Skip to main content

Smacking isn’t effective and is potentially harmful; parents need support and information

The issue of physical punishment of children has again gained attention in Western Australia.

What we all know is that parenting is challenging at times and the vast majority of parents do their best to nurture their children and guide their healthy development.

Parents have told the Commissioner’s office they are often under stress and require support and advice about parenting on a range of matters, from their child’s birth through to adolescence.

Many in the community feel that physical punishment is not an effective form of discipline and is potentially harmful to the child, a view supported by a growing body of research.

Except in clear cases of abuse, referrals and supports for parents are more effective strategies for protecting children and building capacity in the community to ensure our children are safe and well.

The 16 Child and Parent Centres being established by the State Government are places where these support services can and are being delivered, and we should be looking at increasing this network in the coming years to provide access to all parents across the State.

Jenni Perkins
A/Commissioner for Children and Young People WA

The West Australian