Papa Don't Preach
Scott Kara's (rough) guide to being a father.

Have yourself a smack-free Christmas

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Scott Kara's rough guide to being a first-time father

Photo / Kellie Blizard
Photo / Kellie Blizard

Along with giving the kids a doll's house, a my little pony, or whatever it is they might want this Christmas, apparently it's okay to give them a light, open-handed smack too.

Only when they do something wrong, of course. And one that doesn't leave an "enduring mark". Even the prime minister says it's okay.

What the hey? I don't think so.

I've banged on about this before, but the smacking debate refuses to go away. This week a review into the anti-smacking law found the controversial legislation was working just fine - and parents were not being investigated unduly for light smacking.

I'm all for parents raising their little ones rather than the government interfering. Then again, I can't understand why people are so opposed to law that discourages violence against children.

After all, little smacks can sometimes lead to bigger more violent ones, especially when the booze comes out for the festive season and the added stresses of Christmas start taking their toll.

This year south Auckland police are doing something about it. They've sent letters to certain families to encourage a peaceful and violence free Christmas.

It's akin to the Christmas drink driving blitz where word is put out that the booze buses will be out in force and hopefully that makes people think twice about jumping in their car and sneaking home after the work do.

Hopefully police all around the country are being just as proactive because family violence is not only happening in Manukau that's for sure.

So here's an idea - and call me soppy, or call me soft - but what about having a smack free time over the Christmas and New Year period? Even if the kids are high on trifle and brandy snaps, and they're being little brats, just let it go.

Give them time out in their room. Take that new toy off them for a bit. Hell, give yourself time out in your own room if need be, just don't whack the little ones.

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