My parents stopped smacking me year 7 at 12 years old.
Probably got another 1-2 bum smacks after that for mouthing off.
By then the damage from years of smacking (in my case belting) had already been done.
Most common age for parents to use smacking is 0-5.
Some of the interesting findings from my research were:
1. for behaviour to be modified through discipline some level of internalisation needs to occur and power assertive methods such as smacking have not been found to be successful in promoting this critical component of behavioural change
2. Conversely gentle discipline, positive exchange and secure attachment are positively associated with the internalisation process
3. smacking has been associated with a number of negative behavioural outcomes such as aggression, criminal and deviant behaviour
4. Children often model the behaviour of their caregivers - therefore if a caregiver uses power assertive methods the child may in turn use these methods in their interactions also. As shown in Bandura's famous bobo doll experiment and his social learning theory.
5. A significantly greater amount of antisocial behaviour was found in children that had experienced any level of corporal punishment (including mild).
6. These findings were supported by studies which found that the negative correlations still existed despite high levels of maternal nurturance or where parents felt that they had provided adequate cognitive stimulation and emotional support to the child.
7. Further studies supported this claim and added that the correlations still existed whether positive parenting strategies were used in conjunction with corporal punishment.
The list goes on, and i can give references if anyone is interested but the research is strongly in the favour of avoiding corporal punishment - and whether you agree with it or not morally speaking - it is considered highly ineffective as far as behaviour modification goes. Probably the most comprehensive is the meta analysis done by Gershoff in 2002 - but really there are too many studies and findings to bore you with here.
I spent quite alot of time researching this topic and what I have found is that once you strip away the personal and moral arguments, there really is little value in it as far as discipline goes. I believe there will certainly come a time where it is outlawed, it is only a matter of time really.
Anyway just thought i would share some of the things i learned - it was a gruelling task but am so glad I did it as it forced me to look beyond smacking to alternative methods that leave me feeling better about my interactions with my child. Of course that is just me though, but I still thought some might like to see some of the findings from the available literature.
Last edited by Ulysses; 19-06-2012 at 14:22.
BlissedOut obviously you are er passionate about this subject but I was merely replying to a PP'd question about whether a law would change the way I raise my children. I'm glad you agree with and adhere to government law in all it's forms but I consider myself autonomous enough to make individual assessments (including such other shocking issues as supporting gay marriage). Not that smacking is illegal currently anyway.
So direct your righteous outrage elsewhere please. I am off to make my son sweep chimneys and then get him to work pickpocketing on the streets.
Thanks Ulysses, very interesting and informative.
I'm not a smacker and a lot of people in this thread that a pro smacking won't even read your post but if one person does, and it makes them reconsider their methods of discipline, then you have done a good thing.
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