Does smacking really help raise a successful child?

As new research suggests chastised children do better in life, we ask whether violence is ever the answer

It’s a controversial question that continues to divide parents: Should you ever smack a child?

For many adults, the answer is most definitely no. But according to new research there is something to be said for spanking your child at a young age.

According to a new research released last week, young children smacked by their parents may grow up to be happier and more successful adults, compared to thier peers who were never hit.

The study suggests that youngsters up to the age of six were likely to perform better at school as teenagers and go on to attend university, compared to those who were never physically disciplined as a child.

It is only when the violence continues into adolescence that the effects of smacking become damaging and cause future behaviour problems.

Psychologist Aric Sigman agrees with the theory. ‘If smacking is done judiciously by a parent who is normally affectionate and sensitive to their child, our society should not be up in arms about that. Parents should be trusted to distinguish this from a punch in the face.’

But can we be sure that all child guardians will instinctively know how far is too far?

According to several children’s groups, this is definitely a concern. They claim it is a form of abuse that causes long-term harm to children. Banning it would send a clear signal that violence, for whatever reasons, is harmful and unacceptable.

So what do you think? Is there something to be said for disciplining children at a young age? Perhaps you were a victim of childhood spanking and credit it for your later success.

Alternatively, do you passionately believe that no good can come out of hitting a child – however young they are.

Whatever side you fall on, Marie Claire would like to hear from you by posting your opinion below and joining the debate.

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