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Shouting, time outs and bribery: How damaging is ‘harsh parenting’?

Parenting experts say we need to address the negative impact of commonly accepted discipline approaches

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Parenting coach Aoife Lee with (from left) daughter Katie (9) and sons Jamie (3) and Charlie (12)

Parenting coach Aoife Lee with (from left) daughter Katie (9) and sons Jamie (3) and Charlie (12)

Parenting coach Aoife Lee with (from left) daughter Katie (9) and sons Jamie (3) and Charlie (12)

Growing up under the threat of the wooden spoon is such a common shared experience in Ireland, it’s almost a collective joke. But is the threat of violence, or indeed violence itself (let’s fact it, the spoon wasn’t always an empty threat) as form of discipline really a laughing matter?

New evidence on the matter certainly makes for sombre reading. Research from University College London has found that smacking and harsh parenting could have a long-lasting impact on children’s mental health and behaviour.


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