Parenting Without Violence/Positive Parenting

September 13, 2023

April 2021 marked the International Day of Action to End All Corporal Punishment against Children. As part of building global momentum to end all forms of violence against children, we at Save the Children South Africa committed ourselves to encouraging parents, caregivers, government and organisations to work towards ending corporal punishment against children.  In South Africa, corporal punishment had long been prohibited by law, both in the school and home settings. However, it was still the preferred method of punishment in some of our schools and homes. 

Corporal punishment is the most common form of physical and emotional abuse against children worldwide, leading to the injury and death of thousands of children each year.

It is a severe violation of a child’s right to human dignity, physical integrity, healthy development and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It could also be harmful to development, affecting a range of health and social outcomes. Unbelievably, such violence is seldom considered abuse. 

As an organisation, we have committed ourselves to accelerating the elimination of corporal punishment, by drawing up and implementing a national plan that includes public education campaigns, positive parenting, support for change to parents and caregivers and the promotion of safe schools and communities.  We work extensively with caregivers, parents and educators to help them understand the impact of violence on children and to replace violent child-rearing practices with positive parenting through:

  • Promoting positive relationships between children and caregivers/parents
  • Endeavouring to reduce maltreatment of children and violent methods of discipline in the home, which is embedded in cultural practices that do not see children as equal beings
  • Striving to promote the role of fathers in parenting by ensuring that fathers also take responsibility and are involved in everyday parenting
  • Promoting non-violent communication which may in turn promote collaboration in problem-solving between children and their caregivers
  • Ensuring that parents and caregivers have a basic understanding of how children think and feel through exposing the parents and caregivers to stages of child development
  • Promoting elimination of violence against children through respect and popularisation of child rights principles within the home
  • Reducing stress and promoting stress management techniques amongst parents and caregivers that may arise through their role as parents 

Through our Parenting Without Violence programme, our aim is to promote positive parenting techniques that do not involve violence or harsh discipline. We want to emphasize the importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for children, where their emotional and physical well-being is prioritized. 

“I would like to show my appreciation to Save the Children for giving all the staff, including security personnel, an opportunity to attend training. This is the first time we have had the opportunity to take part. It was an amazing experience and I  have learned a lot about parenting, that I can now apply at home with my own children”.  Parent Testimonial

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