Senators approve anti spanking bill.

It’s about time! It’s so sad that there even needs to be such a distinction in the law. It shouldn’t be legal to hit any person no matter what their age.

There is fierce debate about whether the government has the right to say how you raise your child. I would agree that the government doesn’t for the most part have a right to control our child rearing but then I don’t think this particular law would contradict that belief. This law is simply about it not being right to hit another human being, more specifically children and certainly not under the guise of “discipline”.

Parents hit because they are angry or scared and call it “teaching a lesson”. The lesson learned is that you can hit people if you’re angry and bigger than the other person. Children also sadly learn that they can’t fully trust their parents. Children look to adults to protect them- not harm them.

Children shouldn’t be afraid of their parents and violence is never the answer to raising healthy, non violent individuals. Parents should be able to control themselves and refrain for hitting their children. After all they are supposed to be the one with the maturity. As they say, it takes two to have a power struggle. I think it would be best for the parent to choose to not be a part of one.

There are so many other options and strategies parents can use instead of “discipline”. The choices don’t have to only be either hitting a child or on the opposite side of things being completely permissive with them. Too often though, people seem to believe that it’s either one or the other.

Parents need to start thinking outside the box and get creative if their current parenting strategies aren’t. Parents really need to “start at the end” and ask themselves what qualities they want to foster in their children as they grow up. Do they want their children to be compassionate to others, gracious, thoughtful, tolerant, considerate… and in all ways authentic and sincere? Do people gain these qualities by being hit and punished? By always having their freedom and power taken away and being controlled? Of course not!

Children behave as well as they are treated. They learn to behave by the way we ourselves behave. We need to be what we hope our children will become. We want them to learn compassion? We need to be compassionate to them and others. We want them to learn manners? We need to be sincerely polite, including to our children. It’s “not polite” to tell our children to say please and thank you out of obligation. We want our children to learn respect? We need to respect them and others around us. I believe respect includes not hurting or humiliating our children by “spanking” them.

Spanking and other punishment only works if our aim is to hurt, anger or generally degrade our children. As Marshall Rosenberg said, “I couldn’t make my children do anything. All I could do was make them wish they had.” Children sent to their rooms “to think about how they behaved” spend more time thinking about how to not get caught next time and/or how they are going to get back at the punishing parent for being punished. Shouldn’t we want our children to make the right choices because it’s the right thing to do and not because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t?

I commend the people that push this law forward. It’s a big step for Canada but one in the right direction. Hitting children is already an illegal practice in many countries and it’s about time we follow suit. I hope it gives parents a reason to consider different parenting choices and strategies. Parenting with respect and compassion and with our child’s dignity in mind should be the goal of all parents.

No Spank

Just a few of the many many articles out there about the detriments in spanking:
Spanking Increases Risk of Sexual Problems as Adult
The Influence of Corporal Punishment on Crime
Ten Reasons NOT to Hit Your Kids
Canadian Study Links Spanking to Psychiatric Disorders
What Should I Do When I See Someone Hitting Their Kid?

7 Responses to Anti-Spanking Bill In Canada

  1. paxye says:

    Great post!!

  2. hen says:

    What a post Annie! You’re right, it beggars belief that there has to be a law passed to stop violence against children.

    I can see how it might be difficult for parents not to lash out, but it is a sign of lack of control and is only for the benefit of the parent, never the child.

    It’s laziness too isn’t it? People seem to be too lazy to take the time to discipline their children responsibly and with constructive lasting effects. If they don’t know how to do that, then they are too lazy to learn how to. So, I am not sorry to say that they should be forced to learn how. Although I deeply wish this wasn’t the case.

    Children are like our Earth, we don’t own them, they are in our care for the the benefit of all things and should be treated with the respect, that something as important as that, deserves.

    love hen
    xxx

  3. Annie says:

    It’s so sad is that it’s easy to just say that parents aren’t “good” parents if they spank like their intentions are always malicious.

    I think it is more often the case that they don’t know what else to do, or parents are so hung up in their own immediate wants that they can’t see the unreasonable expectations they put on a child, for one having them be their personal outlet when they’re angry or scared and of course there is that element of laziness. It does take more work to do something (anything!) right the first time- with patience and care. (You know all about this as you seem to take great care in everything you do!!)

    Ironically doing it right the first time will build trust making future difficult times easier. Parenting is like training which is like a pyramid- the wider the base the higher the peak. All that base is building trust and mutual care and respect.

    That’s what’s great about this potential law- that it will force parents to do something different. Hell, it might not be all that better, spanking is only a small part of bad parenting but it’s a step at least.

    I always enjoy your words, Hen! Not to mention your beautiful blog!

  4. pit stop says:

    Annie, Can you tell me where I can get the illustration under manners of the family and the child with a hammer? Perhaps I would like to show it in a Danish text books for students learning English.

  5. Annie says:

    I knew I found it at the No Spank.net site but going back to find exactly where proved difficult. Alas, I’ve found it!
    http://nospank.net/main-x.htm It was on the main page of the site which they don’t seem to use anymore.

  6. Gemini says:

    It’s sad that they have to make laws against it. People should be able to tell that it’s wrong without legislation.

  7. binky says:

    This illustration really worked for me; that angry agression is an example to kids, and the emotional energy must go somewhere.

    Great post, great site. Carry on!

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