Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Smacking unacceptable to parents

The majority of parents now consider smacking unacceptable and would rather talk problems through with their children, according to a survey.

Almost 90% of those surveyed said they choose to discuss problems, while only 7% said it was perfectly alright to smack a child.

The poll of 1,250 people was carried out by the campaigning organisation Parenting Across Scotland.

The survey also found that 40% thought little parental support was available.

The Scottish Executive must do more to help, according to Parenting Across Scotland.

The survey also found that 46% of those surveyed thought ministers had a poor understanding of the challenges and problems faced by parents.

More support

Though only a small minority claimed that smacking was acceptable, 20% admitted they had done so in the last year, and a further 36% said they had threatened physical punishment.

It follows the publication earlier this month by the United Nations agency Unicef of research into children's well-being.

The physical and emotional health of UK children were the lowest of 21 industrialised nations.

Professor Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, welcomed findings that parents found smacking less acceptable, but called for more support for families.

"Things are moving on a bit but there's still a lot to be done," she added.

"I think what we are seeing is that parents are realising that actually [smacking] doesn't make it better. It doesn't help the child and it makes them feel utterly miserable.

"If we can move on, with more support as well and clear standards and clear expectations, we'll have happier families and we'll ultimately have better ordered communities because we won't have resentful, angry children who are taught that might is right."

Last January the government rejected calls from the UK's four children's commissioners for a total ban on smacking.

Source: BBC

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