Anti-Spanking Law in Canada? Let's keep our eyes on this one! - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 26 Old 01-25-2004, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read this article in my local paper this morning and had to share it here.
Here's an excerpt:


"Spanking: Top court to reveal bottom line

By Jim Brown / The Canadian Press

Ottawa - The Supreme Court of Canada is set to decide whether a parental smack on a childish bottom - a disciplinary measure specifically permitted by federal law for more than a century - is a violation of the Charter of Rights. "

http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004.../f253.raw.html
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#2 of 26 Old 01-25-2004, 12:13 PM
 
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Thanks for highlighting this - I hadn't seen it yet. It is encouraging to know that it is even up for discussion!

I can appreciate the concerns of teachers, etc. who worry about not being able to touch a child in any way that could get them into trouble with the law - I think the example used was restraining a child who was endangering himself or someone else. Sure, there will probably be cases when poor or wrong judgment is used and well-meaning people will suffer needlessly. On the other hand, the law as it stands now has plenty of examples of poor judgment handed down by judges who have accepted outrageous abuse of power and abuse to pass as "reasonable" use of force. It is a step in the right direction.

Keep us posted!
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#3 of 26 Old 01-30-2004, 05:21 PM
 
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I am so disappointed in the outcome of this. I heard a snatch of the report on CBC this morning but haven't heard all of the details.

I am disappointed, frustrated and sad. I expected more of the Supreme Court of our amazing country. So the right of a parent to handle frustration how they want (disguised by the use of the word "discipline") is more important than a child's right to not be hit. We will (in theory at least - I know it doesn't always work out this way) protect a woman's right to be free from being hit by her husband and any man's right to not be hit by anyone, we have zero tolerance policies where children are not allowed to hit one another, but we say it is legal for an adult to hit a child. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

So what does this mean - is this issue dead for the time being or is an appeal possible? What can we do to help justice along?
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#4 of 26 Old 01-30-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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I heard a snippet on the radio. Im very disapointed in Canadians (including myself) right now. I wish I had of written a leter of support beforehand.
I would like to still write one, but have no idea where to send.
Also is it against the law to spank a child under 2yrs?
I sure hope so, I have a bone to pick with a spanking family, and need to approach with some good literature. Rather than my temper(wich I let loose lat visit when they proudly told me a spanking story of a 1 yr old )
I was really counting on this law.
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#5 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 02:05 PM
 
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Can hit a child over 2 yrs of age, and under teenage years.
This is the final decision.
Boggles my mind that we can hit a defenseless child, but not a teenage who can at least protect themselves!!!

I was watching the news, and all these people spanking there kids, for an example...
SAD

trying to find a link

eta link:http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/s...query=spanking
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#6 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's two stories from my local paper, yesterday's issue:

Reaction mixed on spanking law decision
'I guess it has to be within reason and that's in the eye of the beholder'
http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004...da193.raw.html

Top court upholds parents' right to spank kids
http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2004.../f171.raw.html

This law-sanctioned child-abuse makes me sick. That's what I see it as.
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#7 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 02:28 PM
 
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Yikes, there's a poll on The Globe site as to whether you agree with the new law....
11350 yes
2241 no
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#8 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 03:12 PM
 
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I'm sorry that it ended up this way. I agree that the goal would be outlawing hitting.

I will hold onto the silver lining that hitting with objects was banned. That is good news.
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#9 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 03:16 PM
 
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I will hold onto the silver lining that hitting with objects was banned. That is good news
It is certainly a start.
And as I said, this whole week, parents are discussing the pro's and con's of spanking.
I hope this will bring forth a new thought, that spanking is pointless. And then the Supreme Court won't HAVE to outlaw it, as it will no longer be an issue....


sigh....
one can dream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#10 of 26 Old 02-01-2004, 10:56 PM
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I like the decision for two reasons:

1: it isn't a ruling that we can spank. its a ruling that allows us to use it as a last resort

2: social workers can no longer use even the concept of spanking as a reason to remove our children. To do so would be breaking the law.

For too long social workers in Canada, specifically those with MCFD in BC have used spanking as the reason why children should be removed citing that it was abuse yet ignoring children that were being battered and worse.

The Supreme Court has given us limits and definitions which I mostly approve of. I honestly think the lower limit should be 18 months (or maybe even younger) and the upper limit should be the age of majority in the province in question.

I won't go into all the reasons why I approve of the threat of spanking, but I am glad that a tool that was taken from parents has finally been returned.
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#11 of 26 Old 02-02-2004, 02:54 PM
 
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Mamid,

The argument that the law was applied inconsistently (by SW) does not strike me as a reason it was bad. That's like saying there are murderers that are never charged so why are we prosecuting rapists.

Why should the age be lower? Particularly when you say that the "threat" of spanking is what you support. A toddler of that age cannot accurately comprehend the consequences of his/her actions to understand that he/she should not do X because he might be spanked.

Shannon, mama to Jack :
: : : : : :
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#12 of 26 Old 02-02-2004, 03:53 PM
 
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I won't go into all the reasons why I approve of the threat of spanking, but I am glad that a tool that was taken from parents has finally been returned.
How does this belong on a GENTLE discipline support board?

 

 

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#13 of 26 Old 02-04-2004, 09:30 AM
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I guess someone who dares to believe spanking should be something that parents have at their disposal just like they should have all the other discipline techniques at their disposal is not welcome here.

Just because we have it doesn't mean it should be used. I'm happier that something that CPS here in Canada has been using as an excuse to snatch children away can no longer be used.

We are allowed to use open hand on a butt. Not face, not back, not fist, open hand on the gluteus maximus. For the last decade at least, we haven't even been allowed to use that. I went through four different "parenting courses" that all tried to shame me into hating spanking but I stood my ground. There is a time and a place for a spanking, just as there is a time and a place for time outs, grounding, etc. But do any of those for too long and it is considered child abuse - neglect, illegal confinement etc. Gotta love Ministry demanded parenting courses that teach nothing of use.

Just because we have been giving the ability to spank back, doesn't mean that parents all over Canada will spank. It is simply a tool that can be used if and when it is needed.

Now, if a parent who believes in spanking were to use a tool like a belt or a paddle or a brush or any sort of tool and call it spanking, I would call the cops on them - that isn't spanking, that's beating and beating is abuse!

I was never spanked. I was beaten unless she wasn't able to grab something first. I remember my mother beating me so hard and for so long that she broke the implement over my ass - at least 3 wooden spoons, 1 possibly 2 brushes and at least 1 belt. She still believes that she never beat or spanked me, only gave me "appropriate" discipline which was as she put it supposed to be "cruel and unnusual." I was slowly burning all her wooden spoons milimetre by milimetre on the stove because I wanted her to stop beating me. She's still in denial.

I can see your point of view : spanking is wrong. Can you at least try to see mine: there is a time and place for every sort of discipline including spanking.
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#14 of 26 Old 02-04-2004, 11:07 AM
 
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New member jumping right in!

Mamid: I am soo sorry to hear about your childhood. That must have been horrible. (Been there, done that)

But I can not in any way agree with your statement.
In my opinion (and the laws in my country, luckily) there is NEVER a time for spanking. Or hitting, namecalling and other abusive ways of behaviour for that matter.

A child is not a property. It is not something you own and train. It is a precious gift we get to keep for a while.

Spanking is not a tool. Its to hit a child because you don`t have the time,energy, or patience to think of another way to react to a childs behaviour. There is ALWAYS a better way.

All children behave as good as they are treated.
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#15 of 26 Old 02-04-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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Mamid: why do you think the minimum age should be lower?
And no, parents who believe in spanking are not welcome here.
We welcome parents who spank and who come here for support and ideas to change that aspect of their parenting!!!
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#16 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 12:47 AM
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There are children under the age of 2 that are advance for their age, testing cognitively and physically 6 months ahead if not more.

Imagine a mother who has done the time out things with a 15 month old. Who can't stand the sonic boom her child gives out when she dares that punishment even for 30 seconds. The child throws tantrums and screams when it doesn't get his own way. Reasoning doesn't work with the child yet yet since he doesn't quite have the language skills. The playpen is useless because the child escapes within 30 seconds of being put in it. This same child has had his age guestimated at over 3 because of how big he

Can you tell me what is left that she can do that doesn't include either physically restraining the child herself or using a countdown that leads to a spank in order to keep the child safe? The house is child prooffed. Mom cleans up after the child all the child's path of destruction, but can't stop anything because she has gone through all the means at her disposal.

What is she supposed to do? Simply let the child run wild or try to instil some sort of threat/punishment if the child won't do what she says. She lets the child draw on the walls because she has a way to clean them off and its less stress than trying to stop the child. She can't grab her child by the arm and pull it away, because that's child abuse. She can't yell, cause that's child abuse. The screaming her child does has been reported by the neighbours to the landlord and she has been threatened with the loss of her lease if he continues so trying to do timeouts or anything that causes the child to scream is out the question. The playpen is useless. This is a child that has destroyed books, a computer, toys, furniture, a vcr and has tried to destroy other items all before turning 18 months old. Nevermind how he mauls the cats.

For some strange and miraculous reason, the child has barely gotten more than a few bumps and bruises with all the destruction he has been doing.

So what does that leave her for disciplinary tactics? Yelling doesn't work - landlord threat remember? And its abuse... The child is too young to reason with. Timeouts - again, the landlord threat.... Holding the child - the child screams and that is a landlord threat.

So does she let the child run wild or does she do the threat of a spanking via a countdown or does she simply ignore everything even if it could mean her child could end up blind by a cat claw or injured from stuff falling and being destroyed, or destroyed property or....
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#17 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 01:15 AM
 
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Mamid -- you should really spend some time reading threads in this forum if you really want some answers to those questions. None of the "discipline" tactics in your hypothetical scenerio are esp. popular around her, and your perspective of a high need child is not the light in which *any* of us here choose to perceive a child an his/her needs.

This is NOT a board for debate. This is a clearly marked zone for parents who choose not to spank, and do not support spanking.
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#18 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 01:46 AM
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yep. you see it as something that the parent has done wrong.

Well, you can't please everyone all the time. And if you won't even look at the other side of the picture, you aren't discussing the issue, you're simply lecturing.

Bravo. Hope you enjoy your high horse.
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#19 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 01:56 AM
 
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Bravo. Hope you enjoy your high horse
Ouch...why did you come to MDC? This is not a trick question. I really want to know what brought you here? This is a GENTLE discipline board. We come here to find support, and ask wwyd? We've all had days when we thought "I can't do this.". But you know what? I got thru it with dd, never spanked her. Yep, she wrote on my walls. Yep, she broke many precious picture frames. Yep, she was BUSY!!!! I just kept redirecting her, kept at it, and thanks to the mamas here , we got thru it. She is now 41/2, and she is preparing to help me with the new baby. We talk about the things she did, and we laugh. She found a very precious picture my best friend gave me, and asked me where the frame was, I told her she broke it as a toddler. She was very remorseful, and advised me, she is older now, and would never do anything like that. I hugged her, and told her, "I know that. You were a baby. Don't worry about it".

So, why are you here? Is this an approach you can handle? We believe in letting our babies be babies, and teach lessons as they grow. We are attached to them. I do not want my child to obey out of fear....
I'm sure you're a wonderful mom. But if you're looking for support on spanking, your at the wrong place. There are other boards that will welcome you I'm sure!



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#20 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 02:54 AM
 
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MODERATOR NOTE

Just a gentle reminder that this forum is dedicated to the implemenation and advocacy of gentle discipline. Debate about the merits of gentle discipline will not be hosted here. Please refrain from advocating punitive methods of discipline in this forum. Thank you.
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#21 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 03:06 AM
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Then there should never have been a post about what the Supreme Court of Canada decided on in the first place. If you don't like their decision, fine. Discipline your children the way you want to.

Quit condeming me and other parents like me who choose not to follow your ways. We are doing what we believe is best for our family because the alternatives given to us don't work.
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#22 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 03:13 AM
 
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This thread has been temporarily locked for violations to the user agreement and will be reopened shortly.
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#23 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 04:49 AM
 
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Moderator's Note:

This thread has been re-opened.

Please note: If any further advocacy of hitting a child is posted, the post will be removed and reported to the administration for further action.
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#24 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 08:04 AM
 
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For those reading this thread please understand that the Gentle Discipline board has a specific aim: to help parents learn and apply gentle discipline methods in raising their children. This forum is not a place to uphold or advocate physical punishment of children and personal preferences for use of physical punishment are inappropriately posted here. Posts of that nature will be edited by the member upon request or will be removed.

The topic at hand is appropriate discussion here in the context of the forum's goals. Such an issue should be brought to light for the members here so that they may be aware and can discuss possible activism which can then be carried over to the Activism board.

As always any questions or concerns can be sent to uss by PM or email.


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#25 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 12:14 PM
 
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Thanks, Mods. You are great.

I really didn't feel that I was on a high horse . I'm sorry it came accross that way. There are certainly days that I face behavior issues and feel at a complete loss. I get through those days, just like we all do. I'd like to believe that I get through them with my children's dignity still intact.

The fact is, many people don't have any idea what to do, other than spank, and some parents are honestly fearful when they hear about a law like this. They aren't malicious and they don't want to hurt their children, but they are frightened of loosing control and failing as parents if they have to relinguish this one "tool" (or weapon, depending on how you see it.)

But the way I have come to see it, this weapon is not actually helpful to our children. It might provide a temporary illusion of helpfulness, but the harm it is doing outweighs the compliance it ellicits and in the long run -- it is unhelpful.

If we take away spanking as a last resort, we won't be doing any immediate damage. Yes, we'll be shaking people up and creating uncertainty and fear, but we'll also be pushing toward the discovery of better solutions. As long as people can resort to hitting their children, many of them will not seek out other options. As I see it, a law against spanking would not only protect children from harm and uphold their dignity, but it would also lead the way toward more effective parenting in our culture, and ultimately - more stable adults in future generations.

Many parents say that they have "tried everything," but what they really mean is that they've tried other punishments. What is needed is a total paradigm shift -- in terms of expectations and in terms of what it means to help a child learn and grow, and be disciplined.
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#26 of 26 Old 02-05-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mamid
I guess someone who dares to believe spanking should be something that parents have at their disposal just like they should have all the other discipline techniques at their disposal is not welcome here.
This is a gentle discipline board. Spanking is not gentle.

Edit to add: I sound like a brown-noser :LOL , but I had posted before I read the second page that the mod had left some messages and topic had been closed, and re-opened.
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