Spank your children, but let them keep their dignity!

books I must say the Pope never ceases to surprise me (in the bad sense of course!). So this week, the Pope says it’s OK to spank your children to discipline them – as long as their dignity is maintained.

As an example he outlined: “Once, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples saying ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them.” “How beautiful!” he continues. “He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”

What is beautiful about the whole scene? Nothing.

Spanking children is an act of cowardice. An adult, therefore, bigger and stronger, takes advantage of his/her position to attack someone who is smaller and weaker. A grownup is not able to bring the children to do what they want and sets the example by solving the problem with violence!

Spanking children is a crime. Yes, it is a crime, even if not everywhere in the world  it is illegal to spank children, it is a human right´s violation. If you can´t spank a grownup, you can´t also spank a child. A child has the same value as any grownup.

Sadly, in only 39 countries in the world it is forbidden to hit or apply any corporal punishment of any sort to children. This is the setting in most European countries. However, in the US it is still legally allowed to parents to spank their children as long as the force is reasonable! What does reasonable mean, you may ask?  Until they cry? Until they are bruised? More, in 19 US states, the school personnel is still allowed to punish corporally children!

If it is illegal to spank a grownup in the US, why is it still allowed to hit children? Because, sadly, in practice, children don’t have the same rights as grownups. Moreover, when you discipline children by force, spanking them, you are teaching them that violence is a way of sorting out problems, and most likely, as grownups they will use force to sort out their problems.

Violence just creates violence.

But let us come back to Pope Francis. How does he dare to virtue a parent hitting his children? Why doesn´t he put into practice what he preaches and discipline his own Church, smacking his  badly behaved priests and bishops, but not in their face in order not to humiliate them!

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