path has resulted in rampant anti-social behaviour and it’s almost impossible to have any self-respect when you haven’t learned to respect others.
Now in my senior years, I look at the world and wonder what on earth happened; for in less than 60 years Britain appears to have been transformed from a country with socially responsible and respectable people into a cesspit of political correctness that allows our children to run riot and engage in all manner of anti-social behaviour without even a hint of society admonishing them.
Of course the politically correct will tell you that these little darlings are just expressing themselves and that whilst they disapprove of children being reported to have raped or beaten a teacher, tormented and bullied other pupils, spat and used foul language towards the elderly, engaged in violence towards their parents and police and finally committing all manner of crime; it is rising at an alarming rate.
Disapproval, in my opinion is one thing, but it’s clear that simply disapproving of an act doesn’t change the act itself and maybe it’s time to stop sparing the rod.
I for one remember the days when it was safer to walk the street, teachers or parents were certainly not abused, police were respected and above all, people were generally very polite to one another.
Spare the rod if it eases your conscience, but I wonder if that same conscience spares a thought for the victims of an ever growing level of youth crime simply because we refused to instill respect and self-respect for the sake of our own conscience.