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Govt needs to learn to sling mud that’s accurate

MEDIA RELEASE

28 March 2007

Government needs to learn to sling mud that’s accurate

Focus on the Family New Zealand is not surprised to see that the Government has turned to dragging organisations through the mud in an attempt to divert the attention of the public away from the real issues surrounding Sue Bradford’s ‘Anti-smacking’Bill.

This seems to the behaviour of a party running scared of public opinion.

Focus on the Family is only one of dozens of organisations supporting a view held by over 80% of Kiwi Mums & Dads … Stop trying to criminalise good parents, and focus on the real issues of child abuse.

According to Focus on the Family’s Executive Director, Tim Sisarich, “the truth is that Focus on the Family hasn’t spent 1 cent on newspaper advertising around this debate.” He says that, “It’s a tragic day when the media base their stories on anonymous letters, without making at least one phone call to verify their facts with us”

There is a real danger when politicians and the media take US-centric language and transfer it to our culture.

Most people who know anything about the work of Focus on the Family would understand and apply this.

“If there is anyone who is aware of the dangers of extremes in disciplinary technique, it is Focus on the Family’s Founder, Dr. James Dobson” Mr. Sisarich says, “He is all too familiar with what can happen when angry parents vent their frustrations upon innocent children in the name of “discipline”

Dr Dobson has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in the field of child development. He served for 14 years as an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the USC School of Medicine, and for 17 years as a member of the Attending Staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. During that time he saw many cases of child abuse -- everything from emotional neglect to the most extreme forms of physical violence.

Dr. Dobson emphasises that a smack, when used lovingly and properly, is not the only tool for use in shaping a child’s will, nor is it appropriate at all ages or in all situations. The wise parent must understand the physical and emotional characteristics of each stage of childhood, and then fit the discipline technique to each child’s individual needs. Helen Clark and her Labour Government need to wake up and recognise this too.

ENDS

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