Thursday, January 25, 2007

Welcome To California: Where It’s O.K. To Spank Your Spouse, Maid, Gardner, Neighbor, Waitress, Dog, Cat, But Not Your Kid


I guess I’m not surprised in a state like mine where smoking outdoors is banned because of global warming and lung cancer in birds, or something like that. There’s a new law being proposed out here banning parents from spanking their kids. Yes, really! It sounds jarring but it’s really directed at kids 3 and under. Which has me wondering when they’ll just expand it to all kids (they keep on referencing Sweden, which has a total ban on spanking, but ironically has no ban on picking up after your dog – I HATE that!)

Let me just say that I don’t spank my kid. At 18 months that’s ridiculous; but in a year or 3, if she happens to hold-up a 7-11 or takes the car out for a weekend joyride with the kiddies from Gymboree, well then, I’ll be happy to know that the option of spanking is there. I usually don’t talk politics but (standing on apple crate, national anthem begins…with waving flag behind me and a bald eagle named Julio on my arm…) I think the bored lawmakers are crossing the line again. I want the government to stay out of my house, out of my parenting, and out of people’s personal business. Yes, I know that there are extremes like you can’t eat your kid, or farm-raise puppies to sell in Ohio, but those are really uncommon and rare – you don’t build laws from the extremities. Passing laws like this is just pushing government more into the homes of “the common man”(angelic choir ending…symbols ‘crashing’!)

The funny part? This (meddling) assemblywoman (Sally Lieber- Mountain View) introducing the bill isn’t even a parent. Hello?! (Should I pass laws telling middle-aged childless women how to live? I bet she wouldn’t like that, huh?) Her justification of passing such a thing is by using some really extreme examples of like 3 kids (out of what, 4 million in California?) being beaten by parents with tractors tires, tool shed steel doors, or something crazy like that. As if there aren’t any stringent child abuse or mandated reporting laws already in effect here.
But wait, there’s more! Like all laws, it does have a loophole. It exempts teachers and childcare workers. So if you want to spank your kid in California, hire a skilled professional – much like the mafia, or Brittany Spears.


You say you want more? If you live in California and want to write this assemblywoman, here’s the contact info. Here’s also the contact info for the “Governator” (Note: not for signing autographs on your “Buns of Steel” videos - although I can sign that for you…) Please remember, be respectful when writing to them. Keep it quick, short, and to the point -just like a real spank.

23 comments:

Octopus Grigori said...

I'm not officially offering legal advice, but this law may well be subject to constitutional challenge, based on well-established Supreme Court precedent establishing parents' rights to control the education and upbringing of their children under the liberty interests protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. See, e.g., Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters. See also here.

Justdmarine said...

Yeah I read about this yesterday and I am again glad I don't live in Cali (it's the earthquake thing that gets me most LOL). My reaction was essentially the same "STAY OUT OF MY HOME!" I would never in a bajillion years spank a child under 3 (fer crimminies sake they don't even know why your'e telling them no-no!) but my suspision is this is just a foot in the door of every American home. There are 17 year old kids in orange jump suits living in state facilities (let's just call them CONVICTS shall we?) that maybe could have done with some more stringent parental intereference...and the lawmakers want LESS...How about we send our out of control 4 year old's to that woman's home for some professional and obviously MUCH MORE QUALIFIED correction?

Izzy said...

Oh yeah, I heard about this. I'm curious to see what happens with it.

Lisa said...

Just another of the many reasons I'm glad I don't live there anymore. Ms. Lieber needs a swift kick in the... oh, is that too close to a spanking?

dennis said...

wait...y'all farm raise puppies to sell in my State?

geesh! pretty soon you'll be telling me that you have vinyards out there that are better than those we have here in the 'Heart of It All'

lol

Bob said...

Let's introduce a law banning those pesky serial romance novels one encounters at the grocery store checkout line. That oughtta make them meddling middle-age motherless maidens think twice about child rearing laws.

InterstellarLass said...

You said it well enough I think. Damn hippie lawmakers.

Jonathon said...

We don't spank either, but I thought passing that law was dumb. It'd be different if it was a health issue -- like, spanking has been proven to cause psychological scarring or something. But, to my knowledge, that happens when you beat a child, and they've already legislated beating.

That was far less intelligent than what others have said, but I offer it nonetheless.

(un)relaxeddad said...

We don't spank and never will if I have anything to do with it but unnecessary criminalisation helps no-one.

Kate said...

No corporal punishment in our household, but this law seems rather extreme. Is that the best law she can come up with?

How about making extreme botox injections illegal? I mean looking at a cat-eyed woman is a little hard on the eyes. And probably more prevalent in L.A.

Bennie said...

You tell'em, CTD! I've read a good deal about this and I see it the same as you. We have too many lawmakers with too little to do but stick their bloated egos into our personal lives.

What did I hear a wire-tap kick in? There's this strange black tube protruding from my light fixture I've never noticed.

Actually I envision a scenario one day wher we citizens get to stand in line and punch the Sally Liebers of the world (ala Airplane). Perhaps we could spank her? Nah, she'd just enjoy that...

T. said...

Welcome to Canada dude.

Oh wait, you're a Yank... Here in the land of the Beaver (Boy, did we pick the wrong national critter) the LAWMAKERS decided a few years ago that spanking was bad.

Nobody is allowed to do it except for parents (before it was a free for all, where parents, teachers and strangers off the street could randomly beat our children) and the only way a spank is acceptable is if it is one open-handed, flat palmed spank. Anything more, or the use of tools, belts or cooking utensils (mom used to chase us with a wooden spoon) is deemed illegal.

But then, we Canucks are used to the politicians crawling into bed with us and invading our homes.

You figure out how to bar the lawmakers from your home, let us know, kay?

radioactive girl said...

I don't know how they think they will enforce it, and I'm not sure why they have the right to tell people how to parent. I have never spanked any of my kids for any reason, but who am I to tell other people how to parent. I certainly don't have all the answers! Beating is horrible, and is already against the law. Spanking is different from beating, and I wish they would make the distinction when they talk about it! I still wouldn't spank my kids, but don't lie where this seems to be heading...what else will we soon not be able to do? Grounding? Will that be outlawed soon? I don't do that either, but would like to have some options on discipline should I ever need them!

Em said...

As long as I can still spank my neighbor I'll be okay.

Oh...wait....maybe I shouldn't be making that public.

Anonymous said...
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junebee said...

Yet another California liberal whacko, that Sally Lieber.

I too want the government out of my house. It's getting bad here in Florida too. Makes me want to go hole up in a mountain in Utah or something.

Waya said...

Oh that's just freaking ridiculous!! Isn't there more important causes to go after, lady?!

She's been in the sun too long, her brain is fried!

Be Inspired Always said...

I agree freaking ridiculous! What are they going to outlaw next? "shakes her head in disgust."

L.A. Daddy said...

Wha-huh? I won't be able to beat the living daylights out of LA Toddler anymore? I'm moving back to Ohio.

Not that I would, but I'd like to have the option.

You're right - if they're going to interfere with our families and our homes, they should put out a law that you can't put your child in a beauty pageant.

creative-type dad said...

L.A. Daddy - I think more kids are scarred from beauty pageants than spankings...

radioactive girl - Maybe they haven't thought about banning grounding kids yet? I'm sure some crazy parent is out there who grounds their kid for a few weeks who would give them a good enough reason to make a law.

Pageant Mom said...

Awwww come on - that beauty pageant comment was totally uncalled for ;o) (no hard feelings, really!)

My precious Gizmo started acting possessed by evil spirits around the age of 2.5

We finally had to break down and spank her - and we didn't like it AT all. But after she bit another child (at a beauty pageant no less LOL) and she decided to write all over Grandma's newly painted walls and the furniture not too long after the biting incident, we were left no choice - the whole "time out" thing wasn't working, she was finding too much mischief and we had to go to an alternative method of discipline.

Within 3 months of the timeout then if that didn't work then spank routine, she was doing MUCH better. Eventually, we were able to back off of spanking in the mix. :o)

But enough on spanking and smoking, let's talk about the harm alcohol does to society - how many people are killed by drunk drivers, beaten under drunken rages, lives ruined by addiction to alcohol etc. Where's the outrage there? ;o)

creative-type dad said...

Pageant Mom - Uh, when I said that comment about beauty pageant kids...I meant the ones with hair extensions and spray on self-tanners....yeah, that's it!

Brian said...

Now I agree with you about feeling like the government is legislating in you home and you hsould be able to make your own boundaires. However, I do think smacking children should be banned by yourself.

Smacking serves no purpose. It can condone violence in the mind of the child and once you have smaked your child there is nothing else you can do...smack harder? The better parents are those that communicate that smacking is an option for the worst offences but never have to use it for once you lose it you lose all power. I was occasionally smacked my parents and once I realised (about aged 9) that it didn't really hurt, not a lasting hurt, then I won.

I can understand why they would want to ban smacking as some parents who are unable to think of anything else to do will use it all the time. What we need from the govenment is help in teaching parents how to be good parents and how to get children to respect you. I never robbed from a shop because I would have been devastated in how I would have shamed my family.

By banning smacking in law the government may make a family authority imbalanced. It's similar to the teacher-pupil releationship. As I was growing up I knew that a teacher cant hit a pupil. That is different from shouldn't hit a pupil. I knew that I could get them sacked, possibly jailed and definetley shamed.

I am not saying it is right for a teacher to be able to hit/smack a pupil but defining it in law the power was placed in my hands and not that of the teacher.

It is hard to make laws on these subjects as for the majority of people the law makes it more complex but the law is there to protect the vunerable.

www.brianharte.co.uk/blog