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Monday, 31 January 2011

To discipline, or not to discipline?

So, I was reading an article and came across an interesting topic. Is a smack to a child as a disciplinary measure barbaric, or a natural way of punishing children?

So how DO we punish our children to be an effective deterrent to disobedience?

The discussion of this teetered back and forth some ways. Some referred to it as a barbaric practice that belonged back in the 20th Century and that using violence against a child only influenced the child to use violence to assert their authority.
The other direction was that given enough warnings, a smack to a child’s legs or backside would be an effective deterrent via pain stimulus instead of taking the child aside and telling them they cannot do that which has been previously explained before and may not have enough sway to deter them from attempting the same thing again.

I can see both points of view however.
I was subject by both of my parents to smacks on my legs and backside if I was naughty, and by naughty I mean completely unruly and not just a little bit stubborn. I didn't get into trouble or disobey their rules because I knew the consequences of doing so and that would have been a physical punishment.
As I got older and gained in possessions such as a TV, video player and stereo I found another version of punishment was to remove these objects from my possession. If I still disobeyed I would have been on the painful end of a hand around my backside.
Then there were other times, for example, when I was around 6/7 years old I referred to my sister as a bug-er as she was "bugging" me, a simple creation of a word caused in innocence. I promptly received a smack for this and was baffled when I was told it was a naughty word. Did this have a detrimental effect on me? Yes. Don't make up your own words - you can say my literal creativity was stifled by this, it could even be said it may have contributed to problems I have with spelling words in my head. Not that I believe that, but someone could correlate them.

Now, I grew up relatively fine. I did well academically and socially and live a relatively happy life at the moment. I've never hit another person to assert my authority but have in defence of my physical self. I have become a completely different person to my parents, with differing opinions and thoughts to them. But I do however agree with them solidly on one subject. A smack for a child who will not listen to their parents or has had more than enough warnings about bad behaviour is a more natural discipline and better for society than the "live and learn" approach.

In nature life is full of these examples. For Wolves and Lions (two contrasting species) if a young cub disobeys his mother and wanders too far from home the mother will nip it to obey her. If she lets it wander off then the mischief they could get in could be fatal. The method here works. And it works for humans as a species too.

We live in an age where parents are told they should not discipline their children by smacking, with children as young as 6 being given mobile phones, dvd players, computers and televisions they have far too many possessions to seize control of them all at once.
So, what do you do for children who repeatedly ignore their parent’s education and pleas to curb their behaviour?

Through my physical punishments I was taught to respect others, to respect authority and respect 'law'. How I was made to do this was to fear the consequences of NOT respecting them. Educations through school also taught me to respect those same rules of suffer the consequences but not to a greater effect as teaching became more tolerant to those who misbehaved. The children who wanted to learn were pushed back by those who misbehaved in lessons causing disruption, so little wonder some diverted and became trouble causers in order to get attention.

Now there is a line between a parent using physical punishment and a parent abusing their child. One is to educate while the other is, well, for a depraved self satisfaction. I do NOT advocate the abuse of children by their parents for trivial matters (and my view of trivial matters is being unhappy, questioning opinions, minor disobedience) and never will.
This is of course reliant on good Social Servicing, but the law clearly states that use of physical punishment is allowed by parents as long as they do not injure them.

These are my views on the subject and as views they are open to flexibility, I'm open to debate on anything.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Richard Woolard the the "Fees Protest"

There is some raging debate on the youngster Richard Woolard charged over his reckless endangerment of the public by dropping a fire extinguisher from Millbank Tower on the day of the first Student protests.
A custodial sentence of 32 months was given to him over the offence.

Outcries have come out from this about the vastly disproportionate differences on sentences in the judicial system. It seems to most that young Master Wollard has been made an example of to others who consider protesting. While that in itself is not a bad thing - to discourage violent outbursts at mostly peaceful protests- one has to think about the other protesters who been killed, injured or maimed by Police Officers who have no reprisals.

Others have remarked about the sentences given for drink driving, MP's jailed over fraud/drink driving etc and even paedophiles. I have to agree, a man who runs over and kills a child with no licence or insurance was jailed for 9 months while this young man gets 32 months? I think it's time for judges around the country to have a long hard look at how they allocate jail time in accordance with the offence and scenario.

On topic, Woolard deserved a custodial sentence; 6 months + fine would have been acceptable. He's been made an example of however with 32 months whilst people who actually do maim, murder or kill other get lenient sentences. Proportionate sentences for all crimes please! All sentences should send a message, "Break the law and be prepared to be punished!" Not just a select few.

This is the video showing how the majority of students reacted to his stupid act, now tell me, do all protesting students need to be tarred with the same brush by the media?

On the score of the 'Fees protests'.

Most people will leave Uni, get jobs and contribute back into a system that helped them get to where they are. As surprising as it sounds not all people aspiring to be Uni students are born with silver spoons in their mouths, some have genuinely disabled parents and end up being part-time carers to them whilst also trying to fund an education. Some live in impoverished areas with the talent to enrich their lives and others..yet cannot due to lack of work prospects for their parents and their selves. And as with all benefits, you get the loafers and the spongers.

The aid with tuition fees was bought in to help those who are financially challenged to fund a decent education. I'm guessing most would rather the poor be uneducated and do the jobs 'privileged' people take for granted and spit upon, instead of aspiring to become teachers, scientists and perhaps a decent Politian or two.

Before it's said, I'm a taxpayer and I paid for my education via work with a slight contribution from a maintenance grant. I worked from the age of 14 and have ever since.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Online Friends vs Real World Friends

So, I thought I'd get in on this blogging stuff and see what expressing my thoughts and feelings on the general day to day running of an average life.

So, the first topic on the agenda?

Online Friends VS Real Life Friends

How is it, in this day and age that some people still don't respect that a close friend, be it online or in the real world, are one in the same thing?

This comes after a few people, including myself, mourned for a dearly loved friend who we had known online for many years. Most aggrieving was the fact he was so young and had so much promise to offer the world as well as one of the best personalities and outlooks on life that I've ever known.
The comment then came to some of us in the forms of, "Well you never met him did you?", "Why should you care, he's half way across the world!" and the classic favourite for those with gaming friends, "Why are people mourning pixels?"

I'd say anyone who says such things as either a troll who has never befriended anyone sincerely in their lives, or someone with about as much disregard for human life as a killer pathogen.

Surely a close friend is what it says on the tin. You divulge your inner self and secrets to them, you share the good and the bad. There is only one distinction between them and that is simply distance. The amount of time spent talking is likely the same too, possibly even more so for an online friend.
In a dawning era of information and communication technologies the concept of having more friends further a field than a 50mile radius should be welcoming and heart warming to many people who find their own home towns a little barren, we are able to find that long lost kindred spirit that might be lacking in our lives or track down and establish contact with a friend that was once lost.

So why is it that when a tragedy befalls them, we are meant to distance ourselves? Why do some people believe that a forged friendship with someone over the internet or long distance communication means far less than one made while commuting on a bus?

I will never understand these people and I hope I never do.

A friend is a friend, wherever they are, they mean something. Whether online on a game or a regular friend in a chat channel, to somebody who you talk to regularly on instant messaging programs. In a world of people becoming increasingly hostile to strangers, where anonymity and bullying are running rife, I would rather go out into it as friendly as I can be (as safe as I can be too!) and make as many friends as I can.

What do you think? Care to leave a comment?