Let's just clarify something before we begin.
A parent who smacks their child is not a child abuser, regardless of what many would have you believe. There is a huge gulf between the two, and automatically labelling every parent who has ever smacked their child as some kind of abuser is like saying those who kill spiders hate all animals.
It's a lovely flowery concept, isn't it, that in order to discipline a child all you need to do is sit them on the naughty step and explain to them what they've done wrong. But as anyone who has actually had children knows, it's rarely that simple.
iTo presume that smacking makes you a bad parent, or being smacked makes you some kind of quivering abuse victim, is ridiculous.
At the moment, under UK law, 'mild smacking' is allowed, but anything which causes visible bruising, grazes, scratches, swellings or cuts is not. Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, says that smacking should be banned completely.
This will definitely eliminate all smacking, of course, just like banning people from speeding has stopped everyone from speeding, or like banning murder has stopped people from killing each other. It's a nice idea, but completely impractical.
Instead of trying to manage how every parent raises their child, politicians should focus on making sure our schools are in the best possible condition, and that each has employed the best possible teacher. They should work on ensuring our children have a job to go to when they leave school.
Leave the parenting to the parents.
Smacking should never be a first resort: but it is not as evil as many would have you believe. Everyone complains about the 'good old days', when people were courteous to each other and respected their elders. These were also the days when teachers and parents were allowed to discipline children, and that included the occasional smack. I'm not saying the two are directly related to each other...but it's worth noting.
What do you think? Should smacking be banned?
More on Parentdish: Are we more verbally vicious than our parents who dealt out smacks?