I smacked my child


I remember smacking kiddo. I regretted some of the incidents of smacking – those which resulted from angry reactions to her behaviour. I am very grateful I didn’t have to do it too often and I think I didn’t have to do it after she was past the age of 3 or 4.

If I were a parent again, I would smack my child again. I would try my hardest to ensure I didn’t do it as an angry and reactive response, but I would do it.

It is different to using force against an adult. This is where I think I cannot agree with Professor Frank Oberklaid of the Royal Children Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health.  With an adult, I would not (probably never) use force because I expect the adult to understand where the boundaries of acceptable behaviour lies and that adult is responsible for his own actions. The parent (or guardian) bears that responsibility in relation to that child. The parent is responsible for ensuring that child grows up to be an adult who understands acceptable and responsible behaviour and that there are consequences for breaching those boundaries. As a child I don’t think reasoning and discussing always works. A smack says it all and the child never forgets or need to figure anything out. He understands straight away, clearly and indelibly, that the prohibited behaviour is a no go zone.

So I think Professor Frank Oberklaid and Dr Gervase Chaney a president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Paediatric and Child Health Division, are both wrong to suggest we should ban smacking. That is the purview of the parent, subject only to existing laws.

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