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