People in Wales are to be asked their views on the Welsh government’s plans to ban the smacking of children.

If implemented, the ban would make Wales the second area of the UK to end the physical punishment of children after the Scottish Government announced its plans to remove the defence of “justifiable assault” in Scots law, which allows parents to use physical punishment to admonish a child.

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Following the announcement, we spoke to parents in Wrexham and Flintshire for their views on a potential smacking ban...

Reactions to the proposed ban were mixed outside Victoria County Primary School in Poyser Road, Wrexham, where parents were dropping off their children on the second day of term.

Tracey Lee, of Hightown, said: “I’m a teacher as well as a parent so I definitely agree with a smacking ban. There are issues with children when they are smacked, it’s humiliating.

Opinions: From left to right, Tracey Lee, Barbara Bithel and Becky Smith

“It is not the way to deal with the problem as you are not teaching your kids to be decent adults. It is all about parents getting frustrated.”

Mother-of-four Becky Smith, of Wrexham, agreed: “Smacking is not a good idea, you need to get through to them by talking to them 80 per cent of the time,” she said.

“To be honest it didn’t work with me. I became so rebellious because I had so much hate and anger in me.

“I have never done it with any of my children. I take them up to their rooms and take their iPhones and iPads off them, that is a better way of punishing them.”

But others from an older generation felt that smacking was appropriate.

Great-grandmother Vanda Jones, from Wrexham, said: “I have five children and I smacked them when they were young. They all say now it did them no harm.

“But I would not let their father smack because he would smack them harder, I would always deal with the problem before he came home.

“There is no respect these days and it is frightening what they get away with, with little punishment.”

Pensioner Barbara Bithell, of Rhos, added: “There is still a need for it (smacking). Smacking on the legs doesn’t do them any harm. I sometimes smacked my daughter and it didn’t do her any harm.”

Similar views were found on Mold’s High Street where parents and pensioners both differed in their opinions.

Simon Sheldon, of Mold, said: “Our routine is a time out and if that doesn’t work a longer time out.

“Smacking would be a last resort and that’s only a light tap. Parents should ask for help if their kids are getting out of hand and they should be made more aware of where they can get that support.”

Morfydd Jones, 82, from Treuddyn remembers a very strict upbringing:

“Some people go over the top but a little tap now and again to teach them the difference between yes and no is fine,” she said.

“My father used to go to the woods every week to get a birch rod and he’d use that on the back of our legs. When we grew up little children were seen and not heard but we’re still here to tell the tale.”

Lisa Jones, from Mold, works as a child care practitioner and is all for the ban: “We use positive reinforcement rewarding the good behaviour and ignoring the bad. Any bad behaviour by parents will be mimicked by their children and we do see some children shouting and smacking their toys.”

“I just don’t think it would occur to me to smack my children,” added mum of four Ceri Jones, of Mold.

“I just keep calm and that really pays off.”