There is a great truth that those who say they never smacked their little ones when naughty will lie about other things as well. The Bible itself knows something of this, spare the rod and spoil the child. But as Tony Abbott said, it's a smack that doesn't hurt them, rather it deters them.
The final part of the article lists the ten Children's rights as absolutes – whoever came up with these doozies are not where I am. They may have had Master Perfect or Miss Perfect. I for one have never met such a child.
This list, the News.com articles says comes from the Australian Human Rights Commission:
Children have the right to:
1. Be treated fairly no matter what.
2. Have a say about decisions affecting you.
3. Live and grow up healthy.
4. Have people do what is best for you.
5. Know who you are and where you come from.
6. Believe what you want.
8. Find out information and express yourself.
9. Be safe no matter where you are.
10. Be cared for and have a home.
11. Education, play and cultural activities.
12. Help and protection if you need it.
We should examine these closely
1. Be treated fairly no matter what. Who determines "fairly" for if the brother and the sister have equal rights to the one toy or biscuit or whatever (this is the reality of family life), and both demand to be treated fairly …. what dingle-bat thought up that doozy in absolutes.
2. Have a say about decisions affecting you. What 3 or 4 year old knows anything about what is best for them. This leads to family chaos and parental nightmares.
3. Live and grow up healthy. As a minister of 37 years none of these well wishes who wrote this don't seem to have ever visited the children's cancer ward of their local regional hospital.
4. Have people do what is best for you. Who can tell what is best for an 8 year old who demands to go swimming at a beach with a notorious rip and puts on a right royal performance. Another of those pie in the sky, send you to jail if you disagree.
5. Know who you are and where you come from. Here is another of those absurd absolutes. This is the last thing we want, a gut full of little British aristocrat in Australia presenting a picture of toffee nosed delinquents giving orders.
6. Believe what you want. How ridiculous. I can just see now in my mind, 100 four years olds all "believing what they want" - who came up with this absolute?
7. Privacy. The do-gooder knows nothing about teenagers demanding their privacy in their rooms in order to watch porn and mass-killings. Good one!
8. Find out information and express yourself. The great bane of teachers today is just this - "Teacher get f........ d." Hasn't anyone listened to the Teachers Union in past couple of years. This absolute comes from the pit of hell.
9. Be safe wherever you are. Whoever wrote this one hasn't been to a child's funeral killed in a motor vehicle accident where they thought they were perfectly safe. They haven't seen the sobbing, the heartbreak, the emptiness …
10. Be cared for and have a home. The scandal of child abuse has both of these in spades.
11. Education, play and cultural activities. Now here's an absolute that we all might agree upon until we take a closer look. There's plenty of smart little crims out there who know exactly where the tourists and the elite play. Why not put up a sign.
12. Help and protection when you need it. Ever been to courts where the biggest little crooks know every trick in the book to get help and be protected from legal justice.
Absolutes like these have no practical purpose. They sound good. They exhibit all the hallmarks of the do-gooders brigade. In reality they are useless and damaging.
The humanism exhibited by these types of hyperbole exhibits a theology that says that mankind is inherently good whereas the Biblical announcement is just the opposite. Why not open your eyes and check out what you were like as a kid. Are my and your kids any different?
Why do we hide from reality with such trite as presented in those 12 absolutes.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html