WORLD - Efforts to Ban Spanking

Arno Froese

In a story published in October [2018], a study on spanking found a “fairly robust” association between corporal punishment and youth violence. Sweden was the first country to prohibit corporal punishment of children, in 1979. Since then, the number of nations that had banned the practice had risen to 54. What’s the current status of the campaign to prohibit corporal punishment of children? 

[In 2019], two more countries made physical punishment of children illegal in all settings, including at home, with France and Kosovo bringing the total to 56.

Other countries are also moving toward prohibition, says Joan Durrant, professor of community health science at the University of Manitoba. A constitutional court in South Africa is weighing the legality of a current law that allows corporal punishment of children. Japan, Scotland, Wales and Italy are also moving in that direction, she says.

[A] UNICEF statement [said], “Contrary to the impression that the law encroaches on parents’ right to discipline their child, this law seeks to promote positive discipline instead of corporal punishment—a severe form of violence against children.”

“There have been at least 100 studies that show [corporal punishment] has no positive impact on children,” says Durrant—only negative ones such as increased aggression, more mental health problems and damaged family relationships.

[A study found that] spanking occurred in 43% of the households, and those children who were spanked showed lower levels of emotional and social development and well-being than those who [were] not.

“Our findings suggest that spanking seems to be harmful on a global scale,” says lead author Garrett Pace of the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work, and the study adds to the empirical knowledge base about the negative impact of spanking on children. “There are some skeptics out there, but the majority of researchers think that the bans do matter.”, 3 September 2019

Arno's commentary

Needless to say, this non-spanking campaign is contrary to the fundamentals of Scripture. Proverbs 13:24 declares: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Chapter 22, verse 15 confirms: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” However, a number of studies indicate that corporal punishment “has no positive impact on children.” Doubtless, this includes the misuse of authority by parents and educators. Many of us in the older generation, still bear the scars of physical punishment. The other side of the coin, however, is the global tendency to reverse all Biblical foundations.

This writer has lived and worked on three continents, and has witnessed the progress made globally. The brutality that occurred during childhood is now virtually unimaginable. Today’s children—not all, but in general—are better behaved, less prone to violence, and academically way ahead of any previous generation.

Nevertheless, Christian parents who read the Holy Scripture and have fellowship with the Lord, know precisely what to do and what not to do. We reemphasize that the tendency of breaking, altering, and changing all Biblical principles, is prophesied and will come to pass.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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