Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lucia John Key is starting to really annoy me

In today's Dominion Post I read that John Key does not intend to change the anti-smacking law, no matter what the results of the upcoming referendum are.
The debate may turn out to be an expensive waste of effort for both sides, with Mr Key saying yesterday that he had no intention of changing the law regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

"I think it's important that governments listen to the public, but the test I've had is that if I don't think the law is working I will change it," he said. "To date I have not seen any evidence that it is not working."

The question being asked in the referendum was ambiguous as it did not directly call for the law to be changed or repealed. The issue was of significant public concern two years ago but had died away, he said.
Let me explain something to you, John.

Public concern has died away over this issue BECAUSE of the upcoming referendum. As a mother, I thought that the Government would to listen to me and parents like me once the results of this referendum are in. I feel that in having the referendum, democracy is working, all is good and the world and everything will turn out to be ok, not matter what the stupidity in the past over this issue.

But YOU have just flung that all back in my face, proving that you have no idea of how deeply this issue goes. You have no idea that in allowing this law to stand, I have to continue to tell my children that the law is an ass, that the Government expects parents to break this law, because it's purpose is not to ban smacking, it's to reduce violence against children. In other words, not only will the presence of this law continue to reduce everyone's respect for the law, it will also reduce respect for Parliament, who seem to feel that rather than actually dealing with actual problems, it's better to criminalise everyone in all but actuality. In other words, we are all guilty, and somehow the real abusers are going to get pulled into line by the rest of us feeling like it's wrong to smack our children.

What type of ridiculous, upsidedown logic is that supposed to be?

Related Link: Smacking poll 'won't alter law' ~ Stuff

19 comment(s):

Dave said...

John Key logic explained:
If someone was criminalised I`d change the law. I am happy with the law if nobody gets prosecuted.

Therefore,if someone gets prosecuted,I wont then be happy with the law, but I won't do anything about it unless somebody gets a criminal record.

ZenTiger said...

Key's quote is right up there with "voting will not alter the government".

Disgraceful, and that is putting it mildly.

9 million dollars to tell us that whatever the outcome, the result is irrelevant to the "democratically elected leader" of the country.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is John Key's forehead getting larger?

Oswald Bastable said...

It's a small step to disregarding the results of elections...

Leonidas said...

You'd think with all the congestion, expense and delay in our "judicial" system, our government would be taking all practical steps to reduce said loading. Not dragging parents into court for inconsequential discipline seems like an ideal place to start.

graham roberts said...

"But it is wrong to smack your children"
There is no reason whatsoever for anybody to hit their kids .None Whatsoever I am sure you are loving and caring parents, most are. But isn't the real reason for your objection. the feeling that someone is telling you what to do?
After all who would willingly inflict pain on their kids?
Because lets make no mistake smaking your kids inflicts pain on them and you do not know how much
Why do it ?
There are plenty of other ways to enforce boundaries. But I guess they involve time. And time is not what people have alot of apparently
Actually smacking is actually lazt parenting now I come to think of it

Lucia Maria said...

There had to be one.

Graham,

the issue is bigger than if you want the right to be able to smack your children without the fear of full force of the law coming down on you.

This is about democracy, about reasonableness and about politicians thinking that they can pass whatever laws they like without any sort of restraint upon them.

And it's about interference in the family, where, if left alone, many people who smack their children end up raising very good kids who grow up into amazing adults. But not every child needs to be physically disciplined, some respond very quickly to a stern word or threat of a favourite toy being put in a cupboard.

But even that is too much for some people who believe it is harmful to discipline children in any way, never mind physically.

Do you know, I used to believe very strongly that it was possible to raise children without smacking? But do you know what - there comes a point when all the positive parenting in the world just doesn't work.

There is no harm done in physical discipline. It's purpose is to shock - not harm. And it works best when it's infrequent.

Psycho Milt said...

Gosh, if only Graham had been there to raise my kids, instead of lazy old me - how much better the world would be for it!

Leonidas said...

Lucia Maria; once again you illustrate with concise clarity the crux of the issue.
I bow to thee.

KG said...

"Actually smacking is actually lazt parenting now I come to think of it"
Grow up Graham.
I won't say 'we', but I've certainly seen the results of parents who try to raise children by reasoning with them, even when they're being deliberately disobedient and bratty. And they've always been little horrors, inflicting their rotten behaviour on everybody around them.
They've been horrors because they know perfectly well there's no real bottom line, no cost attached to their behaviour. Because--again, from personal experience--those parents who totally rule out smacking also lack the fibre to enforce other kinds of punishment.
I've lost count of the restaurant meals spoiled, the cinema visits ruined and the nasty shopping experiences caused by other people's ill-behaved children.
Dr. Spock has a hell of a lot to answer for.
Children can be vicious, they can be calculating and they learn very quickly how to manipulate cowardly/compliant adults. A smack is part of their preparation for life out in the real world and it's doing them a favour by setting a very clear limit to misbehaviour.
Do it now, or someone out there will do it later, and they won't do it with any affection or regret, believe me.

ZenTiger said...

After all who would willingly inflict pain on their kids?

Parents. Parents wanting to raise strong, well balanced individuals, not selfish snot rags that demand everything and are disappointed when they don't get their way - like many "big kids" today.

What is pain Graham?

Does a child feel mental anguish when you ask them to eat some vegetables with their meal?

Do you make them unhappy when you curb their television?

Are they feeling unloved when sent to bed at a reasonable hour?

Are you damaging them when you say "no" to more cola?

Does explaining nutrition to them make them accept pulling the rat poison from a toddlers hands or do you put them in tears.

So cruel, are you to inflict mental torture...

I.M Fletcher said...

Well put KG.

I.M Fletcher said...

I have to point out again, that smacking is not violence.

Is it violence when a doctor has to strike a patient's chest to shock his heart into starting? Is it violence when a lifeguard has to strike a panicked swimmer whom he is trying to save but who otherwise may drown them both by his panicking?

No, it is not.

I am sure a dog trainer does not consider it violence to smack a dog with a rolled up newspaper paper when he is being potty trained.

And neither is it violence when a parent smacks a child for the purposes of correction. It is training that will serve them well.

In fact, it is child abuse NOT to smack a child if the situation calls for it and nothing else has worked. If the child goes on to be maladjusted and violent in society because he does not get his own way then it is the parent's fault.

KG said...

Thanks Fletch.
I remember, as a new father being overawed by the responsibility and mystery of having to raise a child. My father gave me some advice which I've never forgotten. And it worked.
He pointed out that I was very used to raising puppies (and kittens and hawks and just about any animal I could get hold of) and said "relax--just treat him as you would a pup and you won't go far wrong, you can reason with him when he's old enough to absorb what you're saying".
It was good advice.

Matthew said...

Well said I.M Fletcher. In fact smacking, if required, is teh method that requires the least laziness because it takes time to discipline in a manner that will bring a child to understand boundaries. If they don't understand a smack now, they may or may not understand prison later. Who wants to take that risk, cost and person out of society when it can be dealt with in a simpler manner earlier on. I was smacked and it did me a world of good in understanding boundaries and appropriate behaviou rin life. Maybe some children don't need it but some do - it is simplistic and naive to think that all children are the same. We are a diverse lot in the authentic sense of the word, and the sooner you recognise this the better for all.

BTW, I thought the original blog entry was so good I did a cut paste in an e-mail to John Key last night (j.key@ministers.govt.nz).

I.M Fletcher said...

ps, the trouble with what John Key is saying - that the law is working as it should and he doesn't see reason to change it - is because right now everyone knows the context in which it was made.

The public knows and the Police know that they can use their discretion etc. But years and years from now when the context is long forgotten, we will only have the letter of the law to refer to in our lawbooks, which states that smacking a child is illegal. And people will be held to that letter.

Anonymous said...

To quote John Key:

"National's position is clear, we back ordinary parents to get it right."

apparently John now does not back ordinary parents.

whitaker7plus said...

Lucia Should get a job at the UN.
Such diplomacy and gentle persuasion
I love that opening line
"There Had To be One ..."

ZenTiger said...

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction perhaps?

There are plenty of other ways to enforce boundaries.

Assumption that a parent who smacks a child doesn't also use many of the other ways.

But I guess they involve time. And time is not what people have a lot of apparently

Ironically, Lucia is one of the many mothers giving up a high paying job to be a full time mother.

Actually smacking is actually lazy parenting now I come to think of it

Indirect slur against many good parents who take raising their kids very seriously. Easy to make when a smack is conflated to the same level as physical abuse. Easy to make when some parents smack for the wrong reasons, but they may be the same parents that need general improvement in overall parenting skills - not the third degree by a policeman and a zealous CYFS worker.

I'm sure Lucia would have been more diplomatic and patient had the commenter identified themselves as a child :-).

As it is, apparently there is nothing wrong with a metaphorical smack around the ear, or is even a sharp retort to Graham's opening salvo verboten? :-)

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