Psychiatrist Says Smacking Your Child Is 'Okay' In Certain Circumstances

Posted by Sama in Parenting On 6th April 2022
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A psychiatrist weighs the pros and cons of spanking and shares that if the spanking does not cross into the realm of abuse then it is okay. The doctor further points out that spanking should be 'fairly consistent' and should be linked with rewarding behavior if the parents want to see changes in their kids' attitudes.

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After NRL bad boy John Hopoate revealed he regularly spanks his 11 children if they misbehave, a psychiatrist has opened up about the pros and cons of beating your children. 

The former rugby player shared that even though many parents feel guilty about using force on their kids, he uses the controversial behavioral control technique on his family, including his three-year-old daughter.

He said he believes in 'old-school disciplining' and starts smacking his kids from 'day dot'.

“The older ones I bash on the shoulder or on the arm or leg, they’ve got to feel it,” he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

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This came under speculation on the internet and sparked a debate with people having divided opinions over spanking. Now a psychiatrist has weighed in on the debate.

Dr. Tanveer Ahmed told 2GB Radio that people often overreact to spanking as a form of parental punishment.

“The psychological research does say if spanking is your key parenting strategy then it doesn’t work,” he said, adding that it isn't an issue if it did not go into the realm of abuse.

The psychiatrist said the action needs to be 'fairly consistent and proportionate' and parents should be 'linking it with the rewarding behaviour' that they wanted to see from their children.

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Dr. Ahmed pointed out that boundaries need to be set for kids aged between 4 and 6.

“The core point is some smacking when it’s consistent, relatively mild and linked with the behaviour … is OK,” he said.

“It’s not the end of the world.”

Parenting expert Justin Coulson also shared that apprehended violence orders (AVOs) that are now being taken out against parents are the result of 'significant concern' in the family home.

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“Usually, it’s an adult who’s out of control and they’re going hard on the child,” Coulson said.

“The reality is the very vast majority of them are not adults intervening for a child’s protection."

He added: "These AVOs aren’t for a parent who is a little bit overtired, stressed out and a bit over the kids who has just lost the plot one afternoon and given (them) a whack.”

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Coulson's comments come after Hopoate bemoaned that his friends’ children were taking out AVOs against their parents.

According to the controversial ex-footy player, kids 'just want, want, want and when you can’t give it to them anymore, they can’t handle it and become violent and aggressive'.

Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reveals 12,022 people aged under 18 are protected by an AVO.

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