Kelly Clarkson spanks her kids: expert opinions on smacking
The issue of smacking has been a hot topic for parents, and it is once again making headlines due to a re-emergence interview with Kelly Clarkson admitting to spanking her kids.
In recent weeks the UK government rejected requests to ban physical punishment for children. It seems that the UK government is not alone in its view. In 2018, when the 41-year old singer was interviewed by Atlanta Radio station 94.1, she said: “I am not above a good spanking. People don’t always like it.”
“I do not mean to hit her hard. Just a spanking is what I am talking about.”
“I’m like, ‘Hi, I’m gonna spank you on your bottom if you don’t stop right now. It’s ridiculous.’”
The American Idol singer, who has two children co-parented with her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, said: “My parents spanked and I did well in life. I feel good about it and I also do that.”
She acknowledged that this discipline style may not be for everyone: “That can be tricky, especially when you are out in public because people think it’s wrong, but I don’t find anything wrong with a spanking.”
Smacking – a controversial issue?
The issue of whether or not it’s ever okay to smack an innocent child is still highly controversial.
The English are the government rebutted calls to ban physical punishment of children in the countryThey claim that they are already protected by law.
In Wales, Scotland, and Jersey, any form of corporal punishment is prohibited, including hitting, slapping and shaking.
It is however legal in England and Northern Ireland for a parent or carer to physically discipline their child if the punishment is “reasonable”.
Nevertheless, any punishment beyond what is considered to be “reasonable”, is illegal. According to the Children Act 2004, it is illegal to attack a child with actual or grievous physical harm or child cruelty.
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According to Citizen’s Advice Bureau If the parents’ violence is severe enough to leave an impression, such as a scratch or bruise, then they can be charged with assault, or the child may be placed in the care of the local authority.
The government insists that parents should be trusted in England to discipline their kids, despite calls from children’s charities for the rest of the UK to ban smacking.
A spokesperson for the Department for Education commented on the recent rejection by the government of a potential ban on smacking. “The government doesn’t condone violence against children and has laws in place that prevent it.”
The NSPCC’s chief executive, Sir Peter Wanless, argues that it cannot be right in this country that it is illegal to strike an adult but not to give equal protection to a child.
We must put the welfare of children before all else and end this legal anomaly.
According to an article in the US NBC News Reports state that corporal punishment is legal across all 50 US States. However, as in the UK state statutes generally indicate that the physical punishment must be “reasonable” or “not excessive.”
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What parents have to say about smacking
According to figures from UnicefClose to 300 millions (three-quarters of all children) between the ages of two and four are disciplined violently and 250,000,000 (nearly six out of ten) receive physical punishment.
More than just two-thirds of adults in England believe it is wrong for parents or carers to physically punish their child. A YouGov survey of almost 3,000 adults, commissioned by NSPCC, found that 68% felt it was unacceptable to physically discipline a child by, for instance, smacking him.
The research, released last year following Wales’ abolishment of “reasonable chastisement” as a defence for hitting children, revealed that the public in England are largely in agreement with changing the law on the issue too.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of those who responded to the survey said that they believed the law should be amended so children would have the same protection against assault as adults.
Polling revealed a lack in clarity regarding the law governing physical punishment. 58% of respondents believed it was illegal to hit your child. However, 20% thought it was legal, and 22% were unsure.
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Research on smacking
It seems the main argument against the banning of smacking is based on respecting parents’ rights.
Last year Nadhim Zahawi, then the education secretary, claimed he did not believe the state should be “nannying” parents How to raise their children.
“My very strong view is that actually we have got to trust parents on this, and parents being able to discipline their children is something that they should be entitled to do,” the then minister told Times Radio.
“We have got to just make sure we don’t end up in a world where the state is nannying people about how they bring up their children.”
However, child protection groups are of the opinion that the decision to ban smacking must be made based on the child’s best interests and not the parents.
The psychological research they cite is the best source for information about whether smacking a child is good or not.
University College London and a group of international experts recently analysed twenty years of research into the topic. any form of physical punishment was harmful to children and had no benefit.
The research showed that it did not improve children’s behaviour and, in fact, increased behavioural difficulties, such as aggression and anti-social behaviour.
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According to the study, children who are punished physically are also more likely to be subjected violently.
Dr Anja Heilmann, University College of London Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said: “Having reviewed 20 years of research on physical punishment, we can unequivocally say that the evidence is clear: physical punishment is harmful to children’s development and wellbeing.”
“There is no evidence that it has any positive outcomes whatsoever. We also know that in countries where it is no longer legal, support for physical punishment has declined dramatically, and its use is much less common.”
Additional research by the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Michigan, using data from more than 150.000 children over a period of 50 years also linked spanking to aggression, antisocial behaviour, mental health problemsCognitive difficulties, low confidence and other negative effects.
Additional reporting PA.