Why kids need a good hiding

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Man arrested for hitting daughter

A man who was arrested and cautioned for slapping his 13-year-old daughter across the face fears he will no longer be able to work with children.

I remember when this legislation was first tabled, and the wary among us spoke out that it would mean we’d be unable to discipline children, but the Government reassured us stating that it would only stop systematic child abuse and couldn’t be used by children as a weapon against their parents.

Now we are seeing the result of that outright lie. In Britain it is no longer legal to smack your own child. Worse, any form of physical punishment can see you arrested should your child decide to make good on the usual childish threat of telling on their parents.

This is the root cause of the ‘What can I do?’ parenting that pervades Britain, parents are either scared of their children, or scared of being reported by them or some other busy body. The idiots that claimed that smacking children is wrong as it shows them violence is OK, have been show up for what they really are, pansies. My generation, my father’s generation and my grandfather’s back centuries, have all used physical punishment to keep unruly children in check.

Yet today we live in incredibly violent times, the streets are run by young thugs who’ve never had a good hiding. If violence breeds violence, why is it that children who escaped violence in the schools and violence in the home have grown up to be so violent?

Could it be because they failed to learn the simple rules during their formative years that even a dog learns.

There is a line, to cross it means pain, and pain hurts. Dogs sniff the fire but once, then they learn.

In Britain the youth today have no boundaries, there is quite literally no one to tell them what they cannot do, so they do what they want to. Teachers today complain that they are unable to eject unruly children from the classroom if they refuse to leave, the reason? If a teacher lays a hand on a pupil it is assault, and those unruly children know it. The teachers are powerless and all they can do try to reason with a spoilt child and come to an understanding.

When I was at school things were different, one boy in particular was always causing trouble. Today he would held up as the example of ‘It’s not his fault…’ ‘It’s society/single parent/ circumstances…’ and that violence wouldn’t solve these problems. His name was Daniel and his father had recently died, leaving Daniel a very troubled boy. Young Daniel had his problems, but he made sure that his problems were also the problems of the other 30 children in the class. Of course I had sympathy for Daniel, but I had my own life to lead and didn’t see then, or now, why his problems should ruin my education and that of 30 other children.

Daniel was disruptive whenever possible, but he wasn’t stupid, back then too there were teachers that didn’t use physical punishments, especially the women and it was these teachers that felt the full force of Daniel’s ire. I remember one occasion when Daniel was pulling out all the stops and the poor teacher just couldn’t cope, Daniel’s disruption was spreading and the class was in chaos, so she popped next door for help.

The door slammed open and 6 foot 7 inches of angry gym teacher came charging in straight for young Daniel, I had never seen such fear on Daniel’s face before, the teacher grabbed Daniel and threw him several feet through the air at the wall which had all the coat pegs on, I don’t think there was anyone in the room that didn’t flinch at that. He then opened the classroom door (that had shut behind him), grabbed Daniel again and flung him down the corridor before slamming the door on his way out.

Needless to say our class was suddenly transformed into the best behaved class in the school, even with the ‘weak’ teachers. Daniel was never as disruptive again, but naturally it wasn’t a magic bullet for him, he was eventually moved to a ‘special school’, but for the 30 other pupils in the classroom that day, it was a lesson that they’d never forget. They’d been clearly shown where the boundaries of good behaviour lay, and knew what to expect should they cross them.

This is of course the point that the pansies do not understand, violence may not necessarily help all children, but it will certainly help keep those who are just out for pushing their luck in check. When I was a child what I and my school mates feared was the good hiding we’d get from our parents for our misbehaviour, the worse thing that an adult could do was tell our parents about the bad things we’d been up to.

Today if you were lucky your complaint would be met with a shrug from the parents, if you were unlucky it would be abuse or ironically, violence.

People talk of boot camps and other ways of getting unruly kids to respect their elders and behave responsibly, but I think that more needs to be done. Children need to be stripped of these stupid rights that mean that to all intents and purposes, they are untouchable, even to the police. I understand that removing the right for anyone to discipline unruly children was done to protect children, but it has failed. Removing the right of parents to discipline their own children was just plain stupid.

Corporal punishment should also be reintroduced into schools. The vast majority of British school children over the past 100 years faced the cane on a daily basis, yet grew up into far better behaved youngsters and adults than today’s molly coddled kids.

We listened to so called experts who claimed that violence is wrong in any form and and said that we should try and reason with children and understand them, apparently oblivious to the fact that we were all children at one time and that we should really think back to what we would have done in those circumstances. When I was a child, such actions would only be seen in one way, as a soft touch.

14 responses to “Why kids need a good hiding

  1. Sometimes parents who shun physical punishment resort to punishments that are even more emotionally painful to the child: out-of-control yelling at the child, ignoring him, isolating him in a room or closet, threatening to leave the child or give him away — all of this is very scary, especially for very young or insecure children. But, it is all “non-violent”. What’s worse: A quick swat to the butt when the child misbehaves, or the emotional shenanigans parents resort to in lieu of an occasional slap or spanking?

  2. I can’t accept corporal punishment in the schools. Quite simply I can’t tolerate someone else striking my child.Education related punishment is a better alternative imo up to and including expulsion.

  3. “I can’t accept corporal punishment in the schools.”
    Agreed. Schools have other measures they can take. Unfortunately, what we see here “across the pond” is that many parents do not support the teachers. If the teacher contacts the parents to tell them that little Johnnie has been misbehaving, the parents get angry — at the teacher. Kids learn quickly that they do not need to take the teacher seriously.

  4. proggiemuslima:
    What’s worse: A quick swat to the butt when the child misbehaves, or the emotional shenanigans parents resort to in lieu of an occasional slap or spanking?

    I agree. We’ve been told for years that the best way to punish children is the put them in a ‘naughty corner’ or take away rewards. This may make perfect sense to child psychologists but explaining to the child why they have to stand in a corner and not talk or move can be a nightmare for parents. It also causes problems when they refuse to stand in the corner.

    All this approach of depriving children of either love or attention does is create clingy, selfish kids.

    A quick slap around the bottom or the legs was more than enough for me to learn not to do that again.

  5. Alfie:
    I can’t accept corporal punishment in the schools. Quite simply I can’t tolerate someone else striking my child…

    I disagree, I think that there has to be a line but I’d be perfectly happy for anyone to smack my child were they misbehaving in the street, or at school.

    I remember as a child showing off in front of my friends by swearing in the street, we all thought it was very funny. Unfortunately an elderly neighbour heard me, slapped me in the face and marched me home by the ear. My mother didn’t even hear my side of the story, completely believing the neighbour and even thanking her, before giving me a good hiding for embarrassing her.

    I think that is the key, we have to trust people again. Naturally if I had come back black and blue my mother wouldn’t have been so inclined to believe the neighbour’s story, but she trusted this lady and could no doubt tell by my face that I was guilty.

    I think that the schools are at breaking point trying to control disruptive children and parents should have faith in them to be able to punish children without singling them out, being too harsh or punishing them unnecessarily.

  6. proggiemuslima
    If the teacher contacts the parents to tell them that little Johnnie has been misbehaving, the parents get angry — at the teacher. Kids learn quickly that they do not need to take the teacher seriously.

    We have the same problem over here. My parents always used to ask what I had done when I told them about being told off or slapped by the teacher and never believed me when I told them it wasn’t my fault (it always was!)

    Yet today parents seem to take it as a personal insult when their children are punished and always assume fault with the teacher, rather than their little angel.

  7. Joan Davies Clayforth

    well I think that these unruly children that commit crime and do drugs, haven’t had tender loving care in their life, or taught respect from the people that most matters..their parents. they have just been left to fend for themselves while parents work then go bingoing in the evening or drinking.. and I do believe a child will retaliate if it keeps on getting smacked, and will come a day when that child will be driven to giving it’s parent a cow tailer..so my oppinion, give children tender loving care, always be there for them, teach them respect and you will see an excellent child..

    • Thanks for the comment, but I don’t agree. Too much of anything is bad for you, and that includes tender loving care. Indeed a recent study has discovered that ‘tough love’ is best for kids as it better prepares them for the real world and allows them to develop more varied and useful character traits.

      By molly coddling kids and teaching them that nothing that they ever do is really that bad gives them the impression that they are untouchable. We have a generation or two of children for whom Corporal Punishment was someone from Dad’s Army, yet never have the streets been so dangerous and violent.

      A good hiding never did anyone any harm, but like anything else, over use makes it pointless. Smacking a child should be the last resort, when they cross that line. But all children should know the line is there, and what happens when they cross it. Today it seems that we shy away from doing what humans have been doing for hundreds of years, and that is bringing our children up the same way we were brought up. Most of us had good parents, yet instead we listen to so called experts, who tell us the opposite of what we know, instead of allowing us to use the same methods that kept us out of trouble, and made us decent hard working people.

      My philosophy is ‘spare the rod, spoil the child.’

  8. I’ve been raised well. If I did something wrong then it was dealt with and hardly ever repeated without consequences. I’m in favour of mistakes being made at home and learning done at home. Discipline should never have to be enforced in classes, but I’m all for it. Many times, during my mainstream schooling, I’ve wished for the teacher to turn around and belt students x, y, and z. What I cannot tolerate is teachers who deliberately allow unruly runts to act up in class, especially when they’re victimising others or simply being a pain.

  9. I can’t stand namby-pamby people who seem to assume that anyone smacking or spanking a child can’t be a loving, good parent. I was only smacked a couple of times (not spanked), but I think I would have been if I’d done half of what some kids do. I think there comes a point, especially with violent children, when enough is enough, and sometimes a walloping can do this. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I bet it would for a few.

  10. At one time it was legal to hang children for theft. The prospect of swinging from the gallows dying slowly of suffocation or a heart attack didn’t stop them stealing though. Children from troubled backgrounds always misbehaved and always will. My father died when I was three and I remember I misbehaved a bit when I first started primary school. Should a gym teacher have tried to kill me for that as this one you write about nearly killed (and I mean that without exaggeration) that pupil? People who go into teaching frequently are bullies who can’t cope in the real world working with other adults and so go into teaching because they can feel big by bullying the pupils. It would’t surprise me to find your gym teacher was sexually assaulting the girls at your school as well. You see, when children live in that much fear of adults and take everything they say and do as completely right without question they become vulnerable. Nowadays we have misbehaving children, we always have, but we have less child abuse. Not just in terms of people not giving children a “clip round the ear,” but in terms of children not being emotionally and sexually abused and treated with extreme and unjustifiable violence at home, at school and in care homes.
    Say you got pulled over for speeding? Would you find it acceptable for the police officer to pull your pants down and give you ten lashes across your arse with a whip in front of all the other motorists as they drove by to teach you a lesson and show them the penalty for breaking the speed limit. There would be uproar if such a ruling were introduced. Yet you and many other people in society think it’s acceptable to treat children, who we have a duty to care for and protect because they’re vulnerable, in that violent way.
    It’s shameful.

    • Those children continued stealing because they were starving. It isn’t a real comparison. When you can perhaps die from your action but certainly die from inaction, you’ll always choose action. We’re talking about misbehaving because they can.

      The gym teacher wasn’t trying to kill him, I honestly can’t think of a reasonable way of putting it, but to suggest such a thing is absolutely ridiculous. He propelled him out of the room, that is all. He didn’t hit him, or use an implement to hit him. Daniel wouldn’t so much as had a mark or scratch on him. If that is your idea of near death, then crossing the road for you must be tantamount to playing Russian Roulette.

      You clearly have a problem with teachers and that colours your thinking on this issue and you were either unfortunate in that you didn’t have any great teachers or you were a spoilt little child that ruined class for the teacher and all the other pupils out of spite. I am guessing the later.

      No, I wouldn’t advocate ten lashes for speeding, that is insane, it is minor offence. I also wouldn’t advocate smacking a child so needlessly either. But driving without a license, which endangers you and those around you, that would be deserving of ten lashes. I am a proponent of bringing back the birch. Same goes for children, they should be smacked as a last resort, but something that puts them in danger (children don’t comprehend the consequences of their actions – they don’t really understand death and their own vulnerability) or those around them, deserves a good hiding. They may not understand the danger still, but they will, with any luck, remember the hiding they got last time.

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