I have the utmost respect for Dawn Picken. Her articles make excellent, thought-provoking reading. However, her latest column on physical discipline (Opinion, June 8) is wrong on some counts. I'm afraid she seems to be in the camp that cannot differentiate between discipline and violence.
First, there is absolutely no harm in delivering a controlled, sharp smack to a child to let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable. Lesson learnt; it's over and done with. Delivering the same punishment in anger or out of frustration is wrong. Striking a defenceless child in uncontrolled fury with fists or a weapon is a criminal offence that needs to be expunged from our society.
I don't agree with those who think it is wrong to control children with physical discipline. It can, in fact, be very effective and very important, especially in their formative years. Without it, a child is ignorant of limits and grows up to be out of control, and don't we see a lot of that today. (Abridged)
In my view, successive governments keep putting patches on the wounds of our free lifestyle - the Wellbeing Budget a case in point.
Promoting help for child poverty, domestic violence and mental health which are the downside of a liberal, democratic, capitalist, western society, that we are.
I feel that when there are fewer boundaries and more temptations, there needs to be a corresponding increase in consequences for those that behave adversely in such an environment.
Applying the correct consequences would increase the wellbeing of our communities and the need for prisons, hospitals, women's shelters and policing would diminish.
While the United Nations has its place with disaster relief, aid and peacekeeping efforts, it misses the point completely with how to handle the downside of a modern Western society.
I feel that the introduction of corporal punishment is the answer to so much misery and violence in our homes and on our streets caused by bad behaviour.
The way I see it is that neither of the two major parties would introduce caning as corporal punishment, but I am sure if someone started a party with this included in its manifesto, it would attract more than 5 per cent of the voting public and would see the pain and suffering of our battered women and children reduced, and drug marketing channels dealt with.
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