1 in 5 British Parents Have Smacked Their Children To Show How Serious They Are


A new study into how parents discipline their children has revealed that one in five parents have smacked their children as a form of punishment, largely because they feel it’s the only action they could take that would work or because it’s how they were raised themselves. Furthermore, 7% of those who have smacked their children confess to having left a mark at the time.

For some British parents, simply taking away a child’s smartphone, tech gadgets or stopping their pocket money isn’t enough for their child to learn that being naughty and misbehaving is not acceptable.

With as many as one fifth having laid a hand on their child.

For most, it’s a one-off for of punishment, but for 9% it’s a regular thing.

The team at www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into how British parents choose to discipline their children. For the purposes of the study, 2,398 British parents aged 18 or over, all of whom stated they had at least one child under the age of 16 years old, were quizzed on the ways that they were punished as a child and how they, themselves, choose to punish their own children.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘What was your parent’s go-to method of discipline when you were misbehaving?’ to which respondents confessed their parents chose to ‘ground’ them (53%), stop their pocket money (17%) or smack them (15%). When asked if they felt they learnt their lesson when they were punished, over three quarters of respondents (79%) admitted that ‘yes’ they did.

All respondents were then asked ‘What are your go-to methods of discipline when your own children are misbehaving and need to be punished?’ with parents citing they ‘confiscate their smartphones’ (42%), ‘confiscate their technology, i.e. iPads and games consoles’ (27%) and ‘stop their pocket money’ (15%).

When asked if they’d ever smacked their child as a form of discipline, one in five parents taking part in the study (21%) confessed that ‘yes’ they had. Of those, the majority admitted to ‘very lightly smacking on the hand/bum’ (93%), whilst the remaining respondents confessed that they may have ‘smacked them too hard’ (7%) to the point of leaving a mark.

When asked what had sparked them to smack their child as a form of discipline or punishment, parents stated that ‘nothing else was working and it showed how serious I was’ (36%) and ‘I was smacked as a child and it taught me the difference between right and wrong’ (24%).

Finally, all those who stated that they’d smacked their child were asked if it was a one-off punishment or if they regularly did it, to which almost all respondents (91%) stated it was just a one-off thing, whilst the remaining 9% find themselves using this method of discipline more often than they’d like.

George Charles, spokesperson for www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, made the following comments:

“Many of us grew up in a time where it was the norm to get a smack on the back of the head if we were playing up, but we live in a very different time now. Whether or not you feel it’s acceptable, whether or not it’s something you choose to implement yourself – there are numerous other ways to discipline your child – even if you feel it’s not getting you anywhere. Gone are the days, though, where fearing your parents was enough to deter you from doing something you knew you shouldn’t.”