Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Violent links to smacking

So I did the Richard Bacon show last night on smacking. I am anti smacking, Lynette Burrows is very pro smacking and she could be an extraordinarily dangerous woman were it nor for the fact she is so happy to dig holes and jump in them. It was a difficult discussion to get any meaningful points across and she clearly wound up Richard Bacon.

I wanted to pin Lynette down on the process of smacking - exactly when, and how. What triggers it, is she preemptive, ritualising the act, or does she just snap. She didn't answer. She doesn't know what attachment is. She admitted to hitting all her six children (it is necessary for a child's learning to experience a small amount of pain). Her eldest is special needs - a down syndrome baby. And she hit him too "but only when he was very small".

What was so clear (and no time to discuss on the show) is how damaged she is. She must have experienced a good deal of pain in her own childhood. Many victims of harsh parenting say - it never did me any harm. As if they have to validate it. How else as an adult can you square your mum or dad (or both) hitting you? You keep being told you are naughty and in time you believe it. You either become compliant and spend the rest of your life trying to get parental approval, or defiant and get angry with no outlet and all the mess we see around us. As I said last night you can modify the behaviour but you can't change the thoughts.

Interestingly as I arrived the receptionist said he'd shoot all the yobbo's hanging around out there and leave them to rot in the gutter where they belong. The security chap said "I'm from Africa and there all the children are smacked". To which I replied "Yes, and Africa is a very peaceful country isn't it?". "No it isn't," he came back, "it's very violent." "So now you know why." I said. He laughed and said "I'm not sure about that". But I reckon the thought registered. Treat children violently and they tend to grow violent.

I have started a discussion on this topic on our group. To apply to join, click here.