Rebecca Smith and Martin Beckford of the Telegraph (UK) tell us the British experts have concluded that smacking (i.e., spanking) children for misbehavior doesn’t work and is equivalent to physical assault. They quote RCPCH president Prof. Ternce Stephenson as saying, “Children should be provided with the same protection against physical assault as adults, and aside from being unnecessary, smacking is generally a very ineffective deterrent to ‘bad’ behavior.”
“Smacking is too often seen as the easy option – sadly as paediatricians we see all too often today’s smack becomes tomorrow’s punch.”
Parents could previously use “reasonable chastisement” to discipline their children, but the law was tightened under Labour in 2004. The new definition prohibits any force that causes “reddening of the skin”.