Why parents smack (or not)
Top reasons parents who smack say it’s appropriate (and some who don’t).
(Getty Images)
A recent article on a proposed smacking ban prompted a fierce reaction from many readers. It would appear, based on the results of a vote and the ensuing comments, that SA parents are overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the smack as an effective way of raising a child. Worldwide, parenting experts are steering away from corporal punishment, so what makes SA parents smack (or not)? Here are some of their answers from our comments sections and Facebook page:

No smacking!

  • “I'm a South African living in Norway and that legislation has been in place here for donkey years... And I would say the kids are not running around wild... I definitely didn't get harmed by the odd spanking but I can't imagine hitting my own kids. Or wanting someone at school to hit them... Just because on average none of us had long term effects from physical punishment doesn't mean we have to continue with it forever. A kid living in a dysfunctional home can be hit till the cows come home and it won't help him.” Rudi
  • “... Over 67 years of research on SPANKING, not child abuse, SPANKING have time and again shown that spanking leads to aggression, rebellion, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, criminal activity and a host of other issues both in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HURT CHILDREN TO TEACH THEM.” Mands
  • “I totally support NO Spanking for any children. Instead focus on helping the parents with anxiety control, then the kids will be calm too”. Susan
  • “Beating women and animals is already illegal, as is hateful action against minorities. It's only fair to protect this last group of vulnerable people. If only we could ban nastiness, violence and unkindness in all forms towards anyone!” Audrey
Future convicts?
  • “Every adult in today's world thank their parent for the control and discipline they instilled in us...it’s one of the basic skill we are happy to have-how to behave among different individuals...the government must just plea nicely if they want the population of kids in the detention juvenile centres to increase”. Sabelo
  • “It’s not gonna stop the child abusers beating the daylights out of the kids. All this is doing is creating a lawless society where the kids think they can do what they want because no one can do anything about it”. Neil
  • “Look if my child gets out of hand I'm going to blixem them I'd rather smack them now than bail them out of prison later (don't care who say's what) my business” Jacqueline
God told me to…
  • “I am governed by God's Word first and foremost, and as such I will raise my children accordingly.” Jacqui
  • “My opinion... The parents who use a flat hand on a child's buttocks are perfectly within their rights as parents, for even the Bible says: "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." ~Proverbs 13:24” Ashleigh
My parents did it, and I’m ok
  • “My parents use to spank me when needed and I thank God for that . I'm a better person today . Its not abuse they never left marks on my body just put me back on the straight road with a spank When Needed.” Clinton
  • “My folks used a wooden spoon on me... turned out fine.” Motodi
  • “… my mum smacked whenever I was cheeky! At 20, I will still get a slap on the bottom if she thinks I am being rude. It works. Let's not take it away.” Chelsea
For the “safety” of the child
  • “There is a time and a place when a child does need a good smack on the bottom - that is when they are endangering their own lives and a time out will not work. You tell me if asking a toddler nicely to please not to stick their finger in the plug will listen and respect you.” Bianca
Again, points were raised in these discussions about child abuse- and the fact that SA has an abysmal record when it comes to abused children. Obviously the abuse of a child is deplorable and illegal. Always report child abuse.

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