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PRACTISE POSITIVE PARENTING

- Positive Discipline, Not Physical and Emotional Punishment, is a Better Approach to Parenting, Health Unit Says -

The local Health Unit is encouraging parents and caregivers to use positive discipline with their children, rather than slapping, spanking or shaming them.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit notes that physical and emotional punishment is not acceptable or effective, as it can harm a child and do lasting damage to family relationships. It can also negatively affect children, who may copy what they see their own parents doing and use the same behaviour on others. To support local families and encourage positive parenting, the Health Unit is highlighting its own programs and a new Children See Children Learn website.

“Parenting can be challenging and stressful…no doubt about it,” says Beatrice Kowalska, a Family Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “The good news is that there are many supports and resources to help parents positively discipline their children, without having to resort to verbal or physical threats.”

The Health Unit provides a variety of free programs for parents and caregivers, including:

• The new Positive Discipline in Every Day Parenting Program teaches parents a set of principles that can be applied to a wide-range of situations and help guide all interactions with children, not just the challenging ones. The program teaches participants a non-violent, solution-focused, respectful approach to parenting. Currently, the program is offered in Cobourg and Lindsay, but will be expanded to other communities based on interest.

Baby’s Own Program is a six-week support and information group for parents of children up to a year old. The free program helps new parents to cope and adjust to life with a baby.

Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) Program is a free, confidential and voluntary program for pregnant women, new mothers, and families with children up to age six. HBHC provides parents with advice, support and home visits immediately after a baby’s birth, and at various stages thereafter to ensure children get the best start in life. Topics covered by HBHC can be as varied as feeding a baby, staying physically and emotionally healthy, dealing with occasional feelings of sadness, keeping baby safe and encouraging healthy growth and development in children.

Local residents can find out more about these parenting support programs by contacting their local Health Unit office, or calling toll-free at 1-866-888-4577. People can also phone the Health Unit to speak to a Family Health Nurse about such topics as breastfeeding, infant care, healthy growth and development, and speech and language screening. Inquiries can also be emailed.

Kowalska points to another valuable online resource geared to parents of young children. Created by the Best Start Resource Centre, the new Children See Children Learn website features short videos that explain how parents can guide their children in a positive way. Links to other parenting resources and programs are also listed.

“Positive discipline, not physical or emotional punishment, is the best approach to parenting that will benefit you and your children,” Kowalska says.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Beatrice Kowalska, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1508.

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