Sunday, July 26, 2009

Herald poll reveals parents are afraid to admit to smacking kids

The Herald has done a poll on how often people smack their kids. They interviewed parents of four year olds and compared this to surveys of parents of four year olds in decades past. Of course its probably irrelevant to the Herald that that parents of four year olds are now predominately in their 30s and 40s, and as they are both working, have less time with the kids, now in 20 hours "free" childcare. Parents of four year olds were initially in their 20s, with just one breadwinner.

In 1997, 54% of parents of four year olds smacked their kids at least once a week - the same as in 1977. In 2009 it had dropped to 8.5% The survey tells us one thing: People are afraid to reveal that they break the law.

If 39% of mothers and 33% of fathers never smack, how can 66% of mothers and fathers smack occasionally? Furthermore why are 85.5% going to vote No in the referendum?

I`ll tell you. It is because some people smack their kids but will tell pollsters they don't, because they are too scared to.And even more of those who tell pollsters they don't smack their kids don't want smacking to be a criminal offence and will indicate this if they vote in the smacking referendum. Those that do smack will no doubt vote No.

Surveys should reveal that parents smack their kids less frequently.Of course they would, for three reasons. Older parents smack their children less frequently. Mothers now go to work and have fewer hours of contact with their children.Perhaps some that have the courage to declare at least weekly smacks are stay-at-home mums. If others just see their kids in the evenings and weekends and smack their kids once every three weeks in stead of every week like they did when they weren't working, the frequency, based on contact time, has actually increased. Also, why would you smack your kid in public,risking police attention.

Some parents are effectively saying they don't smack their kids at all, except occasionally, and furthermore they don't want it to be a criminal offence, attracting police attention, in case they occasionally have to break the law. Most of the rest want to continue to do so without breaking the law.They simply believe parents should have the option of whether to use a light corrective smack in certain circumstances without it being considered criminal.

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