To the Dawson Creek City Council,
I read in the March 12 edition of The Mirror that you are signing a statement wanting to make it illegal for parents to physically punish (spank) their children. In my opinion, the argument put forward makes some serious errors.
First, physical abuse is not OK or to be tolerated, against anyone. But to equate appropriate spanking with physical abuse shows that Ms. Cleve either doesn't or won't understand that there is a definite difference between the two. To mislead that discipline is only done when the parent is frustrated is not only wrong, but would not be healthy for parent or child regardless on the style of discipline. Yes, parents get frustrated; yes, children push the limits; and yes, parents are supposed to enforce the rules. Not to be the boss, but to be the parent. There are generations of people who were spanked and it didn't affect our development. We learned consequences; that just because we didn't like, understand, or want to do something that we still needed to do it. That is how we learned delayed gratification, a job well done, benefits of understanding something in hindsight that we couldn't comprehend before.
Ms. Cleve made a statement of children's natural God-given rights. I wonder if she has any idea of what she speaks. Children should be protected, not set up for failure. Ms. Cleve believes that children should have the same rights as adults. Sounds good, but what is she really saying? We all have the same basic rights. As adults, we have to bear the punishment of our wrongdoings, children do too. To give children the same responsibilities as adults places a load on them that they are not ready for. Look at the number of teenage suicides. Too many of our young people are experiencing the things in life that even adults have a hard time dealing with. Society has been brain-washing people for years now and the children have borne the brunt of it. It's legal for children to have sex at 12 or 13; who does that benefit? The pedophiles, that's who. If we were talking puppies instead of humans and someone was hooking a puppy to a dogsled there would be an uproar. You can't treat a puppy like an adult dog, but we are supposed to treat our children like adults?
Parents be aware, don't believe all this hoopla. You do have rights and responsibilities. You have the responsibility of teaching your children, helping them to be able to deal with life that adulthood brings. Why would we hamstring our children? By giving no guidelines, no training, false expectations, they are being set up for disaster. Why should they have to learn everything the hard way and be scarred in the process? Ms. Cleve said that spanking children is contributing to the country's social ills. I think she is absolutely wrong. I think all this removing of authority from parents, police, teachers etc. is what is leading our country downhill. We have never had such a high level of crime among the young, the number of suicides, depression and other human ailments in our young people.
Yes, let's think of the children. Let's protect, love, nurture, and value them. Let's use the correct definition of love. Love does not mean that just because a child wants to play in the street and won't like it if you don't let them, and after all you want them to love you and you just want to be their friend, and you reasoned with them that you let them play in the street and be hit by a vehicle.
To you, the City Council, I ask that you think again before signing your names to this document.