First of all, it is necessary to start from the term “smacking”. Actually, it is a commonly accepted term for the mild hitting of children for the purpose of discipline. A lot of parents smack their children and believe that it will deter them from bad behavior and that they themselves were smacked as children. The parents with the opposite viewpoint consider smacking as child abuse and refuse to engage in the practice. Nowadays smacking stays a legal though highly controversial method of discipline.
As mentioned above, there are people who are for and those against smacking. Parents who smack children usually believe that they are conditioning children to associate negative behaviors with negative consequences. Perhaps, this is true, though their opponents of smacking argue that this does not teach children anything - the key difference between simply punishing children and disciplining children in an instructive manner. Such parents suppose that there are some other disciplinary methods to teach their kids the proper behavior that involve:
Time Out – removing a child from a situation instigating inappropriate behavior for a set number of minutes. Often an explanation and/or apology are required before a Time Out can end.
The Naughty Step – requiring a child to sit on a particular step (or rug, or mat, etc.) while they reflect on their inappropriate behavior. Again, an explanation and/or apology are often required before the child is allowed off of the Naughty Step.
Grounding – prohibiting a child from attending particular social events or from engaging in particular activities. This technique may also incorporate particular tasks or chores which must be carried out instead and are designed to teach children appropriate behavior.
Taking Away Privileges – prohibiting a child from taking advantage of certain privileges (usually those that they have earlier abused with inappropriate behavior). Privileges are usually restored when a child can prove, through his/her behavior, that she/he understands and appreciates them.
It is important to say that actually each parent should have the right to decide whether to smack his or her child or not, but not the government should decide. Of course, this should not be hitting the child, but a light smacking, and besides, not systematically, but in cases of misbehavior of the child. This issue will always have its opponents and supporters, but the government should not intrude into this point and forbid the parents decide themselves how to bring up their children properly. The government still has got many issues to decide except smacking.
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