Sir: As a mother of two girls, I can say there have been times when I have been pushed to extremes by their inherent desire to test my patience. I have occasionally resorted to smacking them but, rather than a solution to the problem, this has only proved to be an outlet for my own frustration.
Children do need firm guidelines. They thrive on discipline but do not deserve abuse. Certainly, the "Ezzo" regime, depicted in Phillip Hodson's article ("Smack addicts, 25 September) is abhorrent. Parents who follow this archaic, bizarre form of chastisement are heading towards disaster. They will be either gratifying their own deviations or creating monstrous ones in their children.
Our children are in our care for such a short, precious time. They trust us to protect them and our most powerful weapon is our love for them. The occasional smack will not damage that love. However, if it goes beyond a smack, it could prove detrimental to any good relationship which we would hope to have with our grown-up children.
Finally, perhaps we should consider our own futures. If, one day, our children should become the carers of their ageing parents, would we be able to accept that they may beat us for our cantankerous and senile behaviour?
Mrs S KIRKMAN
Beverley, East Yorkshire