Providing a wide spectrum of views, the authors explore the fine line between normalized physical punishment and illegal or unacceptable physical and emotional abuse of children. It builds on the emerging field of research that provides opportunities for children to speak for themselves about their views and experiences.Provides observations from children, professionals and several generations from within individual familiesDiscusses the power of language used by parents, professionals and the media to describe physical punishmentReflects upon the status of children in societies that sanction their physical punishment, motivations and justifications for its use, perceptions of its effectiveness, and its impactPresents a combination of personal, social, legal, and language factors which provide significant new insights and suggest ways to move forward

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