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Spanking children: 194 countries say it is wrong

Spanking, hitting, or caning  – three forms of discipline which are not widely acceptable in today’s society.



Sweden became the first country to outlaw the physical punishment of children in 1979.

Now, according to a statement from the country’s children’s rights agencies, a further 43 countries from around the world have followed in their footsteps.

The most recent include Brazil, San Marino and Estonia.

The UK government banned the use of it in schools here back in 1987.

Now, it seems a ban against physically punishing children is more widespread, with all but two of the 196 countries banning this form of discipline.

A sign of the belief in protecting the rights of children.

In today’s society the level of physical discipline given to a child by parents can often be called into questioned.

If you were to see a parent or carer physically restrain or smack a child, would you call the police or report it?

Under Section 58 of the Children Act 2004, it is unlawful for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’ – although this is not defined in the legislation.

The punishment is considered ‘unreasonable’ if it leaves a mark on the child.

Parents often find it tempting to give their child a smack because it can sort out their bad behaviour at that moment in time.

In theory, this does not really teach them how to behave or calm them down – it has the opposite effect and may encourage them to hit others in return.

It is more important for parents to consider the use of discipline and the way they act rather than smack their child.

* Avoid shouting

* Use time-outs or the naughty step where possible

* Explain what they have done wrong

* Be clear on rules, what they can and can’t do


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