Stop Spanking Your Kids

Contrary to
old beliefs, spanking your children might cause harm than good. A group
advocating for children’s rights is pushing for non-violent and positive ways
of instilling discipline among kids in an effort to end corporal punishment
prevailing in Filipino homes and schools.

     Save the
Children Sweden in the Philippines
is advocating, among others, for a teaching-oriented method that involves
explanation and negotiations with children.

there is an alternative way of disciplining children, which we think really is
more effective in teaching them, guiding them as they grow as adults,”
said Minerva Cabiles, program coordinator for Save the Children Sweden in the
Philippines, on “Mornings@ANC” Monday.

said parents and teachers, or adults in general, have to re-define the meaning
of disciplining kids. For starters, she pointed out that the words discipline
and punishment do not go hand-in-hand.

are two different things. Disciplining has something to do with teaching and
guiding. We don’t discipline children only when there is a problem… it’s really
a process of relating and communicating with our children. Hindi siya dapat in
a negative situation only,” she said.

     Save the
Children is strongly campaigning for the eradication of corporal punishment at
homes and schools.

     In the Philippines,
data showed that 85 percent of children are punished at home and 65 percent of
them are spanked. Beyond the physical pain, children who are subjected to
punishments suffered from emotional pain.

     The group
said hurting children as a means to discipline them damages the relationships,
instills fear and hatred and teaches them that violence is acceptable.

also found out that corporal punishments humiliate and degrade children instead
of teaching them discipline.

     The most
common corporal punishments, Cabiles said, are spanking, yelling and cursing. At
schools, humiliating punishment such as telling the children to stand in the
corner or making them wear signs saying “I’m a bad person” or
“I’m a cheater” are considered corporal punishments, she added.

      Some severe
corporal punishments can cause serious injury, or worse, lead to a child’s
death, according to Cabiles.

punishments also violate the children’s right to protection against abuse,
exploitation and other forms of violence. This right to protection is
guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
which the Philippines
is a signatory.

really have to change the way we treat children in general. In our society
kasi, hindi lang sa Pilipinas but all over the world, children are not accorded
the same status as adults.

sabihin they are considered as objects they’re not valued as human beings… so
generally they really experience a lot of violence, a lot of abuse, they are
taken for granted, [and] they are not listened to. So, we have to change the
way we look at children,” Cabiles said.

     How do you
remove something that is already deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture?

said raising awareness about the ill effects of corporal punishment and
promoting non-violent ways of disciplining are among the efforts being done by
her group.

       Save the
Children is also working with its partner organizations, community groups,
parents and teachers to step up its campaign. It is holding learning sessions
for both parents and children.

also noted that the Department of Education has already issued a memorandum
banning corporal punishments in schools.

also important to work at policy level. We, Save the Children Sweden along with
our local partners here, are pushing for a law that will prohibit corporal
punishment at home, in schools and all other settings,” she said.

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