A couple of question came up in the what do you hate about parenting topic. This is an area to discuss the anti snacking bill, its implications and hopefully some constructive suggestions for child discipline and child rearing.
I've pasted the discussion starter below.
I think the anti-smacking law can be seriously misconstrued sometimes. My Mum smacked my sister and I when were naughty (and when we deserved) but because of some washed-up former Green MP who had great success never laying a hand on her daughter, we all have to follow her example and apply it to all our kids when they're naughty...but I thought the anti-smacking law was about preventing child abuse, not stopping a parent from giving their kid a clip around the ear when they deserved it.
Or have I misunderstood it (probably)?
Re the $90, we can spend it on whatever we want, but it has to be renewed every few years. Sadly neither my wife nor I have any family nearby to assist with watching my boys, otherwise that is most definitely an avenue I would be pursuing on a regular basis.
The problem with the anti-smacking law is it was designed to supposedly stop child abuse but no serious guidelines were put in place to define what is a smack, or inappropriate force or even really what force is. Tapping a kid with 1 finger on the shoulder can be considered abuse.
The anti-smacking law has not done anything to curb the issues of child abuse. Statistically we are in a worse situation now than when it was put in place. Possibly because it was put in place. Children have become aware of it and use it to tie up parents, teachers etc from taking actions other than words - which they can ignore.
On a positive note I think it has forced us to look at how we discipline kids, find some more creative alternatives rather than just lash out - but there are times when physical is the best / only / most appropriate response.
--an aside --
At the time it was being considered i did a teachers college course looking at moral / belief systems. They looked at Kohlberg ( https://courses.lumenlearning.com/teachereducationx92x1/chapter/kohlbergs-stages-of-moral-development/) who said most people at three stages of moral learning - kind of like three steps going up. Each step had two halves (deintological / hedonisitc) One is law / rule bound the other is more pleasure / self seeking. Progress requires a greater level of abstract thinking.
Step One - Pain / Pleasure. Will this action hurt me or help me?
Step Two - Law and order / rules . What would a good person in our society do? What is the rule?
Stage three - Beyond law - moral imperative to break the law for a higher good.
I believe there is a stage four - but when I asked the lecturer he declined to tell me as he was ticked off that I, a dumb and slow thinking teachers college trained student, was asking questions his bright and intelligent / thinking uni students hadn't picked up on. I suspect it is probably love but never looked into it.
Most people don't progress to stage three - limited up to law and order (stage two) at best. Most of us often work at stage one. E.g. I am not going to speed as there might be a cop around the corner (pain) or I wont take this there are cameras and I might get caught (pain) or she's bang-able and my wife wont know so lets go for it (pleasure)
Few of us go beyond - example: People breaking the law (stage 2) and risking imprisonment / fines (pain / stage 1) to protest the springbok tour as there is a higher cause at play (stage 3).
I would suspect altruism might be stage 4. No higher cause but a willingness to do what is not required for anothers good.
--end aside --
Getting back to the topic ... oops. Children according to Kohlberg arent abstract thinkers and don't have the mental acuity to do stage three, need to be trained into stage 2. and that leaves stage 1. Avoidance of pain is a greater motivator than pleasure. Pain / pleasure should be given as close to the event as possible. The closer stimuli follows an event or action the more likely it is to influence behaviour (reinforce or deter)
Logically what t/col taught me is belting a kid is the best methods to teach moral development (tasers and similar being illegal and all that). However try saying that in court.
There are times physical discipline is necessary. I would rather smack my child for attempting to touch an electric socket, after they disobey me- and before touching the socket, than try to reason with them as the get all crispy crittered on me. touch that and you will feel pain - look the pain is in your butt and if you think that hurt try touching the socket - its really got a smack to it.
Pain teaches better than just about anything else. i belted my thumbs with enough hammers to make me both more talented and more concentrating than any amount of book learning ever did.
But our modern society is intensely invested in avoiding pain (death, age, hard work, responsibility etc) and expects us to reason with an unformed / immature, brain that cant take in a clear lesson (but thats enough about teenagers).
A grand mother got prosecuted for grabbing her grandsons collar and dragging him backwards off the road when he stepped in front of an oncoming car - wasn't looking. i did that to my autistic son - got him by the school bag and lifted his feet off the ground hauling him out of the path of a car he didn't see. I didn't get prosecuted as no one saw me. But I could have.
The smacking law needs a lot more work and some serious definition and more importantly a large dose of common sense. Or to be scrapped -
Opinion - as if the above isn't....
Anti smacking came into law 2007
There has been extensive research undertaken in New Zealand regarding the reasons behind child abuse and understanding the factors behind it is crucial to addressing this problem. In the study by the Ministry of Development in December 2010 the study commented that the main causes of child abuse within New Zealand were due to substance abuse, as well as poor parenting practices through generations.
Poverty is also highly causal in the issue of child abuse - probably stress related.
In the 2013 financial year compared with 2012 there was an increase in child abuse reports as well as substantive findings. This has continued.
The anti smacking law does not address the cause of child abuse but seeks to punish rather than rehabilitate or support. it also does not define abuse - leaving non abusive parents open to prosecution.
A family first report 2016 states:
According to the report, notifications of abuse to Child, Youth and Family have increased "more than six-fold" since 2001, while rates of neglect and ill-treatment of children have increased by 45 per cent since the law change.
The report says research has shown that banning smacking can undermine "appropriate parental discipline", leading to more boys growing up with "a dangerous combination of disrespect for their mothers and a lack of self-control".
Family first are an interest group - and possibly the incidences of reporting increased as awareness grew. However hard statistics from hospitals, medical reporting etc show a growing level of violence towards children that has not been slowed or stopped by the law.
In 2009 - two years after the law:
Thirty-nine reports of smacking have been recorded since the law change in 2007 and 189 cases of minor physical discipline. Reports of other forms of physical discipline were down from 39 early this year to 10.
The number of police prosecutions for smacking remains at one, and there have been 14 cases of minor physical discipline resulting in prosecution. (NZ police statistics) -
Note 14 prosecutions for minor physical disipline ( not abuse) were given. The police and courts became the arbitrators of what is appropriate at a given time, for a given child, in a given situation - not the parents who know the child best.
The law criminalised minor physical discipline - not just abuse.
There has been a big rise in the number of reports and convictions for assault on a child under 14 years. The number of recorded complaints of assault rose 69 per cent between 2006 and 2008, from 845 to 1429, and the number of convictions rose 64 per cent, from 158 to 259.
There has also been a big rise in notifications to Child, Youth and Family for suspected cases of child abuse – up from 71,927 to 110,797 between 2006 and last year.
Substantiated cases of abuse were up from 2274 to 2855 over the same period, but Mr Hughes said that did not mean more people were being dobbed in for smacking since most of the increase had been referrals from police.
The ministry was at a loss to know why the rise had happened, - http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3054130/Anti-smacking-law-not-to-blame?rm=m
Forty-six prosecutions have been brought for "minor acts of discipline" – another eight were brought for "smacking" on the buttocks or legs.
None of the smacking charges involved "smacking children around the head or face".
Police stats show there has been a 136 per cent increase in physical abuse, 43 per cent increase in sexual abuse, 45 per cent increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children, and 71 child abuse deaths since the law was passed. CYF have had more than one million notifications of abuse and there has been a 42 per cent increase in physical abuse found since 2007.
9 years after the law changed the rat eof abuse still climbs - as does prosecution nad investigation of ' good parents'.
Hope this summary helps understand the act.
[Mod Edit (MM): Corrected title typo. Anti snacking law is something entirely different. Fixed formatting.]