Tag Archives: children

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

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 5 Hitting Is Used for a Variety of Reasons By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 5 Hitting Is Used for a Variety of Reasons
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.


Research has found that parents are more likely to use physical punishment if:



1. They strongly favor it and believe in its effectiveness.



2. They were themselves physically punished as children.



3. They have a cultural background, namely their religion, their ethnicity, and/or their country of origin, that they perceive approves of the use of physical punishment.



4. They are socially disadvantaged, in that they have low income, low education, or live in a disadvantaged neighborhood.



5. They are experiencing stress (such as that precipitated by financial hardships or marital conflict), mental health symptoms, or diminished emotional well-being.



6. They report being frustrated or aggravated with their children on a regular basis.



7. They are under 30 years of age.



8. The child being punished is a preschooler (2-5 years old).



9. The child’s misbehavior involves hurting someone else or putting themselves in danger. 



Any surprises here?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.



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 4 Approval of Hitting is Declining By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 4 Approval of Hitting is Declining

By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Belief in the utility and even necessity of physical punishment as a method of child rearing has been strong through generations of Americans from at least the early 17th century to the present day.

Now, four hundred years later at the beginning of the 21st century, American approval of physical punishment by parents is showing signs of decline.



In the 1960s, 94 percent of adults were in favor of physical punishment. According to the General Social Surveys (GSS), which asked whether “a good hard spanking is sometimes necessary to discipline a child,” the percentage of those agreeing has declined to be around 66 percent by 2014.

There are regional differences, with the South having the highest percent of agreement and New England the lowest.

Religious differences also exist, with Catholics and Protestants agreeing in the high 60s and low 70 percents. Jewish respondents had the highest percent of disagreement (59 percent) and the lowest agreement that spanking children is sometimes necessary (41 percent).

Child development experts and medical boards including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association almost uniformly oppose the practice. They cite research dating to the 1990s showing that it can lead to aggressive and harmful behaviors in children. 



A Misbehaving Child Is A Discouraged Child
It is clear that although Americans remain more in favor of physical punishment than Europeans, Americans’ approval of physical punishment of children by parents has declined gradually over the last 40 years. At the same time, knowledgeable health authorities are clear in their disapproval.



Do you approve or are you among those who do not?


We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

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.
 
NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 3 Hitting Children Is Very Common by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!   
Part 3  Hitting Children Is Very Common

by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Several recent studies reveal that the majority of parents in the United States continue to physically punish their children.

Belt - Rear End spank
 
Nearly two-thirds of parents of very young children (1- and 2-year-olds) reported using physical punishment.

Young Boy - Father SpankMother Spank Young Child



By the time children reach 5th grade, 80 percent have been physically punished.

Little Boy SlapMom Slap Daughter



By high school, 85 percent of adolescents report that they have been physically punished, with 51 percent reporting that they have been hit with a belt or similar object.

spanking33

How about you?
 
Were you hit as a child?
 
Do you hit your kids?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

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.
 
NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060
 

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 2 Definition of Physical Punishment By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 2 Definition of Physical Punishment
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

(For those of you who are seeing this series of articles for the first time, Part 1, Children Are People Too, can be found here)

Physical punishment is defined as the use of physical force with the intention of causing the child to experience bodily pain or discomfort so as to correct or punish the child’s behavior.

This definition includes light physical force, such as a slap on a child’s hand or a spank on the behind, as well as heavier physical force, including hitting children with hard objects such as a wooden spoon or paddle. Or using a belt or strap.

Young girl terrified od her father's physical punishment with a belt
Young girl terrified of her father’s physical punishment with a belt



However, physical punishment does not refer only to hitting children as a form of discipline; it also includes other practices that involve purposefully causing children to experience physical discomfort in order to punish them.

Physical punishment thus also includes washing a child’s mouth with soap, making a child kneel on sharp or painful objects (e.g., rice, a floor grate), placing hot sauce on a child’s tongue, forcing a child to stand or sit in painful positions for long periods of time, and compelling a child to engage in excessive exercise or physical exertion. 



In the United States, physical punishment is known by a variety of euphemisms:
spank
smack
slap
pop
beat
paddle
punch
whup/whip
hit

The term physical punishment is often used interchangeably with the terms corporal punishment or physical discipline.

Physical punishment is distinct from protective physical restraint. Whereas physical punishment involves causing the child to experience pain as a form of punishment, protective physical restraint involves the use of physical force to protect the child or others from physical pain or harm.

Examples of protective physical restraint include holding a child to prevent them from running into a busy street, pulling a child’s hand away from a hot stove, or holding a child who has hurt another child to prevent him/her from doing so again.



Have you ever used physical punishment in raising your children or in your work with children? I have felt like doing so on some occasions but have restrained myself.

I once used protective physical restraint on one of my children when that child lost control.

How about you? Have you ever used physical punishment with your children?

Have you ever had to use protective physical restraint with a child?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

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.

NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 1 – Children Are People Too

Kerby T 8.5x9 IMG_3840

By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Children Are People Too

Part 2 Definitions of Physical Punishment

Part 3 Hitting Children is Very Common

Part 4 Approval of Hitting Is Declining

Part 5 Hitting Is Used for Different Reasons

Part 6 Are Physically Punished Children Better Behaved?

Part 7 Do State Laws Define Allowable vs. Prohibited Physical Punishment?

Part 8 Human Rights Considerations

Part 9 Countries Who Have Outlawed Hitting Children

Part 10 Conclusions, Resources and What To Do Instead

Part 1 Children Are People Too


With this article, I am starting a new series on why it is so important to stop hitting children, whether at home, school or any other place.

This series is based on a fundamental and simple value: people are not for hitting and children are people too.


gentle-discipline corr

This basic value about what is not acceptable in human relations is at the core of these articles. A corollary to this value is that there are many nonviolent and effective ways to gain the cooperation and respect of children, and that these can and should be taught to everyone who raises and works with children. The last article in this series summarizes these alternatives to ever hitting children.



This series is also based on the deliberations of international organizations who advocate for the abolition of all forms of physical punishment with children, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These articles will also reflect and share the mountain of research evidence that points to both the social injustice and ultimate destructiveness of using physical punishment to discipline children.



In one of my latest books for parents, The NEW Confident Parenting, which I wrote with my colleague, Dr. Camilla S. Clarke, an entire chapter is devoted to the findings of hundreds of research studies that document how destructive and ineffective physical punishment ultimately is. This chapter appears at the end of the book after having demonstrated numerous effective and nonviolent ways of obtaining and maintaining the respect and cooperation of children.

NCP Parents Handbook_3895 crop





The chapter on physical punishment makes the point that many people continue to believe in and make use of physical punishment because they believe it really works. That is because, in some instances and in the short run, it does work in stopping some children from engaging in behaviors that make us adults uncomfortable. But the vast majority of studies that follow children for years (longitudinal studies) find that the use of physical punishment, and especially physical punishment that happens frequently and harshly, results in numerous negative consequences, including lifelong mental, physical, sexual and interpersonal problems.



Very few people believe that hitting that produces bruises and broken bones is harmless — here the hurt is too obvious to overlook. But most people are simply unaware of the insidious, hidden damage that physical punishment, of any variety and degree, leaves in its wake.



Subsequent articles in this series will present the findings of these studies in greater detail, including studies that have been done after I and Dr. Clarke wrote The NEW Confident Parenting.

Cultural Issues

The issue of hitting children has unique histories in African American and Latino communities. Parents of these children are often the most likely to be reported for abusing their children.

So it is wise to consult the two parenting programs that CICC created specifically for these cultural groups: the Effective Black Parenting

EBP Parents Handbook_3879

and the Los Ninos Bien Educados programs.

LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060

Kindness

Finally in this first series of articles on never hitting our
children, it is important to consider that when we hit children we are simply being unkind. Here are some thoughts about kindness:

Kindness is the act or the state of being kind, being marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. The true essence of humankind is kindness.” Tenzin Gyatso, 
the 14th Dalai Lama (B. 1935)

“Research has shown that acts of kindness do not only benefit receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed.” (Poquerusse, Jessie. “The Neuroscience of Sharing.” https:/www.universe.com/neuroscience. Retrieved 16 August 2012.)

“Acts of kindness do not always have to be random.”
Steven Spielberg

“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion, humor and style, generosity and kindness.”
Maya Angelou (1928 – 2015)
 – Poet, Dancer, Producer, Playwright, Director, Author

Series on Why “We Must Stop Hitting Children!”

Starting on Thursday January 28, 2016, and continuing each Thursday through March 31, 2016, the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) will be publishing a ten part series of articles on why “We Must Stop Hitting Children!” The topics of each article are listed below.

These important articles are intended for both parents and for anyone who works with parents, including teachers, principals, counselors, therapists, doctors and nurses.

The brilliant contemporary celebrity, Louis CK, has a fine perspective on this issue. Click on his picture to appreciate his wisdom…

Louis C K on Hitting is Crazy

The series is written by CICC’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Kerby T. Alvy, a nationally respected authority on parenting and author of numerous books and programs on effective parenting and parenting education.

Part 1 Children Are People Too

Part 2 Definitions of Physical Punishment

Part 3 Hitting Children is Very Common

Part 4 Approval of Hitting Is Declining

Part 5 Hitting Is Used for Different Reasons

Part 6 Are Physically Punished Children Better Behaved?

Part 7 Do State Laws Define Allowable vs. Prohibited Physical Punishment?

Part 8 Human Rights Considerations

Part 9 Countries Who Have Outlawed Hitting Children

Part 10 Conclusions, Resources and What To Do Instead

Each article will appear as a post on the Blog on CICC’s website, www.ciccparenting.org.

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Los Niños Bien Educados Program Instructor Training Workshop – May 9-13, 2016

Los Ninos Book Cover_English_crop

For the first time in several years — and after already having trained more than 1000 educators, social workers, therapists and clergy nationwide to deliver the program — CICC will be conducting a new workshop the week of May 9 – 13, 2016. The workshop will be hosted by El Proyecto del Barrio, at their Panorama City, CA site (9140 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 211, Panorama Cty, CA 91402). El Proyecto has been running the program for a decade.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND WORKSHOPS:

You can learn more about the program & workshops by visiting:

(1) Parenting Programs

(2) Research and News Articles

(3) Instructor Workshops

ENROLLMENT FEE AND DISCOUNTS:

The enrollment fee for the entire week of training, 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, is $1395 per person. However there are discounts for early enrollment:

$1195 before March 1, 2016 ($200 Discount)

$1295 between March 1 and March 31, 2016 ($100 Discount)

$1395 between April 1 and May 1, 2016 (Regular Price)

THE ENROLLMENT FEE INCLUDES:

(1) the daily training led by CICC’s Senior Trainer of Instructors in this national model program, Dr. Martha Lopez
Martha L Lopez 001 (2) 2.18x3

(2) the complete instructors Kit of educational materials that are needed to run 12 session classes in the program (valued at over $400 itself)
LNBE_C.I.Kit_English_4048

(3) Certification to conduct classes.

Only 25 openings exist and 12 have already been taken, so it is wise to enroll as soon as possible.

Apply and Enroll Now by clicking here.