That is not the question. But some California lawmakers want you to think it is. Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber plans this week to introduce legislation that would make spanking your child under the age of four illegal in the state of California. Under her proposed legislation spanking, slapping, or hitting a child would be a misdemeanor and offending adults could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
I have never been more grateful that I don’t live in California.
I don’t care if you believe spanking should be used as a form of discipline or not, the question should be, “How terrified are you by the idea of a government that would intrude so far into your personal life?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating child abuse — no beatings, no belts, no wooden spoons or vacuum cleaner hoses. But if a parent chooses to smack a toddler’s hands or occasionally drive a point home with a swat on the backside, so be it. It is not my place, nor is it the government’s to say a parent doesn’t have that option. And, by the way, which do you think is worse for a child: the rare swat on the butt or having the parent taken away for a year? Seriously.
When A~ was a toddler she loved to torture my cat. He had a particular chair he slept in and had been sleeping in since before she was born. She would always head straight for his chair and beat on the cushion in front of his face, screeching and squealing the whole time, just to wake him up and tick him off. Over and over and over and over I removed her from the chair, put her in time out, told her to “leave the kitty alone,” and over and over and over and over she went back. Finally, I gave up. I decided to let nature take it’s course. The cat, fully clawed, “smacked” her hand.
Good thing he’s not a California kitty, because I don’t know where he’d come up with a thousand dollars. The problem, however, was quickly resolved.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.