Thursday, October 2, 2003

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW

TASMANIA: The Child Friendly State, held the first Australian No Smacking Day on April 30, 2003.

Patmalar Ambikapathy the Children's Commissioner, HOBART Tasmania spoke to Gregory Kable a caseworker at Justice Action at the Controlling Crime Conference at Redfern in Sydney yesterday and we both realised how parallel our ideas about crime prevention were.

Justice Alistair Nicholson of the Family Court of Australia,

"Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault," he said.

So if it's a crime to punish children, or adults for that matter, then the punishment is the crime. Punishment, threats and smacking only get short-term results, if any result at all.

Long term results are gained by the following practice:

1) Inviting children or adults in the decision making process means you learn more about them.

2) Allowing children or adults to come up with an idea about how they can help you solve the problem they may be causing you or others.

a) will ensure they are not being judged by you or others
b) will ensure they are not wrongly blamed by you or others
c) If they think of a way they can help you they will also have an obligation to do what it was they suggested because it was their idea.

Simple as ABC!

Justice Action believes that we get more support preventing people going to jail than we do trying to get people out of jail. Prevention is better than cure.

You can help plant this seed so that 5 per cent of Australians don't go to jail and learn effective ways to solve a problem, they may be having with you or with other people.

Furthermore, we don't need jails, we need Universities. It's a child's right to be educated. The community will save lives and money by teaching people not to smack children or adult, in order to solve a problem, they may be having with children or adults.

The savings and benefits from this policy will provide free education, because we're not spending money on police (domestic violence) and prisons (violence). As well as keeping people out of hospitals. The potential results may be a long way off, but in the grand scheme of things, there will be a lot less violence in the community.

This day has been celebrated overseas and now it is New South Wales and it's the rest of Australia's turn to follow international best practice, and show our children and young people that we do value them.

We would like to invite all children, young people, families, members of the community and workers to celebrate this day Nationally, in whatever way they wish.

When launched, Justice Action will discuss "alternatives to physical punishment" and be available for interviews. For the first time NSW we will have a Statewide No Smacking Day on a date to be fixed? Working in cooperation with the NSW Childrens' Commissioner I hope?

Otherwise Justice Action will go it alone. After all life is community service!

Many parents worry about violence in our society. As parents, we may not realise that we are contributing to the problem of violence by our example of hitting children. Hitting children teaches them that violence wins! The more we hit children, the more likely they are to become bullies, to hit friends and family members, and to hit spouses and their children when they are adults.

This will be the first international No-Smacking Day in NSW. The observance seeks to bring a much-needed focus on ending corporal punishment of children and helping parents develop effective non-violent alternatives.

It's time for strongly promoting alternatives to physical punishment of children. On a date to be fixed Gregory Kable and Justice Action hopefully with the NSW Childrens Commissioner will call on all parents to consider breaking the habit of hitting children and seek out non-violent alternatives, through reading, talking with friends, children and partners, and participating in community parenting programs.

Hitting people is wrong, and children are people too. This is the day to begin to break the habit of hitting children.

More information:

Commissioner for Children Tasmania

When you're ready? Are you ready for a revolution

Give us your feedback Contact: Gregory Kable or justice ACTION PO Box 386 Broadway, NSW 2007, AUSTRALIA Ph: 612 9281 5100 Fax: 612 9281 5303

By Classical Conditioning 2 October 03


States to cooperate on school curriculums but social skills don't rate? State and territory education ministers say Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's heavy-handed threats to school funding will not assist their ambitious initiative to develop consistent school curriculum’s in key subjects. [?]

School Curriculum needs balance? Life Skills and Academic Skills go hand in hand man Colin you need to be the students friends not their judge. Only when you can invite the students into the decision making process will you get an obligation by them to change their behaviour, because you Colin could lead by example and not by power.

NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.

Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.

Parents call for feedback on social skills
Parents are calling for the same level of feedback on their children's social development as on their academic progress, according to a national survey.

The Seed
Respect, you only get out what you have put in. What about Life Skills, Communication and Conflict Resolution. Evolution, perhaps some children and adults miss the whole or part of the course. I did, and so how surprised do you think I was when I realised my parents missed the course as well. Things like Compromise, Win Win, Empathy, and Love. Invisible energy and other skills like public speaking, how to Relate, Assuming, Blaming, Forgiveness, Freedom and Discrimination. This is how I learned respect. If you don't know what it is then how do you relate?

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.