The big question

Should there be an outright ban on

Alex Williams
Mental health service survivor

Smacking should be banned. Physical abuse by a minority of parents
means there need to be stronger laws to protect all children.
Anyway, there are other ways of guiding children as to what’s
unacceptable besides resorting to the easy, quick option of a

Shaun Webster
CHANGE, self-advocacy group

The government says that smacking too hard is wrong and I agree
with that. I’m a parent and when my kids are naughty I give them a
little tap on the hand – but only if they go too far and they take
no notice. Now, parents are confused and the law needs to make it
clear what you can and can’t do.

Paul Grey
mental health services activist

A smack in a loving protecting way, within a parent-child
relationship is discipline, a smack outside of this relationship
and without the motive of love and protection is abuse. The law
already covers that. There should be a balanced debate, not a few
child experts or charities calling for bans. 

Jean Stogton
Grandparents Plus

On balance I’m completely against smacking and I think it is a
mistake not to give a clear message to parents. But we must offer
them support too – before I became a parent myself I had no idea of
the pressures involved. Children can really push you to the limit
and you need good parenting skills to avoid resorting to

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