Apparently laws need to be changed to enable parents to discipline their DCs effectively

(45 Posts)
BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 19:07:58

Just heard on the news on the radio. What the fuck? As far as I'm aware, the only "discipline" method which is actually illegal is beating your children (quite rightly). So what exactly are they saying needs to change? I don't get it!

scurryfunge Tue 16-Aug-11 19:09:28

Can you link?

maypole1 Tue 16-Aug-11 19:42:25

Just more exuses from peoples kid who were out at stupid o clock

When asked why the frig they are not parenting their children

They ring their hands nd say the givement won't let us ignoring the fact many had the pir children in during the riots and even so their curfew is set well before 7 before most of the riots began

What sort of discipline do they want to use that they are not allowed to? hmm

I agree it is just excuses. Battering a child is unlikely to improve their sense of belonging to and responsibility for a community.

You teach that by becoming a part of the community, where you can, and teaching your children love and compassion.

Guildenstern Tue 16-Aug-11 19:53:58

If you are unable to discipline your child without using illegal levels of violence ...

...then you need to learn some better parenting skills.

I would say that schools need to be better able to discipline children, but as had been said, parents aren't really restricted.

twinklypearls Tue 16-Aug-11 19:56:27

I keep hearing this, although to be fair I have been listening to phone ins on radio 5. I don't understand either.

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 20:00:15

Can't link, it was on the radio. Sorry. It was some politician type who was saying it though, not Disgusted from Portsmouth or whoever.

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 20:01:30

Said something like "I don't think we should bring back the cane, but things have gone far too far the other way, you know." No, I don't confused although possibly from the use of the cane thing, the quote may have been taken out of context or something.

sprogger Tue 16-Aug-11 20:07:41

WTF? This is getting bizarre.

niceguy2 Tue 16-Aug-11 21:26:20

I don't think laws necessarily have to be changed. What needs to change is the application of existing laws and for example, teachers definitely need more protection and support.

Too often we read posts where teachers are trying to discipline children but parents go in to object because they disagree, don't like the idea or it's inconvenient/whatever.

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 21:36:52

Yes, that's true. Of course teachers should be answerable to some higher power, which parents can complain to, if they feel their DC have been treated unfairly, but it does completely undermine the authority of the teacher to have a parent swoop in and say "Oh don't worry, you don't have to do that". Schools should perhaps have clearer discipline policies which parents can see before they choose to send their DC there?

Fuchzia Tue 16-Aug-11 22:04:01

Think the issue about parent discipline in the news story I read was to do with not being able to phyisically restrain a teenager who was intent on leaving the house at night etc or slapping them back when they had hit you. There seemed to be a view that it was common for kids to threaten to involve social services and the assumption that SS would then take the kid's side against the parents. No idea how likely this is.

twinklytroll Tue 16-Aug-11 22:05:36

I have worked with kids who have requested social services involvement after being restrained at home and that has happened. Tbh social services have only become involved because of previous concerns.

Perhaps before people go around changing laws in a knee-jerk reaction there should be some serious research into why some young people today appear to have absolutely no respect for authority. And then work to redress that.

DogStrummer Tue 16-Aug-11 23:40:53

Parents already have sufficient rights to discipline their children as far as I'm aware. What they are not able to do I think, is transfer those rights to another party (Childminder, Grandparents, for example). That should change.

"Of course teachers should be answerable to some higher power, which parents can complain to, if they feel their DC have been treated unfairly"

No they shouldn't. They can home-school their kids if they take such offense at what a teacher does. Time we as parents started giving teachers unconditional support. It's a first step towards sorting all this mess out.

streakybacon Wed 17-Aug-11 07:17:58

A large part of the problem as I see it is the assumption that discipline means punishment, and that it happens after the fact. There's not enough emphasis on proactive discipline, in other words raising children with strong positive values and praising their strengths, while giving them the understanding that antisocial behaviours won't be tolerated and that there will always be consequences.

Of course it's harder to deal with older children/teens once they've started getting into inappropriate activity. It's important to instill social rules and expectations long before that has a chance to happen.

TimeWasting Wed 17-Aug-11 07:31:02

DogStrummer, are you seriously saying you would support a teacher regardless of what they had done or said to your child?

EdithWeston Wed 17-Aug-11 07:50:25

"Schools should perhaps have clearer discipline policies which parents can see before they choose to send their DC there?"

I really wish parental choice WAS parental choice, not expressing a preference as it currently is. Then we could actually choose the school with the ethos we wanted, and be sure of our children securing places there.

DogStrummer Wed 17-Aug-11 08:35:48

Timewasting - yep I am. First time I meet a teacher, I tell them they have my support. And I make sure they know they can call me if they have a problem.

Thing is, I'm not there. And I know how events get "changed" around between the school gates and home. Hell I did it myself enough as a kid smile

If one of my kids comes home and says, "Teacher X" hates me... I ask, "Why do you think that is then?". What can you do to change the teacher's attitude? I may provide a sympathetic ear depending on what has happened, but they shouldn't rely on me to fight their battles for them - they need to "manage" their teachers.

It's a good lesson for later in life I think grin

That's with the proviso the teacher hasn't done something outrageous like battering your child, racially abusing them, etc. But then the police already exist to take those complaints to.

madrose Wed 17-Aug-11 08:39:03

DogStrummer - you talk perfect sense.

TimeWasting Wed 17-Aug-11 08:39:09

Being in a position of power does not necessarily make someone right and I wouldn't dream of teaching my son that he can't question the actions of someone simply because of their job role.

Cartoonjane Wed 17-Aug-11 09:05:50

I agree with Streakybacon. Discipline is always talked about as if it means 'punishment' whereas I think punishment should be what is occasionally required to reassert discipline where it has failed. Teaching discipline to me is about teaching what is appropriate behaviour; what realistic expectations from individual situations and life as a whole are; respect for other people and their property; deferring gratification etc etc I think it is important that children know that in the end their parents are in charge and this may involve some punishment on occasion but from what I have seen much punishment that is issued is a lesson in indisipline (temper loss etc) rather than an assertion of discipline.

Regarding whether teachers should be supported whatever the situation, I think there should be some way of complaining in cases of extreme unfairness but in fact complaints and withdrawal of parental support do not occur only in those situations. Many children are encouraged to assess and criticise their teachers in a way that opens up many ordinary everyday classroom occurences to a level of criticism that undermines teachers. When dealing with 30 teenagers snap decisions are made which on anlysis may not be perfect but which need to be supported. This is often not happeneing because of the culture of criticism. In my experience schools themselves often undermine teachers in this way too. Someone posted on here a while ago that children have a right to view their teachers in a positive light. I agree. I have seen friends of mine criticise their very young children's teachers with their children. To me that is not helpful or fair. In the long run the child would be better off if the parent supported the teacher even if the teacher is doing something the deatil of which parent doesn't like.

niceguy2 Wed 17-Aug-11 09:34:28

Think the issue about parent discipline in the news story I read was to do with not being able to physically restrain a teenager

Yeah I understand how a single mum may struggle if her son is much bigger than her. But this is where i think values need to be instilled at an early age. There's no point in trying to introduce discipline to a teenager if it's been lacking/inconsistent when they are younger. You've already lost the war.

That's why I am strict with my younger ones now but I set firm boundaries and lavish attention & praise when they do good things so they see right from wrong. It's worked well for my eldest who is nearly 15 and aside from the odd hormonal strop has been the model teenager.

BertieBotts Wed 17-Aug-11 10:24:50

Actually the SS thing is not unheard of at all with teenagers. It has happened in DP's family. Don't want to go into too much detail, but yes it does happen.

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