Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Editorial: Parental discipline cannot be thuggery


Any parent will tell you the frustration you feel when your child throws a tantrum. For some reason, they will always pick the most public of places to do it.

Supermarkets, shopping centres, children's fun days - all of those places are pretty much "child must have tantrum" destinations.

Other classic tantrum times are putting children in the car. Sometimes they just don't want to go in and fight you all the way - crying and kicking.

Sometimes you get "the looks" from people that say "what a bad parent" or "what a naughty child".

No matter how frustrated you are with your child at that time, you simply cannot lose your cool.

It was shocking to hear this week a Rotorua man did more than that when he elbowed his 6-year-old stepson in the face, giving him a black eye, when he threw a tantrum.

The man, Kris Charles Clark, was trying to buckle the child into his booster seat at the time.

He has appeared in the Rotorua District Court and has been sentenced to six months' community detention and nine months' supervision after pleading guilty to assaulting the child.

It wasn't made clear in court who told the police about his actions, but whoever it was should be applauded.

Thuggery when it comes to children is simply wrong.

I urge anyone who sees such actions in the community to ring police - don't turn a blind eye and think you're interfering.

Tantrums are just a normal part of parenting. All children have them.

While discipline is important, physical retaliation is illegal.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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