A group of leading paediatricians has called for parents to forgo smacking and instead use alternative methods to discipline their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has claimed smacking has harmful effects on children and will not benefit kids in any way, The New York Times reports.
Speaking a conference on Monday the group of about 67,000 doctors, recommended paediatricians advice parents against smacking as it could lead to increased aggression and make children more defiant in the future.
“One of the most important relationships we all have is the relationship between ourselves and our parents, and it makes sense to eliminate or limit fear and violence in tat loving relationship,” the New York Post reported Dr Robert Sege said.
“Certainly you can get a child’s attention, but it’s not an effective strategy to teach right from wrong.”
Earlier in the week, an article published anonymously on Nine Honey, implored mums and dads turn their backs on smacking all together, with the author saying they had “never recovered from being struck by the one person I loved the most in the whole wide world”.
While the writer admitted their mother only ever smacked them when they were being naughty, they said it caused lasting emotional damage.
“Once your strike your child for the first time, a sacred bond is broken,” they wrote. “While my mother and I have managed to repair our relationship now that I am grown with children of my own, the damage that was done can never be undone.
“When I had my first child I was petrified of repeating the same mistakes my parents had done because the accidental result of being hit and screamed at whenever I did something ‘wrong’ as a child meant my immediate anger response was an urge to do the same.”
The article stirred debate online with social media users putting in their two cents on the matter.
“I’m in my 50s. We were smacked as children and I can honestly say it did me no harm whatsoever,” one woman wrote. “We are respectful of our peers and knew what boundaries not to cross [sic].”
Another added: “I lost count the amount of hits I got as a kid, it taught me right from wrong and also taught me me respect, something kids are lacking these days.”