Thursday, 22 February 2007

If You Can't Smack 'Em.....

So, if Kiwi parents suddenly find themselves facing legal ramifications for smacking their children what should they do?

1) Most importantly; Do Not threaten to bash, or kill, Sue Bradford.

This would make you look not only violent but also stupid for opening your big gob and raving away like a crazy person.

Sue Bradford also might just kick your arse if she goes loco and momentarily forgets about non-violence.

2) Throw all of your child's belongings out their bedroom window.

My mother did this to me once. I was throwing one of my tantrums, and damn was I good at tantrums. So I was sent to my room, as parents oftentimes do, just so they don't have to listen to their child's incessant screaming.
In my case I was quite irate that my parents had the audacity to do this, so I threw a couple of my toys out the window in a rage. My mother walked in, saw what I'd been up to, and proceeded to throw every toy and book and blanket right out the window to join my other toys. She even threw my favourite toys out that window. She then informed me that if I wanted to do that sort of thing that's where they could stay, permanently.
I remember looking outside and being absolutely gutted. Everything that was mine was lying on the back lawn and if I wanted to be with them I'd have to move outside.

It was quite effective, I never pulled that shit again.

3) If you child breaks something deliberately during a tantrum, respond in kind.

I know a child who breaks his least favourite toys when he's chucking a hissy. Which is stupid, and would be punishment in itself if the child later cared that about what they broke. However if they break your stuff or other children's stuff, then you do the right thing and break their toys. Just you wait, when your child finds his/her favourite teddy bear gutted and leaking stuffing all over their bedroom floor they might just learn a lesson. If not, repeat method until they get it. My guess is that it won't take long.

4) If you have more than one child, let them smack each other about.

Children do this anyway, and adults generally stop it. Adults don't like it when kids hit each other, usually because it leads to whining to the parent about each other. I suggest still stopping this sort of behaviour when it's not useful to you, and they're trying to kill each other for their own reasons.

However, if you cannot give your child a much deserved smack on the bottom other children could prove a useful source in getting your point across.

Child 1: Chucks tantrum and will not respond to reason and 'positive parenting'.
Child 2: Gets nod from parent and smacks Child 1.
Child 1: Whines to parents 'Child 2 hit me'
Parent: Serves you bloody right for being a little terror.

Repeat as necessary.

(This one is questionable, as it may teach children to beat people up. But better than than a parental smack on the bum, right?)

5) Feed naughty child their least favourite 'I will not eat that, and will throw a tantrum if you try to make me' food, while everyone else in the family dines on their favourite foods.

Yummy food is a privilege not a right!
Tell the child this, and explain that their misbehaviour results in this scenario.
Ignore resulting tantrum, and give everyone else naughty child's favourite dessert.

Of course, the above methods listed may also be considered abusive, depending on who you talk to. But we're focusing on physical 'abuse' here. Because a smack on the bum will scar them for life, if you believe the anti-smacking brigade. But potential emotional abuse? Well they haven't legislated against throwing toys out windows or feeding your children food they don't like, so you will have room to move.

Lastly, you could try other methods. like time-out and rewards for good behaviour. But that would be no fun right? After all, parents smack children because it's fun and they enjoy it.
Yeah, that's why most parents do it.


Apathy Jack said...

"Throw all of your child's belongings out their bedroom window."

My mother never smacked me or my brother.

Unless we (for "we" read "my brother" - I was a nice child...) hit someone else.

Then we got hit.

My brother, when he was a child, went through a phase of biting.

Every time my mother was informed of this, she would bit my brother.

We learned about karmas pretty quickly in my household.

"If you have more than one child, let them smack each other about."

I do this in my classes.

I'm a good teacher.

Ms Klake said...

My mother apparently did the same thing with the biting. She said it was very efficient. And I don't remember it, so it can't have been too abusive.

Mind you she also spanked us. As adults we love her and my father to bits, and have a very close family. Go figure!

I can only imagine what the morality police would have to say about children punching each other in the crotch:-)

But when you're teaching high school that does make you a very good teacher.
And more fortunate than the teachers who have the kids trying to hit them.

Mark said...

This was great, but I'd like to suggest a more proactive method of dealing with this (one my wife and I ascribe to):

Don't have children in the first place.


I like kids, really, we just weren't committed to it ourselves. I'm passing this along to some parents I know.

Span said...

Apathy Jack, that anecdote explains so much ;-)

Ms Klake said...

Mark: I too believe that not having children at all is the solution to many problems.

But for some reason many parents want to keep their kids.
Funnily enough, even the ones who are genuinely abusive. I've never quite understood that mindset.

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