Parents tell politicians: we don’t want a smacking ban

This morning, a group of parents visited the Welsh Assembly to tell the Children’s Committee why they object to the proposed smacking ban Bill. Here’s what they had to say.

‘I don’t think it’s appropriate for the Government to tell me how to discipline my children in my loving family.’

‘We need to be targeting resources where they’re actually needed’.

‘I live in an area where lots of visitors to Wales come to see our beautiful country. We don’t want people to be scared to come to Wales out of fear that their parenting choices will land them in trouble. I don’t want Wales to be seen as an unwelcoming country.’

‘The current law has excellent provisions to protect children. This law is unnecessary.’

‘This will place a burden on services’.

‘This creates a culture of mistrust. Mistrust between parents and the state, and also between parents and children.’

‘As smacking use has declined, violent crime, and child-on-child violence has increased in Wales. Discipline in schools has totally broken down. How can smacking be the cause of violence if this is the case?’

‘As a parent, I can use smacking in a calm, controlled manner with my children. It’s not a loss of control.’

‘In my role as a counsellor, nobody I have spoken to in the last five years has been traumatised by physical punishment in childhood. For most people, it’s about harmful words that their parents have used. This Bill won’t do anything to help children in those situations.’

‘If people are scared of being arrested, they will be unwilling to come forward for help when they feel that extra support is needed.’

‘We don’t want to create a society where people feel scared and are constantly second guessing themselves. A culture of fear.’

‘This law could be misused by parents who are battling over custody of a child.’
‘It scares parents’.

Parents in Wales have mixed views on smacking. But the vast majority of people don’t want light physical discipline to be criminalised. There are a host of reasons why this law is unnecessary and hugely problematic. We hope that AMs listen to their constituents.