Why corporal punishment of children in Hong Kong should be allowed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 February, 2017, 5:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 February, 2017, 9:12pm

I refer to the letter by Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai, of the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights (“Corporal punishment can lead to children losing their self-esteem” January 24).

Imposing a total ban on corporal punishment would only exacerbate the problems we are having with what is already being perceived as a “snowflake” generation.

I appreciate that your correspondent has spent her life advocating against child abuse.

It is a noble and worthy cause, and I believe Hong Kong is a better place for having her fight this scourge.

But I do not see why she has to automatically place spanking into the category of child abuse.

As Ms Lui so eloquently stated, there is insufficient evidence to show the effects of children being hurt badly, and I would like to emphasise the word badly.

I was spanked many a time as a child and, looking back, I am actually quite thankful, as I truly believe it raised the value of my character.

I never had bruises or injuries, just a reddish pink bottom or hand when I put either somewhere they didn’t belong.

Aside from a sting and a tear, I more importantly gained a sense of understanding of right and wrong at an age where lengthy conversations of reason would not have been sufficient. As I grew through the age of reason, corporal punishment rightly gave way to non-physical forms of punishment.

It isn’t fair to label all spankings as child abuse. Rather than create a ban on spankings, why not just encourage even tighter laws on actual child abuse and stronger enforcement of those laws and the ones we currently have.

It seems ironic to me how many good, strong and determined people choose to denounce spankings when they themselves were reared with them.

I would like to reserve the right to raise my child as I was raised, in the hope my strength of character will show in them, not through beatings, but a spanking when necessary.

Ray Patton, Wong Tai Sin