People a few years ago, thought the only way to punish a child who did a naughty deed was to smack them. This is meant to enforce pain to someone who has done wrong by hitting them, beating them, strapping them or even whipping them. Smacking is a very controversial topic that has been discussed across the nation. Smacking refers to any physical form of punishment, but in this case against children. Currently there are many different terms used to label this kind of punishment, for example, it has been called smacking, whipping, spanking or beating.
These punishments involve the deliberate infliction of pain upon a child, by an adult, as a result of the child’s misbehavior or perceived misbehavior. It has been proven scientifically that the effects of it can be detrimental to the emotional and educational needs of children. This is not benefiting our children. In fact, it may be hurting our children more than helping them.
In most common law countries any common assault (that is deliberate or reckless physical contact without consent) is illegal. There are however a series of exceptions to that proposition where the public interest is deemed to justify allowing such assaults. One of the most used is “lawful chastisement”. In most cases it is legitimate to strike children for that purpose where it would not be acceptable to strike an adult.
The law varies from country to country as to what is an acceptable level of force but very few countries (Germany, Sweden and New Zealand are notable exceptions) have an outright ban on parents using such force. The debate turns less on the moral principle behind the legitimacy of smacking per se and more on the effects on the ability to police child abuse with and without a ban.