Experts reveals the worrying reason you should never smack your kids

7 November 2018, 11:30 | Updated: 7 November 2018, 12:25

Smacked children could grow up 'aggressive and with mental health issues'
Smacked children could grow up 'aggressive and with mental health issues'. Picture: Getty

Smacking your child could have a long-lasting negative effect on their mental health, according to experts.

Smacking children could cause them to grow up as "aggressive" adults claims a new study.

While it's widely acknowledged that some parents will give their child a smack as a form of punishment, a new study claims the method could trigger "aggressive behaviours" in children as the get older.

The report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have updated their advice on how parents should effectively punish their children, claiming they should avoid "verbal abuse" which could cause "public humiliation".

It said: "Aversive disciplinary strategies, including all forms of corporal punishment and yelling at or shaming children, are minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term."

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UK law currently states it is illegal for a parent or carer to smack their own child except where it amounts to "reasonable punishment", however there is already mounting pressure on the government to remove this defence.

Hitting your child is already illegal in Scotland, with Wales set to follow suit now that their First Minister announced a bill to remove the defence too.

The proposed new laws have left Welsh parents divided, with a public consultation finding just a narrow majority agreeing the plans would achieve the aim of protecting children's rights. 

The results of the consultation on Welsh Government plans to end physical punishment of children was published in August, and out of the 1,890 responses, just over half (50.3%) agreed and 48.1% disagreed with the statement.

A further 1.5% said they “don’t know”.