Consequences — 54 Comments

  1. First you say she is an adult then you say she is a journalist. Which is it? In my experience the two categories are mutually exclusive today. 

  2. I don't believe in hitting kids. Had too much of it myself. Bitterly resented it and still do. I vividly recall each occasion. Left home at 16 because of it. Hitting adults is fair game though. They should know better than to piss me off. 🙂

    • I'm not advocating violence.  That is obviously wrong, but I can't condone this complete "hands off" approach either.  I would say there are quite a few teachers around who hanker for the good old days?  😉

  3. I don't hit my son. I was hit as a child and while it done me no harm, it done me no good either.


    But, within reason, I'm not against. My wife has spanked my son occasionally (when he's been veeerrryyy bad) and it's fair game as far as I can tell. If an adult threw a heavy toy at my flatscreen TV and cracked the screen, they'd be getting a wallop too.

    • I was regularly beaten in school, and usually for no reason [I remember the whole class getting a leathering once because someone was singing off-key!].  Never did me any harm either.  Nor did any of my classmates turn out to be arch criminals, that I am aware of.

          • I dunno.. it's just not right.  You didn't deserve that.
            Just because ye didn't turn out to be arch criminals didn't mean that sort of carry on didn't have an effect.

            How about we set some giant on you now, maybe 4 times the size of you and if you commit some transgression, you get a few wallops.. I'm sure you wouldn't like it GD.

            • Of course I deserved it.  Why else would I have been clipped?

              This no-smacking lark only started around thirty years ago.  Is it coincidence that this coincides with what is generally regarded as a decline in youth culture and standards?

              As for the Big Giant – D'you mean the Gardaí?

              • You were clipped due to ignorance GD. There are better ways to teach kids.
                Are you seriously trying to tell me you think you deserved a 'leathering' for someone in class singing out of key?  

                You sound like an auld fuddy duddy.. Decline in youth culture and standards? Wasn't that the mantra you'd always here coming from the old folk, complaining about the youth of the day? 

                I deplore of anyone getting physical with children or animals.. they're defenseless and it doesn't teach them anything but anxiety and fear. 
                As I said, I think there are better ways to teach.

                • My parents may have been many things, but ignorance wasn't one of their virtues.

                  And bitching about the yoof of the day is one of the privileges of my age.

              • I started school about 30 years ago, and the whacking seemed to be long gone. It was the time of the gentle teacher softly-softly approach. It worked for the better part too. We didn't all turn out perfect. One lad in my year beat someone to death in his late teens. But I'd say that guy's head wouldn't have been any better off with a few wallops either.

                • You missed out on the fun times – the era of the leather, the cane and the ruler.  So near yet so far.  You must be ragin'?

  4. And I'm sure you can teach kids how to behave without resorting to getting physical with them. It's dehumanizing to put your hands on anyone.  And they are like mini adults.. just more precious and innocent and vulnerable.
    You're an awful twit sometimes GD..  
    "and that contempt for authority goes unpunished"  That's rich, coming from you! 🙂



    • The alternatives to a clout on the back of the legs can be far more traumatising.  Ever see a kid in class demolished by a well aimed blast of sarcasm?    And no.  Kids are not mini-adults.  They lack the experience of age.  They have to be taught right from wrong. 

      By authority, I mean their elders and betters, like me.

  5. its more an insult whacking a nappied bottom than pain..whack the adult around the ears i say! she needs it

  6. One word….well maybe two…Do-gooders….Christ!…I have a friend who wouldn't hit her children…..gave them a time out instead….said she didn't believe in hitting her children……One day they (both her and her two sons) were visiting my Husband and I….when it was time to leave the older son said he didn't want to leave.  My friend explained nicely why they had to go and her lovely, never been beaten son promptly punched her in the stomach so hard she bent over double!…..At that moment, it was all I could do to refrain my husband from sending that boy to the moon!!….the child was 11 or 12 at the time……and they've had trouble with him ever since……I think THAT was and the perfect time  to hit the kid!………………I don't believe in hitting them ALL the time, but there are certainly times they SHOULD be hit!…and I don't appreciate the government  telling  me not to.

  7. i only hit my son once and that was in self defence.PS love your blog please keep it going.going home for christmas could i visit your villageperhape meet your good self eamonn

    • Are you referring to last Christmas or next?  If the former, it's a little late to make arrangements, and if the latter – you believe in making arrangements early?  Leastwise, I am always willing to let anyone buy me a pint…..


    I do not remember hitting either of my children, but I do remember, several years apart, grabbing my daughter by the throat and lifting her one-handed off the ground. Later, I lifted my son by the lapels and slammed him against the wall. Both were occasions of extreme bad behavior on their parts and happened in their teens. Neither event was ever needed to be repeated.


    Since then, both avoid any head-on confrontation with me. In our home, we conduct our communications through the medium of humor and respect for each other.s privacy and decisions. But both children know, (28 & 21), that I would maul any stranger who came through our windows uninvited at night, and I would be a danger to either of them also, if they openly disrespect their Mother. That is my one BIG rule. Say anything you like to me, but respect the person at the centre of the home. In this way, Mom makes the rules, not Dad.


    Like Grandad, I would not be judgmental about a parent clipping a child as they feel the necessity, but I have reservations about a scheduled punishment time in a certain room conducted like some justified ceremony, where the child has the added embarrassment of removing clothing etc. Our School had such a thing hanging over our heads courtesy of the Christian Brothers, and I never thought there was any good in that. 


    Like everything else in life, moderation in all things !

    • I agree John.

      I went to a boarding school where punishment ranged from rulers, slippers across the back side and such like. Only the headmaster was allowed to use a cane and he usually only did so in extreme circumstances.

      I'm pretty sure it never did me any harm. 

  9. Noticing a trend here. Most of the negative responses to this post are coming from the states. I was not hit as a child except for one time. I learned more from that one pop than all the time outs. I realized what I did was not worth the punishment. Normally I didn’t care about being sent top time out, but I sure as hell didn’t want to get hit again. There is something wrong on this side of the pond. We have seemed to develop this stupid sense of entitlement like people are going to just give us stuff if we get loud enough. The more I see it work the the sicker I get.

  10. Anne, you and I part company on this one.


    I agree with GD that physical punishment is (usually) a salutory lesson, BUT only if it is:

    a) Not overused .

    b) Not administered in a fit of anger.


    I only got a couple of lashings from my father, and a few clips round the ear from my mother. School was a different matter. I seemed to spend half my life standing outside the headmaster's office, in anticipation of six of the best. (I was a rebellious boy. Not much changes…).


    With my kids (I have four, all adult now) the possibility of a beating was always there, but rarely used. In fact I think both my youngest son and my youngest daughter never actually felt the weight of my hand, and the other two only a couple of times. But the possibility was always there, and always real. It's a vital tool in a parent's armoury. Bringing up kids to be both independent and aware of how to behave is not an easy task. As a parent, you must be in control until such time as you feel the child has matured enough to be able to take control of his / her own life. And a whack is an immediate, effective and soon over means of signalling extreme displeasure with said child's behaviour.

    • There's a lot of bullshit being expressed here especially by the "my values are nobler than yours, so you're not allowed to hit your children" brigade. Children are like any other young animal, constantly trying to get away with murder, and it is important for their parents to teach them what the limits are, whether that parent be a lion, alsatian, chimp or human.. I'd like to see one of the "thou shalt not" brigade try to stop a lioness from clouting her cubs around the ears… Probably get eaten for their trouble. And don't give me any bullshit about humans being 'better' or more intelligent than the primitives so should do things differently. Like it or not, we are animals too, especially young children.

      In our case (twins) we would have had years of mayhem if we hadn't taught them very early on (before school age) just where those boundaries lay (and strangely enough, by doing it properly and fairly, we never needed to discipline them again… Just the threat and the knowledge that we meant what we said was enough) . One of my wife's friends was a primary schoolteacher who was horrified to hear that we hit our kids… Her two daughters ended up as right tearaways, our two as well behaved and balanced children, so who was right? I learned discipline from my mother who was a schoolteacher, but by the time she retired she was horrified at the way schools were deteriorating (early '70's) as the leftie 'thou shalt not' mob had already taken over by then and banned corporal punishment.

      My proudest moment, and one which my family still laugh about, was when my kids were seven, returning from holiday in Spain. Our family was having a meal in Cherbourg, waiting for the ferry home. On the next table were two English couples who were talking about "that lovely Spanish family" and how well behaved our two were (when they were that age their skin didn't tan or burn, just changed to a golden colour, so along with black hair and brown eyes I can understand how they were thought to be Spanish). I just asked my two to stay quiet so as not to shatter the illusion and listen to the compliments. They were saying that if these children were English they would be running around, probably screaming, with the parents either totally ignoring the disruption or telling them ineffectively to pack it in and sit down, but doing nothing to stop it..

      They got extra pocket money that week…

  11. This is a load of bollox there Nisakiman
    "As a parent, you must be in control until such time as you feel the child has matured enough to be able to take control of his / her own life. And a whack is an immediate, effective and soon over means of signalling extreme displeasure with said child's behaviour"

    No, you don't need control. A whack might be immediate and effective but it's the lazy option in my opinion.
    "Signaling extreme displeasure"?    You sound like an army sergeant there. 
    I'm sure a whacking is "effective" but there are better ways of teaching kids.
    Parenting is a tough job obviously.. however half the knuckle heads out there shouldn't be allowed a chiwawa, nevermind a child.. and anyone with half a brain would know that physical violence solves nothing. 
    Ye're like a bunch of geriatric hilly billies, living in the dark ages.

    Here –

    Why smacking is never a good idea

    Parents may believe there are occasions when only a smack will work. For example, your child is very disobedient; your toddler runs into the road; or one of your children bites a playmate. It can be tempting to think a smack sorts out these incidents quickly, but it does nothing to teach your child about how you want them to behave.

    Instead, it:

    gives a bad example of how to handle strong emotions

    may lead your child to hit or bully others

    may encourage your child to lie, or hide feelings, to avoid smacking

    can make defiant behaviour worse, so discipline gets even harder

    leads to a resentful and angry child, damaging family relationships if it goes on for a long time.

    Most parents behave in ways they later regret – be it excessive shouting or smacking. If it happens, say you're sorry, make up and try again. This teaches your child a valuable lesson

    Positive parenting

    Better behaviour can be encouraged through positive parenting methods. These methods are based on the following principles:

    showing love and affection to your child

    emphasising the things that please you about your child

    teaching your child by setting a good example yourself

    praising the behaviour you want to see in your child

    listening to your child and working out your problems together

    avoiding harsh punishments like smacking and excessive shouting

    setting clear limits which are fair and age appropriate

    expressing your wishes in a way that shows you mean what you say



      • From the internets, why?

        Which part of it is bollox?  I think if you read it again Mike, you will see that none of it is bollox. Take your time now.. read it, let it ruminate and come back and I'll accept your apology.

        • Nah, it's still total bollox… Where I live there has now been at least two generations of feral teenagers who run riot, knowing that nothing will happen to them (including by Plod) no matter what they do.. So they do as they please.

          It's their stupid parents who are to blame, for believing and practicing the sort of crap you posted instead of teaching limits… Or not doing anything at all, ignoring their kids behaviour, as probably they were ignored by their parents.

          If you cannot control your children's behaviour in public places then you shouldn't have any.

          There, is that apology enough?



  12. You've certainly opened a can of worms now Grandad…well, I smacked my kids, they've all turned out fine and I certainly don't have to justify myself to anyone.

    When I was 16 I was at secretarial college, we had to wear a uniform and I remember being sent to the headmaster and caned because I had the cheek to shorten my skirt, 1" above my knee…oh happy days

    • It's not often I get a decent debate going here.  I'm just sitting on the sideline watching the fun.  😀

  13.               I have to say I'm with Anne on this one. It is wrong to lay a finger on a child. Yes, children can be tiresome and hard work but violence is never the answer, there are loads of ways to lay boundaries without humiliating children. Besides I think most kids are great 99% of the time. I'm always wary of people who say 'Being hit didn't do me any harm'. Yeah right, says who? Maybe you're not a psychopath but I'm sure it did damage along the way. Violence begets violence. I don't think it's an American thing more a male/female thing. In general I find men think it's OK and most women don't, and considering most men hold the positions of power in the world it's no wonder we live in such a peaceful loving world!

           I've been meaning to write for ages regarding holidays in the UK………..The English will like your dog more than you, which isn't necessarily a bad thing!.Also if you're a keen gardener there are some wonderful National trust gardens worth making the trip for. The English are also great for festivals (but maybe your dog wouldn't be allowed). Glastonbury is a bit big but I think you'd like The Green Man or Womad, but in fact they are all good. Otherwise I'm not sure England has much to offer as a holiday destination that  Ireland hasn't got. Also everything will be more crowded over here, but maybe it would be good for you because a spell over here with our wonderful Tory millionaire cabinet might make you think your lot aren't  too bad after all! (But maybe not!)

      I'll look out for you at the festivals. Stay well and keep blogging.


    • "I'm always wary of people who say 'Being hit didn't do me any harm'. Yeah right, says who? Maybe you're not a psychopath but I'm sure it did damage along the way."

      Those three sentences are a prime example of what I object to about people with your opinions; if it doesn't fit with your mindset then it's invalid. I say it didn't do me any harm, I was one of six children and I think my mother made a very good job of bringing us all up. And I know it didn't do me or my siblings 'damage along the way', but of course you wont accept my word, I'm damaged, so my opinions don't count, only yours.

      My children say it didn't do them any harm either (they're in their 30's now) and my grandchildren are being brought up properly, regardless of the opinions of people like you.

      I can't speak for Eire but the UK would be a much nicer place now if it hadn't been hijacked by a small minority of puritanical prohibitionist 'do as I say' wankers about 40-50 years ago. The Nanny state and the plethora of fake charities, paid for by the taxpayer, without any mandate to do so, through government funding, lobbying the government to support their pet projet du jour against the interests of the vast majority of said taxpayers, is a direct consequence of their constant and ever increasing meddling in the lives of other people.

      I'm sorry, I forgot for a second there… I'm damaged by the life lessons my mother administered 60-odd years ago, so my opinions don't count…

      Have a nice day.

    • Not sure what the holiday plans are yet, Mary.  England was mooted as a possibility but it looks like we may stay here after all.  The only reason I thought of England was to visit one or two of my old stomping grounds around Somerset.  We'll see how it goes…….

  14. Oh dear! Seem to have hit a raw nerve here…….

                                                                 x x x

  15. Mike, your opinions count as much as anyone else' and it's very clear Mary wasn't trying to make your opinion invalid by saying she's not sure that even if a person believes they weren't damaged by physical punishment that that is the case.  Correct me if I'm wrong there Mary.

    So you'd do well to stop making shit up there Mike.
    There are plenty of other ways to discipline children and I'm sure it's possible to bring up children to be respectful decent people without resorting to violence to discipline them.
    And the journalist who wrote the article is correct in that if an adult was hitting their partner in public it wouldn't' be tolerated, and that kids should be afforded the same rights. If you haven't the tolerance and intelligence to bring up kids in a safe loving environment, then don't have kids is my opinion on that.

    • Sure is. Don't agree with him though.
      "These campaigners really haven't thought this through – do they really want to live in a world where the next generation will be one that has never been disciplined, never been subjected to authority, never been told that it doesn't always know what's best?"   
      I think children can be disciplined, subjected to authority (whatever that means) and taught by other means,  besides smacking.  It's a tricky one in terms of making smacking illegal.. if a child is left bruised, I don't think that should be tolerated.   There are so many ways to discipline children besides smacking.. removing toys, talking with them etc.  The goal is that they won't behave a certain way again right?  And I think to achieve that in an effective way, so that they understand, it involves reasoning with them and discussion.. not whacking.
      You'd want kids to develop their own moral compass surely.

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