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Now it is illegal to spank children in France. As per this report, going by the bill passed, inflicting punishment that is “cruel, degrading, or humiliating”, especially corporal punishment, on children, is against the law.
According to this report, French anti-spanking advocate Dr Gilles Lazimi said, “This law is a very strong symbolic act to make parents understand just how all violence can be harmful for the child. Above all, it removes the notion of a threshold: There is no small or big violence. There is violence, full stop.”
Spanking children is a topic much debated upon. While a certain segment believes that sparing the rod will spoil the child, there is a vast majority which believes in gentler ways of discipling children. Dr Navya Singh, Clinical Psychologist and Co-founder of wayForward says, “Spanking is not a solution to any problem that a parent or teacher might have with a child. People often use corporal punishment to change or modify behaviour. However, research in the field of child behavioural psychology, over the years, has revealed that punishment does not work for changing unwanted behaviours.”
According to her, what would work is explaining to the child about the negative consequences of his actions, on him and people around him. At the same time, let him know that he will be rewarded for good behaviour. Punishment, especially spanking, can lead to quite a few problems and will not help rectify his so-called behavioural issues.
“It just lowers the child’s confidence, and contributes to making them sad, anxious, and even defiant. The idea is to understand that a child might be displaying negative behaviour for a reason. The child might be feeling lonely, sad, or there might be some problems with peers or at home,” explains Dr Singh, who is also a researcher at Columbia University.
Continue reading for more on the ill-effects of corporal punishment and what are the alternatives to discipline your child.
With a post graduate degree in PR & Corporate Communication neatly tucked in the farthest corner of the shelf, I wonder about wandering around. When I do not get to wander, I write. In between the wondering, wandering, and writing I try to keep a straight face playing mum to a daughter who has no qualms playing my mum!
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