A new study claims that young kids who are smacked by their parents grow up to be more successful than children who're never spanked at all.
Lead researcher Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said: "I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool. You just don't use it for all your jobs."
In the study, researchers found that children smacked up to the age of six were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to university than their peers who had never been physically disciplined, reports The Times.
Only those children who continued to be smacked into adolescence showed clear behavioural problems, the study claimed.
The study was based on 2,600 people, of whom about a quarter had never been physically chastised.
Welcoming Gunnoe's findings, Aric Sigman, a psychologist and author of The Spoilt Generation: Why Restoring Authority will Make our Children and Society Happier, said: "The idea that smacking and violence are on a continuum is a bizarre and fetishised view of what punishment or smacking is for most parents.
"If it's done judiciously by a parent who is normally affectionate and sensitive to their child, our society should not be up in arms about that. Parents should be trusted to distinguish this from a punch in the face."