Parenting ‘expert’ says hitting your child is in the same tactile category as breastfeeding.

During a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, two parenting experts debated the topic of smacking children, reports The Mirror.

Physically disciplining your child and breastfeeding your child are two very different issues, yet surprisingly one parenting expert has put them in the same category.

During a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, Katie  Ivens, a mum and Campaign for Real Education advocate, sat alongside Sue Atkins, a former teacher and parenting expert, whose stance is parents should try to avoid resorting to spanking their children.

Katie Ivens took on a very different view to this and when host Jeremy Kyle asked Katie if spanking should be the “ultimate punishment” or just a regular part of parenting, the comparison between breastfeeding and physically disciplining your child came up.

Katie says it is all about tactile contact.

“I’m saying,” Katie explained, “[that] we have tactile relationships with our children. We hug them, we kiss them, we breastfeed them, and so on…

“And there are times when, like the child running out into the road, I remember when my children did that and I shook them [and said] ‘never you do this again.’

“Is it always wrong? I think the thing about smacking is, in order to be clear, because there’s so many interpretations of what a smack is, people feel like they have to come down on one side or another.”

What do you think of Katie’s comparison between smacking and breastfeeding? 

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  • There is no comparison between these as one is positive and one is negative.


  • I’m really not sure how she can equate the two things!


  • acting or re-acting with smacking is not going to teach a child anything and it causes fear. Calm down and talk to the child so that they understand their behaviour better. Children don’t know better and as adults we can sometimes forget this. We have to model a decent human being to them and words work better than violence.


  • I don’t think we should smack our children, there are different ways we can discipline or correct them. When we teach our kids not to hurt, kick, hit or bully others, how in the world can it be right when we do it ourselves ?
    An angry response or a loving response are both an response. I think that’s where the comparison is about. For a kid a response is better then no response.


  • Umm… tactile contact like breastfeeding and hugs and kisses is about affection. You can’t compare that to a deliberate contact designed to cause even just a small amount of physical pain.

    • I agree with your comment – well said on this sensitive issue.


  • I don’t see how you can rationally compare the two. Sometimes when all else fails, in a dangerous situation a light smack is enough to draw their attention. Don’t do it in anger or you smack harder than intended. Sometimes you can talk to them a few times until you have exhausted all other options and feel like you are making no progess at all.


  • I think the comparison is ridiculous in every way. I watched the the interview and debate and I agree with Sue Atkins on not smacking children. There are so many ways to set boundaries and to teach children and there is no need to smack children. Her arguments were clear and concise.


  • I don’t like her comparison at all!!


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