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Domestic CP - February 2004

Corpun file 12739

Winnipeg Sun, Manitoba, 1 February 2004

Spanking poll backs ruling

Support use of force by parents

By Sun Media

Ottawa -- A Supreme Court of Canada ruling on spanking last week mirrors public opinion on the issue, a SES/Sun Media poll suggests. The survey of 1,000 people, completed the night before the Friday court decision, shows 64% of those questioned support the parental use of force such as spanking to discipline a child. But a wide majority oppose physical force being used by others.

"Although Canadians support a parent's right to spank their children, a clear majority are opposed to the use of physical force such as spanking among teachers or caregivers," said SES President Nik Nanos.

The high court ruling bars teachers from using force as a corrective measure.

Support for spanking as a reasonable measure was highest in the West at 71% and Ontario at 62%. The lowest support was Quebec at 47%.

"Polling clearly indicates that Canadians are very uncomfortable regarding the courts getting between a parent and a child," Nanos said. "Canadians generally believe parents know best when it comes to what is appropriate discipline."

Only 7% of those questioned in the poll supported criminal charges for parents who spank their children. The same number said children should be removed from homes where parents use spanking as a form of corporal punishment and 5% supported both criminal charges and the removal of children from the home. One-fifth, or 20%, said they weren't sure.

Corpun file 12688


Abbotsford News, British Columbia, early February 2004 (exact date not available) (found on 11 February 2004)


Applause for court decision on spanking

By now we are all aware that the Supreme Court decision came down Friday in favour of parents' rights to use reasonable corporal punishment in bringing up their children.

The court's arbitrary limitations on parental options notwithstanding, we are thankful.

Before we heave a great sigh of relief, though, we have already been served notice by those social engineers, who think that "Big Brother" - i.e. the government - knows best, that we have not heard the last of the matter.

I have noticed that one of the main arguments set forth over and over again by these people is that since we, as adults, have the legal right to not be physically hit or struck by those in authority over us, children should have the same right.

There are some obvious flaws in this argument.

First, children are children, not miniature adults. They are being nurtured and trained and moulded in how to live and interact with others, first in the family and then in society.

Corporal punishment is but one of many important methods of teaching children to avoid behaviours that would damage themselves or others.

Second, children are so constituted as to forget a spanking that is wisely and lovingly given, but to remember the lesson it was meant to teach.

The discipline is quickly over and done with but the lesson is learned.

On the other hand, while useful in many instances, "time outs" or deprivation of privileges, by their longer duration, can breed ongoing resentment.

Third, it is my observation that where abusive punishment occurs it is rarely in families where corporal punishment is being wisely applied, but rather in those families where there is little or no discipline at all.

In the resultant chaos, parents eventually get so fed up with their children's unruliness that they lose their tempers and children are beaten.

All the above we have proven in the trenches. Having been brought up in well disciplined families ourselves, being parents of seven children and grandparents of 16 - brought up largely in the same manner - we find that the results have been most gratifying. As the old saying goes, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Bert and Lena Warden

Copyright 2004 Abbotsford News

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