He doesn’t want to do it himself, but Ben Fordham knows that sometimes a quick smack from mum or dad is the only way to bring a misbehaving kid into line.
“I’m always going to reserve the right to be able to smack my children,” he said on The Today Show this morning.
“I don’t want to do it and I’ll hopefully will never need to do it, but my brother and I both, in times of reflection, both look back on our childhood and say ‘look, as much as we hated it at the time, we kind of needed it’.”
Fordham was throwing his two cents into one of the most divisive debates in modern parenting: Is it ever okay to hit your kids?
“I think a lot of the time, it’s the threat of it that really held. For every 10 times my mum or dad said I was going to get the wooden spoon or cop a smack, I probably only got it once, but the other nine times it kept me on the straight and narrow,” he said.
“I’m a bit old school in these matters and I’d prefer that the law stay out of family homes. Having said that, there’s a big difference between giving someone a smack on the backside and assaulting someone.”
His comments follow a decision by the South Australian Supreme Court to dismiss an assault charge brought against an Adelaide man for smacking his 12-year-old son.
“The suffering of some temporary pain and discomfort by the child will not transform a parent attempting to correct a child into a person committing a criminal offence,” Justice David Peek said while handing down his decision.
The Today Show audience tended to agree:
What do you think? Are there times when a wooden spoon is the best option?