Spanking your kid: Does it help or hurt?

Spanking is a thorny issue. Has what seems like a Dickensian practice been slain by liberal parenting practices? Or is it Canadians’ dirty secret?

Whatever the case, the issue is on the table again, courtesy of outspoken London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr. Johnson has sparked a debate in Britain by suggesting that worrying about fine distinctions – a smack on the hand. A spank on the bottom. When is it okay, when is it bad parenting, and when it is outright assault? – limits parents’ right to discipline their kids.

“People do feel anxious about imposing discipline on their children, whether the law will support them...,” he told the BBC. The comments were in support of other politicians’ statements that last summer’s London riots were, in part, caused by lax parenting.

Here in Canada, the issue of spanking children remains a relatively private and elusive issue.

Read on...

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