I’ve always had a lot of respect for Kelly Clarkson. She turned a reality show win into a brilliant career in music. She’s got a killer voice, obviously. She’s done a heap of great work for charity.
But I’ve just discovered that when it comes to spanking, she and I are on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum.
Clarkson, mum to three-year-old River and one-year-old Remington, told a US radio station last week that she doesn’t see anything wrong with smacking.
“I’m not above a spanking, which people aren’t necessarily into,” she explained in the interview, which went on to make headlines. “And I don’t mean like hitting her hard, I just mean a spanking.
“My parents spanked me, I did fine in life and I feel fine about it. But I do that as well, too.”
Clarkson grew up in Texas, to a church-going family she’s previously described as “highly religious”.
“I’m from the South, y’all, so we get spankings,” she told the radio station. “My mum would call the principal if I ever ended up in the principal’s office and give permission for her to spank me.
“I’m a well-rounded individual with a lot of character, so I think it’s fine.”
It’s an argument you hear from a lot of people: “I was spanked, I turned out fine, so spanking is fine.” And sure, Clarkson has turned out more than fine. But a lot of people you hear that argument from are not fine at all.
In the US, the majority of parents still think it’s okay to smack their kids. But research has proven, beyond doubt, that it’s really not okay. The effects of smacking include lower self-esteem, an increase in aggressive behaviour and damage to the parent-child relationship.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman on why it is never okay to smack children… Post continues after audio.
Just last month, a study found that kids who are smacked when they’re younger are more likely to be violent towards their partners when they grow up.