Authors: Dr Justin Coulson
Dr Justin Coulson examines research demonstrating that punishment does not change a child’s behaviour. He makes a strong argument for ending corporal punishment of children by using positive methods of discipline that ensure children grow up free from violence and having their rights respected.
Using a child rights approach, adults can support and encourage children that helps them learn what is acceptable and appropriate behaviour. Discipline is seen as a process that teaches children acceptable ways to act by developing empathy, character, and morality; by empowering the child. This approach also views learning how to behave as an ongoing process throughout a child’s life, not a series of one-off events.
There are several ways that adults can support children to learn how to behave in a way that not only supports their rights but enhances their ability to make good choices for themselves as they grow. Some examples are:
In a short video, Justin explains why the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 19 is the article he wants all Australians to consider as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Australia’s signing of the Convention on December 17, 2020.
Articles from the Convention addressed in this paper
This portal is aimed at people working in youth-serving organizations to help them better prevent and respond to harm to children.
If you would like to talk to a trained professional about what you’ve seen on the Portal, or need help, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you believe a child or young person is in immediate danger, call Police on 000.Emergency and safety
For further information on crisis responses and reporting child abuse and neglect, see: Australian Institue of Family Studies website.