Should smacking children be banned? Watch

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A cross-party group of MPs is attempting to force through a ban on smacking children in England and Wales. Should parents be allowed to discipline their children physically?

The current law in England and Wales allows parents to use "reasonable punishment" but cannot leave a physical mark or cause mental harm.

MPs opposed to the current position have signed an amendment to the Children and Young Persons Bill which will give children the same protection against assault as adults.

Smacking children under the age of three is banned in Scotland and it is illegal to hit children on the head, shake them or strike them with an implement.

Is physical punishment acceptable in modern society? Are MPs right to try and push this ban through? Are you a parent? How do you discipline your children?

Read the full story (on the BBC website)
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randomgirl
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I don't understand how they could police it. And say a parent gives their naughty 8 year old a tap on the hand and somebody found out, would the kid get taken by social services? :dontknow:
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glassheart
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No. The goverment should not dictate such matters, they need to get out of peoples personal lives and focus on the bigger picture, such as sorting out this joke of an economy we are currently harbouring.
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squid
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If a parent smacks a child so hard they're physically marked, sure, but smacking that doesn't leave a mark is fine. No wonder there's so many little ***** nowadays, no discipline. My parents would smack me if I was naughty and I'm perfectly fine, they don't abuse me, in fact, I think I've grown up a lot better than the majority of people I see.
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ColdVein
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It should be the parent's decision
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by squid)
If a parent smacks a child so hard they're physically marked, sure, but smacking that doesn't leave a mark is fine. No wonder there's so many little ***** nowadays, no discipline. My parents would smack me if I was naughty and I'm perfectly fine, they don't abuse me, in fact, I think I've grown up a lot better than the majority of people I see.

I'm inclined to agree with this. Although there is a clear difference between smacking a child to discipline them and smacking them because you have lost your temper (what I would label as child abuse). And I think it's important to ensure that the latter scenario is punished.

I also think there is a fine line in the effect it would have on a child. If it was for disciplinary purposes, then I don't the it would have a negative impact on the child, whereas if it is excessive it could potentially make the child think that violence is okay, and growing up with such ethics may result in a circle of violent behaviour which they subsequently pass on to their children..
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ocelotrevs
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No, I don't think it should be banned.
Obviously, if the child is being bashed up for no reason, then steps should be taken to protect the child.
If the child is getting a clump for misbehaving, or when they step outta line, I see no problem with that.
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~|Shock|~
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I dont think it should be banned as a last-resort punishment to children.
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Bofo Bautista
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I don't think it should be allowed. But there's not really much you can do about it. Physical violence is never the way forward.
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Mathscrax
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i agree that it shouldn't be banned
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numb3rb0y
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Yes, it should be banned. What sort of double standard does it create when the law (and society, for that matter) says violent assault is fine until the target reaches a certain semi-arbitrary age? Not to mention the fact that if you teach a child that violence is an acceptable response, they're much more likely to use violence as a response.
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amy.dd
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(Original post by thisisyesterday)
I'm inclined to agree with this. Although there is a clear difference between smacking a child to discipline them and smacking them because you have lost your temper (what I would label as child abuse). And I think it's important to ensure that the latter scenario is punished.

I also think there is a fine line in the effect it would have on a child. If it was for disciplinary purposes, then I don't the it would have a negative impact on the child, whereas if it is excessive it could potentially make the child think that violence is okay, and growing up with such ethics may result in a circle of violent behaviour which they subsequently pass on to their children..
I agree with this.

But I hate it when parents smack their children because they have lost their temper. If an adult stood hysterically screaming next to me I would never think of hitting them just because I had got that annoyed and if I did I could imagine having the police knocking at my door.

A smack that doesn't really physically hurt the child but is more uncomfortable and doesn't leave a mark is fine in certain situations, it's up to the parents. I can't see how they would police it, there is enough parents properly hitting their children and getting away with it.
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littlebee2
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I don't think so but that is possibly because of the way I have been brought up. I use to get smacked by my parents all the time with a feather duster and man does that hurt!!! Its made worse when i start crying and they hit me even more to tell me to stop crying!! But that never left any permanent damage and i think sometimes it hurts them more to see me being hurt. But i know i did something wrong to deserve it and I think I do learn from those mistakes. Unless the smacking of the child had no reasoning and that it caused permanent damage then I don't think it should be banned.
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Varsity
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In my opinion this is bull. What's all this 'leave a physical mark' rubbish?

Fact is we are animals, if your dog does a crap on your carpet, you punish them, and the same applies for a child.

There is no positive to a law that bans smacking, its just more PC rubbish we can do without.


(Original post by numb3rb0y)
Yes, it should be banned. What sort of double standard does it create when the law (and society, for that matter) says violent assault is fine until the target reaches a certain semi-arbitrary age? Not to mention the fact that if you teach a child that violence is an acceptable response, they're much more likely to use violence as a response.
Pain has kept our race alive for hundreds of thousands of years. It is natures way of showing we have done something dangerous and/or wrong.
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L i b
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(Original post by thisisyesterday)
I'm inclined to agree with this. Although there is a clear difference between smacking a child to discipline them and smacking them because you have lost your temper (what I would label as child abuse). And I think it's important to ensure that the latter scenario is punished.
I agree with your premise, but ultimately you can't really legislate to make one illegal and another not.

I also think there is a fine line in the effect it would have on a child. If it was for disciplinary purposes, then I don't the it would have a negative impact on the child, whereas if it is excessive it could potentially make the child think that violence is okay, and growing up with such ethics may result in a circle of violent behaviour which they subsequently pass on to their children..
Ultimately I think the effects are often more subtle. I'm not sure if it's unusual or not, but it seems that a lot of people of my generation have managed to grow up with little or no self-confidence, and numerous other social and psychological afflictions - I imagine problems like this are largely down to parenting, although I'm not willing to go as far as to identify smacking in anger specifically as the problem.
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by L i b)
I agree with your premise, but ultimately you can't really legislate to make one illegal and another not.


Don't social services get involved if a child is being abused? Their competence when it comes to such situations is another matter, but there are consequences for parents who smack or hit their children excessively.
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unzipme
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#17
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Banning smacking won't stop children getting physically abused. Those who abuse their position of power as parents/guardians with respect to smacking their children are not going to be stopped because they are told it's not allowed.

I honestly don't think banning smacking will stop parents smacking their children - not a law that I think will be maintained behind closed doors.
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Sephirona
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#18
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Giving children the ol' tap on the butt won't harm anything.
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meenu89
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#19
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I don't think it is the governemtns place to tell parents how to discipline children.
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gbp1
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in principle i think physical punishment is wrong, but how on earth could it be policied, i think a ban would be widly ignored. I think the goverment should give more guidence on alternatives.
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