Parents Still Flouting Smacking Law – And Still Opposing It

Family First NZ says that the latest research on parental discipline by Digipoll shows that parents are continuing to flout the law and that the opposition to it remains at its high level.

“Parents are ignoring the law because they simply don’t agree with it and because it is so confusing, but what is most significant in this latest poll is that even parents who choose not to smack are opposed to it being criminalized,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “More than a 1/3’rd of parents say they never smack yet only 11% believe it should be a criminal offence.”

“On the other hand, 61% of mums and 67% of dads admitted that they are completely ignoring the law despite the potential for investigation, intervention and prosecution by CYF and the police.”

“This research also reaffirms that parents use smacking sparingly (and have done for a number of decades), are experimenting with different parenting techniques, and that the ‘one size fits all’ model is unacceptable to parents. Parents are using different techniques for different children and that is part of the challenge of parenting – finding what works best for that particular child.”

“The Ministry of Health’s 2006/2007 NZ Health Survey (“A Portrait of Health”) found that telling a child off was the most common form of discipline (62% of parents) yet was considered most effective by only 19% of parents who used it. 40% of parents admitted yelling but only 3.7% considered it most effective, and ‘time out’ was used 50% of the time yet only a 1/3’rd of parents who used it considered it most effective.”

“Parenting isn’t for cowards but the expectations and laws being placed on parents are sure making it scary,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s time we acknowledged the difficult role of parenting, and started supporting parents – rather than eyeing them with suspicion and submitting to the organizations who are the self-appointed experts on child rearing,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s also time we targeted the real causes of child abuse and the rotten parents who are putting their kids at risk.”
ENDS