Save the Children and UNICEF launch video on positive discipline

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For Immediate Release, October 26, 2011

Save the Children and UNICEF unite to fight corporal punishment and promote positive discipline of children through a video documentary entitled “Usap, Unawa at Kalinga: Pagdidisiplinang Walang Karahasan” launched today at the Quezon City Sports Club.

The 20-minute film features the views of children, parents, teachers, and adults caring for children about corporal punishment and positive discipline, and the changes they are making in the way they are disciplining children. The respondents come from Cavite, Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and General Santos.

According to Save the Children Child Protection Adviser Wilma Bañaga, the film seeks to show everyone that there are people in communities in the Philippines who believe that disciplining children without violence is better than practicing corporal punishment. “The World Report on Violence against Children in 2006 reveals that millions of children worldwide have experienced corporal punishment in the guise of discipline. This practice is often embedded in a cultural belief that children learn through experiencing pain.”

“However in truth, corporal punishment violates children’s human rights and negatively affects their well-being. It is a form of violence against children. The Philippines, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has the obligation to ensure children’s protection from all forms of violence. Through the film, we want to show that there is a better way of disciplining children and this is through a positive, non-violent approach that respects children, and supports their learning through affection, care and guidance,” she added.

Myrna Ibay, a mother from Cavite, shares in the film how she changed her ways. “Noong una, kapag napalo ko sila, umiiyak ako kapag nakikita ko ‘yung mga latay. Ako rin ang nasasaktan kapag nakikita ko ‘yung mga pantal, tapos ginagamot ko rin ‘yun. Kaya sabi ko sa mga anak ko, ‘Iba na; hindi ko na gagawin ang pamamalo ng sinturon.’ Binago ko na ang ugali ko. Hindi na ako namamalo,” said Ibay. (I used to cry when I see the wounds I inflicted on my children. I try to cure them. Finally I decided and told my kids, ‘This needs to change, I will stop this violence.’ I changed my ways and I stopped hitting my children.)

Raven Arniño, 17, also shares how children benefit from positive discipline. “Mas maganda naman sigurong ipamulat sa mga bata na hindi niya gagawin ang isang pagkakamali dahil natakot siya sa pamamalo kundi dahil naunawaan niya ito sa pagkausap sa kanya ng magulang,” said Raven. (It would be much better if children refuse to do bad things not because they fear their parents, but instead because they understand why it is wrong, as explained by their parents.)

Teachers also play an important role in disciplining children. Erma Jocelyn Esmalla, a Grade 5 teacher in General Santos City, believes that choosing positive discipline over corporal punishment springs from a teacher’s love of his/her students, “If you show love, they are also going to show you their love. I believe that love and concern are the primary motivators for children to participate more in school.”

Positive Discipline Defined

Child clinical psychologist Joan Durrant, in the book “Positive Discipline: What it is and How to do it” published by Save the Children Sweden, defines positive discipline as an approach to parenting that teaches children and guides their behavior, while respecting their rights to healthy development, protection from violence and participation in their learning. Positive discipline is not permissive parenting and is not about punishment. It is about long-term solutions that develop children’s own self-discipline and their life-long skills. Positive discipline is about teaching non-violence, empathy, self-respect, human rights and respect for others.

The film was developed by Save the Children with support from UNICEF. UNICEF Communication and Advocacy Specialist Ted Francisco hopes that the film can help introduce and promote positive discipline to more parents and children. “We will share this material as a tool for promoting positive discipline among communities and other child-focused NGOs with the aim to encourage everyone to start advocating for non-violent ways of discipline, and to stop the practice of corporal punishment,” said Francisco. “We should encourage communities to adopt a positive discipline mindset in order to end corporal punishment,” he added.

Pending Bill

House Bill 4455 or the Positive and Non-Violent Discipline on Children Act has passed the 3rd reading in the House of Representatives. If passed into law, it will institutionalize parenting sessions in communities so parents can learn how to properly raise their kids through positive and non-violent forms of discipline.


More information/All Media Inquiries:

Rosana Padua-Macachor, Communications and Media Officer, Save the Children

+63 917 859 0759

Save the Children

+63 2 852 3064 or 852 3059

1 Encarnacion St., corner Lapu-lapu Ave., Magallanes Village, Makati City, PHILIPPINES

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