Smacking children should be banned - debate in NZ

Essay by gr34tadi_daHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2007

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I strongly believe that the bill put through government saying smacking should be banned is a good one. One of my main reasons for believing this is because children are no different from everyone else, and physical force is not only frowned upon but taken as a criminal offense when done to another person. Furthermore, in most cases, smacking doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t make the child learn a good lesson. In fact, it can do the exact opposite. A child who's been subject to violence themselves might become an abuser. Thirdly, smacking is okay if it’s a light smack, but even a light smack, when angry, can lead to much more if it goes out of control. Finally, this bill, if passed as an act, will allow the police and courts to prosecute parents who have clearly stepped over the line. It allows justice to be served, and protects helpless children against reckless parents.

If one was to hit or assault another person in public because they were unhappy with that person’s behaviour, they would be arrested for assault. Why should this not be the case when done to a child? Is it really fair to allow the same physical force to an infant, just because he or she is the son or daughter of the assaulter? For a defenseless child, assault charges should be even more severe than for a grown person, not ignored because the abuser is a parent! This should reinforce the validity of the bill’s place in the law.

People on the other side of the debate say that there are occasions where it is appropriate and reasonable for a parent to be able to use physical force. It is understandable that parents can get frustrated with their children’s behaviour, and think its...