I don't think hitting a child should be legal. Infact the notion we can hit kids, yet be charged for hitting an adult is absurd.
For the sake of the thread, if hitting children *had* to be legal then my guidelines would be:
- open hand
-bum only (fully clothed)
- no marks or injuries left (must be soft enough)
- not done in anger (calm voice)
- adult must explain what was done that was wrong
- no older than 6 or 7
I was 'smacked' as a kid and remember the absolute fear from mums words "you wait until your father gets home." I knew that meant a belting. I was so fearful i used to chuck wobblies ("oh well im going to cop it anyway!").
Nothing was ever explained to me, I never got a chance to explain why I did something (eg I once got smacked for going up the 'really' tall slippery dip at the park which I wasn't supposed to. I was only 5 and My parents didn't want to hear that I was actually petrified of a stray German sheppard dog that was walking in my direction).
Last time I was 'smacked' was by my mother at 16. I told her if she hit me, I'd hit her back. And I did. Parents that smack older children are just bullies and they lose their power once someone stands up to them.