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Smacking - Punishment or crime?

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Hayley Tomkins 7 February 2002 SMACKING - PUNISHMENT OR CRIME ? Recently there has been a law passed in Scotland that parents cannot hit their children if they are under the age of three. There have been many arguments as to whether it is right or wrong to hit young children. Parents in Scotland will also not be able to punish a child of any age around the head or with an implement. There are many different views and opinions on this matter around the world; in Sweden it is illegal for a child to be smacked at any age and - in the USA - children have the right to 'divorce' their parents. A father in Scotland spent his Christmas in prison after smacking his daughter in a dentist surgery. Circumstances are therefore getting quite serious. In this essay I am going to discuss the above issues. There are many arguments for and against smacking young children; the following are some we discussed. ...read more.


Personally I think it would be an idea to think of an alternative punishment, for example a punishment that is not harmful. If you have a young child, say, who has a habit of crawling towards a gas fire then the parent should think of putting up a safety barrier to keep the toddler away. It is unfair for any adult to bully a small child with physical violence - children as human beings should have the same rights as adults. Although personally I don't agree with smacking children there are many parents who believe they have the right to smack children for many fair reasons, the following are a few arguments that parents use. Some parents use the phrase "who are you to tell me how to raise my child?" This is often heard as parents feel it is very personal and that it is up to them how they raise their children, they don't want anybody else's thoughts or opinions as they see it as "none of their business" and others do not have the right to get involved. ...read more.


Some parents do not realise the psychological affect smacking could have on their children, after all it is physical abuse and a child at that age cannot do anything about it. However, parents have a lot to put up with these days and caring for young children is not an easy job for any young parent. It is a good idea if a single parent has someone with them, e.g. close family or friends so they would therefore not feel so much pressure. Parents begin to lose their temper and patience as young children become hyperactive and/or start to constantly cry and crawl into dangerous places; parents become frustrated with their children and this is when the problems start. Some parents could prevent these problems though by minimising the dangers in the household and by making use of relatives and friends to babysit on occasions. This is my personal opinion on smacking and, although I think it is wrong, I understand that there are two sides to the problem and I'm sure the debate on this topic will continue. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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