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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