An anti-spanking bill has passed third reading in the Senate and is heading to the House of Commons.
Bill S-209, which needs House approval to be made into law, proposes to eliminate Section 43 of Canada's Criminal Code, which allows parents, teachers and caregivers to use reasonable force to discipline a child and correct their behaviour.
Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette first introduced the bill in December 2004, shortly after the Supreme Court denied a challenge to Section 43 and upheld the right of adults to physically discipline children between the ages of two and 12.
Back in 2004, after our Supreme Court upheld the spanking law, I shared my thoughts on spanking. Before becoming a father, I believed a spanking on the behind was an appropriate form of discipline. My wife and I discussed it and agreed on this, as both of us were spanked as children. Then, five minutes after I became a father, I pulled a 180° and realized how barbaric the practice is.
James is almost 6 and a half years old and Michelle will be four this summer, and I've never come close to administering either of them a spanking. In fact, I can't imagine striking either of them, even if it's on the bottom and in response to something totally rude. Instead, I quickly mastered the art of the time-out. Both kids are totally sweet and well-behaved and almost never require the time-out now, and I've so very glad I changed my entire philosophy on spanking.
I don't understand why so many think corporal punishment should be allowed? If you need to strike your kids to correct their behaviour, you need a nice long time-out so you can think about what you're doing wrong. Bill S-209 is a good thing for Canada.