Hitch star, Eva Mendes has set the internet alight by igniting an age-old parenting debate: To smack, or not to smack.

The 47-year-old actress shared a quote to her socials which correlated spanking children to “hitting a spouse” and the internet reacted!

Alongside an image of herself in an Versace dress, the 2 Fast 2 Furious star noted that she’s often asked about her favourite red carpet looks before commenting that she was “not often asked what my favourite parenting quote is”, inviting her fans to swipe to see for themselves.

Those who swiped were then treated to a meme, containing the words: “Spanking does for a child’s development what hitting a spouse does for marriage.”

“I’m not often asked what my favorite parenting quote is, but I’ll post it anyway.”

As one would expect, the post drew many comments praising the mum-of-two for taking such a stance against using violence on children, however – as always – the topic was a contentious one, with many coming out to support the idea that a little smack now and then was needed for discipline.

“Love you but completely disagree,” Instagram user @garbagemanswife reacted. “The goal in raising kids is not to have to spank, but it’s correcting before they can reason behaviour out with you. Completely different than hitting someone. That’s not correcting behaviour. We raised 5 respectful loving kind kids that were a joy to be around. Good fruit shows from loving correction.”

The ever eloquent Eva responded: “I totally respect you. Thank you for a respectful comment. So nice to disagree with respect. I found the quote powerful and wanted to pass it on. Lotsa love to and yours ❤️”

Eva, who shares daughters, 6yo Esmeralda and 4yo Amada with her partner of nearly 10 years, Ryan Gosling, faced more fans who disagreed with the sentiment of the post.

“I don’t know. I was spanked and now I’m a respectful adult. And believe me, I deserved those whoopings. I was a brat!”

Eva responded with kindness, saying: “Thank you for your comment. So happy to agree to disagree. Want this page to offer that in a loving way. We all parent our own way and I have no idea what I’m doing most the time!” adding: “This didn’t come with a manual so when there’s something that resonates with me, I pass it on. Lotsa love ❤️”

Genetically blessed pair, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling share daughters Esmeralda, six, and Amada, four.

How should we discipline children?

Dr Justin Coulson, founder of www.happyfamilies.com.au and author of Time out is NOT your only option: Positive discipline strategies for every child, believes that punishment doesn’t always teach your child how to behave.

“Kids push boundaries, and most parents believe that yelling, hitting or putting their children in a corner will teach them a lesson,” Justin has previously told Bounty Parents.

“But research tells us that punishment actually makes children become sneakier and can damage the relationship we have with them. If we smack or shout, then it can be very upsetting and our children can become emotionally flooded and resentful.”

“Setting limits with kids requires a lot more than simply telling them what to do and then punishing them or rewarding them based on whether or not they are obedient,” said Dr Justin.

“By asking them to explain why their behaviour is not okay, this opens up communication between both sides, and is a more effective way of disciplining, without voices being raised.”