There is strong evidence through current research that physical punishment places children at risk of:
mental health problems
impaired relationships with parents
weaker value systems
adult adjustment difficulities
increased tolerance of violence in adulthood
With this in mind the Board of Directors of the Children's Aid Society of the County of Simcoe passed the following position statement at their Board meeting of December 16, 2003:
"The society takes the position that physical punishment of children is harmful and inappropriate. The society
supports the use of parenting practices that promote and model dignity, respect and self-discipline."
Although the law currently allows parents to use 'reasonable force' to discipline children, it is not clear on where the boundaries separating 'reasonable' from 'unreasonable' force should be.
What was once acceptable as physical punishment in the past is not always acceptable today. The onus is on parents, as much as possible, to inform themselves on alternatives to physical discipline when applying consequences for children's misbehaviour.
Good disciplinary practices include:
• positive reinforcement
• structure and routine
• setting and maintaining limits
• realistic expectations and follow through
• verbal and non-verbal cues
• time outs (for parents or caregaivers too!)
• logical consequences
For the following resources click on the title: