Smacking Ban in Scotland

Discussion in 'Serious' started by LennyRhys, 22 Oct 2017.

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Were you smacked as a child?

  1. Yarp

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  1. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    So if I understand what you've said correctly two wrongs make a right, physical punishment is fine as long as it doesn't cause perceived harm, and despite being a little devil, swearing, beating up siblings, damaging property, none of those actions were linked to the physical punishment bestowed upon you.

    It seems odd to me that while physical punishment of adults is seen as unacceptable, for what i assume are obvious reasons, it's acceptable for children.

    Not having children myself it seem peculiar that we instill boundaries and discipline in children by sometimes using physical punishment but that becomes an unacceptable thing to do when someone becomes an adult.
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2017
  2. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Fan Fan

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    The problem here is that nobody can demonstrate that physical punishment is wrong. Can it be harmful? I would argue very strongly that if done appropriately and in the correct context (a stable and loving family environment), it is not harmful. Beating children out of anger is not physical punishment. Beating children without forewarning them is not physical punishment. And so on.

    Also, the idea that children misbehave as a result of physical punishment is fanciful. Unsurprisingly, most of the time it's a position held by people who don't have children. Go figure!
     
  3. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    AFAIK there's plenty of evidence that physical punishment is "wrong", at least in the context we're talking about it and that "wrong" means it's "harmful", if physical punishment wasn't "wrong" them why doesn't society continue it into adulthood?

    The idea that children misbehave as a result of physical punishment is a long way from fanciful, in fact there's been many studies over the years that have found links between “normative” physical punishment and child aggression, delinquency and spousal assault in later life.

    EDIT: That's not to say i agree with banning smacking BTW as in an ideal world it should be the choice of parents who are in possession of the facts about the harm that physical punishment can do, however we don't live in an ideal world were every parent weights up the pros and cons of their actions.
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2017
  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I'd have to ask my parents if I was ever smacked as I have an awful memory, but my general thoughts are it's not a good thing.

    If as adults/older children we're taught not to hit those who wrong us/disagree etc, then why does it make it ok for a parent to do it to a child?

    There are other ways to create discipline than the threat of physical violence.
     
  5. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Okay, but it's perfectly possible to discipline kids adequately without smacking them. Sounds like the problem for your "friends" was a general lack of discipline, not that they weren't smacked.
     
  6. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Fan Fan

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    Wrong does not mean harmful... it means wrong. This reminds me of an old exchange between Nexxo and myself whereby the circular argument was employed... i.e. it's wrong because it's wrong. It's very tricky to discuss meta-ethics and tbh I don't think this issue needs to be tackled from that angle. On the subject of why we don't punish adults like we do children, many societies go beyond physical punishment for adults... have you never heard of the death penalty? I'd love to see the same argument being used in reverse, and that for the sake of equality we should start executing the most violently disruptive, disobedient children. :lol:

    On a more serious note, it's really very simple: adults are punished far more severely than children because (for the most part) they are able to take responsibility for their actions and they understand consequence. Children need to be disciplined differently because they do not have the developed sense of morality/behavioural control that adults have. Can you imagine a felon being spanked on the arse and grounded for two weeks for armed robbery? I can't.

    Regarding the studies that link "normative" physical punishment with latent behavioural problems, it's a convenient slapdash answer to a very complex and nuanced matter. Children can be violent and agressive without ever experiencing physical punishment. If I was to look at all these ambiguous statistics and draw conclusions about, for example, my own mental health problems, I'd be permitted to say that my plight in adulthood is connected to the physical punishment I received as a child. So is that conclusive? Not remotely. It's also possible (and far more probable) that my struggles have been caused by other trauma I experienced as a child, not to mention the genetic factor, and so on, ad infinitum.

    Not sure I agree with this either, purely from the point of view that nobody is in a position to apply this statement wholesale to "kids" worldwide. Perhaps your kids (if you have any) were fine without smacking, but that doesn't speak for everyone who has kids.
     
  7. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Well, without wanting to get into semantics, my phrasing doesn't imply that this is true for all kids... but sure, I could have said "kids in general" if that would have made things clearer :D

    But my point, going back to Damien's post that I quoted, was that there are forms of discipline other than smacking. If some kids received no discipline and ended up in prison, it doesn't follow that the only way for them to have avoided prison would be for them to have been smacked as kids.
     
  8. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    A hilariously pointless example, since the level of 'problem' you're trying to resolve isn't comparable.

    If a child commits a crime they can be punished more than just with a smack, I would imagine most smacking doesn't occur after a child has taken part in an armed robbery. If we don't hit other adults when they disobey things we tell them to do, why is it ok to do it to a child?
     
  9. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Fan Fan

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    @bawjaws, fair point. I'd have to agree that smacking is no guarantee that children will grow up to be angels (I'm living proof of that) and I would never argue that parents should smack their children, but always that they should have the freedom to do it if they wish.

    @GeorgeStorm, I was being facetious. The problem with the line of questioning that you (and others) have used is that it doesn't make sense. Those who wish to defend the practice of physical punishment have made very clear that there should be a system in place that protects the child from actual physical abuse. In order to make your question consistent, you'd have to ask "Why is it not ok for a parent to smack their disobedient adult offspring but it is ok for a parent to smack their disobedient child?" And it becomes clear just how ludicrous the comparison is. The focus here is not on the smacking itself but on the context in which the smacking takes place, so naturally if you abandon the context you won't find much sense in what's left... hence the butt-hurt felon.
     
  10. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    The problem is saying something is wrong doesn't really tell us much, it can be a highly circumstantial and subjective judgment, what you may believe is wrong isn't what someone else would, basically saying something is wrong tells us more about the person making the statement than providing something that can be measured. I'm not sayings it's wrong to use the word wrong but if you're going to do that then you'd have to define what you mean by wrong and that could take a very long time.

    Yes some societies still use physical punishment but we're not talking about them, we're talking about us, specifically Scotland, where physical punishment of adults has been outlawed for many years (also i wouldn't consider the death penalty to be physical punishment as there's not meant to be any pain involved)

    So you're saying that children, with their undeveloped sense of morality and/or behavioral control, are expected to understand the difference between physical punishment when used as a form of chastisement and other forms a physical contact like pushing, slapping and pinching other children in the playground?

    Trust me when i say the studies are anything but slapdash answers, yes it's a very complex and nuanced matter but there have been many studies, particularly over the last 20 years, that have looked into the effects of physical punishment on children, many of which have attempted to isolate the complexities and nuances that such a subject throws up.

    And while there's no conclusive "proof" that physical punishment of children is harmful, because it is such a complex and nuanced issue, the weight of evidence does point in that direction.

    P.S. I've already said it but I'll say it again, I'm not in favor of banning smacking and i think (read believe) that when used correctly and under certain circumstance that it can be justified, however those situations are, or should be, so few and far between so as to make little difference.
     
    Last edited: 24 Oct 2017
  11. Kronos

    Kronos Another grumpy old git.

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    So how will this work then. Will it be similar to a pupil making an accusation against a teacher because the teacher deigned to tell said pupil off for some misdemeanor and the teacher pretty much guilty by default?
    Will children be able to go into a police station and accuse their parent(s) of 'smacking' and will the police be obliged to arrest said parent(s) whilst conducting further investigations?
     
  12. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    Their going to fit children with Gopro's linked to a central data base. ;)
     
  13. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Well-Known Member

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    Kids lie and it causes trouble, my little'n (step daughter) told her school it was her birthday the other day so they got her a present, card, cake, sang happy birthday. It as not her birthday! When we asked why she did that, she shrugged and said she wanted it to be her birthday.

    This is s simple harmless example gladly, but what if she said her other daddy shouted at her, I have when she's done something that would have caused physical harm. When kids learn they have a certain amount of power they will use it, they have no understanding of real consequences, should I fear a child who I'd actually die for?

    I'm not against or for smacking, I've been on the receiving end of some horrendous smacks but I remember some I probably deserved.
    Smack a kid for being annoying, hell no, smack a child's hand for trying to grab the hot iron, yes, a slightly sore hand is better than a severe burn.

    The other day my sister smacked her sons leg for throwing his bottle, something he does a lot, and she shouts a lot, something I pull her on.
    We had the same upbringing by my sister was always a trouble maker and she seems to have picked up some of our parents attitudes where as me and my brother haven't.

    Will physical punishment cause a child's issues down the line, probably, will a loving caring home help a child grow to be a good person, probably. Nothings guarantee but whatever you do, you will be judged and maybe prosecuted if "we" don't agree with it.
     
  14. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Fan Fan

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    Absolutely. When a parent disciplines a child in the context of an established framework of verbal warnings and rebukes (which itself is in the context of a loving family), I really don't see how one can reasonably argue that it would lead to a child being violent with other children. Repeatedly people seem to be equating balanced and appropriate physical punishment with general phyiscal violence within the home, and it's very clearly the latter that nurtures an unhealthy penchant for violence in children. In addition to that, I don't think it's reasonable (or even possible) to argue that children are more likely to push and hit other children if they are punished physically (see above for definition); children will hit and push other children because that's what children do.

    I get what you're saying about the studies and that's a fair point, but the findings chop and change with each season that passes - such is the nature of behavioural science, especially concerning an issue as complex and fickle as this. There's a huge element of sociology here as well, bearing in mind that the general attitude to children in society has changed vastly in the last 30-or-so years. I don't mind that children are more protected than they used to be, but I very much mind that parents' rights are not as protected as they used to be. Can't have your cake and eat it, I suppose!
     
  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    My mother slapped me more times than I could even remember as a kid. I was a little s**t. In fact, once on the bus she back handed me and caught her ring under my nose.. Blood everywhere, whole bus saying that she was a terrible mother and me yelling at them telling them it was fully my fault and I deserved it. Basically my mother raised me and my brother alone after my dad died. Never remarried etc. I was spoilt and I was demanding. She said I could have £50 trainers if I sacrificed McDonalds. I agreed, then as the bus was pulling into my home town (where the McDs was) I started creating. I fully deserved what I got.

    She threw slippers at me, hell, once even beat me with a cardboard tube and it broke lol. My uncle was called to the house once and I got a solid slapping. Again, I deserved it though, as I was caught out huffing lighter gas (some one took a pic of me ffs). Thing is I soon stopped that game.

    When I started high school they were still caning people. I was bricking it, because I knew I would get it. Thankfully they stopped it about three months in.

    It's never done me any harm and I must say that most of the people I know who are my age got exactly the same from their mothers. One of them even used to get twatted with a frying pan lmao.
     
  16. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    It can be argued because children, and many adults even, can't distinguish between an established framework of verbal warnings and rebukes that lead to a physical punishment and other general physical violence. It can also be argued because studies strongly point to an increase in violence towards others among children who have been exposed to physical punishments.

    Sure it can be argued that children will hit and push other children because that's what children do, but it can also be argued that children only do that because a) they've had it done to them in one form or another and so think it's acceptable, and b) because they don't understand the difference between a parent disciplining them in the context of an established framework of verbal warnings and rebukes (which itself is in the context of a loving family).

    The findings don't chop-and-change, people question the methodology and the findings but the fact that they do doesn't change the findings only how the person questioning the study perceives them, the vast majority of studies over the last 20 odd years have, to some degree or another, shown that using physical punishment has a detrimental effect.

    It's odd that you mention that as i got myself some of that, for buying a can of fart spray and letting it off on the bus on the way home, the strange thing is physical punishment like the cane never bothered me, maybe i was desensitised to physical punishment as I'd often think of it as a do your worst sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2017
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  17. Valo

    Valo Active Member

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    Any evidence for physical punishment being harmless is anecdotal - stories of people who 'got smacked, but still turned out fine, even better than the non physically punished peers'.

    There is however statistical evidence against physical abuse in developmental and behavioural psychology. To me the case is clear

    Also, the logic of: 'we should be ok to physically punish other human beings until someone proves it's morally wrong or damaging" is so flawed that I don't even know where to begin
     
  18. Wakka

    Wakka Yo, eat this, ya?

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    I dunno, me and my mate gave our apprentice a pretty good hiding when he tried to get lairy or gave us attitude. And as someone who cut their teeth in the working world on building sites, trust me I got a wallop or 2 for being a gobshite.

    It's been said already, but there is a huge difference between making sure a child knows it's being punished, and full on child abuse. Whenever I got a palm from mum, it never really hurt, it was the shock factor and knowledge that my behaviour drove her to that point (she would give me fair warning!).
     
  19. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    My amateur psychologist take:

    To me, smacking seems like lazy parenting. When a kid is doing something you don't like, a swift slap might get them to stop - behaviour fixed, right?

    Doesn't this then instil in the child "I won't do that again because I might get a slap" though? Maybe that behaviour gets corrected for a time, but it's not because the child has learned the behaviour is wrong, they've just come to fear the punishment.

    If you're controlling behaviour through fear of punishment though, to me that seems to risk the child (or adult) trading off risk of getting caught and potential severity of punishment against the reward of misbehaving. What if they start to think "you know what, a slap on the wrist ins't all that bad", what next, a slap in the face? And then on from there? To me these foundations seem like they can lead to an adult that refrains from stealing because they might get caught or doesn't assault people because they'll go to prison, not because either of those things are wrong.

    So a kid throws a tantrum when they don't get what they want and get a slap from their parent, tantrum stopped. What about when they're at school? They know the teacher isn't going to slap them, so why not tantrum now? Or when they're with friends? A fellow child slapping them isn't nearly the same threat, to off to tantrum-town we go. My 4yo is no saint and has had her fair share of tantrums, but she just doesn't now - it's not because she's afraid of a punishment, it's just because she knows that if she has a tantrum, she's going to be left to get on with it, I'm going to walk away, she's going to scream and shout, end up hot and bothered with a headache, waste a whole bunch of time that she could spend doing something more interesting, and still not get what she wants in the end, so why bother? It's not "I'm not going to have a tantrum because I'll get in trouble", it's "I'm not going to have a tantrum because that's not how I get what I want".

    I'm not trying to sound smug and self-righteous here, but to me that seems more like teaching a kid, whereas a slap is simply training them as if you would a dog.
     
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  20. Mankz

    Mankz 5318008

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    Well it is a form of Pavlovian conditioning...
     

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