Family First NZ says that a biography on Barnardos founder Dr Thomas Barnardo shows that he clearly understood the difference between appropriate discipline and child abuse.
In the book Father of Nobody’s Children – a portrait of Dr. Barnardo by Norman Wymer, originally published in 1954, it discusses how he dealt with discipline including ‘mild’ smacking or time-out, but his code included safeguards against too harsh treatment
“… The schoolmaster’s punishment is to be limited to two strokes on the hand – one on each hand… Any master… who raises his hand or foot to any boy in the house, who is found guilty of having struck a boy with his hand, with a stick, with his foot, or treated him with violence,,, will be peremptorily dismissed. All the Masters are entreated to remember that the law of kindness must govern the house…”
“It is quite evident that Dr Barnardo who worked with nearly 60,000 children over his lifetime knew the concepts of ‘good parental correction’, non-abusive or light smacking, and the difference between smacking and child abuse,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“It is disappointing that the modern-day Barnardos organisations around the world are willing to spend so much energy and resources refuting the techniques used by their founder with so much success. The love and respect afforded to Dr Barnardo was well deserved and appropriate.”
“There is no doubt that he would have voted NO in the Referendum and would have opposed a law that criminalised his actions as he sought to support and care for so many children through his work,” says Mr McCoskrie.