Thursday, July 30, 2009

Protecting the Innocent - FAIL!

Charles Chauvel should think a bit harder before he speaks. At the end of a screed of Orwellian doublespeak worthy of a separate post, we find this...
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

Kayne Peters Endorsement - FAIL!

Kane Peters is a children's TV presenter.

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

Is it right to have a law...

Violence is a ripple effect - FAIL

Example Fail.

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”.

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.

Monday, July 27, 2009

??? Coalition ???? - FAIL

The Coaltion of Anti Smackers don't quite know who they are and they also don't know how to send off a press release without it going twice.

Taken from here

Here we see them calling themselves the "Vote Yes Coalition"

Here they are calling themselves "The Yes Vote Coalition"

I think we need to know who is behind this group. They obviously are having leadership problems and naming problems as they are sending out the same press release twice and they are also having a fight over what they should call themselves.

Vote Yes for confusing messages about how best to bring up your kids is how I interpret this one.
Sounds like a FAIL to me!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Definition of "Violence" - FAIL!

Saw this comment on DPF's latest S59 post - and the post is very good.

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

Law change in Sweden - FAIL!

One is left constantly wondering if the Yes Vote site actually read what they put on their site.
Today, I found this.
How would you say your experience differs from how children are disciplined in Sweden today?

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.

So the "solution" most commonly employed by parents in Sweden is to just let children run free?

Wow, let's copy that!

Convincing us that banning smacking has worked overseas - FAIL!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TV and Time Out - FAIL

I was amazed to hear Yes Vote campaigner Robyn Malcolm admit to 'violent' urges and using timeout in Yesterday's NZ Herald.

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

Celebrity Endorsement FAIL

The Herald this morning has a story on celebrity endorsements in the referendum.
On the Vote No website, Barnett fronts a video saying, "Kiwi parents know the difference between a light smack and child abuse."

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.
So while the "No Vote" headline celebrity expresses confidence in Kiwi families, the "Yes Vote" counterpart - in her own words - confesses to violent urges!

Who do you think is going to bring in more votes?

Celebrity endorsement - FAIL!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A law that works ? - FAIL

We were told that the Anti-smacking law would do something to stop child abuse. However this is not the case with child abuse rates staying constant since the law was passed.

The Yes vote lobby then goes and tells us that the law is working because parents aren't being prosecuted for a light smack.

Thus this logo.

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?

Maybe this should really be there logo.

Sounds like a FAIL to me

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes Vote Ignores Parents... FAIL!!!

The Yes Vote group report on Children’s Commissioner John Angus in his latest statement...

“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.
Oh, the irony. FAIL!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to get a child to school without breaking the law - Barnados style

[Cross Posted from Halfdone]

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

Worse and worse. So if you can't get them out the door to go to school, you're then as a practical alternative to take them outside for a run.

    • 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

Yes Vote Misinformation FAIL!

The Yes Vote group have a list of FAQs on their website. In their FAQ, Why is the referendum worded so poorly?, they state that, "A significant objection was raised by the Ministry of Justice but this was ignored". However after making a request for information under the Official Information Act I have found that this statement is blatantly untrue.

  1. 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.
  2. 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".
Click here to view the submission made by the Ministry of Justice.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Light Smack - FAIL

The Yes Vote team a desperate to tell us that A light smack is not a criminal offence.

Here they say, "You don’t need to worry about going to jail for lightly smacking your own child; no-one has been sent to jail for that."

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.

Whos to say I won't go to jail?

Just because no-one has been sent to jail for that yet, doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

And what if I dare give a light smack for the purpose of correction?


Keep you Child Out of Traffic

Well, the "Yes Vote" site have a nice video on how to stop your child from running out onto the road in a "positive parenting" way.

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

Clenched Fist FAIL!

The Nelson Mail is reporting about the SAVE group which was started up a few months back by some teenagers in Nelson. The article features the following photo of two of the members...

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

Taxpayer Funding FAIL

this just in from Chuck Bird.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The Yes Vote campaign distributed this briefing sheet about the upcoming referendum on smacking.

Its like a tub of Hokey Pokey Ice cream, Full of great fails but every now and then there are some nice crunchy ones.

Lets just keep to the crunchy ones.

Fail # 1

The first fail is where the briefing document says that the word good before "parental correction" in the referendum is misleading as it makes smacking seem necessary to good parental correction.

However this is hypocritical as the law which they claim is 'working' says that parents can use reasonable force in tasks that are associated with "good care and parenting". Before they start slamming the referendum, they can first explain their great law to me.

The second hokey pokey I came accross was this one. The yes vote campaign is complaining that there has been no government led campaign to inform the public of the new law.
While that is partly true, I would first like to know where the Yes Vote campaign supporters get a lot of their money from? It was the government last time I looked.

Fail #3. Here they complain that people find it difficult to vote 'yes' in the referendum as it means they are incriminating good parents.

Whats wrong with the truth?

Hokey #4: The document lists a number of reasons why the previous law needed reforming.

Here they claim that firstly 'positive non-violent discipline works'. The free dictionary says that discipline is, "Punishment intended to correct or train." Even if it works, it is illegal. The new S59 says that all force for the purpose of correction is illegal.

Fail #5 : Here the yes vote claim that the new law puts children on the same legal basis as adults.
Before I swallow that Hokey Pokey , could you please explain why I can force my child to eat his/her greens, but I can't force my Dad?

Fail # 6 : The Yes vote folk next tell me some of the key findings of a survey which was conducted by UMR paid for by the childrens commission. (Yes the same polling company as the Labour party).

The results which they present try to paint the picture that we don't support the use of physical discipline. Well before I believe that one, I would like to see the questions they asked.

Hokey Pokey # 7 : Here we are presented with some statistics from young people. They were asked whether they had seen an adult hit or physically hurt a child in their home within the past 12 months.

Firstly a smack is not a hit. Secondly when you ask stupid things, you get stupid answers.

Fail #8 : The yes vote team finally bring to light the truth. They say regarding child deaths from abuse "child deaths represent the extreme end of the
child abuse spectrum, and usually involve complex factors like drug and alcohol abuse and
intergenerational violence"

Here I have to congratulate the yes vote team. Well done. Aren't these the factors of child abuse that we should be targeting? NOT good parents trying to raise good citizens.

Fail #9 : Here they try and say that physical punishment hurts everything that a child is. Its relationship with parents, its safety, security etc.
That is purely oppinion. Give me some evidence and I might try chewing that one.

Final Fail # 10 ! :Here we are presented with the summary of the document.
The first point is that the law is working well they say. I don't think you can get any further from the truth. The law was passed to stop child abuse. That has not happened. That should be the test of whether the law is working.

The law does not support positive parenting. It supports violent outbursts on your child.

The law does not increase a childs protection. It diminishes it.

The referendum is necessary as the politicians continue to ignore the public

A yes vote supports criminalising all good parents who choose to use a smack for the purpose of correction.