Parents back smacking

Despite years of campaigning to ban smacking, parents are still unconvinced that it is truly detrimental to a child to be smacked when misbehaving, a recent survey has revealed.

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Research carried out for the Children's Society discovered that only one in seven adults believe that a smack poses a high risk to a child's wellbeing.

The charity was disappointed with the findings as they were one of the charities that called for Tony Blair to pass the 2004 Children's Act, which lets parents smack their child but if physical or mental injury is caused by the smack it is a criminal offence.

And now the Children's Society wants further protections is place for children.

Bob Reitemeyer, CEO of the Children's Society, said: "Children are the only group of people in this country who can be legally hit on a regular basis by others with little protection in law."

However, not everyone agrees that a parent's right to smack their child should be revoked.
Patricia Morgan, a researcher and author on the family, argued: "Children are the only people who can be legally sent to bed by others. Does that make it wrong?"

The survey asked 2,047 adults to choose from six scenarios which they perceived to be most dangerous to a child aged between six and 15 years old.

In the case of smacking, 14 per cent thought it was a very high risk and 33 per cent considered it a high risk. For school-aged children, only 29 per cent thought it was a high risk.

But for the scenario in which a parent allows their child to play alone outside after 9pm, 77 per cent felt that this was a high risk for children.

Mrs Morgan said: "There is a major gap between what parents think and what the campaigners tell them.

"All the existing research shows that children brought up by permissive parents do worse than those who set boundaries and enforce the rules, and that those who are smacked as a punishment for breaking rules in such families do better. Parents are right."

Do you think that smacking is very bad for children or does it help them grow into well behaved children? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.