Aussie parents open about smacking kids

A NEWS.COM.AU poll has found 85 per cent of people admit smacking their kids – and experts say they’re surprised the figure isn’t higher. More than 4000 people voted in the poll which asked parents whether they smacked their children. Of the 85 per cent who admitted smacking, only 8 per cent regretted it.

Warren Cann, director of Australia’s comprehensive parenting website Raising Children Network said he was surprised the results of the poll weren’t higher. He expected more parents to be smackers. “85 per cent is a little lower than what I would have expected, which may reflect this gradual change away from the use of corporal punishment,” Mr Cann said. “Smacking is almost universal in our society, but attitudes towards physical punishment are changing slowly.” Last week Former Senior Australian of the Year Prof Freda Briggs said because smacking was no longer deemed acceptable, parents had given up on discipline altogether.

Thank goodness she’s “former”

“We’ve been telling parents not to smack, but haven’t told them what to do instead and how to do it,” said the University of South Australia’s Prof Briggs, who has written a book Smart Parenting for Safer Kids, based on a lifetime of research in parenting. The article, didn’t provide any answers to that question either – presumably because Biggs wants you to buy her book. Or maybe because parents are quite happy smackers. Parents told they smacked because “it works”. Many described smacking as an effective “circuit breaker”.

Exactly. They’re a smart lot – those Aussies.

And their politicians seem to be respecting them – at the moment.