"A smack now and then doesn't hurt them keeps them in check" - readers debate whether smacking their child should be illegal

A law recently came into power that has made it illegal for parents to smack their children in Wales - but it's not against the law in England. We asked our readers if they thought it should be made law here.

Friday, 25th March 2022, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 11:33 am

Here are a selection of the comments from our readers on the topic:

A large majority of respondents had the opinion that it’s ok to give their child a clout from time-to-time.

Inglana Saqladi shared her views, saying, “Kids now don’t know where the line is , when we were younger you knew how far you could go before either getting the cane at school or a wallop at home.”

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Mother Hitting Young Daughter

Janice Savage Marples added her take, “No, didn’t do us any harm and we were better behaved than these youths of to day. There is no deterrent for children of today they have no respect but that’s because they get away with everything.”

And, Nadia Rahmouni replied with, “Maybe if they got a smack they wouldn't be all the disrespect around from kids.”

Cheryl Bunting Whyler said that, “A little tap doesn't hurt but full on smacking is going too far my dad used to get the belt out or slap us hard it didn't harm me but some go overboard. Kids have no fear of punishment so they have no respect for people or property”, which was a view shared by a number of people.

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Alan Jones is of the belief that “giving a child a "Beating" never does any good, but a firm smacked bottom teaches limits and consequences.”

As does Kirsty Marie, who thinks that it should be illegal but that, “theres a difference between a smack and a whack....a smack never hurt me it gave me respect… the kind what kids are missing these days.”

Steven Ward opined, “How do you discipline children? Take their Nintendo off them! Send them to bed! Stop their pocket money? Snowflakes want a good smacking!”

Finally in support of the act, Gemma Brentnall stated that, “a good crack never did me any harm. Never took drugs and never been in trouble with the police.”

"Theres a difference between a smack and a whack....a smack never hurt me it gave me respect”

Kathleen Balderson is of the belief that, “a smack now and then doesn't hurt them keeps them in check.”

One of the most popular responses came courtesy of Diane Linda Cawley, who said:

“Look around you, kids have no respect what so ever this is why this country is a mess, kids killing kids, it's a shambles, do you really think that this was a good idea to stop disciplining bad behavior??? Never did me any harm, I grew up with respect and manners didn't have much else but as long as I got those 2 I grew up into an ok person, God help the next generation glad I won't be here to see it, so my answer to the question, if they have done wrong been disrespectful yes give them a clip.”

NO, as the old saying goes it never did me any harm.

A large number of people felt that it was fine as it ‘never did me any harm when I was a kid.’

But not everybody agreed that it was the solution.

Jake Corteen believes that it should be illegal, “Yes, striking children is wrong. It's time we as a society took that seriously.”

Clare Sally followed up Jake’s comment, saying, “I agree. I think many of the people saying it didn't do them any harm; how can they be sure? There are many studies that show people who experienced trauma in childhood end up with so many issues as an adult. Sometimes they become bullies themselves because that's what they've been taught to behave like. Neither outcome solves any problems, and just causes many more.”

Annette Clayton said that she “was never smacked but l have turned out a respectable person, l knew my boundaries. l am 73 now.”

Sarah Nuttall is firmly against the act, “if you were to hit an adult you would have to face charges, what’s so different for a child. It dosent matter if it’s a small tap it’s still a violent act , it’s just an easy and lazy way of parenting . It takes time and effort to teach a child right from wrong and discipline.”

Angela Earley is all for a change in the law, “YES!!!! No one should ever hit a child!!”

“Thought that it was banned year's ago” replied Sandra Fox

And some felt that there were limits to any form of punishment.

Stacey Caterer says that “A tap on the bottom or hand is acceptable. A smack that leaves a mark then no child deserves that no matter how bad they are.”

Sue Howard added that it, “Never did me any harm. A smack on the legs is fine once in a while. Regular smacking is not ok.”

Clearly opinions are split on the topic. Even if there is a large number of people who believe that there is no harm in giving their kid a clip if they give them lip. Ultimately the jury is out and it seems that the old way of giving a naughty child a hiding is not so much the done thing.

What do you think?