Family First applauds the research of the Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study which has found that children who are smacked lightly with an open hand on the bottom, hand or leg do much the same in later life as those who are not smacked.
In fact, some had “similar or even slightly better outcomes” than those who were not smacked in terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement.
“This thorough, independent and solid research explodes the myth of the anti-smacking lobby that any smacking leads to a dysfunctional and violent youth in later life,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“We have always argued against Sue Bradford’s Bill to ban smacking because it penalises good parents doing a great job of bringing up their children with reasonable discipline and boundaries.”
“Like Sue Bradford, we want to reduce the level of child abuse in NZ which is abhorrent. But let’s target the real areas of family breakdown and dysfunction, substance abuse and poverty, rather than penalise good parents by banning smacking.”
“There is a huge difference between smacking and child abuse. This home-grown research has proved that once and for all, and backs up other international research which has been honest enough to analyse the effects of reasonable discipline as against child abuse,” says Mr McCoskrie.