A long time ago when my children were small, you could get (and many did) a child’s harness with a lead attached, to tether your child to you (or to the pram of an even smaller child if, like me, you had them all two years apart) as you walked down the street.
Presumably those of delicate sensibilities (and probably no children) objected to these harnesses. Perhaps they thought it smacked of walking the dog and was therefore offensive. But see, you tether the dog to stop it running away from you, possibly into the line of traffic or something similarly dangerous, and small children are equally impulsive and unpredictable. However ‘good’ a mother you are, you can’t foresee your child’s every move, and some of those moves can leave you gasping. There was method in those harnesses, and the children themselves didn’t see anything doggy about them, so why the fuss?
But they went anyway, just as a timely smack on a nappied bottom went – something my children were also subjected to. Fortunately they assure me it didn’t scar them for life.
I can see that smacking had to go. It’s far to open to abuse. But there are times – oh yes, there are times! – when I still can’t help feeling that a short, sharp, well-placed smack would work wonders. And not all the recipients would be small children.