Should Smacking Be Illegal?

AngryThis morning I was on LBC Radio again talking to Andrew Castle about my opinion on smacking. In an interview with The Independent, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Maggie Atkinson, has stated that smacking should be illegal and that it is wrong that pets currently have more rights than children. I have to agree with her, especially in view of the pets verses children point.

A couple of years ago I completed something called ‘The Freedom Programme‘ to help me better understand what was considered a healthy relationship against an unhealthy one. One of the shocking statistics that has stayed to me until this day is that there are more animal refuges in this country than those who assist abused human beings. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that animals should be helped but what about the humans? It still astounds me that more people give to animal charities than they do to people ones. Yes, that is my opinion and I do understand that some may feel differently on this point.

Anyway, I digress…back to my opinion on smacking! As a child, I was smacked by my Mum but it was on the bottom and was more of a warning. The difference is that my Dad was more violent than a ‘short, sharp shock’ kind of person and this is why I agree that there should be guidelines put into place.

I have always reasoned with Grace. If she is naughty it is important to always follow through on your threat. For example, back in October she was extremely rude to Ross in front of a friend that she had round to play and we had already warned her that if she continued the way she was going that she would not have her friends round for Halloween. She continued so we cancelled the plans.  Of course she was upset but we believe she learnt from her behaviour. All too often parents tell their children no, make threats but then don’t follow it through. Our old next door neighbour was a prime example of this. Her son was suspended from school for kicking a teacher but instead of making him do his school work from home, he was out in the garden playing! How is that punishment?!

I have always supported the school or nursery if they have put Grace in time out for being naughty. Upon finding out what she had done, I then told her that I was not going to punish her as that had already been dealt with but I would ask her if she understood why what she had done was wrong and what she should or shouldn’t have done. I would discuss it with her properly.

I remember once smacking her bottom and another time her hand and felt insanely guilty afterwards! But I am lucky in the fact that Grace is not a really naughty child and doesn’t test my patience to it’s absolute limit unlike some children I know. I can then understand why a tap on the bottom or hand might help. My Mum – who brought up 7 of us and did smack (but as I said above, used it as a warning), is also a qualified NNEB Nanny. She quite rightly pointed out that animals smack their children if they are naughty as a warning.

What does bother me is the more violent aspect of people like my father. This is why I believe that smacking should be illegal as there are people in this world who do not know how to control their anger. Children test your patience to the limit as it is but I think the biggest test of all is remaining calm and dealing with them in a controlled and sensible manner to reason with them and help them understand what they are doing is wrong rather than shout and scream and hit back at them.

What do you think? Do you feel smacking should be made illegal?

With thanks to LBC Radio and Andrew Castle for having me on the breakfast show this morning to voice my opinion. To listen again then pop over to the LBC website and find their podcast channel.

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  1. seo Hatfield
    September 8, 2014 / 5:24 am

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  2. Franglaise Mummy
    January 6, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    A very interesting blog post, as people have already said it’s hard to police such a thing, as usually it happens behind closed doors and I’m not sure a law would stop some people from doing it. I know that in France smacking is very common place, but they are looking at bringing laws into place about it too (interestingly in French it’s called “la fessée” which indicates what part of the body is being smacked as “la fesse” is buttock).
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted..Big changes for Franglaise Family in 2014My Profile

  3. December 31, 2013 / 11:01 am

    Great post. I think I do agree with making it illegal to smack children. There is so much potential for harm and abuse. Also, I don’t agree two wrongs make a right. We need to lead by example. Smacking children teaches them ‘it’s ok to smack in some circumstances’, yet we preach the opposite. Confusing and hypocritical, in my opinion.
    Jude recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions, from my pre-schooler’s point of view.My Profile

  4. December 28, 2013 / 5:30 pm

    Im in agreement with Hazel, its a nice idea but how on earth would you “police” such a law?
    In an ideal world any of us would only use a short sharp smack , and I have done so myself in the past, even gave my grandson one on Boxing Day!!
    If I was the sort that might lose my temper and take that too far then I doubt very much common sense would say to me “you cant do that” and stop me.
    Makes me wonder why when you have one parent that is heavy handed and one that isnt why the nice parent doesnt stop the heavy handed one? My mother was imo far to heavy handed with me, we were hit with wooden spoons and various other implements but my dad never did anything about it, made me more determined that I would not be like that with my children, but for some it has the “learnt behaviour” effect.
    Congrats on getting invited onto the radio.
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  6. Hazel Christopher
    December 28, 2013 / 1:51 pm

    I feel that in making smacking illegal it criminalises otherwise fantastic parents if they smack even just the one time (and by smack I mean a small smack across bottom or hand) which I feel a bit unnecessary.

    When my son went to run across the road once I quickly pulled him in and smacked his bottom (through clothes). I had repeatedly told him to be careful, to stay away from the road etc and he took no notice, I did it as a short sharp shock – I don’t like smacking but I also don’t want my son to run under a car!

    It’s a difficult one. I don’t think smacking should EVER be done in a fit of rage, nor should it be done frequently – as a one off last resort type of thing I think it “can be” acceptable. Yet how do we safeguard this?

    However, no law unfortunately will protect a child (IMO), we have seen too often cases like Daniel Pelka and Baby P and okay they are extreme cases but the law didn’t protect them from severe assault and neglect so how on Earth would a law protect children from being smacked?

    My own personal thoughts are that parents should have to partake in parenting lessons when their children start nursery, lessons that teach discipline and other things. Some people need/want help but don’t like to ask for it, some people simply follow their own parents way of parenting which isn’t always the “right” way.

    • December 28, 2013 / 2:47 pm

      A very good point very well made Hazel. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it 🙂
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