What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

heartbrokenfather
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What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby heartbrokenfather » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:55 pm

Hi All.

I have wanted to start this topic for quite some time, but I have been unsure on how to approach the subject, as I know there is a wide rage of thoughts and feelings regarding acceptable discipline for children.

Even when I have asked social workers and the people who did my parenting assessment what would they personally class as acceptable discipline for a child, they have all refused / declined to comment on the subject.

When it comes down to disciplining a child it all depends on what they have done wrong and their age.

Verbal warnings, Time out, Naughty step, Sent to their room, etc.

When handing out discipline to my children I see things like, mobile phones, tablet computers, laptop computers, games consoles, watching tv, playing outside, other activities, etc, as a privilege not a right.
And depending on the child's behaviour these privileges maybe revoked for a period of time.

Child Chastisement (Smacking), Now I know this subject is widely debated.
I personally think that smacking should only be used as a last resort when all else has failed.
I totally abhor Hitting and or Smacking any child of any age with any kind of object e.g. cane, ruler, belt, slipper, etc.

Now I have been trying to research around the subject of child chastisement (smacking).
It seems within England and Wales it is not against the law to smack your child.
Researching more into the matter starts to get cloudy very quickly, as most references to smacking a child as "reasonable punishment" but no where can I find what is classed as reasonable punishment, the closest I have been able to find is "not to leave any red marks or bruising".

Please let me know your views on this matter.

Thanks for your time.

Best Regards.

ange301126
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby ange301126 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:27 am

Dear Heartbrokenfather,
If you tell a social worker you think smacking can be used as a last resort,if he or she has illegitimate aims , it will be used against you.
If you are against smacking, the sw can use that against you.They will express concerns you cannot control your children.

My view is that we all confuse smacking with corporal punishment.
A smack is not a punishment, it is a loving,sometimes impulsive and involuntary,instinctive gesture made with the parental intent to correct, rein-in and train one's children for the world.A smack is usually made instinctively to a soft part of the body and will be no harder than a nudge or jog to the elbow.A smack cannot cause a bruise or injury.A smack on the face is unacceptable as chastisement but it is acceptable to give a short,sharp slap on the cheek as a first-aid measure to stop hysterical outbursts.Hysteria is dangerous.
As children get older,obviously,most parents will no longer need to smack them.

If older children misbehave that raises the question of what other sanctions have we?
Corporal punishment is one such.This can really hurt children and I understand it is illegal if it leaves a red mark or bruise.I would say it is impossible to cane a child or use a slipper or strap( commonplace until a few years ago) without leaving a red mark.There are different ways of using corporal punishment which largely depends on the cultural background and character of the person concerned.Some would give a child a real,good hard leathering(acceptable years ago but not now.These people include school heads.Others used a belt as more of an incitement to good behaviour. A mother might threaten to get Dad to take a belt to a child but if it came to it,Dad would merely administer a tap on the rump. Usually just the threat of incurring Dad's displeasure would deter a child. Psychologists might argue that using such a threat is emotional abuse so you can't win these days.Corporal punishment in schools and corrective institutions is now illegal and I would say parents should also refrain from the practice.
You can use grounding,withdrawal of pocket-money etc which may have an effect but a child will make his own choices in the end.( Many times even a teenage Ange climbed out of his bedroom window and cimbed back in at midnight)
A parent has to shape the future character of a child before the age of ten years and to do that you have to give as much moral guidance and administer as many smacks as you think fit.
There are inbetweens such as a clip round the ear and a good kick up the backside!
Social workers will never be interested in the truth of any situation only in how they can win their case.I wouldn't advice anything other than perfect political correctness.Be squeaky-clean or give that impression.When they make a comment , it is advisable just to whimper 'yes' and tug your forelock.
I have to say that things have changed.I cannot imagine any situation where I would have dreamt of betraying my parents to a sw or even to other children at school.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:56 pm

Dear Heartbrokenfather,

As you state, parents in England and Wales are allowed to use “reasonable chastisement” i.e. smack their child. However if a child has been hit hard enough to leave any kind of mark then it becomes a criminal offence. It is also a criminal offence to use an implement to hit a child.

It is our view that it is never appropriate to smack or otherwise physically chastise a child. There’s always other, more suitable, forms of discipline. We would always give this advice to anyone contacting us on this issue as it would also be the view of Children’s Services.

Regarding this statement made by Ange:
I have to say that things have changed. I cannot imagine any situation where I would have dreamt of betraying my parents to a sw or even to other children at school.


It is not the case of a child betraying their parents. The reality is that some children are abused by their parents. Those children need a safe person they can confide in, in an environment where they feel secure, and be confident that person will protect them.

Best wishes

Suzie

ange301126
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby ange301126 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:15 pm

Dear Heartbrokenfather, Like I said times have changed,years ago a child would have been denigrated had he 'betrayed' his or her school after a savage beating from the headteacher or his care home following an assault by a social worker..Corporal punishment was the norm.
Complain to your parents or social worker about teachers and you would have got little sympathy.Your parents would support the schoolteachers fully.Likewise,children would be ignored by school were they to complain about being given a hiding at home or receiving a clip round the ear by a 'bobby'.
Now to leave a red mark or a bruise on a child is counted as child-abuse which the majority of us will agree with.The reality is that smacking a child is not child abuse in England and Wales and in a recent straw poll on the radio 54 percent agreed with the practice.
I forgot to mention in my previous post that it is never really appropriate for a man to ' smack' his daughter and most men will instinctively refrain from that.

It was interesting that Suzie came on to this thread to put her view. I am sure you welcome all users opinions even if they differ.
Just a warning; should Social Workers ever ask you to sign a paper to say you will never smack a child, remember they are exceeding their authority(probably with an eye on the main chance).I personally have never smack my children but I will always respect other parent's legal,family rights to do so as I know we all will.Have you a personal view?

coachkev
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Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:48 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby coachkev » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:57 pm

Hi, if you be truthful to yourself ,if you did hit your child for any reason , then sat back and thought about it, 90% of people would feel guilty, and what the child did didn't really justify a fully grown man or women hitting a much smaller person because they can.
i would like to think most smacks are done, form the child doing something that puts them selves in danger, so the parent smacks the child out of fright, making the child realize they've done something wrong, It will never be ok to hit a child, for the simple reason your smack my be harder than mine and everyone elsers. this is why all adults with children have to be more patient, with mountains of self control.
Think about what your going to do ,before you do it,,,simples

Poppy2
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Poppy2 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:46 pm

My child has ADHD and a learning disability and he was refusing to get ready to go to school one morning and his father put his hand on my sons shoulder and pushed him softly to sit down and put his shoes on and he told my son he would be going to school. On my return from work that day my world was turned upside down because 2 social workers arrived referring to what they called 'The Incident that morning' I asked them what this incident was supposed to be and they kept saying 'due to child protection we are not allowed to say'. To cut a long story short my son went into the school and told school his dad had beat him up that morning (no bruises by the way and this was not true because I was there). School contacted SW and SW contacted the police and my sons father had to be removed from the family home until SW completed their investigation. My husband was out for just over 6 weeks. During this time they held a meeting and both my children were placed on the child protection register for 3 months and they said the reason for this was because they believed my children could be at risk of suffering from physical and emotional abuse. I am truly sickened at this because I can honestly say I have never harmed or lifted my hand to any of my two children ever and a raised voice from their Dad is enough to stop any bad behaviour from the kids. 6 months on and they are both still on the register one of the reasons for this is because they have still to put the parenting programme into place. (I have already done 2 parenting courses over 4 years ago which I enrolled into myself). The second reason is that my son has now been showing sexually unacceptable behaviours and a safety plan has been put in place which means I have to escort him to and from school and he is not allowed out to play at all. I'm fed up because I have done everything that has been asked of me and followed all the rules and yet I am made to feel like a rubbish parent who does not know how to parent. Two years ago I felt my son was going off the rails, he was always getting into trouble in and outwith school and I phoned SW for help and advice and received none. Now they have forced their way into our lives and I just don't see any light at the end of the tunnel for my family and don't have anyone to talk to.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:08 pm

Dear Poppy

I am sorry that you are feeling fed up and frustrated by having Children Services involved with your family for such a long time.

As far as Children Services are concerned, if they receive a referral regarding a child they do have a duty to act on that referral. Whilst you disagree with what you son told his teachers at school, Children Services had to look into it. Having done so, they decided that it was appropriate to carry out child protection investigations and, as a result of this decided to have an Initial Child Protection Conference which decided the children needed to be on Child Protection Plans.

The purpose of the plan is to ensure that steps are taken to ensure the children are safe and not at risk of harm. It is very important that you adhere to the child protection plan because if you do not this could lead to Children Services taking more drastic action possibly by initiating court proceedings. Please read our advice sheet regarding child protection procedures for more detailed information.

It appears from your post that at Review conference the decision was that the children needed to remain on child protection plans. The reason for this you say is because Children Services still want to you both to do parenting programme. If this should have been set us the Social Worker under the child protection plan and this has not been done, then you could write to the social worker and his or her team manager to say that you would like arrangements to be made as a matter of urgency. Ask for an explanation in writing of why it has not been done and confirmation of the timescale for arranging it.

In your post you say that you son is showing sexually unacceptable behaviours which will be of concern. Please ensure that you adhere to the safety plan. What other help or support is Children Services offering to your son to find out why he is behaving this way? Has a referral been made for any psychological or therapeutic work with your son? Has a referral been made to CAMHS for your son? I have included a copy of our advice sheet here relating to family support.

I am sure that you are not a ‘rubbish’ parent and have always done your best for your children. Unfortunately, things can sometimes happen even with the best of parenting so I do not think you should feel bad about yourself as a parent. You should point out to Children Services that you previously sought help and did not receive it and had you done so things would not have escalated.

You seem to be feeling very despondent at the moment and I can understand how this situation might make you feel there is no end in sight. I would encourage you to try and be positive that there will be an end and a good outcome for your family. I think it is important that you son get the help and support he needs now in respect of his sexualised behaviour so that hopefully he will not go into adulthood with the same tendencies.

Please continue to work and cooperate with Children Services even though you do not like to intrusion into your family life. Engagement in an open way is the best way to have a good outcome, so continue as you have been doing up to now.

As you say you have no one to talk to I suggest that you speak to your GP who may be able to refer you for counselling. Also, you could contact Family Lives on 0808 808 3555 who might be able to refer you on to a support group in your local area. Contact a Family on 0808 808 3555 might also be able to help bearing in mind you son’s disability.

I hope you will find this information useful. Should you wish to speak to one of our Advisers, please do telephone our free advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Poppy2
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Poppy2 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:50 pm

Dear Suzie thank you for your advice and the links to help it just seems like it's been one thing after another. My son has been involved with CAMHS for the last 4 years and is on medication through them for his ADHD but I asked them in May if a full assessment may be carried out on my child but they felt at that time that it would not be necessary. I want my son to get through this and get whatever help is necessary and I know I must remain strong too for my family but sometimes it can be so overwhelming. Today the police phoned and they want my husband to come down to the police station to serve him some court papers so I don't know what will happen next. I' m glad I found this Forum because it has been really helpful.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: What is Acceptable Child Discipline?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:56 am

Dear Poppy2

I am glad you have found it helpful to receive support from the parents' discussion board.

Please feel free to post back for an update in respect of the police involvement or aspect of your situation.

Best Wishes

Suzie


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