To Spank or Not to Spank, That is the Question…in France 

PolitiChicks.comFrance has come under heavy pressure from the Council of Europe to ban spanking. However, the French are not ready to submit to such parental usurpation. Like other nations in Europe, France already has laws to protect children from abuse but that allow for parents to use minimal corporal punishment. The problem is that the definition for “minimal” or “low” is unclear.

Christine Hernandez, a writer for Frances’s most popular parenting magazine reportedly said, “Many of our readers said that smacking is part of educating children. It’s astonishing that parents still think they have to impose their authority on children from time to time-it’s part of French traditional upbringing.”

Many French parents have said they do not support abuse of children but think an occasional spank, OK. Pamela Druckerman, author of the book Bringing up Bebe (Baby)– about the French method of child rearing, says that the French are more socially conservative than either the UK or the US. She also believes that the UK and the US are showing an interest in the French approach to parenting.

“I think there’s a sense in the UK and elsewhere that the permissive, child-centered model of parenting has gone too far” Druckerman said. She went on to say, “French parents see a new law as insulting their ability to distinguish between a slap and child abuse.”

So far, the Council of Europe has managed to get the following nations to join the ban on smacking: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine.

Shannon Grady

South Carolina Politichick Shannon Grady came to the staff in late 2013 with experience writing political pieces on US foreign, domestic, and education policy for Shannon has also been a guest commentator on The PonyTail Patriot BlogTalkRadio show. Shannon brings a unique perspective to European politics as she is able to cover events happening across Europe from the heart of the EU, while living in Brussels, Belgium. Her articles include original coverage of the Memorial Day events at Flanders Field, Belgium and the 70th anniversary D-Day events in Normandy, France. Shannon has a BA in History from the University of South Carolina, a Masters from Webster University, and recently finished her doctorate program at Liberty University where she focused on Educational Leadership and Administration. She currently teaches online AP courses in Macro and Micro Economics and AP US history. She is the wife of active duty Army officer LTC Matthew Grady who is currently assigned to NATO in Belgium and the mother of one rambunctious little boy. Follow Shannon on Twitter: @SGPAExPat

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