To smack or not to smack is not the question. We owe it to children to set boundaries

Outlawing all physical punishment of children – with no exemptions – will not make children safer, says Claire Fox in the TES.

Scotland will become the first region in the UK to introduce a ban on parents smacking their children. Should those who care for children cheer? I have my doubts. You’d think from the media rhetoric around this change in the law that there are huge numbers of parents who are about to be restrained from belting the hell out of their kids.

This misanthropic image is untrue. The vast majority of parents love their kids and would never dream of harming them, whether they occasionally smack or not. For the tiny minority, there are already laws in place to stop abuse. Scottish law, for example, already bans the use of an “implement” as is shaking or striking a child on the head.

So outlawing all physical punishment of children – with no exemptions – will not make children safer. Instead, it will treat thousands of ordinary mums and dads as no different to violent thugs, vulnerable to criminal charges, for merely disciplining their children with a benign smack.

Read the full article here.

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