Monday 4 February 2013

Can we Stop MPs Imparting Parenting Advice?

What a wonderful world we live in. Today’s Daily Mail reports that our Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, will defend the rights of parents to smack their offspring. Ah, justice. Nothing quite says I love you like a bit of physical violence.

Grayling proudly states he smacked his own children to send a message when they were badly behaved. Great message: Dad’s an arsehole.

Grayling himself was smacked as a child and so no doubt believes it never did him any harm. Well, a quick look at his voting record will dispel that myth. Grayling MP voted against the hunting ban (if we can pummel our kids, let’s kick the shit out of those damn foxes, eh?), voted against equal gay rights (well, I mean, I don’t mind sitting on a bus with one, but I hardly think they’re equal. Ew, is that one of them there?) and voted for the Iraq war (he probably thinks the Iraqis were being badly behaved or something). So, as you can see from this detailed and thorough investigation into the mindset of Chris Grayling; smacked children grow up to be hateful, bigoted adults.

Chris Grayling is not really someone I would take parenting advice, Thank goodness, because it seems he gives really bad advice anyway.

Children learn from their parents. They watch everything we do, and mimic our behaviours. It’s all part of growing up. We should ensure that we are modeling behaviours we want them to replicate in the future, and not being a giant arsehole.

By hitting a child, we are sending a message that it’s ok to hit. It’s ok to hit when you’re angry, or it’s ok to hit if they deserve it. Who makes these judgement calls? You and, in the future, your child, will determine who deserves to be violently punished.

It’s not ok to hit. The rules of society dictate that we shouldn’t hit. You get detention at school for hitting another pupil, and as an adult, you could get arrested. Clearly, hitting is not a desired behaviour, so why are we modelling it for our children?

If we want our children to grow up and respect other people, then we must respect them. We shouldn’t use our size as an advantage to overpower them. We shouldn’t use our position as most important person in their world to bully and intimidate them.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health believes “that corporal punishment of children should not play a part in the discipline of children by their parents owing to the negative message it conveys in relation to the  benefits of violence and the harmful adverse long term effects on children.”

Researchers at Tulane University found that children who are smacked frequently at age three, are more likely to show aggression by age five even when you account for possible confounding factors.

In 2008, a Government think tank suggested smacking should be outlawed because it increases the chances of criminal behaviour in later life. The NSPCC says smacking is never a good idea, and suggests more appropriate ways of dealing with undesirable behaviour.

If you hit another adult, it would be seen as abusive. Why should it be any different if the victim is a child?

And also, is it ok if MPs stop giving out bad parenting advice?

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