In December, the Canadian Friends Service Committee endorsed the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth developed by a national coalition of organizations facilitated by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Based on an extensive review of research, the Joint Statement provides an overview of the developmental outcomes associated with physical punishment and concludes that:
- the physical punishment of children and youth only poses risks to their development and plays no useful role in the upbringing of children and youth; and
- parents and other caregivers should be strongly encouraged to choose approaches to discipline that don’t rely on physical punishment.
Reflecting on our own testimonies of faith, we find physical punishment of children and youth to be incompatible with our belief that there is that of God in every person and with our rejection of violence as acceptable behaviour. By endorsing this statement we indicate our confidence in its review of research on physical punishment, the conclusions drawn from the review and our support for the recommendations contained therein.