Monthly Archives: March 2016

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 10 Conclusions, Resources and What To Do Instead……….. by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Part 10: Conclusions, Resources and What To Do Instead
by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

The major points covered in this series of articles gives you and everyone who relates to children ample justification for never hitting children. Books and training programs like The NEW Confident Parenting, Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados provide the skills and ideas for learning and using only non-violent approaches.

There are other issues to consider about the use of physical punishment with children. An excellent source for reviewing a fuller range of considerations is a book by Olivier Manual,
SPANKING Book
Spanking: Questions and Answers About Disciplinary Violence. It not only covers more issues but includes ways of dealing with people and groups who believe in the use of physical punishment. I strongly recommend this excellent book which has a Forward by world-respected child advocate and clinician Alice Miller and which is written in a very reader-friendly manner. It is available free by clicking on its title.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD:

Here is a summary of actions to take instead of ever hitting children:

1. PREVENTION – Probably the most effective alternative to hitting a child is prevention. By creating a “child proof” environment, children are less likely to get into trouble. For example, in the early years placing interesting objects out of the reach of children is child proofing. Creating a stool for little kids to stand on to obtain a needed item cuts down on wining requests when you are occupied, etc. Also playing with children builds up their desire to cooperate and learn good interpersonal habits.

2. SHOW DISAPPOINTMENT – Let the child know that you are disappointed in his or her behavior. Explain what your expectations are. Make sure he or she understands right from wrong and what the rules are. Explain the consequences if the inappropriate behavior continues.

3. TAKE AWAY A PRIVILEGE – If a child misbehaves after being warned, a privilege such as watching television or playing on the computer can be taken away or restricted. Other privileges include playing with a certain toy. Never withhold food.

4. GIVE A “TIME-OUT” – Sending a child to his or her room is not an appropriate “Time-Out.” Instead, select an area that is isolated from others, such as a certain chair in the corner of a room or hallway. Make sure the child knows why he or she is being given a “Time Out” and how long it will last.

5. CATCH THEM BEING GOOD – Whenever a child does something good (helps set the table, brush teeth, speaks politely, etc.) be sure to react with praise and other forms of acceptance of those behaviors.  The more parents respond positively, the less likely children are to misbehave.

6. CREATE A CONTRACT (especially with teenagers) – Write down what you want your teen to do (clean up his/her room, etc.) and indicate what you will do in exchange (stop talking about his friends that you don’t like, etc.).  Be specific in indicating what you want to see and what you will or will not do.  Sign the contract.

7. BE EMPATHETIC – In words and actions, show your children that you understand the difficulties they are facing (other kids calling them names, the loss of a pet, etc.).  Feeling understood helps children feel good about themselves, and such feelings lessen the times they misbehave.

8. NEGOTIATE A BEHAVIORAL TRADE — Agree to change a behavior of your own, such as refraining from criticizing his school work, friends and taste in music and clothes, for the child or teen not talking back to parents and using profanity in the presence of parents. And follow through on the agreement.

9. TAKE A PARENTING COURSE – All of these alternatives to hitting children have fine tuning points, which are best learned with other parents who are trying to do the best for their children and create harmony in the home.  Take the time and effort to sign up for a parenting skill-building course at your church, college, school or local agency. It’s the best continuing education you can get and it sets a great example for your children.

Here’s another way of appreciating and viewing many of these alternatives in a graphic created by a school district that actively promotes positive, non-violent parenting:

Parenting Pyramid

Parenting Classes: Call 211

To find parenting classes in your community, call the central number for referrals in the United States –211–and tell them where you live and why you are looking for a parenting class. This nationwide service usually has information on which agencies and groups in the community offer parenting classes to the public.

You can also Google Parenting Classes in (your community) to find classes.

It is worth the time and effort to become the most educated and sensitive parent you can be. You will not regret making yourself the best parent you can be.

Remember any job is easier when you have had the proper training.

The gift of effective parenting is the greatest gift we can give our children. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

Finally, be a good parenting citizen by sharing this 10 part series, and its references and books, with other family members, friends, colleagues and community leaders. Hold meetings to discuss the various points and to go to classes together. Also check out the various parenting blogs and programs on the Internet. Become a truly educated and educating mother or father.

My best wishes to you and your family on what can and should be the most fulfilling and exciting interpersonal journey of your lives.

Britt Graduation_Best_2961

Dr. Alvy and his two daughters, who are both human service professionals, a psychologist and a social worker, and advocates for the humane treatment of all human beings.

We encourage your comments and opinions below.

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 9 Countries Who Have Outlawed Hitting Children – By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Part 9 Countries Who Have Outlawed Hitting Children
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.


Increasingly, countries around the world are prohibiting physical punishment of children. As of January 2015, 46 countries have passed laws to ban physical punishment.

The laws that these countries have passed to outlaw the use of physical punishment with children are NOT aimed at prosecuting parents, but at setting a clear standard of care giving. Their primary purpose is to protect children by sending an unambiguous message that hitting them is wrong and not allowed.

In these countries, violations of the no hitting children laws are taken as a sign that the parents need help in learning how to relate to their children in positive, non-violent ways.

ColoredBlankMap-World-10E.svg

Sweden (1979),

Finland (1983),

Norway (1987),

Austria (1989),

Croatia(1994),

Cyprus (1994), 

Denmark (1997),

Latvia (1998),

Bulgaria (2000),

Germany (2000),

Israel (2000),

Iceland (2003),

Romania (2004),

Ukraine (2004),

CICC-Black Family

Hungary (2005), 

Greece (2006),

Chile (2007),

the Netherlands,
(2007),

New Zealand (2007), 

Portugal (2007),

Uruguay (2007), 

Spain (2007), 

Venezuela (2007), 

Costa Rica (2008),
Liechtenstein (2008),
Luxembourg (2008),
Moldova (2008),
Kenya (2010),
Albania (2010),
Congo, Republic of (2010),

CICC Banner 4 YouTube copy

Poland (2010),
Tunisia (2010),
South Sudan (2011),
Honduras (2013),
Macedonia (2013),
Andorra (2014),
Argentina (2014),
Malta (2014),
Estonia (2014),
Bolivia (2014),
Brazil (2014),
Cape Verde (2014),
Nicaragua (2014),
San Marino (2014),
South Korea (2015),
Benin (2015).

We encourage your comments and opinions below.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

CCP-EBP-LNBE Handbooks 3Across

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 8 Human Rights Considerations By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Part 8 Human Rights Considerations By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Consensus is growing in the international community that physical punishment of children violates international human rights law.

UN

This principle of law is set forth in at least seven multilateral human rights treaties, including

the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),

the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and

the U.N. Convention Against Torture (Torture Convention).

The United States has ratified (or accepted into law) and, therefore , is a party solely to the ICCPR and the Torture Convention.

For these two treaties, the U.N. Human Rights Committee oversees the monitoring of the ICCRP and the U.N. Committee Against Torture monitors the Torture Convention. Both of these committees have stated that the interdiction on “torture or other cruel, inhuman , or degrading treatment or punishment” included in both treaties requires a ban on physical punishment of children in any context.

The CRC is unique in being the first international treaty to focus solely on the physical, social, cultural, political and civil rights of children. The United States was among the countries that played a key role in the drafting of the Convention over a ten year period. The CRC has been ratified (or accepted into law) by at least 192 countries. Only two countries have signed but not ratified the treaty, Somalia and the United States.

Mom Slap Daughter

These groups have issued explicit statements that physical punishment is a form of “legalized violence against children” and have firmly condemned physical punishment, observing that, despite their vulnerable status, children are less protected than adults because they do not have the legal protection from assault.”

We encourage your comments and opinions below.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

CCP-EBP-LNBE Handbooks 3Across

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 7 Do State Laws Define Allowable vs. Prohibited Physical Punishment? By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Part 7 Do State Laws Define Allowable vs. Prohibited Physical Punishment?
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

There is no national legal consensus on how to distinguish legally accepted physical punishment from dangerous physical assault for which a parent can be criminally liable for child abuse. Rather, states have their own definitions of physical child abuse, some of which also mention physical punishment.

Texas State Capital Bldg

Many states directly or indirectly reflect an understanding that physical abuse can result from physical punishment. Several states use a variety of adjectives to describe punishment that is considered to be physical abuse , including “unreasonable,” “excessive,” “cruel,” and “inappropriate.”

California Legislature Bldg

With regard to what is allowable, many states require that physical punishment be “reasonable” or “moderate,” but they do not define what behaviors meet this standard.

Thus the laws of many states that include mention of physical punishment in their definitions of physical abuse make it clear that physical punishment and illegal physical abuse or assault of children are inherently connected.

We encourage your comments and opinions below.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

CCP-EBP-LNBE Handbooks 3Across

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 6 Are Physically Punished Children Better Behaved? By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

PART 6: Are physically punished children better behaved?
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Parents use physical punishment primarily to reduce undesirable child behavior in the present and to increase desirable child behavior in the future. Decades of social and behavioral science research studies indicate the following about these parental goals.

Because there have been numerous studies on these topics, it has been possible for researchers to conduct meta-analyses of several related studies to determine the average strength of the findings.

SHORT TERM EFFECTIVENESS

The research findings on the short-term effectiveness of physical punishment in achieving child compliance are mixed. A meta-analysis of five studies examining children’s immediate compliance with physical punishment found a positive effect on average.

However, the findings were highly inconsistent in that one of the studies found no effect and another found that children were less likely to comply when physically punished. In one of these studies, the authors concluded that “there was no support for the necessity of the physical punishment” to change children’s behavior.

LONG TERM IMPACT

The research to date also indicates that physical punishment does not promote long-term, internalized compliance. Most (85 percent) of the studies included in a meta-analysis found physical punishment to be associated with less moral internalization of norms for appropriate behavior and long-term compliance. Similarly, the more children receive physical punishment, the more defiant they are and the less likely they are to empathize with others.

IMPACT ON CHILD AGGRESSION AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIORS

Parents often use physical punishment when their children have behaved aggressively, such as hitting a younger sibling, or antisocially, such as stealing money from parents. Thus it is particularly important to determine whether physical punishment is effective in achieving one of parents’ main goals in using it, namely to reduce children’s aggressive and antisocial behaviors over time.

In a meta-analysis of 27 studies, every study found physical punishment was associated with more, not less, child aggression. A separate meta-analysis of 13 studies found that 12 of them documented a link between physical punishment and more child antisocial behavior.

Similarly, in recent studies conducted around the world, including studies in Canada, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and the United States, physical punishment has been associated with more physical aggression, verbal aggression, physical fighting and bullying, antisocial behavior, and behavior problems generally.

The conclusion to be drawn from these studies is that, contrary to parents’ goals when using it, the more parents use physical punishment, the more disobedient and aggressive their children will be.

It is no wonder then that most people jailed for violent crimes have long histories of being frequently physically punished as children.

ARE THESE FINDINGS SURPRISING TO YOU?

We encourage your comments and opinions below.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

CCP-EBP-LNBE Handbooks 3Across