No, I wasn’t the one who got smacked in the supermarket this morning, it was a child of course (I say of course because I live in Belgium where children get smacked all the time)… But, what shocked me more than just the smack was the smacker – not the father who couldn’t control the child but a fellow shopper!! A stranger! Isn’t that just absolutely shocking?
I was standing by the cash register and there were these two completely out of control children who were touching everything and not listening to their parents who tried to say no, don’t touch… The man who was standing behind me said loudly “Ecoutez votre père” and when it didn’t help, he smacked one of the children! And even more shocking than that this man decided to discipline somebody else’s child, was that the parents didn’t even react! Can you imagine if that had happened to a child with Swedish parents!!
Needless to say that I am against
corporate (opps!) corporal punishment of children as it is officially called… Check this web-site: http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/ I participated in a workshop on the subject during the Commission on Human Rights at the UN in Geneva in 2002, a very interesting discussion arose with people of different cultural backgrounds. As a Swede I am very proud that Sweden was the first country to ban corporal punishment of children:
Sweden was the first country in the world to prohibit all corporal punishment of children. In 1979 a provision was added to the Parenthood and Guardianship Code which now reads: “Children are entitled to care, security and a good upbringing. Children are to be treated with respect for their person and individuality and may not be subjected to corporal punishment or any other humiliating treatment.” (taken from the above-mentioned web-site)
So, don’t smack your child and do not smack somebody else’s child – it’s a question of respect for the child!
Now I’m watching Carolina Klüft winning the heptathlon at the World Championships in Osaka… She is just so impressive, and the BBC commentators agree!