Pope Francis makes headlines with comments on spanking

VIDEO: Pope Francis raises eyebrows with comments on spanking

NEW YORK (CBS News) -- Pope Francis is making headlines this week for his stance on the issue of spanking.

Called a reformer, Pope Francis is known for his blunt responses about the Catholic church's stance on everyday issues. His latest comments on spanking are no different.

Speaking an event at the Vatican this week, The Pope said it's acceptable for parents to spank their children, but not in the face.

"A father knows how to correct without degrading," Francis said in Italian. "How beautiful, he has a sense of dignity. He needs to punish them, and he does it justly and moves on."

Later, a Vatican representative went on to say the Pope was obviously not talking about violence a child but rather "helping someone to grow and mature."

"I don't disagree with him," Leslie Rose, a mother of two, said. "A lot of kids nowadays lack discipline and if it's necessary, nothing too out of control, but I don't think it's wrong."

A 2012 national survey by Child Trends found most parents in the US believe a child sometimes needs a "good hard spanking." But many pediatricians in the US, including Dr. Dyan Hes of Gramercy Pediatrics, say there are better ways to discipline.

"Discussing the bad behavior, positive reinforcement, limited use of time outs can be good," Hes said.

Experts also suggest parents take a time out themselves to think of the most effective punishment before spanking.

The Pope made the comments on discipline after recalling a conversation he had with a father who told him he spanked his children.

Here in the U.S. parents can legally spank they child as long as the force is "reasonable."

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