Abuse and Discipline
When comparing abuse and discipline, the question to ask is: what is the caregiver trying to achieve in either case?
There is no question that my parents were abusers. Of course, everything they did was with the belief that they were simply imposing discipline. It was a different time. A time when children were taught to respect but were given no respect in return; many of us grew up that way. I wrote a book of my experience. Check it out at my story.
FACT: In an American study, 28.4% of parents of two to four-year-olds and 28% of five to eight-year-olds reported using an object to spank the bottoms of their children (Gallup Survey). Thus more than one in four parents admit to using an object to hit their children in the name of discipline (Gershoff, 2002, p. 602-6112).
In January, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Section 43 of the Criminal Code, stating parents had the right to spank their children without fear of being charged with a criminal offence. But this spanking law has some new restrictions. The law now states that spanking is permitted with children between the ages of 2 years and 12 years, that the use of weapons like belts and paddles are prohibited, that strikes to the face and head are also prohibited, and that only reasonable force can be administered.
When discussing abuse and discipline, some would argue that any physical force constitutes abuse, where others maintain that spanking falls under the category of reasonable discipline.
While it is not my intent to tell parents how to discipline their children, I do strongly urge parents to make an informed decision by looking into
alternative forms of discipline.
An article on what a parent teaches a child when spanking is used can be found at
abuse and discipline.
|Physical Abuse||Physical Abuse Signs|
|Abuse & Discipline||Physical Abuse Effects|
|Physical Abuse Statistics|
|Abuse Headlines||History of Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Signs||Child Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Effects||Emotional Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Stats||Emotional Abuse Types|
|Sexual Abuse Victims||Emotional Abuse Signs|
|Male Victims||Emotional Abuse Effects|
|Victims w/ Disability||Emotional Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Disclosures||Physical Abuse|
|Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Signs|
|Male Sex Offenders||Abuse & Discipline|
|Female Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Effects|
|Child Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Stats|
|Adolescent Sex Offenders||Child Neglect|
|Incestuous Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Signs|
|Internet Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Effects|
|Child Abuse Law||Child Neglect Stats|
|Age of Majority||Poverty & Neglect|
|Duty to Report||Sexual Abuse|
|Abuse Intervention||Sexual Abuse Defined|
Abuse and Discipline
NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the Canadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.
1 Strauss, M. (2000). Corporal Punishment and primary prevention of physical abuse. Child Abuse and neglect, 24, (9), 1109-1114.
2 Gershoff, E. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviours and experiences: A meta-analytic and theorietical review. Psychological Bulletin, 183 (4), 539-579.