To Smack or Not to Smack

I confess.  I was a mother who resorted to slapping/smacking my children when I thought they deserved it.  I don't believe that my rare smacking caused my children to be violent.  You see, they seldom received a smack, but they did learn that there were consequences to bad behaviour.

These days I look around in fear as I see the behaviour of young people and the challenges that parents have.  Clearly there are to many one parent families, and I feel for those children who are not growing up in the comfort of a home with a mother and father.  I am not particularly against same sex couples, but I wonder how the children learn about the difference between men and women.  I know that there is no strict role for a mother as opposed to a father, but there are just some things that women are not good at teaching, and some things that men are not good at teaching.

I have had the experience of befriending a single mother with no family support.  I am happy to help her, but I find it very challenging.  She has a drinking problem and other issues e.g. anger, and her 13 year old son has not had the nurturing of a good mother and has no father.  He has many challenges, and is rude, insolent, and spends much of his time with his Xbox and computer, as he has no siblings, no friends, and is quite lost in his world.  He has been sprung spending a lot of time on porn sites - hardly good education for one so young.

I read an article here this morning.  It seems I am not the only one concerned.  

There's so much about smacking being responsible for violence, but since smacking has been outlawed the violence by our young people appears to have dramatically increased.  I see parents distressed that much of their attempts at discipline are fruitless.

The violence in our community - one punch killings, wild drunken parties, abuse of police and hospital staff didn't happen when parents could smack a child and show them that there are consequences for bad behaviour.  The kids are too soft, given too much, and my observance is that it is getting worse.

What is worse?  Are parent yelling expletives at a child either in public or at home (I have heard both which I find quite offensive) or giving one smarting smack?  I have heard parents yell at small children that "they won't have a birthday party" or "they are sick of the "" child, and worse.  I see the rudeness of some young men and women, especially to our elders.

A few days ago I read that in France there are no problems with ADHD, etc - in part because the children are more disciplined and eat regular healthy meals.  In Australia we feed them drugs, and let them run amok.

Something is awfully wrong.  Is it worth doing some quality research?