Fewer parents smacking

The Press 01 November 2008

“Anti-smacking” legislation is making parents reluctant to strike their children, the first results of a major study into child discipline show. The research, carried out between December 2006 and July this year, also found that 70 per cent of parents who are against the legislation do not understand it, prompting calls for a public education campaign. “I used to smack them on the hand but it scared the crap out of me when that bill came in,” one parent told researchers during in-depth interviews of 117 parents.

First results of the Otago University Children’s Issues Centre project on child discipline, released exclusively to The Press, show smacking rates eighth out of 11 methods, below time-out, distraction, and hugs and smiles, as an effective form of discipline.

…”There seems to have been timidity and avoidance of objective information about (the Act), perhaps because government bodies are nervous of the reaction from extremely well-funded and powerful religious Right groups to any public information,” the article says.