If you’ll forgive a diversion from my usual geekly rantings for a moment, I have a polite request to make of you.
In New Zealand, during July, you will be asked to vote in a referendum on the following question:
[quote]Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?[/quote]
I’m not going to into the maddening semantics of this question, but I am going to ask you to think very hard about your response before you vote. It’s very easy to look at that question and come to a conclusion quickly. It’s very easy to get worked up about the premise and become irritated at the thought of the government intruding on your perceived human rights.
It’s also very easy to get frustrated, annoyed, and irritated at your child and then hit them. Is that “good parental correction”? In my opinion it is not.
There should be no “reasonable force” defence for assault against a child. Please Vote Yes.
If it helps, before you vote, ask yourself some of these questions:
- As a 30 year old, would you expect your father to hit you if he doesn’t like your opinions?
- Would you permit another child to hit your child if he didn’t like the game he was playing?
- Would you push your child over – repeatedly – if he refused to play rugby?
If you want to leave a comment, please be respectful. Vigorous debate is part of a democracy. For the record: I am a father of a happy, intelligent, and polite 5 year old. I expect him to say please and thank you (and he does), I expect him to respect appropriate authority and question inappropriate authority (and boy does he ever).
I have never smacked him.