Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Caring, and not caring

Some days I read the news and feel a wave of disbelief well up. Then it turns to real anger and frustration. Today is one of those days. Worse, I find myself wondering whether I should even comment on the source of my anger in this stifling environment of inverted values.

John Lagataua is going to jail for nine months for what his counsel aptly described as exercising old fashion discipline. He is separated from his child , who loves him and misses him. One of the assault counts on which Mr Lagataua is convicted is washing his child's mouth out with soap for using bad language. Good God. I once momentarily put a bar of soap in my daughter's mouth when she came out with the F word at a very young age. I thought just the taste of it would be enough to deter her from doing it again. And it did. Am I a monster?

And were our parents? Millions of kids experienced rough treatment at the hands of parents when I was growing up. Today those parents would be jailed for the same behaviour.

Truly. I am bewildered, I am starting to feel 'older' because I am so out of step with modern thinking about what constitutes love and care. The worst of it is someone has decided what best methods are and we are all legally bound by their 'wisdom'. There is no freedom to say well, you do it your way and I'll do it mine. Yet children are all different. They have varying temperaments and varying responses. That is best understood by their parents.

And look around you. Are children today routinely models of confident, kind and tolerant behaviour? Have we successfully dealt to youth crime, truanting, under-age drinking, suicide, self-harming, bullying? No. We have not. At the margins the extent of these problems grows.

Yes, Mr Lagataua has anger problems. No wonder. He loves his kids, wants to do the best by them. No doubt, prevent them from turning into the charming young thugs he sees hanging about the streets of Timaru; kids nobody gave a damn about. But the 'experts' say his behaviour is so outrageous he must be punished with a jail term. That's twenty-first century justice for you.


Lucy said...

I couldnt agree with you more.

Where is the gentler society that was supposed to eventuate from the pc crap that has been foisted on parents.

Although there are a lot of good kids out there, those that are not are totally out of control.They believe they are bullet proof and unfortunatey they are right.

Beating kids has always been wrong in my book, but discipline including a smack when needed is the only way to teach kids the there are consequences for your actions.

KG said...

I have the uneasy feeling that this is more about the State asserting its "right" to act as the de-facto head of families, than about protecting children.
Can't have the marxist project derailed by individual choice, can we?

Anonymous said...

I knew it would come to this, how ridiculous. My parents would have been jailed a few times over, and I thank them for their loving discipline. What a sad world, and remember, it was mostly the 'sisterhood' MP's (Clark, Pillay, Dyson, etc - childless to boot) who instigated this absolute, self-righteous crap, people who have never had to look after a child in their life,a nd would not know the first thing about it. Hope they enjoy their long years in oppostion!

Anonymous said...

The clock's ticking. If national doesn't repeal this abomination I will do my utmost to seem them unseated in the next election.
And I am aware that people will say, Would you rather see labour back in!?
No. What I want is justice done.
Come the revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ps I hit the print button before I was finished.
To sum up, this family needs help, not ripped apart.
I've seen this all my life, and it doesn't work. Families are not a desposable commodity.
If you cut kids off from the source of their identy, they drift, forever.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this child will be harmed far more by the removal of her father from her home than his discipline. Compare this to the Kauhi case, two babies killed, left to die in a car while the 'parents' ate at Mcdonald's, and no one will ever be charged with anything, not even negligence. How's that for fair? Yeah, so much for justice. Bring on the revolution, or are we talking to deaf ears? The sheer arrogance of the whole thing, the audacity and the lowness of it. Evil.

Anonymous said...

you people dont understand i am the mother of this child and you say john dosnt deserve to go to jail he could have killed my 8yr old son.My son was in time out and was doing this fine when john took it upon himself to lift my son off the ground by his throat this was not the first time he hurt my children but the four and like you gave him chances to improve his parenting skills and deal with his anger proplem all that got me was me losing all my children as i didnt protect them