Physical Discipline of Children: Is it Ever Appropriate?


February 18, 2016 :: Petra DeBow
Moderated by Dylan Purcell

Canada's spanking laws may be heading for an overhaul as part of the government's promise to adopt all of the recommendations stemming from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. One of the 94 "calls to action" after the six-year inquiry into widespread abuse at residential schools for indigenous children is to repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code.

The Canadian Law, under section 43 of the Criminal Code, offers Canadian parents and caregivers a defence to use reasonable force to discipline a child. However, as section 43 recognizes, this is controversial and not in fact, of the rights and best interest of the children in our country. The United Nations committee on the rights of the child addressed Canada on September 19, 2012 during their ten-year goal review; “What we are telling you is, to raise the bar and rise to the challenge, because Canada is one of the top five economies in the world.”

Multiple researchers and a longitude of studies support that physical discipline has short and long term negative outcomes, such as developmentally, mental and physical health issues. According to ACE, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, physical abuse is the number one reason for childhood trauma. The risk of parents escalating and using unreasonable force, is four times more likely if they are attempting to use spanking in the form of discipline. The speaker will elaborate on those findings and offer positive strategies in child rearing without using physical discipline.

Speaker: Petra DeBow
Petra DeBow has been supporting and educating parents in various roles over the past 15 years.  She has been in the position of the Triple P Coordinator / Parent Educator at Family Centre for the past 3 years, where she supports parents, facilitates parenting groups and coordinates and supports local Triple P practitioners. Petra has her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Youth Studies from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
Petra believes in a strengths-based and attachment approach in her work with families. She believes parenting shapes the quality of a child’s development and it is instrumental to strengthen families by providing relevant, effective and research based parent education and support for the healthy growth and development of parents/caregivers and children in our community.
Moderator: Dylan Purcell
Date:Thursday, February 18, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)


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