Adam Hughes (Letters, June 20) seems to be another of those who cannot distinguish between corrective discipline and abuse or violence.
At the risk of sounding condescending I think it should be pointed out that children need firm, clear control to learn right from wrong.
One supposes that adults have learned that difference, although judging by the behaviour of some these days one wonders if they ever did learn.
Some years ago I had a conversation with a teenager who was the eldest of three boys raised in a family who shunned corporal punishment.
He was adamant that he and his brothers should have been given a smack at times.
When I asked him why, he told me it would have delivered a much clearer message when they did wrong.
Wishy-washy punishment like time out or being deprived of a privilege was ineffective and at times built up resentment.
In his own words, it was like "Mum and Dad told us we were doing wrong but somehow it didn't really matter. So we just used our time out to figure out how we could get away with it next time."
Range of disciplinary measures too narrow
Replying to Adam Hughes' questions ( Letters, June 20 ).
Is it acceptable to whack adults? No.
If not, why whack "defenceless" children? Teachers and parents are responsible for bringing up children and that includes discipline. Particularly self-discipline which is lacking with many today. "Defenceless" is an emotive word. Children are equally "defenceless" in any punishment.
What age range is acceptable? Up to leaving secondary school. In practice very few senior secondary students were whacked.
Why acceptable to physically "abuse" a child? Another emotive word. Whacking is simply one of a range of disciplines. It has never been compulsory for teachers or for parents and was not abuse.
I cannot recall girls ever being whacked although I am aware it did occur in some schools. Many girls envied the boys, preferring one minute's pain of whacking to 30 minutes' detention.
In today's environment teachers, in particular, and parents have an unnecessarily narrow range of disciplinary measure which they are able to take.
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