Francis is wrong, I slapped my son once and regret it

Francis is wrong, I slapped my son once and regret it

IRELAND is not very popular with Pope Francis right now: first we voted for gay marriage and now it looks like we are set to ban smacking in the home.

The Holy Father felt the urgent need to tell the world he felt smacking children is “beautiful” as long as it is done with dignity.  

In 39 countries around the world smacking is illegal at home, in school or anywhere else. It is a crime.

I did smack my son once. He was only three. Yes I regret it and walking away would have made far more of an impact. It was bad parenting and not a nice move. 

Have you ever seen someone slap their child? It makes uncomfortable viewing and it is never the child you think bad of afterwards.

Thankfully children’s minister James Reilly disagrees with the pontiff. He wants to remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ so that parents cannot slap their children.

But Lucinda Creighton hit back, saying: “The notion that a parent who lightly slaps a child might be criminalised is a step too far.

“To replace the old ways with a nanny state, which will be squinting into windows of law-abiding parents looking for the slightest slip-up to occur so they can reach an arrest quota?”

Please Lucinda. Do you honestly think gardai would intervene if there was no need? Do you think the gardai would have the time or the malice to step in to a safe family home to reach a quota?

The Renua Ireland leader went to on to say that parents face serious fiscal and monetary pressures. 

So if we don’t have the time to teach our children how to behave we just give them a slap? 

Mr O’Reilly told RTE News: “I utterly believe it is wrong to slap a child on the face and if I saw someone in public do it I would feel a duty of care to report it. Childcare is everyone’s responsibility.”

Research by the ISPCC shows only one per cent of Irish parents questioned said they slap often.

The Pope has just given that minority his blessing. It is clearly not the Holy Father, who has no children of his own; who will suffer? It’s the helpless child, again.