Susanna Reid clashed with Sociology and Criminology lecturer Stuart Waiton on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain as the ITV show debated a ban on parents smacking their children. The GMB host compared domestic abuse to children being smacked while Stuart justified hitting his children “occasionally”.
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During the debate, Susanna asked the lecturer: “If it is a crime to hit your husband, your wife or your partner, how is it ever justified to hit your child?”
Stuart replied: “I think that is a very curious argument that you think about children and adults in the same way.
“So I smack my children occasionally, whereas if you saw me smacking my four-year-old child because he had run across a busy road and then you saw me beating up my wife and you thought they were the same thing, I would think there is something wrong with you, I think there is something profound…”
Interrupting, Susanna hit back: “I think smacking either your wife or your child I would think there is something wrong!”
The lecturer fumed: “Well, if you can’t make a distinction between a loving parent that is trying to discipline their children and a brute who is beating up his wife, then I think the problem is yours.”
From next month it will be illegal to smack your child in Wales with parents potentially ending up with a criminal record if they are reported to the police.
Scotland introduced a similar ban back in 2019 but it remains legal to smack your child as a form of “reasonable punishment” in England, Wales and Northern Wales.
She argued that “smacking has a negative impact on mental health” and a ban would help to “educate” parents.
Rebecca said: “It is not that long ago that we criminalised domestic violence in the 70s, there was that awful phrase of ‘Rule of thumb’, and that was how long the stick could be for men to hit their wives.
“It feels like we are evolving out of violence, we need to evolve out of violence, we should not be smacking, that is not discipline, that is teaching, it is not punishment.”
GMB fans were divided by the debate as viewer @RobGlen tweeted: “You don’t love your child if you smack them. You love your child if you don’t smack them, even though you really want to sometimes #GMB.”
Published at Wed, 23 Feb 2022 16:11:00 +0000