Physical Punishment is Not Funny


There are a number of things that I am passionate about and today I want to focus on two of them.If you aren’t on facebook or LinkedIn you will have missed the link to my latest Grandma blog.  Come and take a look. And share your experiences.

You are likely aware that I have some very strong feelings about the physical punishment of children. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who know that about me but still feel that it is perfectly acceptable to make fun of or diminish what I do. I have had other speakers introduce me by saying, “Kathy teaches parents how to hit kids.”  (Ha, Ha)  Ha Ha??? How is that either funny or appropriate?!

Physical punishment of children is not a joke and I deserve to be treated better. So here are my thoughts on the topic!

My Passion is not a Joke

Sometimes events just go perfectly right. Of course, that usually means fabulous planning and organizing.

This was just such an event. It was my high school reunion and all was in place when the alumni started to arrive. It was lovely venue and a group of women ready to connect, to laugh, the share memories. What could be better?

I had the honour of being asked to MC and I was thrilled. It is truly one of my favourite things to do. It came time in the program for me to introduce the keynote speaker and then retire to sit and enjoy her thoughts and memories.

And then, for me, the atmosphere changed. The speaker made a joke about hitting children and then with a big smile she said, “of course Kathy wouldn’t approve.” For her it was a joke.

As MC I didn’t believe I could take her on so I simply agreed that yes I certainly would not agree.

But it was just one in a number of instances when people think it’s funny to make a crack about physical abuse of children and how Kathy doesn’t approve.

I am always reminded of the days when it was acceptable to joke about hitting women. In the 1950s it was a source of great humor on the Jackie Gleason show. One of his signature lines, directed at his wife Alice was something like, “VaVaVoom to the moon.” And he would swing his arm and fist. Hilarious? I think not.

Well, I’ve had it, or to go to another signature line, this one from the movie Network “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more?”

There are likely a lot of reasons why I could be the butt of jokes, but working to end the physical punishment of children just isn’t one of them.

We not only would never joke about violence against women, we also don’t joke about violence against animals.

Children are citizens deserving of the same protections against assault as adults.

There are many ways to approach the topic of ending physical punishment of children and one will be to stop the laughter. It’s not funny.

A New E-Book

Why is it that Jeremy and Olivia who are siblings are so different? Every child is unique and usually shows their particular temperament right from birth. What’s a parent to do?

Watch for a new e-book due out in July called Vive la Difference; Raising Children with Different Temperaments.

You’ll find out in this newsletter the minute it is available.

Save the Date

For those of you in the Lower Mainland, you will have the opportunity to attend a workshop in Burnaby on September 11, 2013.

Details will follow, but I can tell you that it will start at 6:30 pm and the topic is “I Like Me!

Child self-esteem is a topic of growing importance in our society as we see our young people struggling to develop a positive self-image. Children and adults who feel good about themselves are happier and more successful.

In this workshop you will learn:

• Why simply loving our kids us not enough

• Why some common parenting practices are backfiring on us

• Practical ways you can help your children to develop high self-esteem

The presentation deals with the difficult and abstract concept of self-esteem and will offer a blueprint for success. It is appropriate for parents of children of all ages.


Posted in Discipline, Family Concerns, Preschoolers, School-Age, Teens, Toddlers | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Physical Punishment is Not Funny

  1. I totally agree that smacking is not the best form of discipline. I write about this and children’s temperaments on my blog. Have a look. I have written a book ‘Psychology for parents: Birth to teens’, which is free at the moment. Would you be interested in doing a review exchange of our books? My email is fayecarlisle at gmail dot com.

  2. Jennifer MacArthur says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I was NEVER (people don’t believe this) hit as a child. And is it much of a leap to say CONSEQUENTLY I have never hit and never been hit in my life. I’d argue there’s a correlation.

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