Former swimming legend Susie O’Neill has admitted she used to smack her children regularly and has only recently stopped doing so.
The 42 year old recently spoke on a panel of mothers for the Australian Regional Media where she said she stopped smacking her 10 year old because his strength had increased, therefore making physical punishment not as effective any more.
The former swimmer has two children with husband Cliff Farley and says she has done a complete turn around in terms of smacking her kids.
‘I used to really smack my son a lot, but now I don’t because he’s now 10 and he’s physically probably nearly stronger than me and it hasn’t worked,’ she said.
Susie admitted she too was hit as a child and didn’t see anything wrong with it. She often resorted to hitting her kids when she couldn’t communicate effectively with them verbally.
‘Plus I was smacked and it never hurt me,’ she said.
She also attended a psychology course at university which gave her another perspective on disciplining children. It was there that she learned positive reinforcement was more effective when it came to changing kid’s behaviour. Susie did admit that at times she tends to fall back into her old behaviours: ‘I still want to do it sometimes, and I do it sometimes out of habit, but I try not to because kids don’t learn from that,’ she said.