When I grew up, if my brothers and I messed around and got into the mischief we weren’t allowed to, it was simple. We got smacked. It was on our bottom and our Father normally delivered the goods. It was normally done by a hand but sometimes we had the wooden spoon and sometimes that spoon even broke.
We aren’t traumatised for it – in fact I think it worked as punishment. But this long time act of discipline has been called abuse by many and now the Pope has weighed in on the debate.
Pope Francis has outraged people all around the world with his statements that smacking your child can be “beautiful” as long as it is their “dignity is maintained”.
People have gone to town with these comments. MamaMia, a website for mothers, has suggested smacking children “out of love” is the same reason that justifies domestic violence.
Now there are two very different camps here – the first is those who believe a smack as a form of punishment, when deserved, is an effective method that can help a child to understand not to do that again. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s swift and more often than not, it works. It’s not to bruise them, it isn’t for a parent’s own enjoyment. It is punishment, simple as that.
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Then, there is the other side that touching your child in a harmful way is abuse and something that should never be done. This often comes with a link to domestic violence (as previously mentioned) and parenting beliefs that discipline should be verbal only.
I’m not sure what is right but I sure did get smacked as a kid and I think it worked. I don’t agree with other people smacking children, as we grew up with our teachers punishing us like that, but if it’s your child then it’s your prerogative.
Tell me, what do you think of the Pop’s statement on smacking children? Did you smack your kids? Did you get smacked as a child? Is he right or wrong in his comments?