France to be the 52nd country to forbid parents from smacking their kids

Should Australia join them?

France has passed a bill banning parents from using corporal punishment (smacking or spanking) to control or discipline children.


‘It sets forth a clear principle, which should be repeated to fathers and mothers and inform their future behavior,’ explains the attached memo.


Anti-spanking advocates say it’s important move which sends the message that violence against children, no matter what the reason, is not okay.


While smacking is not against the law in Australia, the Government does distinguish between ‘reasonable’ and ‘unreasonable’ use of corporal punishment.


‘Corporal punishment that results in bruising, marking or other injury lasting longer than a 24-hour period may be deemed to be “unreasonable” and thus classified as physical abuse,’ says the factsheet online at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.


However, smacking ‘is lawful provided that it is carried out for the purpose of correction, control or discipline.’


There is much debate around whether children that were smacked growing up suffer for it in their adult lives.


A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that not only were kids who grew up being smacked more likely to show antisocial behavior, aggression, cognitive difficulties and mental health issues – they tended to be more disobedient.


This suggests smacking may not only be harmful, but also not even work as a method of controlling children.

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