Back in the 80’s and 90’s, kids were taught to respect their elders, to treat other fairly and to generally show respect. Fast forward 20 years, and the situation is endemic.
Teachers are being expected to act like nannies. Some are even afraid of teaching certain lessons for fear of assault from not only the pupils but the parents.
This has all come around after the ‘no smacking ban’. This basically stops parents giving their charges physical punishment. Now we aren’t talking beating them to a pulp, that would just engender fear. But, a light tap on the wrist is enough to give a short, sharp shock.
Yes, we hear horror stories all the time in the news, of parents who have beaten their children black and blue for minor misdemeanours. But the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and the precious little ones of this generation are getting out of hand.
A teacher should be there to teach, not to have to cower in fear at the mere thought of upsetting a pupil or marking their work wrong. A teacher shouldn’t have to teach the very basics of etiquette, manners or social interaction. Some are even complaining they have children as young as 8, EIGHT! still using nappies and not able to take themselves to the toilet.
This namby pamby state has now given all the rights to the kids, but the adults are afraid to even touch them. There was a case a couple of years ago where a US teacher was hauled before a tribunal after he hugged a pupil who was crying because her father had passed away for ‘inappropriate touching’. It was thrown out, but if we can’t even show compassion to youngsters, which as adults, is our natural instinct, what chance do we have at disciplining them?
When a child is naughty, the consequences should come in steps. First, confiscation of their favourite belongings. Solitary seclusions and loss of activities, and if the punishment fits crime, public embarrassment.
In the wild, animals use physical force, and we are at the end of the day, animals. You only have to watch a mother dog with her puppies, if they get a bit out of control, a nip on the ear quickly grounds them. That is no different to a little tap on the wrist. We’re not talking about going back to Dickensian times where your writing hand was whipped so hard you couldn’t write for the entire day. Or that scene from Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix where Umbridge made Harry write ‘I Must Not Tell Lies’ with a magical quill that scarred the words onto his hand and used his own blood to put the words to parchment.
Parents being able discipline their children within reason is the only way that we can sort this self entitled generation out and get them back on the straight and narrow. But on the flip side, parents also need to accept responsibility for the monsters they have created. There are hundreds of ways to discipline children, be that through confiscation, exclusion, grounding. Physical discipline should seldom be used, for when overused, it becomes ineffective, but short, sharp shocks are occasionally what are needed.