SOMETIMES a good smack is what children need according to Ipswich West MP Sean Choat - but an academic says the evidence doesn't back up his claim.
The father-of-three suggested society had gone soft during a discussion on youth crime at yesterday's Community Forum at Brothers Leagues Club.
The MP said children's standard of behaviour begins early in their lives, set by the example of their parents.
"I'm a parent with three kids, oldest is 15 and the youngest is two, and you know what? Sometimes a good smack goes a long way," he said.
"Boundaries are set, the understanding of what the consequences are set, personal responsibility and self respect.
"We've got to take responsibility and parents have to take responsibility and then when these kids get older and do the wrong thing they have to take responsibility and suffer some consequences."
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Social Psychologist Dr Fiona Kate Barlow from the UQ School of Psychology said there was no evidence to suggest smacking children makes them more respectful.
"It is tempting when you look around and you see criminal behaviour to try and lay the blame somewhere that's firm and concrete to get an answer as to why," she said.
"Evidence suggests that there is not one answer for criminality.
"It does seem clear that a soft approach is not responsible for an increase in disrespect and criminality."
Mayor Paul Pisasale was sitting next to Mr Choat at the forum, run by brisbanetimes.com.au, Channel Nine and radio station 4BC.
He said in some cases parents had done everything to protect their children from society's evils.
"I've met many good parents that have done everything for their kids but and I have met parents that have had children who have got into the wrong peer groups," he said.
"People have to be responsible for their actions. When young kids misbehave they just get put on SPER when I would take away their telecommunications."
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said his LNP rival's claim was outrageous.
"If he suggests that school principals and police officers should be hitting young girls and boys, that's an outrageous claim," he said.
"Inflicting violence on someone in the community by hitting them, I look forward to seeing a private members bill on that."
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