Welsh Govt celebrates plan to criminalise parents

A mum has stood up to the Welsh Government as it launched a ‘positive parenting’ strategy that precedes efforts to criminalise parents who smack their children.

Sally Gobbett, a mother of four, told ITV Wales that a smacking ban was completely inappropriate.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones wants to make it a criminal offence for parents to use ‘reasonable chastisement’ – which could even include picking up a misbehaving child.

‘Patronising’

On Wednesday, Huw Irranca-Davies launched the “Parenting. Give it time” campaign.

It claims smacking is a ‘harsh punishment’ and may turn things into a “major battle” with children.

But campaigners described the guidance as “patronising”, saying that parenting should be left to parents.

No evidence

Sally Gobbett said that in the context of a loving family, there is no evidence base to show that smacking is harmful to children.

Polling by the Be Reasonable group has shown over three quarters of Welsh adults believe parental smacking should not be a criminal offence.

The research also showed 77 per cent were concerned such a move might “flood police and social workers with trivial cases”.

Ordinary parents

In August, results from a consultation on the issue revealed significant opposition.

Respondents were concerned about “law abiding and caring parents” who use “reasonable” methods being stigmatised.

One wrote: “Your proposal will have the effect of treating ordinary loving parents like real abusers and cause unnecessary anxiety for their children”.

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