Thursday, 14 August 2008

Happy Slapping, Not So Much

I read a sorry tale of a father that has been charged for slapping his 13 year-old daughter, who then reported the matter to the police herself.

He has ended up losing his job working with children as he would now be deemed unsuitable. Though in the BBC report, it looks like he has jumped before that has actually become the case.

Since discovering this saga I’ve spent some time trying to work out how many levels this is wrong on, and why, oh why, these people were prepared to put their story out there.

I’m still stumped.

It’s difficult to comment on any parents handling of a particular incident or series of them, especially when you are not in possession of the facts.

My child has also not reached those years when he can start to do real harm to others, so again I can’t refer to experience.

But, ah, a but – means I’m going to anyway.

Well not really.

It just reminds me of a visit I made in the days that my tax return said I was important.

I spent the day at a police operations centre, chaperoning our engineers who were trying to put some unpredictable height-adjustable-desking right.

Most of our stuff was in the 999, or emergency number, incident room.

We had to sign privacy disclaimers, as we were to be overhearing the calls coming in that day.

It struck me at the time how many calls they got from children that were simply wasting police time. And we all know they need little help in that department.

One actually called, I mean actually called the police, on their highest priority emergency number, because his mom would not buy him a motorcycle.

So, what I’m getting at, is that this particular story would have been so much more interesting and thought provoking, if the police had charged the daughter with wasting their time, rather than, somewhat pointlessly, issuing a caution to her father.


Dan said...

Without the facts of the case it's difficult to say, but on the face of it I agree with you.

Single Parent Dad said...

At the very least it would have stimulated more debate, and perhaps gone against the wind of (pc) change.

Working mum said...

I heard this on the Jeremy Vine show and I felt we weren't getting the full story. I work with teenagers and I know that they can overact in anger and frustration. So, too, presumably, do the police. So how much investigation was done into whether this was assault or over-zealous parenting? Worrying on so many levels.

Sully Sullivan said...

Although I'm not the biggest supporter of people disciplining their kids physically, I think it is outrageous that he'd lose his job over it. Very sad.

I'd like to go back to the 50's and 60's and even as late as the early 90's and show some of the hard nosed dads of those generations news stories like this. I think it would be hilarious to see how they'd react.

I came here from Kori's blog on the strength of your "kick ass blogger" award and I was not disappointed. Nice blog.

Single Parent Dad said...

I know working mum. And what surprised me was their availability for the bbc. Did you run this?

Single Parent Dad said...

Cheers Sully Sullivan thanks for your comments. You need to get to work on your time travel machine, and don't forget your digital camcorder, you'd get some hits on youtube!

Kori said...

Boy, this is the topic of one of my favorite rants-how absolutely ridiculous it is that we are not allowed to discipline our kids-and the wonder what the heck is wrong with them. I can't say as I would necessarily agree with slapping said child, but then again, I don't know the whole story and maybe she really did deserve it. I have and will continue to spank my kids if necessary-and you know, the funny thing is that my kids do not fear me, but the respect me and well know that if they do get a spaking, they deserve it. Also funny, but a friend of mine has four kids who are in-between my kids' ages, and they not only have never been spanked but have never been grounded, chastised, disciplined in any manner other than gentle reasoning. But of the 8 kids total, guess whose kids are well liked, well-behaved, and are asked to go back to places they have previously visited? NOT his. Just saying that while I don't condone abuse, one slap is not, in my opinion, abuse.

Penelope said...

Yet again political correctness (is that a real word?) gone crazy!
I guess raising my voice marginally to my child will soon be grounds to lose my job and prevent me ever working again?
This stuff really gets on my ti...nerves!

Single Parent Dad said...

Kori - Deep breaths. And quality parenting.

Penelope - You can get your ti...... No thats going to come out all wrong.

FreedomFirst said...

Sure sounds that way. I have a huge problem with the amount of interference in parenting these days. The saddest thing is, they are willing sometimes to take children from their parents for real abuse, only to put them in a foster care system where they proceed to systematically ignore the abuse the kids receive.

Personally, I don't believe any parent should be cited for child abuse unless the situation is serious enough to justify removing the child (or the parent, if they go to jail) from the home. Nothing that could be defined as "slapping" would meet that criteria, IMO. Some people are a**holes, even parents. It's sad, but it's life, and government agencies don't usually help the situation by getting involved. You can't give a child a perfect life. Something can ALWAYS be done better. It can usually be worse, too.

Anita said...

I too disagree with interference with discipling our own children. Sure when the line is crossed, it is wrong, but again what is that line?

Love your blog single dad!

Post a Comment