Just seen the news footage doing the rounds of that piece of shit father ‘smacking’ his little boy. What I’m most appalled by is the number of people supporting him.
People insistent that: “I was smacked as a child and it never did me any harm.” Okay, maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t. I used to play a game with my brother called ‘Rochambeau’ in which you take it in turns to kick each other in the nuts. That never did me any harm either. This does not mean that both things are to be encouraged and that they aren’t really dumb shit to do.
In fact, research suggests that corporal punishment is not only ineffective but also causes way more harm than good. It makes children afraid of their parents, encourages kids to be more aggressive with their peers and maybe even lowers IQ.
I didn’t know all this. Until I was researching about smacking for Man vs Toddler I didn’t know that it could make children more likely to be antisocial, or introverted, or less curious. The reason I don’t smack Charlie is not because of science. I don’t smack Charlie because I wouldn’t know how. I wouldn’t know how to go from being someone in his life who removes ‘ouchies’ to being someone who causes them. And in truth, hitting Charlie would hurt me at least as much as it would hurt him. It would make me deeply unhappy to think that I have made it this far through life without raising my hand to another human being, only to begin with one who is a third of my size.
I’m sure there will be many people who read our adventures with our little boy who think we are ‘sparing the rod’. They will argue that the perfectly ordinary tantrums I occasionally describe are due to a lack of tough parenting and that they can be corrected by the occasional smack.
I don’t think that’s true. But even if it was, the truth is I’d prefer that he’s a pain in the arse than that he’s afraid. And maybe I’m a ‘sissy-raising, snowflake libtard’ And maybe it will make my son less obedient, less compliant, less cowed, more rebellious.
That’s okay, from Martin Luther King to Oskar Schindler, from Malala Yousafzai to David bloody Bowie.. some of the best humans are.
Man vs Baby’s Matt Coyne is from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. In September 2015, Matt’s life was turned upside down by the arrival of his son Charlie. After three months of parenthood, he logged on to social media and wrote a viral post about his experience of having to live with ‘a furious, sleep-murdering, unstable and incontinent, breasts-obsessed midget lodger’.
Following this, Matt created Man vs Baby, which now has over 360,000 followers. And has written two Sunday Times bestselling books based on his parental triumphs and disasters, the first entitled: ‘Dummy’ and the second ‘Man vs Toddler’.
He has also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and GQ Magazine.
Matt lives in Sheffield with his son Charlie, his partner Lyndsay and a Jack Russell terrier with ‘issues’ called Eddie.