Progressive Parenting – A Modest Proposal


I listen to a number of parents in my social group debating amongst themselves about the rights and wrongs of disciplining their children. At least I think that is what they are saying – it is difficult to hear over the sound of their offspring pushing television sets onto the tiled floor or whippersnippering the cat. I have learned to park my motor car a considerable distance from their homes when I come to visit…

Many of them are in a dilemma as they have been told by other parents that it is illegal to smack the children. Every now and then this sort of debate surfaces on that paragon of precision – Facebook – and a further layer of restriction is applied. Rumours of legal class actions headed by two-year-old qualified barristers are rife. I think it is rife. It might be rice and they just can’t pronounce it yet. In any case the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia has a sensible answer to this question.

Given the nature of the social-worker industry’s need for litigation and interference it is increasingly difficult to swat a pre-schooler who is stealing sweets or setting fire to the lounge room. Older children can get away with murder – literally – and it is generally only the ones who go to Syria to do it who attract any official displeasure – the rest are welcomed by the social/legal/medical industry as fuel for the counselling engine. Parents are powerless.

The BGA feels that this can be corrected by a properly-regulated exchange program between parents. While it may not be possible to hit your own children, it should be easy to hit those of others. An agreement can be drawn up between a group of parents for discipline duties to be handed on to another family – one that has no emotional bond with the child – on a mutual exchange basis. Whenever some corporal punishment needs to be handed out, you just call up the duty disciplinarian on the list and push the child out the front door when the van calls round. If it is taken on a rota basis, all the parents will get a chance to relieve their feelings on someone. Costs of knouts and restraints may be shared amongst the participants.

This would mean that there is no burden of guilt later in life  – after all it wasn’t you who maimed little Johnny or Suzy. Real discipline will re-enter our suburbs and, like Mel Brooks on The Muppet Movie, ve can all schleep goot at night.



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