Poll shows positive shift in child discipline
26 May 2008
Poll shows positive shift in child discipline attitudes: Greens
A Family First survey released today that shows 48 percent of parents still smack their children actually highlights a massive improvement in attitudes over the past year, Green Party MP Sue Bradford says.
"While I am, of course, disappointed that so many parents continue to use violence as a part of bringing up their children, the Family First poll actually reveals that while in June last year 78 percent of parents said they would smack their children, now only 48 percent actually do.
"This marks a great improvement in the past year.
"I believe this reflects the shift in public opinion which has been steadily occurring in the three years since my private member's bill to remove the defence of 'reasonable force' for the purposes of child discipline was introduced to Parliament.
"Many people are realising that there are other, better ways of bringing up their children than by hitting, whacking or beating them.
"I am delighted that Family First, a group which consistently lead opposition to my bill, has revealed through its own polling that in fact many more parents are now open to learning new and less harmful ways of dealing with their children.
"While it is clear there are still many people - particularly men, people aged over 60, and those from rural areas - who continue to deeply oppose the progressive change achieved by a huge majority in Parliament last year, what this survey shows is that parents themselves are in many cases reconsidering old beliefs and habits and developing new, positive ways of child rearing," Ms Bradford says.
"I am sure most people know in their hearts that is wrong to hit children. Many have probably grown up being hit themselves. Good parenting is not easy, but I salute those who have the courage to move forward, lead by example, and put their family first by bringing up their children in a loving environment, rather than resorting to violence."