Whilst I cautiously welcome the announcement of a smacking ban in Scotland, I also wonder whether legislation is required in these circumstances.
There seems to be an overriding consensus in the Scottish Government that parents need their input in various aspects of parenting.
But I’m not convinced they do or that obtrusive state interference in family life is a good thing.
State Intervention / Interference
We’ve already seen how the SNP want to monitor family life with their ill-conceived Name Person scheme.
With the Supreme court ruling that information sharing proposals breached the European Convention on Human Rights.
That’s a pretty damning assessment in my book!
State interference in family life should be as limited as possible in my opinion.
Where there are issues within a family or a family asks for help, then that’s where existing agencies should get involved.
Social workers and health visitors are already primed to be able to handle most things.
How Will The Smacking Ban In Scotland Be Policed?
The trouble with this kind of interference is policing it.
Some people will just ignore the smacking ban in Scotland and continue as they had before.
Out in the open, people can be seen if they smack their kids but indoors is another matter entirely.
Are the police going to rely on friends and family to report incidents?
How will they provide proof if there’s no mark or any other evidence?
It’s like big brother’s watching your every move.
But I’m not convinced how effective the deterrent will be in the long run.
Corporal punishment isn’t something to be taken lightly but the odd tap on the hand won’t harm kids.
I have smacked both of my kids in the past but it’s at that point that you’ve lost control.
It’s not something I do regularly.
And I will avoid it going forward although not just because of the smacking ban in Scotland.
More because it’s not good for either party concerned.
It can have negative effects on relationships and potentially on long term behaviour.
But I still believe it should be up to the parents how they wish to discipline their kids, not the state.
After all, most parents are reasonable people who don’t go around bashing their kids.
And that’s where social workers and health visitors are invaluable in cases where parents need more guidance.
Not the strong arm of the law.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever smacked your kids?
Do you think smacking should be banned?
Would it make any difference to how you discipline your kids?
Please let me know in the comments section below.