Any parent over 50 who can genuinely claim to have resisted the urge to slap their child can rightly be classified as a saint.
But with parental chastisement now giving way to negotiation or what might be termed as bribery in the form of withholding treats or privileges, slapping may soon be consigned to the pages of history.
Typifying its attitude to European trends, Ireland has so far put up stubborn resistance to EU demands for an outright ban on slapping in the home. Though outlawed in schools here over 30 years ago, successive governments have since been brought to task by Brussels for breaching the European social charter by not introducing a ban on slapping in the home.
“Reasonable chastisement” is still allowed here. While two key organisations want a blanket ban, surveys show opinion is divided. Pressure for a ban is increasing. But policing it will be difficult if not impossible.
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