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The campaign to ban smacking is based on the crazy idea that children shouldn’t be disciplined by their parents

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I’ve learnt to be sceptical about so-called studies that suggest that smacking children should be banned because it makes youngsters more aggressive and antisocial. The latest, by academics from the UK’s University College London (UCL), echoes this claim.

The lead author, Dr Anja Heilmann, contends that “we see a definitive link between physical punishment and behavioural problems such as aggression and antisocial behaviour.”

So, what do we actually know about the consequences of smacking children? Opponents claim that research conclusively demonstrates that it has long-term negative effects on their behaviour. This is the nub of the UCL report.

From my own study for my book ‘Paranoid Parenting’, I’ve concluded that there may be good arguments for opposing smacking, but they are not to be found in the scientific research.

Despite dozens of studies on the subject, nobody has yet established a causal relationship between smacking and long-term negative behaviour. Indeed, there is some evidence suggesting that, in certain circumstances, smacking can be an effective disciplinary tool. For example,........

© RT.com

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