For the record I don't smack Daisy and I hope I never will as I have never seen smacking as a solution to her misbehaving or testing me. Believe me there have been times when I've reached the bottom of my 'parent toolbox' and literally not known what to do next but I've always seen smacking as the sign I've lost control of the situation and on a personal level that would be a major fail for me as a mum. My job is to be the parent, try to guide and teach Daisy (who lets face it can be pretty feral at times!) about how to behave, how to treat others and how to control her emotions. What lesson am I setting if I cannot control my own emotions and resort to violence.
Pro smackers I find always tend to use the same old excuses / explanations for their choices - 'I was hit as a child and it didn't do me any harm' Well I'm no psychologist but surely the fact you continue to use smacking as a solution is in itself an indication that those 'techniques' used as discipline in your own childhood have strongly influenced your capabilities to deal with testing behaviours in a controlled and none violent way. I was smacked as a child and although I'm obviously not emotionally scarred by this, I have no doubts it's not the route I wish to go down with D. I don't remember feeling sorry for my behaviour or thinking I'll never do that again when I was smacked I just remember feeling angry, resentful and quite frankly sorry for myself - the reason for the smacking was completely lost.
And this is one of the reasons I cannot accept people's opinion that smacking is an effective way to discipline children, surely if they stop said behaviours after being smacked it's more out of fear of being smacked again than as a result of them thinking about and changing their behaviour. On top of this there's the glaringly obvious violence of it all, yes we can sugar coat it by referring to a 'tap on the hand' or 'little smack on a bottom' but smacking is smacking. How can we expect our children to learn about respect, kindness and gentleness if we hit them? It's completely illogical.
It's illegal to hit another adult, illegal to hit an animal yet the law doesn't stop parents hitting their own children. The details within the laws referring to smacking children state that it is not against the law as long as no marks, cuts or grazes are left. For me this lacks any real understanding about the true impact smacking can have on a child's emotional well being and the well being of the parent / child relationship. I can only guess this loophole exists as a result of a small proportion of old school politicans refusing to support a full ban - well shame on them.
I appreciate that for many of us smacking was a pretty normal part of our childhood, smacking was an accepted form of discipline and not seen as causing any harm, however, like with most areas of parenting we're constantly learning and studies now show that using smacking to correct bad behaviour is not only ineffective but can also be damaging to the both the child's psychological well being and the relationship between said parent and child. It is for this reason I don't resent my parents for their choices, instead I embrace that I don't need to parent in the same way, I can make my own choices based, yes, on the research that smacking doesn't work but mainly on my own instincts as a mum which simply tell me it's wrong.
I know a legal ban on smacking won't stop all parents using violence towards their children, I know it won't stop child abuse but I hope it would at least show some parents that there are other ways to manage difficult behaviours and allow the relevant authorities to help families who struggle with managing these behaviours without the ambiguity of the existing legal loopholes.