Donna Bloedow thinks that ADD should stand for 'adult discipline deficiency'.
Donna Bloedow thinks that ADD should stand for 'adult discipline deficiency'.

Community debates smacking

TO SMACK or not to smack? It's the age-old question.

Community debate was again ignited this week when a leading paediatrician said Australia was lagging behind other countries by not outlawing smacking.

Dr Gervase Chaney, of the Royal Children's Hospital, called on fellow health-care professionals to stand up for children's rights.

But mum of six Donna Bloedow disagreed.

She said she smacked her kids when they were growing up and didn't regret it for a minute.

"They are all the more responsible for it," she said.

Discipline problems, she said, were often blamed on attention deficit disorder, and she had her own thoughts on that.

"I think ADD should stand for adult discipline deficiency," she said.

"By banning smacking the only ones who are going to stop are the responsible parents."

Mrs Bloedow said there were times when a smack was necessary.

But, she said, alternative options such as a naughty chair or depriving a child of something they wanted, also were effective.

Reverse psychology was a disciplinary method used by foster mum Joanne Leary when she was looking after children.

Being a foster carer, she said smacking was not allowed.

"I would set boundaries and remain diligent to that," she said.

Ms Leary gave the example that if a child played up mid week, she would take away a weekend activity the child was looking forward to.

She said she always stuck to her guns, and it worked.

"You have to remain consistent with the discipline you set," she said.

"You punish the behaviour, not the child."

Mackay-based consultant paediatrician Dr Michael Williams said it was best to try to solve problems without hitting children.

"Sometimes when we react angrily to a child's negative behaviour, inadvertently we are reinforcing that behaviour," he said.

"They have caused us to lose control."

Dr Williams said children's behaviour was often influenced on how they saw their parents behaving.

"We should act as parents the way we want our children to act."

He said there was always a risk of injury by hitting a child too hard.

"Parents can lose control and cause the child harm," Dr Williams said.

"Obviously that is something a parent would regret afterwards."

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