Should it be illegal for parents to smack their children?
Every parent has at least once been faced with the decision on whether or not to smack their child. Recently, debate has been sparked on whether or not parents should be allowed to smack their own children. If parents do smack, some accuse them of child abuse and being unable to control their kids. If parents don’t, others see them as “softies”, which let their spoilt brat children rule. A lot of parents let their children run riot these days and I believe, sometimes a disciplinary smack is the only appropriate option. According to National family violence surveys and a number of research studies, over 90 per cent of parents use some form of punishment that involves physical pain when disciplining their children. The two obvious questions that come to mind are, can smacking lead to children having emotional problems in the future and there any other methods of discipline we can use that does not involve physical harm? The results from a study published in the Journal of Applied Development Psychology, corporal punishment can lead to emotional and behavioural problems down the road. The study also suggests that children that are smacked on a regular basis are more likely to experience depression or low self-esteem compared to children that are not. The law recognises that it is acceptable to use reasonable and moderate force to chastise children and while there is no bright line between acceptable and excessive force, few parents are investigated, let alone, convicted of child assault. It is absurd to think parents aren’t morally sophisticated enough to recognise the difference of a disciplinary smack and an uncontrolled violent assault. There is a large and obvious difference between the two which Anti-smackers don’t seem to be able to see. Yes, there are some people that have taken it too far but that is a small percentage of parents. How many people do we hear of today that were smacked as children,...
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