I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with the Children's Commissioner when he says that parents should not be allowed to smack their children at all. Don't get me wrong I understand why the laws were brought in, too many people were using their parental right to inflict terrible abuse on their children but those people are the minority.
When I was being brought up I was slapped on quite a number of occasions. Never abused but by god there were times when I got punished severely and I am the first to admit that I deserved it. My father never had to hit me even once. That duty was always in the hands of the only woman in the house, my mother. My Da didn't have to hit any of us; in a house with four boys one of his looks normally did the trick. It killed my mother to hit us and she always regretted it afterwards but she knew it was for our own good.
I don't want to sound like some grumbling old sod here, as I am only 21 but I suspect an association between the decline of corporal punishment in schools and at home and the rise in anti-social behaviour.
When I started Secondary school you wouldn't have dared give cheek to the 7th year students and when you were going home from town on the bus if an elderly person or a woman got on you got up and gave them your seat.
Nothing old fashioned about that, just good manners!!
The situation has transformed enormously in those 10 odd years. There is no fear amongst the generation below me, no fear of parents, of society or of the community. Let me assure you that fear or respect as you might call it can be a good thing.
I would go so far as to call for the re-introduction of corporal punishment but I accept that such an action will never happen due to its abuse by previous generations.
I am grateful to my parents for my upbringing; they instilled in me a respect for myself, my family and my community.
The old maxim rings true
Spare the rod and you spoil the child!