Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Kim Workman:The Smacking Debate Confused

Kim Workman:The Smacking Debate Confused

“The smacking debate is becoming confused” said Kim Workman, Director, Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was responding to Family First’s media release that research by Marjorie Gunnoe, of Calvin College, Michigan shows that kids smacked before age 6 grow up to be more successful.“It is always dangerous to comment on research that one hasn’t read. But in her interview with the New York Daily News, (4th January) Gunnoe said “I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but then there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool. You don’t use it for all your jobs.”

“It would seem therefore that Gunnoe does not approve of ‘light smacking’ as part of the parenting repertoire, whereas Mr McCoskrie cites earlier Duke University research which showed that if a culture views spanking as the normal consequence for bad behavior, kids aren't damaged by its occasional use because parents are less agitated and more consistent.”

“In the same NY Daily News interview, Tracy Dennis, associate professor of psychology at Hunter College, said that smacking was generally ineffective,” She explains. “I wouldn’t want parents to misinterpret these findings and think it’s okay to spank a child.”

“Most parents spank young kids to keep them safe,” Dennis explained. “A parent may slap a toddler’s hand if they touch a hot stove, or spank a child who runs into the street. In that context, she says, a smack can be considered a way to keep a child out of danger or to assert parental authority, she says.”

“As a child grows older, parents may resort to spanking as a kind of default”, Dennis says. “I suspect that these parents don’t have much of a repertoire of parenting strategies, or maybe those children have behavior problems so the parents are more inclined to smack them,” she says. “Smacking just makes things worse.” And, she adds, “When a child is spanked when a parent loses control in an aggressive, fear-inducing way, this models aggression for the child and starts a cycle of violence in that child.” Kim Workman says “Our interest in this debate is centred around the impact of persistent smacking on offending behaviour. We have not made any public comment until now. But Dennis’s comments certainly accord with our experience. Persistent smacking, even if light, equates to poor parenting. Moreover, it signals to the child that their parents don’t love them. A recent UK study of 1,396 male prisoners with serious personality disorders, showed that if they were persistently smacked as children, and parents withdrew affection, it was a major contributing factor to their condition. It is fairly clear that smacking of children should be a last resort, and as one of the exceptions provided for in the current legislation.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog