Families Commission Pushes Anti-Smacking Ideology

In an Op-Ed in the Timaru Herald (27 March 09) entitled “Positive Parenting means not having to smack” the Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission says:
* the anti-smacking law is working well and is achieving what was intended (WRONG!)
* the law change did not introduce any new criminal offence (WRONG!)
* healthy, positive relationships within families do not involve people hitting each other.. (ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT A PARENT CORRECTING A CHILD WITH A SMACK?)
* positive parenting strategies (such as rewarding good behaviour and distracting young children and ignoring minor unwanted behaviour) are far more effective and safer (SO DO I SIMPLY “IGNORE” MY TWO YEAR OLD LAUNCHING FOOD FROM THE HIGH CHAIR? DO I TURN ON THE WIGGLES TO “DISTRACT” MY 4 YEAR OLD EVERY TIME THEY HAVE A TANTRUM AND SCRATCH MY FACE!? AND WHAT IS ‘MINOR UNWANTED BEHAVIOUR’?)
* the best and most effective parenting practices do not use physical punishment (NOT ACCORDING TO RESEARCH FROM OTAGO UNI AND CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
* some of this ‘progress’ could be undermined by the Referendum (IN OTHER WORDS, ‘THE PEOPLE’ SHOULD SHUT UP!)
Family First responded with an Op-Ed published the next day in the same paper entitled “We owe it to good parents to get smacking law right” written by researcher for Family First Sue Reid. In it she says:
Pryor states ”there is no legal justification for the use of force to correct a child’s behaviour”, so why does ‘positive parenting’ not include correction? I know that as a mum I need to be able to teach my child the right from wrong and it is an ongoing process for me to ‘correct’ my child’s behaviour – society expects me to fulfil this role. We can all lament the daily cases in the media whereby individuals have not ‘corrected’ their behaviour and have become a blight on society!
Many parents would testify to aspects that are less than positive in the training of a child for the adult world. I am sure the child does not see ‘time out’ in a positive light nor see ‘grounding’ as positive. Parents are often seen in negative light when they proceed with knowing best what will work for their child. The role of parent is set apart from other relationships such as in the workplace or a sports team. Parents have the reserved responsibility to raise, train and shape the will and character of their child to maturity.
..People who don’t like the question in the referendum simply don’t like the answer they come to! Organisations like the Families Commission would better serve families when they consider the attitudes, needs and requirements of families rather than using their government funded weight to impose a flawed ideology on to good, healthy, functioning families.

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