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To Smack Or Not To Smack

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Starting this week Kiwis head to the polls to answer the question 'should a smack, as part of good parental correction, be a criminal offence in New Zealand?' Apart from being an obvious waste of everyone's time and millions of dollars, this question answers itself.

So, should a smack, as part of good parental correction, be a criminal offence? Well, if you want to fill the jails around the country with good parents then answer yes, it should be a criminal offence to smack as part of good parental correction. Answer no if you want to keep the jails full of real criminals like rapists and murderers.

What I like most about this question is the fact that most of the politicians and parents who will be concerned with this would more than likely have been clipped around the ears one time or another way back in the decades when they were naughty children and when smacking a child was par for the course, and guess what, they all turned out alright, well, except for the jaded and twisted pollie who posed the question to the nation, this person obviously needs to see a shrink to get over their childhood 'issues'. 

Let's say that everyone votes yes, a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in NZ then let's think about the children shall we?  Little Jimmy throws a tantrum and runs amok messing up the house and words and yelling aren't working for the parent but they can't touch Little Jimmy and give him a firm smack on the backside because they'll end up in the court system. So, while the damage bill mounts the parent is helpless. Little Jimmy then grows up to Teenage Jimmy who goes on to vandalise public property, gets caught and then begins his life long journey in and out of prisons and correction centers; all because when he was young he learnt quick smart that its ok for him to do what he wants and nobody can do anything.

But that's not the only scenario. Oh no, there's a worse one. Kids these days are already being brought up in a cotton-lined environment. Play equipment is overly safe, schools are more about protection than learning and life skills, parents prefer kids playing inside on the games consoles or computer than outside because parents are extremely lazy and selfish these days and kids are getting smarter. They'll head out into the world as limp and wet as seaweed. You've got helicopter-parents, parents who out do other parents on birthday parties, you've got tweens and teens who's egos and sexuality are being groomed by advertising and you've got spoiled brats who know have to follow the latest trends. Kids these days lose all sense of individuality and creativity as all their toys are labelled with the latest Disney characters.

This generation of kids being born and growing up right now will never experience a world without mobile phones and the internet, they are Generation-i, a generation fed on information but more to the point, a generation older generations worry too much about. Kids these days will know exactly what their rights are when the result of this referendum is released.

Generation-i needs discipline and smacking a kid who's lost all sense of respect is an option that should be open to all parents as a last resort when words and threats of taking something the kid holds dear away doesn't work. Ask a majority or people in their mid twenties or older these days and they'll tell you they were smacked as a kid when they got out of hand, they had great parents and there is nothing wrong with them now. This referendum isn't about child abuse because that's already a crime, its about wasting time and those pollies who came up with this waste of time and money needs a good clip around the head for being so condescending and ridiculous.

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