Minister should have kept quiet over smacking
Last updated at 16:55, Tuesday, 05 February 2013
THERE are times when it’s wisest to shut up and say nowt – even when you’re bursting to have your say.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling should have known that before he whipped up a storm by defending parents’ rights to smack their children. Big mistake that. Huge.
The Tory cabinet minister said he was not opposed to smacking youngsters, claiming sometimes it “sends a message”.
Well, he certainly did that. Who’s sorry now?
Mr Grayling has two children, aged 20 and 16, and has admitted he occasionally smacked them when they were younger.
“You chastise children when they are bad, as my parents did me,” he said.
“I’m not opposed to smacking. It is to be used occasionally. Sometimes it sends a message – but I don’t hanker for the days when children were severely beaten at school.”
He was immediately condemned by children’s charities and lobby groups, who denounced his confessional as a charter for abuse behind closed doors. You can see their point.
You might well see his too.
But in these days of heavily policed thought and speech, it’s probably best not to say so.
In fact, the best idea would be to work out your own way of raising your children, find the most effective ways of chastising and disciplining and say as little as possible.
Because it’s bound to be wrong.
There is, of course, an enormous difference between beating the living daylights out of a child and slapping little fingers about to stray into an electric socket or unguarded fire.
Violence in the home, as was inflicted on poor tortured Baby P, compares in no way with an occasional smack that says: “For your own safety and for the safety of others, stop playing chicken on that busy road. Now!”
But if you don’t want to land yourself in hot water or be labelled a monster, don’t go there, even in polite conversation.
Smacking a child in anger translates into a dangerous loss of control and an absence of the patience required to reason with a youngster who needs to learn the difference between right and wrong.
Most parents understand that.
Chris Grayling isn’t alone in having been smacked as a child. He’s not the only parent to have slapped to “send a message”.
But he is a politician who really should know he’s on a hiding to nothing when he tries to talk about it sensibly.
First published at 16:46, Monday, 04 February 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Another politician who has to say sorry for speaking the truth about unruly children.
Disipline of a child,a parent should be allowed to disiplne his children,he has to control them.
Not some one sitting prone behind a desk in Brussels coming up with stupid ideas.
Disipline did not do me any harm.
I deserved,and took it with out question,when my dad handed it out.
Make your comment
- Updated: Man's body found on Barrow beach
- Rescuers come to the aid of injured woman in Lake District
- Mountain rescue team attend to fell walker with head injury in Lakes
- Bottles of spirits stolen from Ulverston Food Festival stall
- UPDATE: Missing wild camper in Cumbria found safe and well
- Dog found on Cumbria mountain returns home
- Man, 66, dies after Cumbria crash
- Food lovers line the streets for Ulverston festival
- Your guide to Kidfest in Barrow - Britain's biggest children’s music festival
- Delight for Swarthmoor singer as Misstasia make live shows of Britain's Got Talent
- Adopted Cumbrian Ben blasts fastest Test ton at Lord's
- Grand National winner plots Cartmel success
- Record prize money on offer for Cartmel in 2015
- Raiders ace Wiper desperate for return
- Added sparkle for Cartmel ladies race
- Capital result and good time for bonding
- Max Wiper desperate for Barrow Raiders return
- Walney Cents win Barton Townley Cup thriller (1 comment)
- Hambley set for Barrow Raiders debut
- England Under-17s call-up for Barrow football ace
- Super South Cumbria holiday weekend for live music
- Countdown to December
- Price tag of £800 for the perfect pint
- Golden era of the variety acts gets return to stage
- WEDDING ALBUM: Michelle Fredericks and Matthew Wilson
- Rail station mix-up brought firm to town
- Church pulls in drinkers
- FOOD REVIEW: The Wheatsheaf Inn, Brigsteer (1 comment)
- TRAVEL REVIEW: Slovenia
- An invite to party like its 1945