The National Network for Children sent a letter to His Holiness Pope Francis, with copy to the Catholic Church in Bulgaria and The Guardian in line statement that slap is acceptable to discipline children.
Letter to the Pope: No spanking of a child can be associated with dignity
We, from the National Network for Children, an alliance of 127 organisations, are extremely concerned by what Pope Francis said, stating unequivocally in a speech that he delivered, that it is acceptable for parents to spank their children to discipline them.
We consider that this is a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child and it is inadmissible for any religious leader to encourage hitting the children. Any corporal punishment, including a slap and spanking, constitute a form of violence against the child and cause physical pain and a psychological trauma.
„Parents should be able to rectify their child’s inappropriate action by imposing certain reasonable consequences for such behaviour, taking into consideration the child’s ability to understand the same as corrective”, the Vatican says.
There are many positive approaches and ways that parents can resort to, to rectify a child’s inappropriate behaviour but it is most harmful to hit them and especially when this is done by the parents who are the child’s closest adults.
We live in times, where we as adults have long ago condemned physical violence as a means of solving problems among ourselves. Why should we rely on such outdated methods with regards to the most vulnerable ones? Why should we as adults have to discipline by using corporal punishment and compulsion? We cannot help someone to “grow and mature” if we apply a humiliating and domineering approach to them. A number of studies reveal that corporal punishment has a negative impact on the child.
There is no dignity in hitting children. On the contrary, this increases suffering and results in a vicious circle where this model is passed on from one generation to another.
Spanking teaches but only bad things!
National Network for Children
February 11th, 2015
Photo: photl.com/Studio Cl Art