'Beyond Anti-Smacking': Rethinking parent-child relations



Brownlie J & Anderson S (2006) 'Beyond Anti-Smacking': Rethinking parent-child relations. Childhood, 13 (4), pp. 479-498.

Recently, it has been argued that ‘anti-smacking’ campaigns have been so successful that ‘explicit pro-smackers’ are now thin on the ground. Yet the use of physical chastisement remains widespread. One response to this contradiction is to focus less on parents and more on children's rights. In this article, however, the authors draw on data from a recent Scottish study of parents’ views of physical chastisement to answer the following question: If the starting point for parents in thinking about physical chastisement is not children's rights, why is this the case and what are the implications for moving the debate forward? Drawing on a more dialogical understanding of parent–child relations and recent sociological work on childhood, we conclude that while future campaigns against physical chastisement need to be shaped by a children's rights perspective, they also need to be informed by understandings of the parent–child relationship and the meaning(s) disciplining has for parents within that relationship.

childhood; parenting; discipline; Child development; Parent and adult child; Child psychology; Violence in children Prevention

Childhood: Volume 13, Issue 4

Publication date30/11/2006