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For parents, smacking kids 'should be a first resort'

December 7, 2010 - Melbourne

In her new book, author Sue Edgerley has suggested parents to smack their children and run their families like an army unit.

A controversial new book says parents should stop praising their children and trying to be their friends.

A mother of three, who lives in Cairns, Queensland, said modern parenting is "an idealistic exercise gone wrong".

She says in her self-published book, '5 Keys Parenting', there is too much explaining and reasoning with kids, instead of discipline.

Quality time is a myth, she says, and mothers should stay home to look after their kids to ensure "quantity time". She also wants parents to use smacking as a "first resort".

"Even a one-year-old understands the message that a smack sends," quoted her as saying.

Unruly teens too old to be smacked should spend up to three days in their bedroom, which should be stripped of their personal possessions.

Her book advocates a return to "updated" traditional parenting, with an emphasis on firm, clear boundaries - supported by affection.

She says the five keys of traditional parenting are composure, consistency, control, courtesy and caring.

Edgerley blames modern life for slack parenting, which is no longer based around clear discipline, clear roles and a fragmentation of family life.

"Children do not respect their parents' authority and do not seem to have much faith in their parents' ability to make good decisions," Edgerley added.


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