Sunday, January 16, 2005

Smacking Kids

Apparently over in the UK a law has been passed against beating kids.

Parents can still smack the little beasts, though -- because that's reasonable.

Mild smacking is allowed under a "reasonable chastisement" defence against common assault.

Over on the blog Samizdata, the posters and commenters have decided this spells the end of British civilization as we know it -- and, of course, that this is the intent of the creator of the law. That, or they're just evil liberals out to destroy everyone's lives because they can't help meddling, having no lives of their own.

Or something like that. The reasoning is a bit hard to follow.

Anyway, the usual "Oh, great, now we're going to have to put up with squalling brats in the supermarket" argument gets trotted out; along with the "My parents beat me/I beat my kids" and I/they're just fine argument.

As to the first -- look, folks:

(1) Everyone's kids squall in supermarkets and malls and public places from time to time. Get over it. That's what kids do. Smack them or don't smack them, they're all going to do it.

(2) There are, in fact, ways to discipline kids that don't involve hitting them. No, really. There are. These ways work. They work, in fact, a whole lot better than the ways that do involve hitting them. It's not just me claiming this, either. Research has been done that shows that not hitting kids results in better behaved kids. Not only that, it results in smarter, saner, more stable kids. There's also some reseach that shows that kids that aren't hit end up doing better financially than kids that were hit. If you've got kids, or are planning to have kids, you should look into this research. REALLY.

As to the second: how do you know what you or your kids would have been if you hadn't been beaten?


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