Monthly Archive for December, 2008

To smack or not to smack…

This is a bit of a touchy topic, but I am going to go for it anyway.  Before we left New Zealand a law was made that parents are not allowed to smack their children (or use any force to discipline their children) – in spite of 80% of NZer’s being opposed to it (correct me if I am wrong!?).  The aim of making that law was to lessen child abuse, which is a good aim.  But it hasn’t done a damn thing, only made everyday ‘good’ parents feel guilty for loving their child enough to discipline.  And it made it pretty tricky for us, especially since we would give the boys a smack once in a while or ‘force’ them on the ‘naughty chair’ to sort them out (and it worked too!).  On arriving to Switzerland I wasn’t sure if this was the case here.  Was I allowed to give a quick smack on the hand in public, or pick my kid up and buckle him (using pure force) into his pushchair? – you know, to stop him from running out onto a busy road.

I didn’t actually end up checking out the law or asking anyone.  Dan and I have a way of dealing with wrong behaviour with our children, that we believe works and is right.  Every parent is different and that is for every parent to decide, not the government.  I hate it when the government imposes on what should be the parents responsibility.  I mean, if a parent is against smacking, then they can choose not to smack.  Simple!

I read this article today, and am glad to hear that the Swiss don’t just make laws for the sake of making laws.

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament Tuesday voted 102 to 71 against the proposal that aimed to ban corporal punishment, after it had already been rejected by the upper house.
Opponents of the law say that the Swiss constitution already gives adequate protection to children from corporal punishment.

The less laws the better. I know that child abuse is a massive issue in NZ.  It is a much bigger problem than here in Switzerland.  Nonetheless, a very sad and horrible issue which, I agree, needs to be dealt with.   But a law is not going to change people’s attitude and hearts, and anyway, there are laws in place in NZ which make abuse illegal, that doesn’t stop the abuse happening though.

Switzerland’s government is the closest in the world to a direct democracy.  There are so many things which work well in this country and I can’t help wonder if it isn’t because of a great government system.  And people in parliament who care for their country, who are ‘real’ and realistic.  They think things through.  Other governments could learn a lot from the Swiss.  I wonder, though, if it helps that Switzerland is over 700 years old and so has had lots of practise.  NZ has a little catching up / growing up to do!


I think I have said this before… but I love how creative the Swiss are.  I love that they decorate their houses to fit each season.  The array of Christmas decorations available are amazing.   Their handicraft markets are pretty cool too, and people actually buy the stuff!  It is quality!

So I went a bit crazy and found a Bastel shop (handicraft shop) which had stuff I didn’t know you could buy.  I could have spent hours there, except that I had a wee 2 year old with me who wanted to touch everything and see if there was anything edible in the shop.   I bought some supplies and made some things.  Cool lanterns to hang on a set of fairy lights (thanks Cornelia for teaching me!) and I’ve made all my own Christmas cards this year.  The boys and I even made some more biscuits and Noah and Toby have been busy making soaps, snowflakes and various paintings and drawings.

Ok, I know, I am boasting but it just feels so great to unleash that creative spirit in me.  I used to do so much creative stuff but that must have been 15 years ago!  Aaah, I love this country!

Swiss Zero Star Hotel

How about that?!  Who said the Swiss only offer expensive 5-star accommodation?  Here is an article about a couple of arty dudes who have come up with a brilliant concept.  Well, i think so anyway.  A Swiss hotel, zero stars, built in an underground nuclear bomb shelter.  The temperature is 5 degrees and no luxuries whatsoever.  But they do give you some ear plugs next to the chocolate on your pillow to help with the ventilation noise!  At least you would be safe in the case of a nuclear blast.  And at least it would be easy to deal with complaining guests!  “Sorry, Sir, this is a zero star hotel, we have no rules to follow and no expectations to meet so go away!”

It costs only 10 – 30 CHF a night!  Still I am not sure I would like to stay or work there after only being in 5 star hotels business!  I am a bit of spoilt snob when it comes to hotels.

Check out the website (which might be a bit of a zero star website according to my web designer husband) and a video about it.