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- Positive Discipline is a More Effective Parenting Option Than Punishing Children, Health Unit Says -

There’s a better way to parent than using punishment to correct unwanted behaviour in children, and its merits are being touted by local public health officials.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging local families to use positive discipline to teach and guide children towards better behaviour. Positive discipline means respecting, listening and rewarding good behaviour with love, and avoiding habits like yelling, spanking, threatening and shaming children.

“Parenting can be challenging and stressful,” says Catherine MacDonald, a Registered Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “But we know from research that punishments like slapping, spanking or shaming do not work. This parenting style can actually do harm to your child, and can have a negative lasting impact on your family relationships.”

Of particular concern is the message being sent to children, who may copy what they see their parents doing. “If children are constantly being yelled at or hit by their parents, they will think it’s okay to act this way to others,” MacDonald adds. “This could lead to negative, long-lasting impacts on their relationships with others.”

According to the Health Unit, there are many supports and resources to help parents positively discipline their children, without having to resort to verbal or physical threats. This includes the Children See Children Learnwebsite developed by the Best Start Resource Centre. The website provides short videos that explain how parents can guide their children in a positive way, and offers links to additional resources and programs.

Residents in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes can also access parenting programs and support services in their own communities by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.

For media inquiries, contact:

Catherine MacDonald, Registered Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1322.

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