What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

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What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby AnthonyJ » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:55 pm

Hi All.

I have wanted to start this topic for quite some time, but I have been unsure on how to approach the subject, as I know there is a wide rage of thoughts and feelings regarding acceptable discipline for children.

Even when I have asked social workers and the people who did my parenting assessment what would they personally class as acceptable discipline for a child, they have all refused / declined to comment on the subject.

When it comes down to disciplining a child it all depends on what they have done wrong and their age.

Verbal warnings, Time out, Naughty step, Sent to their room, etc.

When handing out discipline to my children I see things like, mobile phones, tablet computers, laptop computers, games consoles, watching tv, playing outside, other activities, etc, as a privilege not a right.
And depending on the child's behaviour these privileges maybe revoked for a period of time.

Child Chastisement (Smacking), Now I know this subject is widely debated.
I personally think that smacking should only be used as a last resort when all else has failed.
I totally abhor Hitting and or Smacking any child of any age with any kind of object e.g. cane, ruler, belt, slipper, etc.

Now I have been trying to research around the subject of child chastisement (smacking).
It seems within England and Wales it is not against the law to smack your child.
Researching more into the matter starts to get cloudy very quickly, as most references to smacking a child as "reasonable punishment" but no where can I find what is classed as reasonable punishment, the closest I have been able to find is "not to leave any red marks or bruising".

Please let me know your views on this matter.

Thanks for your time.

Best Regards.

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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:28 pm

Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Daniel98 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:57 pm

If you tell a social worker you think smacking can be used as a last resort,if he or she has illegitimate aims , it will be used against you.
If you are against smacking, the sw can use that against you.They will express concerns you cannot control your children.

My view is that we all confuse smacking with corporal punishment.
A smack is not a punishment, it is a loving,sometimes impulsive and involuntary,instinctive gesture made with the parental intent to correct, rein-in and train one's children for the world.A smack is usually made instinctively to a soft part of the body and will be no harder than a nudge or jog to the elbow.A smack cannot cause a bruise or injury.A smack on the face is unacceptable as chastisement but it is acceptable to give a short,sharp slap on the cheek as a first-aid measure to stop hysterical outbursts.Hysteria is dangerous.
As children get older,obviously,most parents will no longer need to smack them.

If older children misbehave that raises the question of what other sanctions have we?
Corporal punishment is one such.This can really hurt children and I understand it is illegal if it leaves a red mark or bruise.I would say it is impossible to cane a child or use a slipper or strap( commonplace until a few years ago) without leaving a red mark.There are different ways of using corporal punishment which largely depends on the cultural background and character of the person concerned.Some would give a child a real,good hard leathering(acceptable years ago but not now.These people include school heads.Others used a belt as more of an incitement to good behaviour. A mother might threaten to get Dad to take a belt to a child but if it came to it,Dad would merely administer a tap on the rump. Usually just the threat of incurring Dad's displeasure would deter a child. Psychologists might argue that using such a threat is emotional abuse so you can't win these days.Corporal punishment in schools and corrective institutions is now illegal and I would say parents should also refrain from the practice.
You can use grounding,withdrawal of pocket-money etc which may have an effect but a child will make his own choices in the end.( Many times even a teenage Ange climbed out of his bedroom window and cimbed back in at midnight)
A parent has to shape the future character of a child before the age of ten years and to do that you have to give as much moral guidance and administer as many smacks as you think fit.
There are inbetweens such as a clip round the ear and a good kick up the backside!
Social workers will never be interested in the truth of any situation only in how they can win their case.I wouldn't advice anything other than perfect political correctness.Be squeaky-clean or give that impression.When they make a comment , it is advisable just to whimper 'yes' and tug your forelock.
I have to say that things have changed.I cannot imagine any situation where I would have dreamt of betraying my parents to a sw or even to other children at school.

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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Petter » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:59 pm

Dear Daniel,

As you state, parents in England and Wales are allowed to use “reasonable chastisement” i.e. smack their child. However if a child has been hit hard enough to leave any kind of mark then it becomes a criminal offence. It is also a criminal offence to use an implement to hit a child.

It is our view that it is never appropriate to smack or otherwise physically chastise a child. There’s always other, more suitable, forms of discipline. We would always give this advice to anyone contacting us on this issue as it would also be the view of Children’s Services.

Regarding this statement made by Ange:
I have to say that things have changed. I cannot imagine any situation where I would have dreamt of betraying my parents to a sw or even to other children at school.

It is not the case of a child betraying their parents. The reality is that some children are abused by their parents. Those children need a safe person they can confide in, in an environment where they feel secure, and be confident that person will protect them.


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