Despite extensive research that shows kids learn nothing from spanking (other than how to hit with an open palm), some parents still do it. Because of that fact, France just introduced a new law against corporal punishment. Right now you’re either saying, “I got spanked and I turned out fine” and believe governments should take a hands-off approach their parenting. Or you’re with France in advocating for those who are too young to do it for themselves.
On December 22, 2016, the French parliament passed the “Equality and Citizenship” bill, which banned all forms of corporal punishment, like caning, flogging, and the decidedly less European sounding, spanking. Like in the U.S., child abuse has always been illegal, but what this new legislation makes spanking specifically a civil rather than criminal offense. So bebes can have as much whine with their cheese as they want, without fearing for their precious derrieres.
“Ending cruel, degrading or humiliating treatment is an indispensable component of a comprehensive national strategy for the prevention and elimination of violence against children,” Marta Santos Pais, a special secretary representative of the United Nations, said in a support of the new law. As for the cruel, degrading, and humiliating treatment of parents? Well, you signed up for that.
Sweden was the first country to outlaw corporal punishment in 1979, and France joins the majority of European countries that have since followed suit. But the in U.S., U.K., Italy, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland (where they’re kind of whatever about it all) it’s still technically legal. You may want to phase any frat initiations out of your parenting repertoire regardless.