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Thread: Smack children for discipline

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Smack children for discipline

    I have been sitting with this issue for a very long time as I have 3 children of my own. I have read books and seen Psychiatrists and doctors to ensure I give my child the best possible upbringing. Now it seems our learned friends wish to shove their noses up where it doesn't belong by investigating legislation on how we should discipline our children. Although I fully understand their views on this, as I have seen what adults can do to children more than once when I was still in the SAPS, I still feel that this is one issue they should rather try to fix at the real problem.

    Been listening to 702 yesterday afternoon where the topic was that we should not smack our kids. "There are other and better ways to discipline our children" was a constant message we had to listen to...

    To me this is probably the most important and passionate point in my life as my children mean absolutely everything to me and they are to me the reason I am in this life. So I ask myself where did civilization go wrong in not understanding certain issues. Well I would like to open this debate here by mentioning my views on a couple of arguments.

    • "By hitting your child you teach them that violence is the solution"

    Such a short sighted statement certainly is shocking and normally comes from people who studied many years to become a specialist in the field of children psychiatry. Absolute nonsense is definitely not the response to this statement. Rather understand that this person has gotten lost within their own statement as they have never gone into researching further what exactly they are saying. Is this statement true? Is it true by smacking our children on the bum with a wooden spoon we are actually teaching them that violence is a solution to problems? What does actually cross a child's mind and how should punishment be implemented?

    EXAMPLES
    1. So you have warned your kid to stop kicking the table, he decides it time to test daddy a bit, he carries on, daddy caries on asking the kid to stop. The next moment you scream at him that he should stop or else! Well... the kid decides to see what "or else means" and pulls his lip and look naughty kicking the table continuously. The next moment daddy flips and give his kid a hiding that will be remembered for many years.
    2. After talking to your kid repeatedly it is time for punishment. They look up in your eyes all sweet and innocent and you decide that once again you will grant them a final warning.
    3. After weeks of constant warnings and threats a kid gets his behind reddened by his mother after a long day's work for apparently no reason at all.
    4. So you sent your kid to the naughty mat and he refused to go, you threaten him again and he still refuses. This becomes a show of power between adult and kid and eventually the parent just gives up and let it go.


    I can continue for some time with examples that is an arm long. But at the end of the day what does all this mean?

    I have been put through the ropes and realized that in my case the best way of bringing my kids up is to be strict and have grades of punishment, which includes the wooden spoon. My daughter turn 10 this year and I am very fortunate that she adores me with everything in her. She is loving hard working, reliable and a friend. I have in my entire life given her probably 3 or 4 hidings and never once lost my temper with her. The reason. She knew where the borders was. She knew I spoke once, maybe twice but never more than that about the same issue. She knew there was consequences for her actions and she still does.

    Her younger brother is the complete opposite from her in personality. He needs to avoid sugar/caffeine and had an aggression problem from birth. He also has no problem sitting on the naughty mat for hours as he simply starts dreaming. But most of the time his life was all about measuring his temper with the rest of us. If you reprimanded him he would loose his temper and start shouting and screaming. (Tantrum) If you sent him to his naughty mat he would simply refuse and if you force him to go he wouldn't even mind injuring himself just to make his point that he is the dominant one. Well during that time we went looking for some help. All the learned specialists had some wisdom to share but eventually the problem was resolved by simply being firm at the right time. He quickly stopped going crazy as he knew at some stage after his craziness and the situation has calmed down we will have to sit down and discuss how many times the wooden had to talk. This happened 2 or 3 times and the situation was resolved.

    My youngest are only 2 months so no problems on that side yet.

    Now for my point. We have a great mix of people in South Africa. Different income levels, different social pressures, different society and traditions etc. We are all different. We have people that abuse alcohol and assault their children. We have people that will in order to make themselves feel good tell their kids how stupid they are. Insults that are meant to break down. You get parents that will hit their kids with anything nearby because of some stupid infringement that the kid didn't have any clue was wrong and then you get parents that truly love their children and goes through many lengths to give them everything they possibly can just to loose them to bad friends in high school. Then you get parents with strict standards and discipline that completely smuther their kids with rules and regulations. Then there is parents like me that love their kids with all their hearts and have a strict and disciplined upbringing planned for them. Then you have parents that are able to bring their kids up without hitting them and still are able to do it well.

    Once again I can carry on and on about it. The question is... Is corporal punishment the problem. Do I give my kid the wooden spoon because I believe in violence? Do I smack my kid because I am angry at him/her? Or is there another reason why society is failing. Is a law that are ultimately so far reaching that it can potentially destroy many kids lives the way to go? May I mention the yobs in the UK?

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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    Corporal punishment is not the problem!

    I would not have been where I am in my life today, if it wasn't for the few times my father had to grit his teeth and show his seriousness by giving me a hiding...

    As you CM, my daughter is my life, and as such I treat her with respect. When things get out of hand and she tries her luck, the second last thing I resort to, is going down to her level (3years old) and looking her straight in the eye and explaining that what she was/is doing is a disruption to those around her and not a good thing. Then, and only if she refuses to understand the severity of her actions, I take matters further by helping her in the right direction with a gentle heating up of her bottom...

    Of all the times she's thrown tantrums (Vloermoer klink net beter vir 'n Afrikaaner), I can honestly say that only about 5% of the time it came to a hiding...

    I don't believe in violence, but in my personal history it has shaped me in such a way that I truly believe that if no other option gets the point across, then it is a viable last resort option. One thing I must mention though is, you asked whether or not you smack your kids because of being angry at them... Well, speaking from personal experience, being sent to your room and sitting there for half an hour or an hour waiting for your hiding while your parent calms down and doesn't just hit you out of anger, was probably worse than the hiding itself... You knew it was coming, but at least when it came, it was because it has been thought through properly and without anger/hate involved.

    About the yobs in the UK, it's not that bad, it's a billion times worse... In my 5 years spent in the UK, I have stood in a friends house, chatting to the parents. Young kid would come in and parent would corner them regarding something they did or were involved in, and the kid would just shrug his shoulders, start swearing at the parent, threatening them that if they tried doing anything to them they would report them to the police.... This is not the way to raise children, and the worst part of it all is that all the complaining that the UK police are doing about kids being out of control, is their own doing!

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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    I agree with Riaan. Part of my eduaction received from my parents involved the occational hiding and I turned out OK (or so I believe).

    But, everything changes when you have children of your own. I have a daughter aged 7 - now at this stage of her life she is developing her own personality and the obvious thing to do is to challenge mom and dad's patience in order to set her own boundaries and develop her own personality. We also went through the terrible 2's and the power tantrums (just loved the term vloermoer!) went on for a couple of years and I figured out that hiding once in a while does wonders.

    But: I found that the occational redness of bum was long forgotten, but the eye-to-eye talk afterwards and the lesson learned was forever. Another thing I realized was to talk to your kids as if they were small adults - the goo-goo and ga-ga is best left for the grandparents. The golden rule I set for myself was: if she does something serious that warrants a hiding, never to discipline while I'M THEY ONE BEING ANGRY and never use anything else than your bare hands.

    I can recall 3 occations where I had to use the firm hand-to-bottom approach and still believe that it can do no harm (nor introduce your child to violence or that crap), but in absolute moderation. To be a villan so that your children are afraid of use it totally the wrong way - children need social development and interaction with their parents in order to establish thier own personality and set their own boundaries in life.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    All sorts of weird stuff stick in my head. How about this one?

    Before I got married, and subsequently had 2 children of my own, I attended a conference in 1985 where one of the sessions was related to sales. It dealt with the different personality types in the main, but there was one example that stuck in my head that related to the parent/child relationship.
    Have you ever heard anyone say (or have said it yourself) "My kids. They know exactly how far to push me!"
    Of course they do - you trained them.
    I'm so grateful I heard that before I ever had children of my own. That simple piece has been the core foundation of how I've raised my children. It is clear that the responsibility for managing that relationship is the parents', not the child.

    I figure there are three keys:
    • My response must be appropriate to the challenge,
    • I must be consistent,
    • I must keep a level head.

    This is an area where it really pays to be entirely predictable.

    There are lots of fine lines in drawing up a consistent discipline code - too much to try to go into detail here. But there are some things my wife and I did that is worth mentioning.

    First, we agreed that we would always back each other when it came to the kids, even if we thought the other might be wrong. If one said "that's the way it is", the other would say exactly the same. We allowed absolutely no space for a child to play one parent against the other.

    Second, we agreed we would not reward "bad" behaviour. If the child displayed any bad method in achieving a request, the automatic result was no success. The request was not even judged on its merits, it automatically failed by virtue of its faulty execution.

    Third, we agreed a process. There would be the challenge, our "decision", space for one "appeal", and then a final "verdict." And that verdict would not change even if a little later we changed our own minds. A small sacrifice that reaps great rewards. This is probably best demonstrated with an example.

    You're shopping and the child requests something that is not on the list. You say no. The child starts the "begging" or "justify" routine. You give your final verdict - yes or no. And that's it. No amount of begging, pleading, tantrums etc. will change the outcome. When the "drip" or "wear you down" method doesn't work, it stops being used.

    The two worst behaviours do not get an appeal.

    The tantrum is totally ignored. And I mean totally. It takes an act of will, but when this was tried, it was made plain that all prospects of a favourable result had gone out the window forever, and we really didn't care how much they beat themselves up about it. As my dentist once said to me after hitting a nerve - "I didn't feel a thing." Sure it bugs/distresses you. Just don't show it.

    The "who has the power here" challenge of your authority is dealt with instantly. One single shock smack. Immediately. And this has proved the only time I've ever had to lay a hand on my children - each of them - just once.

    And because of being consistent in everything up to that point, the need has never arisen again.

    This may sound awfully structured and carefully planned. It didn't start out that way. It's how it developed - and it came from me sharing that bit I quoted above with my wife before we ever even had kids.

    Now at (almost) 18 & 20, our kids seem to have turned out well, and Sue and I have regularly got comments over the years about what great kids we've got.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    Great! Thanks for sharing - it makes a lot of sense Dave.

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    Z Skweyiya: Children's Amendment Bill second reading debate

    Address by Dr ZST Skweyiya, the Minister of Social Development, second reading of the Children's Amendment Bill debate National Assembly, Cape Town 1 November 2007 Madam Speaker Honourable Members Deputy Minister of Social Development Children of South Africa It has been ten long years since work initially begun on the Children's Bill. In the meantime the conditions facing the children of South Africa have persisted, sometimes with added c

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    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    J Swanson-Jacobs: Second Reading Of The Children's Amendment Bill Debate

    Speech by Dr Jean Swanson-Jacobs, Deputy Minister of Social Development, second reading of the Children's Amendment Bill Debate, National Assembly, Cape Town 1 November 2007 Madam Speaker, Honourable Minister Zola Skweyiya, Honourable Members, MECs for Social Development here present, Distinguished guests, Representatives of civil society in the public gallery, Ladies and Gentlemen: It's an honour today for me to address the National Assembly

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure, but I heard on the news tonight that the controversial part about spanking has been removed from the bill.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Reading this story about discipline problems in some schools in the Western Cape, I couldn't help but think of this thread.
    When a Cape Town principal banned a group of disruptive pupils from his school two weeks ago it blew the lid on a severe discipline problem plaguing the province.

    Experts have warned that many parents do not know how to discipline their children and rely too heavily on schools, resulting in a generation of ill-disciplined young people.

    National crisis centre Childline is inundated with calls from parents appealing for help.

    The children's rights group Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Rapcan) said all adults had to take responsibility for teaching children discipline.

    And the Department of Education has come under fire for making promises but not delivering on them.

    In a hard-hitting statement yesterday, Education MEC Cameron Dugmore said children who had no interest in furthering their education and were intent on disrupting the education of others had no place "in any of our schools".

    "I will support principals who act firmly to maintain discipline at our schools. It is important that procedures contained in legislation are also followed. It provides for suspension and expulsion of learners through due process."

    But South Peninsula High principal Brian Isaacs, who hit the headlines for initially refusing to allow 15 children back into his school this term, said the department offered little support. Five of the pupils appealed to the department and Isaacs had to enrol them.

    Isaacs said he had followed procedure and yet the department had refused to expel the children, opting for restorative justice and rehabilitation.

    "Last year two children had alcohol on the school premises - we recommended expulsion but the department said they should enter a rehabilitation programme. I called the Education Management District Centre for assistance, but they never came back to us."

    Isaacs was one of a number of principals who complained of an increase in the number and severity of transgressions. The lack of positive male role models was cause for concern.
    full story from IOL here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I wonder if the introduction of compulsory parenting classes under certain legislation would help? In certain cases parents would then be ordered (by a court) to attend the classes.

    Obviously the other side of this is making sure that legislation protects children, but does not disempower parents.
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