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.



  1. When will people learn - smacking is the ONLY way to correctly discipline your child! Or so you'd think...

    The referendum question is not related to time out or other uses of 'force' (which you are assigning a very dubious definition to, in this context). It doesn't address s59, it is ONLY about smacking. Blame the people who came up with the silly question.

  2. Thanks for your comment Amy.

    Yes the question is about smacking. I was drawing attention the the fact that other types of discipline methods require force. Therefore they are illegal.

  3. Please read the actual law again. It clearly states that:

    Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of—
    (a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another person; or
    (b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or
    (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; or
    (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting.

    Thus, if you actually read the law, a parent (or caregiver) can use force in certain circumstances. One must conclude that forcefully placing a child in time out would be considered Okay under subsection C. There is no way anyone with half a brain can claim that time out is illegal when, using force to stop them from "engaging in offensive or disruptive behaviour" is SPECIFICALLY outlined in the law as acceptable.

    What you are saying is clearly false. Get your facts straight, I don't know, maybe by actually reading the current law. There is NO WAY you can actually construe that Robyn Malcolm has in this quote, admitted to breaking the law.

    Plus, I agree with amy, the question, no matter which way you look at it is stupid. If you are arguing about force, argue about force. But know that it isn't pertinent to the current debate considering the question refers specifically to smacking, not the use of force.

  4. Im Sorry Pear, but you are incorrect.

    You presented section 1 of the law but forgot to add Section 2 which states.

    It states, 'Nothing in Subsection (1), or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction'

    As I said in the blog post, If she uses timeout for the purpose of correction, she will be breaking the law. This is done by exercising force.

    Get your facts straight before you start quoting the law.

    Read the WHOLE law.

    Have you ever considered that it isn't the question that is stupid but actually something else?

  5. Correction in this case means: "a rebuke for making a mistake" (princeton uni online dictionary). Thus, smacking does indeed come under section 2 but timeout does not.

    I don't know what you have used time-out for, but it is not, and never should be a tool of correction. it is the means by which you remove a child from a situation where they are misbehaving. Discipline comes later (as Robyn points out) with the removal of toys etc.

    Removing a child from any situation because of the behavior of the child does not constitute correction and therefore section 2 doesn't apply.

  6. Well pear, I think it's lovely that you have a different idea of what constitutes correction than the rest of us. Somehow I think that most judges are going to go with the common understanding - that "timeout" or the "naughty step" is discipline and correction.

    But I'm sure you'll understand that what we have here is a legitimate disagreement on what the law means in reality.

    Which is another point we keep making - the law is confused. And in the face of such confusion, how can parents have confidence that they are operating within the law?

    I also suggest you read the definition of assault in the crimes act - it includes verbal threats. So what we have is that, in theory, no correction allowed at all, since even speaking to a child.

  7. "I separate myself from them. I go hang the washing. I'm the adult,I'm the one who can remove myself...."

    Doesn't it sound like she's putting herself on timeout?