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Should it be illegal to smack your child?

Scotland are looking at changing their law so that parents who smack their children could end up in court.

The suggestion has been welcomed by children’s charities, and comes as psychiatrist Dr Ronald W. Pies says that smacking children can take a serious toll on their mental health. However critics said it would represent another nanny state intrusion into family life.

Dr Ronald W. Pies, professor of psychiatry and lecturer on bioethics and humanity for SUNY Upstate Medical University said smacking as a form of discipline could be affecting their child’s mental health and can also increase the risk of children developing aggressive or violent behaviour.

Smacking children is banned by law in countries such as Sweden and Ireland.

How did you discipline your children? Do you think parents who smack their children should face prosecution? Or do you think it should be up to the discretion of a parent as to how they punish their child? Would you ever intervene if you saw someone smacking their child?

Should it be illegal to smack your child?

296 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Trampas1955
7th May 2016
0
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If the child turned round and belted the parent, what would happen?
mickigirl
20th Apr 2016
0
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A smack on the legs done in the moment, and not premeditated is not the end of the world. I think psychological bullying is FAR most damaging. My parents smacked me across the face. But what sticks most in my mind is the time that my dad ignored me for three, yes THREE months. That damaged me more than anything, and still impacts on me now in later life. That sort of horror never leaves you because it's premeditated.
Tinkers
11th Apr 2016
1
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Depends on where you smack them! I saw a woman the other day hitting her child around the head continuously - not a good idea but a short sharp shock smack to the legs or anywhere which is not dangerous doesn't hurt. Kids always got a wallop years ago and I wouldn't say they have all grown up with psychological problems. They just learned where the boundaries were which many these days do not.
alisonmay
27th Feb 2016
2
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There is a difference between a smack on hand or leg and beating.
TaxJudge
20th Feb 2016
3
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How on earth can one argue that striking others is wrong, but it’s ok to strike you ? It’s these double standards which can confuse and obfuscate; “don’t smoke, it’s bad for you" but I shall; do as I say not do as I do …
And, isn’t that the point ? Lead by example ! Show a child what’s right, not hit them when they are wrong. Firstly, teach them the difference between right and wrong. Secondly, teach them that every action has a consequence, Doing what’s good, is rewarded, even if it’s only the satisfaction of “a job well done”. But ignoring the rules brings sanctions.
Having brought up one “natural” son alone for 9 years, and more than 10 foster children, I – truly – believe that striking a child only alleviates the frustration of the parent. I – personally – would not castigate any Mum who used a tap on the back of a child’s legs as a sanction, but it is rather a moot point. Where does the violence end ?
But, parents – also – need to understand the importance of remaining fair, firm and consistent. Sanctions start at the beginning, not waiting until it can’t be tolerated any further. From a child’s perspective, why is it wrong to repeatedly ask the same question, over and over again, when – occasionally – it actually works ?
Children are born antisocial, and the epi-centre of their own universe. Part of being a parent involves teaching children that we don’t live in a world that revolves around their wishes. Of course, they need to feel physically and emotionally secure, and to be educated. But there is no god given right to being constantly amused, for example. Sometimes, we – just – have to wait for our turn. At a hospital, for example. And it’s never acceptable to run around annoying others, to alleviate that boredom.
The solution, in my view, exists in educating the parents as to how they should educate the children, not giving a tacit acceptance of violence.
JacquiS
2nd Mar 2016
1
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I think the point that is missing is Who is going to teach the adults. We have a society in part were people are having children who themselves have not been taught right from wrong and who think it is acceptable to scream, swear and smack absolutely anywhere. Its a vicious circle. In essence there is nothing wrong with a tap on the legs (it gets the message across) but this is very different from a beating.
TaxJudge
3rd Mar 2016
0
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You are absolutely right. Originally, the commonly cited curriculum in schools were the 3 "R"'s; Reading, wRithing and aRithmetic. How about 2 more ? Right and wRong ?
In so many cases, it is children having children; grandmothers in their early 30's. No life experience to pass on.
Joan Fraser
19th Feb 2016
0
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I hate to see or think about children being hit; violence is never good. However, it has to be said I was never a very patient mother and cringe when I think about shouting or being over strict...(oh if only I had my time over again). All that said I do believe in discipline and teaching children right from wrong, but not by hitting them
Alicia
18th Feb 2016
2
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I had a slap on the leg if I was naughty, it did me no harm.
snow75
17th Feb 2016
7
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Children need boundaries, and actually respond to it, as they needed guidance, and as commented, animals, i.e. lions, also give a smack for the protection and understanding of what is and what is not acceptable in the family.
The problem is when you have inadequate parenting skills, when people beat and abuse their children which has been since the beginning of man.
Trouble is, the do gooders are inferring with what is normal, and as usual in todays society, minority wins to the detrimental effect on a more balanced world.
Trampas1955
7th May 2016
0
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Honour you father and mother fine? But what about honouring your son and daughter?
I was smacked as a child. I'm not talking about a beating but something just enough to make the child think about it. I also smacked my three children when they were naughty which was not very often. When they were teen-agers and saw an example of children not ever smacked but locked in the toilet instead and listening to them talk back to their parents, my children said to me Mum we are glad you and Dad were strict with us.
Westminster
17th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I was beaten as a child, and it still causes me distress.

For some reason I could do no right, and was beaten frequently with a belt, handbroom, or anything else that came to hand.

My parents are long dead fortunately.

Murderers cannot be beaten so why should children, children can be punished without physical violence.

I see parents in my local Waitrose cajoling their children and happily reasoning with them, what a difference to life in the 1950s.
TaxJudge
3rd Mar 2016
0
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Wilf
17th Feb 2016
2
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Although we were smacked as kids when we were really naughty-which was quite often!....having no TV for a week was a far far worse punishment when we were youngsters
Munsterlander
17th Feb 2016
4
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I do not think smacking should be allowed-full stop
Stafilos
17th Feb 2016
5
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No, it should not be illegal to smack a child, all children push the boundries to see how far they can go, we all did and got smacked it didn't harm us and we learnt something from that.
Terrysoldgal
17th Feb 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I believe it should be illegal to smack a child. If you are firm and set boundaries from the offset there should be no need to have to resort to physical violence. Too many people lose their temper and think it's acceptable to smack their child because it's legal and at times these smackings can lead to harsh beatings. I like to think that I was a good role model for my children and they have turned into lovely well adjusted adults.
thefilthycripple
17th Feb 2016
5
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Only in moderation ,so many modern parents seem to resort to all sorts of physocological presuure ,instead of tge short sharp shock !
jentie51
17th Feb 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
I used to occasionally smack my children - a smack was there as an ultimate deterrent and very rarely necessary. They have all grown up to be well balanced adults who know how to behave appropriately. They have all, from time to time, commented that some of the children they encounter, really need a smack to bring them in line.

There is a distinct difference between a light tap on the hand or leg and hitting a child hard or even using a belt - that is out of order and that should be illegal.
SallyW
17th Feb 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Smacking is just another word for hitting. If we asked, 'Should it be illegal to hit your child?', we might get a different response. My Father 'smacked' us, we were terrified of him and his relationship with me and my brother was never good after we grew up.

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