Alright...I confess. I used to smack my children. Not often and not hard...but I did.
Actually I did once smack my daughter hard enough to leave a faint red mark on the back of her legs...she'd darted out of a shop straight into the middle of a street teeming with traffic...luckily the cars screeched to a halt just in time but the poor drivers nearest to her were ashen-faced and when I caught the dreadful child I slapped the back of her legs...hard. Out of fright I suppose. She screamed blue murder and lay down on the tarmac and drummed her heels while going scarlet and holding her breath for good measure...
And another time I threw a full plate of spaghetti Bolognese at my eldest son...but it missed 'cos he ducked.
The reason why I'm confessing to beating my children is because the Children's Minister in England has decided it would be a good idea to make smacking a criminal offence.
There'd be little hope for me then...
When my little brother was at school in Scotland the teachers used corporal punishment on a regular and daily basis...for everything...not knowing your Latin verbs or talking to the boy next to you...forgetting your games kit or being late for a class.
The teachers in the schools I went to usually threw the blackboard rubber in your direction or swiped the back of your head as they walked past...but the absolute worst school was the convent where the nuns were positively foul. Their speciality was rapping your knuckles with the sharp edge of a wooden ruler...for practically anything and everything. I could never grasp Maths so every single Maths lesson saw me at the nun's desk in front of the class having my knuckles rapped smartly for getting my homework wrong again or not being able to say the times tables...I'd be willing to swear that is why I now have arthritis in my right hand...
Of course my schooldays were some time ago and virtually every school had the cane or its equivalent back then...
Mother used to slap...extremely hard actually, though for the life of me I didn't quite understand why then and don't now. Could have been my dismal failure to grasp doing long division perhaps, most of my misdemeanours centred on being stupid.
I would much rather see children encouraged to go outside to play...to build tree houses and make secret camps and steal matches from the kitchen to light an illicit camp fire...I'd rather see children given an old babies pram and a few bits of wood so they could build themselves 'a trolley'...it would be the icing on the cake to never ever see a child under the age of at least thirteen with an up-to-date mobile 'phone...I'd like it to be an offence to allow your child to watch videos which are violent or to stay up until ten at night on a school day...
It ought to be considered totally wrong to send children off to school without a breakfast...even if it's only a glass of milk and a piece of toast.
And I'd honestly love to see children getting dirty. I mean it. Playing in puddles and rolling about in dead leaves and swinging on an old car tyre across a stream...when we had two of Himselfs grand-daughters come to stay a few years ago they were terrified of getting their clothes grubby...a tiny mark had them fussing.
Maybe it'll become law...not smacking one's child...perhaps the proposal to make it law will be shot down in flames as yet another example of Big Brother knowing what is best...I don't much care actually. It'd have to be enforced...it won't stop those parents who starve their babies or shake them to death...it won't stop parents from being so self-absorbed and busy that their children are neglected...
I'm simply glad my child rearing days have long gone.