Bring back the smack, says author and mother Sue Edgerley

Herald Sun December 07, 2010
Parents are being told to smack their children and run their families like an army unit. A controversial new book says parents should stop praising their children and trying to be their friends. Author Sue Edgerley, a mother of three, says modern parenting is “an idealistic exercise gone wrong”. She says in her self-published book, 5 Keys Parenting, there is too much explaining and reasoning with kids, instead of discipline. Quality time is a myth, she says, and mothers should stay home to look after their kids to ensure “quantity time”. She also wants parents to use smacking as a “first resort”. “Even a one-year-old understands the message that a smack sends,” she says. Unruly teens too old to be smacked should spend up to three days in their bedroom, which should be stripped of their personal possessions.
Edgerley, who lives in Cairns, Queensland, says she has experience as a childcare worker. Her book advocates a return to “updated” traditional parenting, with an emphasis on firm, clear boundaries – supported by affection. She says the five keys of traditional parenting are composure, consistency, control, courtesy and caring. Edgerley blames modern life for slack parenting, which is no longer based around clear discipline, clear roles and a fragmentation of family life.