14:06, October 23 379 0 theguardian.com

2017-10-23 14:06:03
Smacking ban should prompt a national conversation in the UK

Scotland has banned smacking (Report, 20 September) and England maintains the reasonable chastisement clause, so it makes sense for the whole of the UK to come together on this. However, speaking as someone who runs 37 nurseries across London working with 4,500 children and families, this ban will have little impact on behaviour at home unless we provide some means of helping parents learn other ways of managing children’s behaviour. No one can police the way parents manage their children at home, yet it’s the smallest children who are often smacked because parents are unable to get them to “do as they are told”. We won’t change their hearts and minds and stop them smacking as a form of chastisement unless we have a national conversation about what “doing as you’re told” looks like, especially for small children, and then create ways and means of helping parents feel confident managing behaviour without resorting to smacking.

June O’Sullivan

CEO, London Early Years Foundation

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