Monday, August 31, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Open letter published below...
Yes Vote Open Letter
Monday, 24 August 2009, 10:20 am
Press Release: YesVote Coalition
Dear the public,
A huge thanks must go to the nearly 90% of voters who chose to vote no in the recent referendum. Many thanks for putting our rights at risk, many thanks for ignoring our opinions of the law, many thanks for voting towards a repeal of our rights, many thanks for being miss lead by an ambiguous question and how could I forget a huge thanks for voting towards children being the only group of people in society you could legally hit- it shows great confidence in us as young people!
Demoralising was the response I got from our group called Students Against Violence Everywhere, despite our tireless efforts to protect our rights from right wing extremists the public still decided it was ok to hit us, not your wife or your husband, not your friend or family member, no it is children our most vulnerable citizens.
It gives us as young people great confidence in our country to think, that nearly 90% of you believe that we should have a law that says it's ok to hit children.
A true and honest thanks goes to those who vote positively, those who decided not to stand for the rights of children being put at risk, those who votes yes. We must thank you from the bottom of or hearts for having faith in us and believing that we shouldn't be hit.
Johny O'Donnell and the SAVE Team
Saturday, August 22, 2009
However a cursory glance at the Yes Vote blog reveals the hypocricy in this statement, as it reveals that the Yes Vote campaign has the support of a number of International pressure groups such as Save the Children, Barnados and Unicef.
Friday, August 21, 2009
54% (1,421,003 people) of the electoral roll have had their say on the issue of corrective smacking. An overwhelming
of New Zealanders have stated their belief that a smack as part of good parental correction should not be a criminal offence.
This result doesn't merely reflect the polls conducted since 2005: it exceeds former polling.
This is the ultimate FAIL for the small Yes Vote group.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The MP who drafted the law change that banned smacking says it will be difficult to draw conclusions from tonight's referendum result.Sure, In much the same way that Japan might say that it is difficult to draw conclusions from the result of WWII.
Update: Homepaddock lays the smack down... er, so to speak.
“Suppose there are two medicines that work, but one has harmful side effects that don’t show up for 10 or 20 years. Even if one dose has only a tiny chance of an adverse effect, I think parents would want to avoid that risk. That’s the way they should think about spanking” -Fear, uncertainty, doubt. A potent mix.
If only there were a study available that looked at those consequences and could give us some certainty about smacking?
Children who are smacked lightly with an open hand on the bottom, hand or leg do much the same in later life as those who are not smacked, found the Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study, which has tracked 1000 children since they were born in the city in 1972-73.So why the difference in supposed outcomes between the Dunedin and New Hampsire[sic]?
But the lead author of the physical punishment part of the Dunedin study, psychologist Jane Millichamp, said the project appeared to be the first long-term study in the world to separate out those who had merely been smacked with an open hand. [and those that had been abused]So does the new study conflate abuse with smacking? Um, that would be a "yes and we're proud of it".
Yet another rubbish "study" to throw on the pile.
When asked, “Can you think of a situation when it’s OK for a husband to slap a wife in the face,” almost half of those who had grown up being spanked regularly (three or more times a week) said yes.
“If you want your child to grow up to be the kind of person who reasons instead of hits,” he says, “I can’t imagine why any parent would ever spank.”
Monday, August 17, 2009
Further, it is clear that the site would not have been launched had the Swedish organisers not been confident of a strong yes vote in their poll (currently at 67% yes, 33% no). The most likely scenario is that the site was launched (13 August) with the poll already displaying a majority in favour of the yes vote - and the Swedish organisers will have "justified this" by presuming that all their signed up members would have voted yes anyway.
Polling conducted since 2005 has consistently shown that over 80% of Kiwis know that there is a big difference between child abuse and a smack.
They've also got a twitter account.
Currently I'm trembling in my boots, and I now regret sending in my voting paper so hastily. I knew that a vocal minority was trying to drown out common sense here, but apparently the phenomenon is world wide.
Don't underestimate the power of these sorts of things either - look what happened to Bush when he ran for re-election... oh wait, the voters just ignored it. At least those sites weren't launched at 2pm on election day - what's with that?!?
But what were they thinking? That we were all so sick of only New Zealanders telling good parents they were violent abusers - what we really needed was for people from other countries?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
What has discomfited some people even those who back the law's intent is that Ms Bradford equates an open-handed smack on a youngster's backside, or a tap on a toddler's hand, with child abuse.
She is unrepentant, arguing vehemently that violence against children can never be acceptable. She is right, of course.
So in the eyes of the DomPost, the law equates even the lightest smack with child abuse, which is rightfully viewed as violence. Well, they slyly don't say that directly, the reader is left to make the connection.
New Zealand has a dispiritingly high incidence of abuse against its littlest residents; few weeks pass without reports of yet another tot being admitted to hospital after a caregiver be that mum, dad, or mum's latest boyfriend hit out and turned the child into a vegetable.
Our roll of dishonour is long, the names on it familiar ... James Whakaruru, Lillybing, the Kahui twins, Delcelia Witika, Nia Glassie.
In each case, it is hard not to feel that these little Kiwis are better off in the cemetery than they were in the "families" into which they had the misfortune to be born.
It is true, as some critics say, that parents no more than a biological description in too many cases who belt a child within an inch of its life will not be deterred by the law change. They are never, as they punch a grizzling child in the head, going to stop and think: "I mustn't do this it's illegal."
Only too true - abuse was, it and always will be illegal. The law change simply undermined the old system whereby 12 men and women sat down and heard all the facts before deciding if something was abuse. Now thanks to a few cases where the facts didn't match the headline*, it's abuse out of the gate.
But the law change has affected the child-rearing practices of many other other mums and dads. They have diligently tried to learn new ways to discipline wayward youngsters, even when their patience has been stretched almost to its limit. And police report that, despite the fears of Mr McCoskrie and Mr Baldock, they were called to only a few more "child assault events" in the six months to April 4 279 compared with 258 in the previous period. Of the 279 cases, none involved a "smacking" prosecution.
So even though the law change won't stop it's intended target (people who beat children), it's simply good enough to stop people who tap their child on the hand and make them find "better" ways.
While the police may (depending on who's reading the statistics) have only been called to a few more cases, all parents now have reason to believe that the state no longer supports in their duties as parents. After all, describing even the lightest smack is "violence against children" hardly inspires confidence in parenting and exposes all parents (at least in theory) to the threat of government sanction.
Wait, isn't that the threat of violence against parents?
Around here, we describe idiotic logic like that with one word:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Bad, bad idea.
As you can see from the screenshot, the "related headlines" show quote clearly that Sweden has not become some sort of utopian example for us to follow.
In fact, reading the second article, it seems that the state is actually one of the worst perpetrators of child abuse!
In its investigation into the practices at facilities operated by Sweden’s National Board of Institutional Care (SiS), Swedish public radio discovered 463 cases of children being forced to spend time in isolation cells in the last half of 2008.So get that: the same country that tells us that physical punishment is evil, is stripping children to their underwear and placing them in solitary confinement.
The cells, which are cramped and devoid of anything other than plastic floor mats, are only supposed to be used in cases when children are so violent or under the influence of controlled substances that no other measures work. Children are usually placed in the cells wearing nothing but underwear and can be held for up to 24 hours.
According to Swedish law, isolation cells are never supposed to be used as a form of punishment for young people.
Lawyers with the Children’s Ombudsman who reviewed the files concluded that staff members followed the letter of the law in only a small percentage of the cases.
“When taking into consideration how widespread it is, I think it’s fair to view this as a judicial scandal,” Malmberg told SR.
“What is supposed to be an exceptional measure has been used with great frequency and children have been isolated in violation of the law; it’s been used as a way to punish the children.”
MP Helena Bargholtz is forced to admit that child abuse (in terms of cases reported) is actually worse. She then hastily attempts to spin away the facts.
During the last two decades, reporting of child abuse and neglect has increased. There is no clear evidence indicating a corresponding increase in actual cases of child abuse in Sweden. Everything points to other explanations such as better awareness and knowledge of children in vulnerable situations. As mentioned above, attitudes in society have also changed: people today are less willing to accept violence against children. Another reason is that the reporting obligations under the Social Welfare Act have been strengthened and many more groups of professionals are now obliged to report children at risk - so fewer cases of child abuse and neglect fail to come to the attention of the social welfare authorities.Except that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child makes no such obligation. This is especially evident by the large number of countries that signed it who have not, and have no intention to ever ban smacking. This so called "obligation" is read into the Convention by those who want it to be there.
In other countries, where corporal punishment is not prohibited, for example the USA and Canada, the number of reports of child abuse and neglect has also increased. In Belgium, the numbers have increased by almost 70 per cent between 1986 and 1992.
The State's obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child demands that all measures must be undertaken for the implementation of the rights recognized in the Convention. Legislation is only one of the measures, but it is an important statement from society that we are no longer accepting physical chastisement of children.
When the Bill on the anti-spanking law was put forward a member of the Swedish Parliament said: "If we as parents cannot convince our children with words, then we shall never convince them with violence."You can bet your *** that she never anticipated that sentence ending: "But failing that, we'll just strip them and throw them into solitary." Sweden's Experience? - FAIL
P.S. Read the comments on the articles, there are some interesting ones.
Update: Corrected some spelling and grammar.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
While the removal of s59 is not intended to stop child abuse, it has the ability to start reducing our shocking abuse rates which are amongst the highest in the world.
Complaints to the police on parents smacking their children have increased in the past two years since the law was enacted. With the rise in complaints, it now affords the police the chance to investigate the home lives of those who have complaints laid against them. Parents who run a good household have the least to fear as the police will generally see that the children are well looked after and they don’t fear their own parents as they don’t live under the threat of “getting a hiding”. Police see this, and determine the nature of the complaint is “not in the public interest to prosecute.”
Is it just me, or is that one of the most scary things you've read in a long time? The recent law change removed any defense that force used for correction was reasonable. That means that any parent who used force (or threat) for correction now has only the defense that they didn't do it.
If there is positive evidence that they did, then they are effectively railroaded through the courts. The writer above thinks that it's fantastic that police are called out to the homes of good parents, because then they can use their own personal biases to decide who to present to court.
They can then be convicted, even if what they did was reasonable.
That is such a bad thing legally, it isn't funny.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Click here to read the press release.
Unfortunately, her research was... a little flawed.
Adults may define a smack as something a lot gentler than a hit, but children were clear that a smack is a hard hit that hurts both emotionally and physically.
Fear and pain may sometimes achieve short-term obedience, but in the long term these emotions are unlikely to contribute to positive behavioural outcomes or promote children’s effective learning.
Many of the children believed smacking did not work as a disciplinary tool. They said that the use of time out, having privileges removed or being grounded were far more effective means of discipline.
The children’s responses render many adults’ claims and justifications highly suspect. It is also concerning that quite large numbers of children reported adult behaviour that was in fact abusive.
You can read about this, and other research over at Halfdone (my main blog) - check out the booklet "by Fear and Fallacy" where the above quote comes from. That booklet goes into considerable detain over the flaws in this and other research, far to extensively to quote here.
The book repeatedly claims that Dobbs’ research found physical punishment could lead to harm or abuse, yet all her data established that not one of the 80 children interviewed had reported such harm or abuse. Rather than suggesting smacking leads to abuse, the data suggest exactly the opposite: most of the children she interviewed had been smacked, none of them had been abused. Clearly, if Dobbs’ data indicates anything, it is that smacking does not lead to abuse.
Dobbs argues that “children are, in many senses, the experts on family discipline.” At first this appears just loopy, but examined in the context of the book it becomes apparent Dobbs is not simply saying that because children are disciplined they are experts, but that they have the moral maturity to make judgements about the discipline given them, whereas the adults giving the discipline don’t have that moral maturity. The whole reason children need special care and moral training is that they are not experts, they are not mature, and they are not morally astute. If they are such experts they don’t need “reward” either to establish the pattern of behaviour that indicates maturity and expertise.
Claims by anti-smackers that smacking doesn't work should always be treated with suspicion, if not contempt. Yes, smacking can be done badly and hence ineffectively, but if done correctly it is a useful tool of parenting.
But the biggest evidence is the case that started all this off.
The riding crop smack only came to the attention of authorities because the kid suddenly started behaving at school and social workers asked what wonderful think the parent had done.
The fact that that (very effective) discipline was regarded by a jury of 12 men and women as "reasonable in the circumstances*" set off a media fire-storm stoked by liberal "child protection" groups.
And here we are today.
*Oh, and it's always omitted that "the circumstances" included swinging a weapon at an adult's head. I guess there's an irony in that - a law to stop reasonable actions in response to an attempted serious assault called a law against assault.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Oh, I have an idea. It's a "rewarding process", and it'll help not just those in South Auckland, but parents all over the country.
As such, we're compiling our own list of things that would be worthwhile seeing during Telethon that would encourage yourself (or anyone else for that matter) to open your wallet.
Perhaps you have the perfect dare for one of the TV3 presenters? Perhaps you'd be happy to bid on an auction to have lunch with Kate Rodger? If you're old enough to remember, perhaps there is something from a previous Telethon that you'd like to see done again? Whatever it is, let's hear about it.
Line up all the TV3 stars (and any others who can make it) and get them to apologise to New Zealand parents for:
- Calling them violent
- Insulting their intelligence
- and trying to deny them their democratic rights
Ok, so that's really the sort of idea they're after. How about setting up Sue Bradford in some public place, and let the public give her a light smack? That'd raise thousands.
Why stop there? Sue could do Auckland, Cindy Kiro Wellington, and other MPs who voted for the law could setup in other towns and cities. Don't forget the NGO heads who are still supporting the "Yes Vote".
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
She told the NZ Herald on saturday saying the 'anti-smacking' law was being applied correctly.
She went on to say about the law,
"I think it doesn't need to change, so I don't think the question is fair enough."
Well excuse me Judith, but I don't care what you think. The people of NZ might not agree with you and you should be listening to them.
The question may not be fair in your eyes, but that doesn't matter, the people of NZ forced the question. It is our question, not yours.
Its just like saying elections aren't fair because we don't think there should be a change of governmnet.
She said about the referendum.
"My worry is that many people I talk to see a 'yes' vote as a vote to reduce family violence and a 'no' vote as a vote to stop the Government interfering and telling them how to bring up their kids. I believe in reducing family violence and Government interference in people's lives."
Thanks Nikki, looks like nanny state is to continue...
"Mother of the Nation", Judy Bailey's comments are absolutely vile. Her comments in the article are copied below...
"This whole debate was never about light smacking or good parental correction; it was all about the parents who choose to beat their children with jug cords or bits of four-by-two... [The law change] sent a powerful message to us all that hitting children is not good parenting. Children who were hit by their parents often grew up seeing violence as the answer to problems, and whole communities believed "it is normal to hang a child from a washing line". Good parenst have absolutely nothing to fear from this legislation"
Stating that the entire community in which poor Nia Glassie lived was essentially complicit in her brutal torture and murder is just not acceptable.
Bailey's other incorrect comments pale into insignificance compared with this awful, thoughtless and offensive statement.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Research shows that physical punishment has been associated with children’s increased aggression; poorer academic achievement; poorer quality parent-child relationships; more depression and anxiety; and decreased self control. No-one has been able to show that physical punishment has any long-term positive effects on children’s behaviour or development. Other more positive methods of parental discipline have been shown to be more effective, contribute to the well being of children and do not pose risks.Except that is not true.
So what of those other studies?
Groundbreaking New Zealand research has refuted thousands of international studies which claim that smacking children makes them more likely to become aggressive and antisocial.
Children who are smacked lightly with an open hand on the bottom, hand or leg do much the same in later life as those who are not smacked, found the Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study, which has tracked 1000 children since they were born in the city in 1972-73.
The finding, based on interviews in the past two years when the children were 32-year-olds, will be published this year.
Preliminary analysis showed that those who were merely smacked had "similar or even slightly better outcomes" than those who were not smacked in terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement.
"Study members in the 'smacking only' category of punishment appeared to be particularly high-functioning and achieving members of society," she said.
So there you have it. Not only is there a study that shows that physical discipline produces the best outcomes for children, but the researchers also reviewed other studies and discovered that they had all conflated smacking and abuse.
But the lead author of the physical punishment part of the Dunedin study, psychologist Jane Millichamp, said the project appeared to be the first long-term study in the world to separate out those who had merely been smacked with an open hand.
"I have looked at just about every study I can lay my hands on, and there are thousands, and I have not found any evidence that an occasional mild smack with an open hand on the clothed behind or the leg or hand is harmful or instils violence in kids," she said....
Dr Millichamp said the Dunedin study so far found no evidence of the "slippery slope" theory - that parents who started off smacking often progressed to abusive punishments.
In other words, every study that came to the conclusions Dr Smith quotes had used fauty methodology that assumed smacking was abuse.
Now, outside of missing thousands of studies with flawed methodology, it would be easy for Dr Smith to miss the one un-flawed study. There's just one problem with that.
Anne Smith works for Otago University. The study that refuses her is the Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study, which is based at the same university. Not only that, but the DMHDS is famous - it was and continues to be well regarded and groundbreaking in the field of human development.
I don't know where exactly where Smith or Millichamp are based, but last I checked the Otago Education and Psychology departments are less than 5 mins walk from each other.
Which makes you wonder how she missed it.
Honestly reporting the research - FAIL!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Not only is it nonsense, but flies in the face of:
Roughan’s theory is that what the law-makers really meant by “correction” is the thorough tonking you were given “when daddy comes home”, where children were beaten until they screamed. A so-called “good” hiding. He thinks that the referendum question is designed to legitimize this sort of behaviour, that is is a sort of stealth question that will allow hundreds of Christian fundamentalists the right to beat their children to a pulp.
There is really only one thing wrong with his viewpoint. It is utter nonsense.
- Child discipline Case law
- Most statements on smacking by Sue Bradford
- All statements by Bob McCoskrie
- Amendments voted down by the Sue Bradford/Helen Clark bloc
- Actions of the police since the law change
- And numerous entries in the Yes Vote site itself
From the Yes Vote page "How the referendum came about"
And further from the "history of the child discipline law"
- A single smack is unlikely to lead to criminalisation of a parent under the 2007 law (See The Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 and police activity since the law change).
- Smacking children is not part of good parental correction.
So the "Yes Vote" site is quite clear - all physical discipline is bad, illegal, and not part of good parental correction.
In 2007 a heavily amended version of Sue Bradford’s bill became law in New Zealand. It was supported by 113 of 120 members of Parliament. New Zealand became the first English speaking country to introduce legal measures to ban physical punishment of children.
So the question in my mind is this: would the "Yes Vote" site link to a story which states that discipline (outside a "good thrashing") is not illegal, then attacks their opponent? To me, that's not a hard call - If I were the "Yes Vote" site, I'd avoid this one at all costs.
On the other hand though, they've posted some dubious material at times. So did they avoid it?
There was a nice piece in yesterday’s Herald by John Roughan: Sinister undertones to referendum instigators, in which John rightly brings into question what Bob McCoskrie and friends mean by “correction”. He concludes that what the instigators of this referendum are really after is the restoration of their right to give their kids a good hiding.So there you have it. The "Yes Vote" site just endorsed a column which utterly contradicts and undermines their own view of the new law.
And how do they describe this person who contradicts them? "nice"
It seems to me that the credibility of the entire "Yes Vote" campaign (which, as evidenced by this site, was never very high) is now a big, fat zero. They've thrown out all semblance of principles, simply so they can endorse someone demonizing their most prominent opponent.
I'm frankly amazed someone didn't realise and take it down sooner. I noticed it this morning, and it's still there as of 5:30. Does no one in the campaign read the site?
Being serious about maintaining your credibility - FAIL
P.S. It's almost enough to wonder if they'd post Bob's material, if he abused himself at the end of his columns! Well, why wouldn't they?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I will vote yes to protect the rights of those who cannot defend themselves;Who removed the defense of reasonable force?
Oh that's right! This entire debate (and Charles Chauvel) is campaigning to make sure that parents "cannot defend themselves". Apparently in order to stop people defending themselves, we have to resort to talking about those who cannot defend themselves.
I did mention the post was Orwellian!
Then there's the whole thing about the implication of "protecting the innocent child". Reasonable force was legal for correction.
You know, that which happens to a child when they are guilty of an offense.
It's hard to find words to describe the utter stupidity of some things the yes vote says, but on this blog, we need just one:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
He his throwing his weight behind the "Yes Vote" campaign.
Unfortunately, as well as having a big goofy smile, he's a bit goofy on the law. He says "no one in New Zealand should be able to assault anyone, including our children..."
So I guess Kane will be contacting his local MP to remove the Police's right to use force, not to mention the great many provisions in our law for self protection, discipline on board ships and aircraft etc...
Sorry Kane, but the right to use reasonable force (or as you put it, "assault") is widespread throughout our law. The recently removed rights of parents were not some bizarre anomaly, but a provision perfectly consistent with the rest of the law, in that where authority is required, reasonable force is authorised for those in authority.
He continues "and I think there should be programs and models... for parents and adults to show them how to discipline tamariki, our children, in a good and healthy way".
Unfortunately, the law change he is supporting has made discipline impossible - and was intended to do so. All force (even speaking) for the purpose of correction is now regarded as assault. Sure, you might not get caught, or even prosecuted but that doesn't change the fact that it's unlawful.
Now, if he is genuine in his belief, I have an idea. Let's make force "reasonable in the circumstances" legal again, and educate parents on the difference between reasonable and excessive - i.e. assault and dicipline.
How about it Kayne?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
But why does the stopping of the supposed "ripple effect" start with smacking? Surely the "ripple" actually starts with a child's misbehavior, not a parents correction of that.
“Violence is a ripple effect. It starts off as a drop in the water but soon creates a ripple effect which disturbs all the waters. This is no different than smacking a child. It may start as a smack but can trigger other violent behaviours from both the parent and the child. We need to keep our waters calm and let children have peace in their own homes”.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
But the first commenter "hubris" thought he'd try and be clever by quoting definitions of violence.
Unfortunately, he forgets that there are actually 4 circumstances under which "violence" can be used on children.
No one is saying that parents cannot use "physical force against self or other, compelling action against one's will on pain of being hurt". Actions falling under this definition constitute a large part of what is called "parenting". There are actually circumstances where not using "violence" will place a parent in trouble for child neglect.
They're just saying that parent's can't correct their children using force.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today, I found this.
How would you say your experience differs from how children are disciplined in Sweden today?So the "solution" most commonly employed by parents in Sweden is to just let children run free?
Today in Sweden we have developed different strategies in child discipline. There is very little physical punishment that you hear about. We still are talking a lot about parenting issues though. Parents in Sweden today are struggling between full time work, their own hobbies and giving their children attention. Parents try very hard but don’t find time enough for everything. This often leads to parents feeling very bad about themselves, and to compensate they let their children do anything they want and this can also be a problem and has become a big topic of conversation.
Wow, let's copy that!
Convincing us that banning smacking has worked overseas - FAIL!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
She first says, "I have wanted to smack them - I've felt the urge,"
She then goes on and explains how she disciplines her children.
"I separate myself from them. I go hang the washing. I'm the adult, I'm the one who can remove myself or put them in front of a video for 20 minutes and go and make a cup of tea."
What a FAIL. Putting your children in front of the television is failed parenting and shows that you really don't have a clue to both keep control in the home, or to be able to give discipline which will teach a lesson.
Children will just play up knowing they will get some time in front of the television.
But what happens when the children are playing up because you don't want them watching the box?
Secondly Robyn goes onto explain another 'great' discipline method.
"Timeout is really good", she says.
That is a FAIL in itself. Has Robyn not read the law? It say all force used to correct your child is illegal. Using timeout involves forcing your children to stay in one place.
I'm sorry but even this advocate of the new law has broken the law.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On the Vote No website, Barnett fronts a video saying, "Kiwi parents know the difference between a light smack and child abuse."So while the "No Vote" headline celebrity expresses confidence in Kiwi families, the "Yes Vote" counterpart - in her own words - confesses to violent urges!
But at the Auckland Town Hall yesterday, Malcolm filmed a statement of support for the "anti-smacking" law with former TV One newsreader Judy Bailey, Kidzone host Kayne Peters, author Brian Edwards and others.
"I'm supporting this because I believe that any type of violence towards children is completely unacceptable," she said.
Malcolm has never smacked her sons, now aged 5 and 3.
"I have wanted to smack them - I've felt the urge," she admitted.
Who do you think is going to bring in more votes?
Celebrity endorsement - FAIL!
Friday, July 17, 2009
My question is then, how come they base there view on whether or not the law is working on the amount of good parents who are being prosecuted, when the law was apparently passed to stop child abuse?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
“I’m pleased that CYF and health services are already focusing on the prevention of abuse and neglect amongst infants, for example in the changes to the Well Child services... We simply cannot afford to ignore the harm done to our children - it is a significant issue for New Zealand and one that requires the full efforts of all those working with families and young children.”
Yeah, typical. The "yes vote" site is all about ignoring that harm and attacking parents who use **reasonable** force to dicipline their children.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
It seems that kids just don't care about parental authority anymore. Funny...
Parents are telling truancy officers that they don't know how to make their children go to school because they can no longer smack them.
Manukau truancy officer Therese Luxton yesterday told a forum on next month's smacking referendum that there were not enough education programmes to teach parents alternative disciplinary techniques.
Well, let's see what they're offering... these are Barnados' 21 practical alternatives to smacking.
Remember that: alternatives to smacking oh, and they're practical.To me, that means they should deliver the same results for around about the same effort. Let's see if any are going to be as practical as the threat of pain to the seat of the pants.
- Taking a deep breath and gathering your thoughts
- Ok, so that's a good start... sort of. Of course that's what parents should do even if they use physical discipline. But it's not going to move a kid out the door who refuses to listen.
- showing them what they can do instead of what they can't
- Well, that's hardly better. By definition, you've already told them what they "can do" and they've refused.
- taking them outside for a run around
- saying lots of positive things when they are good
- Ah, so when they go to school, make a fuss about how good they are. I'm sure most good parents do tell their children how important school is, even the ones that smack. So again, no alternatives here.
- walking away, thinking about what you are going to do but keeping them within your sight
- In other words, follow them to the local park or hangout. Again, not something that's any use whatsoever in this instance. When are we doing to get to the actual alternatives rather than periphery mental preparation?
- thinking about whether they are tired or hungry
- They just got out of bed, and had breakfast. Thinking is wonderful, but at some stage, shouldn't there be some ideas to actually get the children to go to school?
- keeping your expectations and rules simple
- "Go to school". Simple enough?
- accepting mistakes and showing them how they can fix them
- Your mistake was not going to school. You can fix this by going to school.
- clapping once to get their attention, then giving a simple explanation
"You're not at school, and you should be there."
Yea, like that's going to work.
- explaining consequences
- Oh, something with a semblance of an idea. That's a first, but it's fair to assume that this isn't going to work in this instance. Especially since we're supposed to be working without the most immediate consequence - smacking.
- putting them in a quiet safe place so they can calm down
- Couch work for you? Another "idea" that completely misses the point of bad behaviour.
- getting down to their height to avoid being threatening
- Ditto. The entire point here is that parents no longer have legal rights, and children don't find them threatening - rather, the boot is on the other foot.
- putting precious things out of reach
- So many sarcastic responses come to mind on that one.
- singing some loud songs together
- ringing a friend or a neighbour
- sharing stories with other parents
- Ok, now Barnados has reverted to mocking you. This can't possibly be taken as a serious list at this point.
- turning tasks into a game
- That's got about as much currency as the "run around the house idea".
- speaking softly
- being firm, fair and friendly
- ignoring tantrums
- Nothing useful there to correct a child's behaviour.
- acting as you want your child to act
- So there we have it. If all else fails (including gossiping with the neighbours) go to school for them.
I think at this point, we can safely say that Barnados has no real ideas as to how to get your child to school. Of their 21 "practical suggestions" none are actually practical when facing a recalcitrant child who can't be reasoned with. In fact, the entire list dances around the actual issue.
So by omission, Barnados is telling us there is no alternative to parents having rights of physical discipline when it comes to correcting behaviour.
One is left wondering why an organisation so bereft of alternative ideas is so keen to get rid of one that works.
Alternatives to Smacking in a real life situation - FAIL
Sunday, July 12, 2009
- The Ministry of Justice made four points (note, not objections) regarding the initial question submitted by Sheryl Savill - not the final version as the FAQ implies.
- The Ministry of Justice's points were not ignored as the Yes Vote group allege. At the Ministry's suggestion, "within the context of positive parenting" was altered to "as part of good parental correction".
Thursday, July 9, 2009
What rubbish, can they please explain to me the new law. If I lightly smack my child for any reason, then I have committed assault.
Watch in particular the first few minutes of the second video, which describe a positive parenting approach to dealing with traffic — exactly the situation which Jimmy Mason was faced with in the recent “face-punching” trial.Unfortunately the video doesn't deal at all with the situation Jimmy was in - he'd have needed a time machine. The video explained how Dr Joan Durrant trained her 3 year old to recognise the dangers of traffic. Mason's children had either not been trained or had forgotten that training.
I think it's lovely that her child was able to come to the recognition that traffic was dangerous. But it assumes that a child is both intelligent and that a parent has an hour to demonstrate to a child each and every danger they might come across in the world. They will eventually learn those dangers, but most parents find it much easier to have a young child to obey what they say without necessarily knowing why.
20/20 hindsight FAIL
Oh, and let's not concern ourselves as to why an adult has to spend an hour teaching this to a child, when they would never be allowed to take an adult out of their day to do the same.
Demonstrating children are the same as adults FAIL
Yeah well that's a good way to get an anti-violence message out isn't it... Youth-based anti-child abuse group YACA is supporting a NO vote on the referendum, however they are dead set against child abuse and unlikely to present themselves as youth waving their fists in your face.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"New Zealanders may have forgotten that in 1997 Deborah Morris-Travis, currently spokesperson for the VoteYes anti-smacking campaign, while the then Minister of Youth Affairs, vigorously lobbied to have condom vending machines in all our schools and colleges and in all places where young people gather. She failed in her "condomania bid" as it was referred to. The Dominion Post (30 June) has reported that Board members of a primary school in her sedate seaside hometown of sunny Otaki, have resigned in the wake of the fallout over children as young as 6 and 10 at the school being forced by their teacher to pick up used condoms in the school grounds. Parents are outraged at the failure of St Peter Chanel's board of management to deal with the condomania scandal and associated health and safety issues involved." - continue reading
One of the key people behind the Yes Vote group believes that there should be condom vending machines in all schools? Heck, what sort of a message would that send out to the youngsters? FAIL!
One lecturer says the referendum is an "absolutely appalling waste of money” - FAIL
We all know it is Helen Clarks fault that it is going to cost $10 Million. She had the choice to have it in conjunction with the election. But she was more worried about her short term political prosepects than democracy
Another lecturer says the referendum has "no legal impact whatsoever” - FAIL
All referendums have no legal impact. Only Parliament can change the law. As a professer of law, Andrew Geddis should know what he's talking about.
New Zealand needs to have its say on this issue. We forced a referendum so that New Zealanders could tell the Government what they think of the Anti-Smacking law.
I think we all know that paying for lecturers such as these is an 'appalling waste of money'.
In the below Screen shot of their latest press release they say "Promoters of the child discipline referendum are increasingly damaging their own cause by failing to take the opportunity to call it off" - FAIL - The referendum is our cause! We got the signatures. We forced the referendum. We want all New Zealanders to have a say!
Deborah Morris-Travers goes onto say "“Even among those who support their question, there is an overwhelming belief that the whole exercise is a terrible waste of money." - FAIL. No we are angry at Helen Clark for not having the referendum in conjunction with the election and saving 8 Million bucks.
She continues, "Demanding an amendment to the child discipline law in return for calling off the referendum is outrageous. The law grants children the same legal protections as all other citizens have. This is fair and reasonable, especially when law is being administered sensibly and sensitively." - FAIL. I think we see this law through different pairs of glasses Deborah. We have different opinions. I think you have just explained why we need a referendum!
The Yes Vote campaign are running scared. They don't want the referendum because they know they will lose. It is also a real shame that they have such a low regard for democracy.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Parenting tip: Nip anger in the bud... take steps to control your own rage.
rage: noun. Violent, explosive anger; A fit of anger.
Heck, how many parents do you know who rage with anger against their children? Whether they act on that rage is beside the point: what would cause parents to be filled with rage against their children in the first place? Surely a word such as frustration, dissapointment or annoyance would be more fitting?
Family First NZ is welcoming comments by a senior Labour MP that the Referendum wording is not confusing.
What an embarrassment for Labour. They are trying to spread the propaganda that the question is ambiguous and hard to understand - but here's one of their own MPs speaking his mind and clarifying that the question is in fact easy to understand.
Some of these suggestions are sensible, some sound silly. It is good to know alternatives for different situations.
But the existence of alternatives does not mean a smack may not be the right choice for some children - that is another alternative as well, and may be the best one for some children. That is why the Barnardos poster gets the FAIL stamp.
And really, I wouldn't want to rely on Barnardos' alternatives. There is some good stuff, such as:
- Encourage them when they do right.
- Make tasks a game ("Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" - remember Mary Poppins?).
- Model good behaviour.
And a lot of nonsense:
- Take a deep breath and calm yourself down. (It's really your fault the child is playing up you know, you're such a bad parent.)
- Lower your expectations. (Your child is stupid, get over it.)
- Explain why you want them to behave. (Only useful with older children, try that with a 1-year-old.)
- Put precious things out of reach. (Teach them that as long as they can reach it they can have it. This might work in your own child-safe home but will ensure you are never invited to anyone else's.)
The only actual punishment suggested is "putting them in a quiet safe place so they can calm down" (time out). The rest are mainly suggestions about how to deal with the fact your child is a horrible brat.
Of course law-abiding parents have nothing to fear. The problem is that it is now illegal to smack, so anyone doing that is no longer a "law-abiding parent". So most parents ARE placed in the same category as child abusers, and DO have something to fear.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Barnardos have been interviewing children by phone to see what they think about getting smacked. The question they asked
Do you think that adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child?Well, of course they shouldn't unless they were their caregivers. The kids had to push 1 if they should be let off 2 if they think they should not be let off, 3 if they don't know and 4 to hear the question again. Just over half said they should not be let off. Many probably didn't understand what " let off" meant- left off convicting is the assumption.Nor is it clear whether "adults" included strangers.
They interviewed stressed kids who called the Whats Up hotline, a hotline for kids to talk about anything they wish, including abuse. While the kid was waiting to speak to a real person, they were given an automated message with the above question. That's a little like asking turkeys on the 15 December whether they are looking forward to Christmas. There was only a 10% valid response rate...
continue reading Dave's post here.
This referendum isn't, wasn't and never will be about "hitting" children.
It's about smacking - which all will agree is a much more specific thing. Smacking generally is regarded as force applied to a hand or to the bottom in response to an offense by the child. The old law allowed this and other force, with the proviso it be reasonable in the circumstances.
But by using the wider and much more generic term "hit", the Yes vote site fails to even participate in the debate. Hitting means, and is intended to invoke images of, force applied in any way, to any part of the body, safe, reasonable or not (and usually not). By doing so, they are able to lump together discipline (which is designed to decrease over time as it achieves it's long term goal) and abuse (which is always random according to the whim of the abuser).
New Zealand has a massive problem with the latter, and the S59 amendment bill outlawed the former.
But it's not like the "yes vote" site endorses misleading statements for both sides - in fact, they're selectively quite opposed to them...
It is clear from the referendum debate over the last two weeks that the question is misleading...The question is, why is a site that advertises it's presence with misleading statements complaining about what it considers to be misleading statements made by others?
Oh, and it's even worse than that. While the "yes vote" lobby obviously don't allow people like me to comment and correct their site, the referendum question was put to public submission.
Seems like Barnardos, Save teh Children, Unicef, Jigsaw, Ririki, Women's Refuge, Epoch and Parents Center might have more credibility now had they said something then.
The original question we submitted to the Clerk of the House of Representatives back in early 2007 was “should a smack in the context of positive parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ?”
As required by the CIR Act 1993, the Clerk published the question in the Gazette and advertised the question in all major papers with an invitation for anyone to submit their opinion on the wording of the question over a 28 day period.
Only two submissions were received. One from a couple who stated their opinion that a smack should never be a criminal offence, and the other from the Ministry of Justice.
Practice what you preach FAIL.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Most parents use a mixture of different methods of discipline. They may say "no" first, followed by removing the toy / object, followed by a light smack, followed by time out for example, depending on how long the child misbehaves. Every parent and child is different. Some may smack daily, some may smack yearly. This stereotype is ridiculous and insulting.
What happens when a 'little smack' doesn't work any more? That's simple - try something else - for example time out or removal of privileges.
But if you won't smack, and time out doesn't work any more, what do you do then? It is the non-smacking parent who has fewer options, and is likely to have far more difficulty finding a discipline method that works for their child.
He says "The Yes campaign are doing ok, but there isn't anything out there, that in simple terms, explains that a smack was ALWAYS assault, (Even I didn't realise this until recently).
I'm sorry Hayden, but you are quite right. A smack is not assault and never has been. Great to see that you are learning though.