Yesterday, Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner, made a statement to the Independent that smacking should be illegal and today, Channel 4 has decided to host a debate on the moral, social and political issues surrounding the topic of smacking children. You can get involved right now on Twitter – just tweet @Channel4News and use the hash tag #C4News.

Our views on smacking are very clear. We don’t condone physical assault of any kind amongst adults and to do so where children are concerned is not only horribly confusing for children but is deeply contradictory. And as no situation actually demands physical punishment, we consider it totally unnecessary and as the scientific data shows clearly, hugely detrimental to some children’s development.

However, we are concerned with the possibility that a ban on smacking may lead to imprisonment. Quite how the currently hypothetical process of disciplining parents who smack their children might work is not yet clear, but given that this is a sensitive area with often little or no adequate support or examination of each individual case, it could open up a flood gate of unjustified forced adoptions.

Dr Atkinson is not going to be actively pursuing a ban on smacking for the time being, but the debate is sure to bring different perspectives to the table.

Previous articles on smacking from our blog can be found below:

November 2013

February 2013 :

January 2012

Big thank you to Rapella, polymath extraordinaire, for alerting us to this debate.