Friday, April 2, 2004

Three slaps? Three bad lessons!

A MOTHER became a convicted criminal yesterday, for smacking her three-year-old son at a supermarket. She lost control after her son threw a tantrum in the middle of Coles at Dee Why.

As a Coles employee and a shopper watched, the mother hit the kicking and screaming child about the head two or three times.

She then dragged him to where his father was waiting at the checkout.

The witnesses reported the incident to police, and the woman was yesterday found guilty in Manly Local Court of common assault.

But the mother, from Narraweena, says she never hurt her son, whose "difficult behaviour problems", include tantrums, "head banging and "extreme frustration" according to a doctor's report tendered to the court.

"I did smack him, but not hard," the mother [said] outside the court."

"I see people on the street every day doing it and they don't get arrested.

"This has ruined my life," she said.

That is because people need to understand that when you smack your children you're teaching them a very bad lesson.

The woman said in evidence she did not kick or forcibly hit the child as the prosecution alleged, but rather pulled him from the floor when he threw a tantrum and cuffed the back of his head up to three times with an open hand.

The court heard the child was taking items from the shelves his parents did not want to buy, and would not let go of a pair of tongs.

"He ran away from me. I lost him, I couldn't see him. I was angry because I was scared, I was scared because I lost him and I smacked him two or three times and then I asked him just to walk and he didn't walk," the mother told the court. "He sat on the ground. He does it all the time."

Magistrate Carmel Forbes accepted the evidence of the two Crown witnesses who dobbed in the woman to police, produce manager Wade Harman, 25, who has worked at Coles for 10 years, and mother-of-four Susan Blake, 42.

In finding the mother guilty, Ms Forbes said the defence of "lawful correction", [?] available to parents disciplining their children, could not apply.

"I am satisfied that [the mother] was very angry. On this day she lost control of her emotions and her temper as a result of her child being difficult," Ms Forbes said.

"I do not accept that the force [she] used was reasonable. I accept that she lost it and assaulted [the child] on this occasion and I find the offence proven."

Mr Harman told the court he saw the woman yelling at the boy, then lift him up and smack him across the head three times.

"The lady's hand was fully extended to take a good, hard swing," he said.

Ms Blake told the court the incident had upset several people including her own nine-year-old daughter.

The court heard the family had on several occasions sought help for their difficult child, who was not yet toilet trained, underwent heart surgery at the age of one week, required medication for painful glue ear and had twice had grommets put in his ears.

The case was adjourned for sentencing to June 4.

By No Smack 2 April, 2004

THE CHICKEN: International No-Smacking Day April 30 2004 A Cure for Violence and Domestic Violence simple as ABC. If it's a crime to punish children or adults for that matter then the punishment is the crime. Punishment, threats and smacking only get short-term results, if any result at all.

Long term results are gained by the following practice:

1) Inviting children or adults in the decision making process, means you learn more about them.

2) Allowing children or adults to come up with an idea about how they can help you solve the problem, they may be causing you or others.

a) will ensure they are not being judged by you or others
b) will ensure they are not wrongly blamed by you or others
c) If they think of a way they can help you, they will also have an obligation to do what it was they suggested, because it was their idea. Simple as ABC!

Justice Action believes that we get more support preventing people going to jail than we do trying to get people out of jail.

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW 30 April 2004.

When launched, Justice Action will discuss "alternatives to physical punishment" and be available for interviews.

For the first time NSW we will have a Statewide No- Smacking Day so that more people become aware of the root cause of Violence and Domestic Violence.

THE EGG: I sentence you to take part in a Parent Effectiveness Training Program. Or by the book and read Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon PHD.


Parents face cure for delinquent offspring
There are usually better ways of introducing parents to better Parent Effectiveness Training and not necessarily in an election year or when delinquent offspring have already got into trouble.

No excuse for Indigenous violence: Quartermaine
The acting head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission says domestic violence in Indigenous communities has reached epidemic proportions.

Jordan's death could have been prevented
His extensive facial injuries and fractured ribs suggested he had been dragged face down over carpet or a sofa and punched hard in the abdomen. It was (alleged) Hoerler then set about crushing Jordan's little toes one by one with a fan clamp but was that true?

But there are Keys!
Charles Dickens said, "Life is a secret and you haven't got the key." "And you never will have." True, that you cannot see or know your future! But there are keys and you may need them in order to survive. Also the skills you have are the resources you have to survive events that occur in your life. Some people don't get through it. Some people do. Some people have better results than others do.

Valuing children now!
The 2001 legislation specified where a child could legally be hit, which only perpetuates the view that physical punishment is normal and a parent's right, Bernadette Saunders, of the Child Abuse and Family Violence Research Unit at Monash University, says.

Development problems hit 1 in 4 kids: study
Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley has described the results of a groundbreaking study into child development as frightening.

WHEN THE PUNISHMENT IS THE CRIME AND PLANTING THE SEED In New South Wales today if you get into trouble with the law you have little or no defence. Unless you're wealthy enough to get yourself a lawyer and even then the odds you will escape justice are minimal because of the infrastructure and resource of the government opposed to your Legal Aid Status. I am not saying Legal Aid cannot help you but I am saying they have become overworked and under resourced.

Zero Tolerance for Families
A three-strikes plan, which uses the threat of fines and jail to (force) parents to meet their parental obligations after divorce, could be introduced under a draft proposal from the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing the Family Law Act.

Australia to tackle child abuse and rescue impoverished children?
A national report on child protection in the Northern Territory has blasted the system, saying it has abandoned the most impoverished children and families in Australia.

ATSIC call to smack kids?
The ATSIC commissioner said the high levels of regulation was not unlike the attention focused on Aboriginal families that led to the creation of a Stolen Generation of Aboriginal people. Mr Hill said he did not condone violence and admitted he did not smack his own children, but he stressed he wanted the issue of child discipline debated among Aboriginal people and community leaders.

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW
Patmalar Ambikapathy the Children's Commissioner, HOBART Tasmania spoke to Gregory Kable a caseworker at Justice Action at the Controlling Crime Conference at Redfern in Sydney yesterday and we both realised how parallel our ideas about crime prevention were.

States to cooperate on school curriculums but social skills don't rate? State and territory education ministers say Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's heavy-handed threats to school funding will not assist their ambitious initiative to develop consistent school curriculum’s in key subjects.

NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.

Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.

Parents call for feedback on social skills
Parents are calling for the same level of feedback on their children's social development as on their academic progress, according to a national survey.

Alcohol is just the beginning
People who start using alcohol by their mid teens are more than twice as likely as others to experiment with different drugs and to become dependent on drugs a major Australian study has found.

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

The Seed
Respect, you only get out what you have put in. What about Life Skills, Communication and Conflict Resolution. Evolution, perhaps some children and adults miss the whole or part of the course. I did, and so how surprised do you think I was when I realised my parents missed the course as well. Things like Compromise, Win Win, Empathy, and Love. Invisible energy and other skills like public speaking, how to Relate, Assuming, Blaming, Forgiveness, Freedom and Discrimination. This is how I learned respect. If you don't know what it is then how do you relate?