Thanks to a new law, corporal punishment is illegal across the entire country.
dad spanking toddler
Credit: Photo Alto/Getty Images

If there are still parents out there who favor spanking their kids when they misbehave, they should probably cross the City of Lights off their list of possible places to visit. Because thanks to a new law that was recently passed by the French parliament, there's now a country-wide ban on all forms of corporal punishment, including caning, flogging, and yes, spanking.

"The adoption of this new legislation marks a very important commitment towards the protection from violence of more than 14 million children living in France," explained special secretary representative of the United Nations Marta Santos Pais in a statement. "It lays the foundation for a culture of respect for children's rights; safeguards children's dignity and physical integrity; and encourages positive discipline and education of children through non-violent means."


While spanking may once have been an acceptable form of punishment, I've always been of the opinion that physical violence is never OK. Plus, research has shown that it doesn't even work. In fact, according to a recent study, the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems, and cognitive difficulties that last into adulthood. Yikes!

So what can you do if you've reached the end of your rope? Some good no-spank alternatives include using your words, offering up distractions, and implementing time-outs—for both you and your child. Check out more tips in our exclusive video:

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.