My post last week about a woman hitting my daughter in the face with a rolled-up newspaper provoked a lot of thoughts from you, my dear readers. Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights.
This led me to do some thinking (I know – a dangerous occupation!) about whether parents should have the right or not to spank their own kids and whether this should be allowed in schools.
You can probably guess where I stand – right? I’m against it. Full stop.
I notice, though, that this is not the case in many countries.
Spanking kids in the home is widely approved in the States: all 50 states allow it, although spanking kids in school is banned in some states (the blue ones). So, here it is widely accepted and perhaps more of a norm.
In Europe, the story is slightly different. Corporal punishment is banned outright in many countries (the green countries), whereas a few (the blue ones) allow spanking in the home but not at school. The red countries show you where spanking is not banned at all.
I’m glad to say that Sweden was long in the forefront (in fact, it was the first country) when it came to banning spanking. Corporal punishment at school was banned back in 1958 and in 1966, parents no longer had the right to spank their kids either.
What the Swedes realized early on was that punishing kids by hitting them was not more effective than a minute’s time-out or a scolding.
Kids who get spanked may well behave themselves out of fear, but those who don’t get hit, learn their lessons out of respect and love.
In the words of Bertrand Russell:
I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.