By Sean Salai, featuring Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at IWF

Some conservative and Christian family advocates say millennials shouldn’t feel guilty about spanking their kids this holiday season — as long as it’s a gentle swat on the bottom and not actual physical abuse.

They say parenting experts who oppose spanking don’t appreciate the maternal wisdom that a smack on the bottom is often the best way to stop toddlers from putting their fingers in electrical sockets or pulling down Christmas trees in an effort to help clean up decorations — common situations where reason fails.

“I feel no shame in saying I’ve spanked my kids on the backside on occasion when they did something or were about to do something dangerous,” said Julie Gunlock, director for the Center for Progress and Innovation at the Independent Women’s Forum. “They’re doing just fine.”

Ms. Gunlock, whose work on family issues focuses on regulation and public policy, said it would be wiser for young parents to trust their instincts than experts.

“What we need in the parenting space are fewer ‘experts’ who have created an industry making parents feel guilty about their perfectly reasonable and understandable parenting decisions, and more compassion toward parents who are likely doing their best in a panicked situation,” she said.

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