Yua Funato is seen in images taken from her mother's Facebook page. Photo: FACEBOOK
national

Gov't OKs plan to legally ban parents from physically punishing children

96 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

96 Comments
Login to comment

Great and when the kid goes to school with a bruise and the teacher reports the kid and the parent gets in trouble then the poor kid will get his ass beat after daddy gets home from the police station

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Physical abuse of children should be prosecuted, but this law is a crude sledgehammer to address a problem caused by negligence by agents of the government.

Sorry, but a little swat on the behind or a swat of a hand of a youngster by a parent is far different from actual child abuse. And this law would criminalize both.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Sorry, but a little swat on the behind or a swat of a hand of a youngster...

Stop beating children and then you won't have to worry about the law. How about that?

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

There will be no penalties for offenders, however.

Another in a very long list of "illegal" things here without any penalties!

(AKA, knee-jerk, "Oh we did something" reactions to public outrage!)

Here is a novel idea, enforce the laws that are already on the books and toss these offenders into prison, or worse!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

After the Children's Act in 1989 in the UK, children suddenly turned around to teachers and parents and said "touch me and I'll sue you". Discipline in schools went out the window and people nowadays won't tell kids off in public because the kids know they can just bring the police in. While in theory it meant well, it's now raised a generation of self entitled brats.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Ridiculous.

Another knee jerk reaction to something that has nothing to do with proper discipline of children and was simply an example of sickening physical abuse by monster.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Again following so called Great Western Culture, but this, particularly this, won't make any better, esp in Asia.

Imagine your own kids sueing parents for just little whack, total disaster for rest of the life. This is normal in Western world.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

@fogetti,

Stop beating children and then you won't have to worry about the law. How about that?

If you are unable to understand the difference between properly disciplining children and beating children, then you have no business having children. And you certainly can take a flying leap in telling me how to raise my children.

Millions of children have been raised through the use of proper discipline, not child abuse, and are just fine. Myself included.

You don't want to physically discipline your children, then that is up to you. But you can keep your sanctimonious, morally superior sense of child-raising.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

I agree with most everyone here, especially those who don't Advocate violence towards children as a means of discipline

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@sensei258,

violence towards children as a means of discipline

Proper physical discipline of a child is not violence. Sorry, but it isn't.

I am sitting here having breakfast with my 5 yo son. We have physically disciplined him the past. A swat on the bottom, a swat on the hand.

Funny, he seems fine and we having a loving relationship. Proper parenting knows how to discipline children appropriately. Some may choose not to use physical discipline, and that is fine, but others do use physical discipline and do so in an appropriate manner with absolutely no ill effects on the children.

Honestly, millions upon millions have been raised in loving home where measured physical discipline has been used and to intentionally conflate that with actual child abuse is reprehensible.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

"It is the responsibility of all adults to protect the lives of children. We are going to powerfully (there will be no penalties for offenders) and swiftly (the law won’t come into effect for the next 13 months) work (to take steps to prevent child abuse)," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said...

No penalties and over a year to come into effect... the kind of powerful and swift response to an incredibly serious problem that we’ve come to expect for the Japanese government.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can't wait for children to start abusing such a ridiculous law in order to get back at their parents.

ABUSE is wrong. Period. RAISING and DISCIPLINING is my domain as a parent and mine only. Don't tell me how I should raise my children and I won't tell you how to raise yours.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Some may choose not to use physical discipline, and that is fine, but others do use physical discipline

If not using physical 'discipline' works, which it does, and that's fine, which it is, why would any parent choose to hit their kid? What's the point? What advantage is there in hitting a child when not hitting him can produce equal results?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

put most of the amended laws into force in April next year

We wouldn't want to go to fast now, would we...

There will be no penalties for offenders

And we wouldn't want to be to harsh, of course.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is a simplistic overreaction to a serious problem.

Abusive and damaging physical discipline should be targeted, but, as several posters here have said, mild and controlled slaps or swats on the bottom are sometimes necessary.

Rather than ban it altogether the government should help educate people on how to wisely effect physical discipline.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If not using physical 'discipline' works, which it does, and that's fine, which it is, why would any parent choose to hit their kid? What's the point? What advantage is there in hitting a child when not hitting him can produce equal results?

There are literally thousands of books on child-raising and what works and what doesn't work.

You stipulate that not using physical discipline works, but I can stipulate that physical discipline does work and, for many children, can be more effective. What makes you right and me wrong?

More importantly, why do you get to make the rules as to how other parents raise their children, particularly when there is no demonstrable proof that the way they are raising their children is harming their children?

A good, conscientious parent never "enjoys" disciplining a child. They do it as part of their role as a parent, hoping to shape their child into a good, decent person.

For me, my parents chose to physically discipline me and my siblings as we were growing up. And there is no question that it worked and helped shaped our behavior. None of us resented our parents for what they did, because we were loved and we knew our parents did so not to harm us, but to help mold / shape us.

Equally, we have physically disciplined our son, although perhaps less than I was physically disciplined when growing up. We have no regrets and we would do it again if given the choice.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

This is overaction at a high lvl... a small spank on the butt or hands never really hurt nor traumatized my kids. They something need it. And when it's done, make sure to hug 'em and explain to 'em what they did was wrong.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

People shouldn't need the government to ban them from abusing their kids. It's called being a real parent and not physically abusing your child.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The revisions also call for enhancing liaison with domestic violence consultation centers, as mothers are often subjected to violence in child abuse cases,

Most cases of child abuse are carried out by both parents.

Disciplining children is done by moral lessons, not by physical lessons. Anybody who hits, screams at, intimidates, threatens or ridicules a child is nothing more than a bullying thug. It's never ok to abuse children either physically or verbally. NEVER! If a parent or teacher cannot control their emotions they should not have or work with children. It's one thing to make the abuse illegal, but it's a completely different thing to educate people on successful disciplinary methods that do not involve abuse of a child. All children know the difference between right and wrong as soon as they start crawling. They test their boundaries constantly. That's what children do. Unfortunately, too many so-called 'parents' seem to think that a good old fashioned belting will stop children testing their boundaries. However, it makes them more likely to test their boundaries. Discipline your children with morals, not abuse.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

More importantly, why do you get to make the rules as to how other parents raise their children, particularly when there is no demonstrable proof that the way they are raising their children is harming their children?

I got spanked, and I don't think it harmed me per se, but it's ineffective parenting. Nowhere else in life do we say that violence is an acceptable method of dealing with an inability to communicate. We also tell our kids not to hit others. Going on to then hit your kid sends conflicting signals. It says violence to those smaller than you is an appropriate way of dealing with problems. That's counter productive.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

More lip service from the government. Just a show to make it look like they're doing something.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This law is nonsense. YAY to supporting kids that are being abused but how about you train the welfare people better, give them more power. This law will NOT prevent abuse. Again, no common sense here.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Physical discipline should be avoided as much as possible and used as a last resort after reasonable explanation and warnings. However there are times when some children will not respond to these and mild and controlled physical punishment such as a smack or swat on the covered bottom are needed.

Target truly abusive parents but don't take away the right and need to physically discipline from sincere parents.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Excellent decision by the Abe Cabinet. If you even have to raise one finger to a child, you are an abuser. No excuses.

Japan should be a nation in which children are free and safe to shne.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Violence, abusing children and over-reacting should be a big no-go!

A slap on the wrist, as well as a minor spank should be no problem!

I got spanked a couple of times and survived. It didn't make me a worse person.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Under the envisioned changes, parents, foster parents and welfare workers would be prohibited from physically punishing children as a means of discipline.

Err, teachers...sports coaches...ballet teachers....sumo coaches.....

My own kids are not at risk of the same mistreatment as Yua Funato (it was her parents), but since they do sports, there is every chance a coach will slap them about. That girl who got smacked about the face by her gymnastic coach, watch the video, was all-Japan champion. You only get that far with extreme skill and dedication. If kids with extreme skill and dedication still get smacked about, it's fair to assume that all kids must be at risk.

Personally I think this is an embarrassing move by the government. They are closing ranks to avoid blame for the blatant cases of abuse that were ignored. They are shifting the focus from enforcement to a new law. The system for dealing with systematic and fatal abuse needs to be bolstered before we can have any discussion on the rights and wrongs of smacking.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ganbare Japan!Today 09:04 am JST

Excellent decision by the Abe Cabinet. If you even have to raise one finger to a child, you are an abuser. No excuses.

Japan should be a nation in which children are free and safe to shne.

I agree with you.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@zones2surf - You stipulate that not using physical discipline works, but I can stipulate that physical discipline does work and, for many children, can be more effective. What makes you right and me wrong?

For every one 'expert' that advocates physical punishment of children I can find twenty who do not advocate physical punishment of children, that makes you statistically incorrect. Humans are supposed to be the most evolved and most intelligent animals on earth, but they choose physical violence to discipline their children the same as chimpanzees. In the world of chimpanzees they have to teach their children by physical abuse because they cannot speak. Perhaps many humans have not evolved as much as they would like to believe.

The problems start when people start physically abusing their children out of anger. Angry parents make angry kids.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I wrote a paper about smacking children when in London.

i compared instant punishment by Nigerian mothers and more timely punishment by white working class English mothers. I found that at a young age, the Nigerian children who were instantly smacked would realize their bad behavior. The white children who had to “wait until your father gets home” exhibited signs of hatred, paranoia and even depression. Most had forgotten the original reason.

i also edited a medical paper on injuries sustained by children due to drunk/drugged, stressed out or psychologically unstable parents.

i don’t believe in hitting children. Positive reinforcement is best.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another nonsense law just to look good globally! Like Premium Friday, the anti Terror law and so on.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I agree with you.

Thank you Alfie! Good to know we share the view that child abuse is simply wrong, and the Abe Cabinet is doing everything to fix this.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I disagree to this ban! I can see it already in some kids here. Japan already has those bratty ass kids that are already very rude when they talk to their elders and bully other kids that really needs their ass spanked! And that ban is not gonna help resolve any of these problems! While on the other hand abuse is a different topic! Parents abusing their children. But spanking bec of discipline is reasonable for me.

Again abuse and simple discipline is two different topics. I suggest different approach to the problem.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

If your method of parental discipline leaves cuts, scratches, and bruises on a child, you need to rethink your method. Posters seem to be deliberately misunderstanding what this is about. As any fule kno, there is obviously a massive difference between  " a small spank on the butt or hands", and violence.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

There will be no penalties for offenders, however.

Japan is a JOKE.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@klausdorth

I got spanked a couple of times and survived. It didn't make me a worse person.

Spanking made you into an adult that thinks spanking children is OK. So? Here's your logic: "I robbed a bank and got away with 30 thousand dollars. Stealing is OK from my experience."

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@"TIJ",

what a great comparison (smile).

If you can raise your children (in case you got any) without a slap on the wrist in case of repeated wrong-doings, good on you! But please make a difference concerning slaps on the wrist and abuse or even violent punishment.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ganbare Japan,

Excellent decision by the Abe Cabinet. If you even have to raise one finger to a child, you are an abuser. No excuses.

Wow, I just...wow.

I get there are people who dont spank their kids, that's fine, but people who cant tell the difference between disipline and abuse just sound crazy to me.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@Charmine Joy B. G - Again abuse and simple discipline is two different topics. I suggest different approach to the problem.

Yeah, until the discipline becomes abuse, which is what this whole article is about. Too many people do not understand the difference.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So we can not spank the kid, but mentally make them suffer so they are scarred for life?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

We are going to powerfully and swiftly work (to take steps to prevent child abuse)," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said

Great!

There will be no penalties for offenders, however.

What! Oh well, so much for the powerfully and swiftly work to take steps to prevent child abuse.

How can lawmakers look at that photo of poor Yua chan and not impose heavy penalties on child abusers?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If your method of parental discipline leaves cuts, scratches, and bruises on a child, you need to rethink your method. Posters seem to be deliberately misunderstanding what this is about.

I'm not misunderstanding that. I understand there is a difference between abusing a child and physical discipline. But as I've said above, I feel physical discipline is counter productive, and teaches a bad lesson to the children. I am not misunderstanding what people are saying, I am just disagreeing.

As any fule kno, there is obviously a massive difference between " a small spank on the butt or hands", and violence.

So what is the lesson to be learned here? When grow up, when should they be spanking people on the butt or their hands, when they are having difficulties with that person?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If you were raised on Roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner, hardly ever ate take away, had cheerios for breakfast, played in the dirt, got your bottom smacked once in a while, had 4 tv channels and had to get up off the couch to change them. School started with the National Anthem, you had a bedtime, you had to record top forty from the radio on cassette tapes, drank from a hose, had common sense and respect,……Had to come home when the street lights came on, shared drinks with your friends not worrying about diseases,didn’t have to text your friends to see if they were home, you would just go there and hope they were, did chores around the house to earn some money, walk around the streets at night and feel safe, if you had a fight it was one on one and not 40 on one. Played in the creek, rode your bike all day without a Helmet …………and still turned out really well. Let the younger generation know they need to toughen up. LOL

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Otherworldy,

Your post reflects your name, made me smile and feel kinda old at the same time lol.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

otherworldly, as someone who grew up in the 70s-80s that reads like an uncanny rendition of my own childhood. And while I do think some of those things can and should be preserved--not easy in Japan--I also think new models of parenting and research can be embraced. The only thing different about my own experience is that in addition to routine discipline, I also got smacked around. People always talk about the cycle of abuse but not many talk about the opposite reaction, those who b/c of childhood trauma opt to never raise a hand against their kids. Maybe it's easier to talk about sparing rods or toughening up children when you have gotten slapped across a room.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

You stipulate that not using physical discipline works, but I can stipulate that physical discipline does work and, for many children, can be more effective. What makes you right and me wrong?

I didn't say you were wrong (though I do dispute your claim that physical 'discipline' is or can be more effective). I was asking a question; if two methods effectively produce the same results, why would any parent deliberately choose the method that causes pain to both parent and child? Why not choose the 'nicer' method?

More importantly, why do you get to make the rules as to how other parents raise their children

Asking a question is not 'making rules'.

(Anyone notice how 'physical' parents get all defensive and I-know-my-rights-ist when their methods are questioned?)

If you can raise your children (in case you got any) without a slap on the wrist in case of repeated wrong-doings, good on you!

If the child is exhibiting repeated wrong-doing, then isn't it obvious that the physical punishment isn't working?

Nowhere else in life do we say that violence is an acceptable method of dealing with an inability to communicate. 

For example, we had dogs when I was growing up, and I learned from watching my parents that the way to house-train a puppy (in those days they called it - tellingly - housebreaking) was to drag the offending animal to the steaming pile or damp patch on the carpet, rub its nose in it while yelling obscenities, pick it up by the scruff of the neck and chuck it outside while you cleaned up the mess. The way to stop a puppy pulling on the lead while walking was to use a choke collar to put a stranglehold on the pup's neck by jerking hard on the lead whenever the pup stepped too far away. Other 'problems' were treated in an equally physical manner.

These methods worked. After the first couple of weeks, no more messes on the carpet, and walks without tugging.

I used the same methods when we got our first dog as a family. We had a nice, obedient dog - but as the one now 'responsible' for dog discipline, I hated my role (and I never got the obscenities working properly, they're just Not Me.)

Our second dog came along, and I really did not want to go through all that again. I went online and found out about positive reinforcement and the power of the clicker. No more yelling at the dog, no more choke collars, no more feeling like a total sleezebag for being mean to a tiny defenceless puppy.

And you know what? We had no smelly piles or damp patches in the house. Not one. Walkies were a joy. And that dog learned to do way more than any other dog I had lived with or owned up to that point. She put her own toys away at bedtime. She closed the door behind her when she came in to a room. She played skittles. She would come instantly when I called, no matter what distractions might be around. She listened to me. She was wonderful. And I never hit her, or rubbed her nose in anything, or yelled at her. I never needed to. All my dogs (and the cat) since then have been raised the same way, and friends and neighbours marvel at how well behaved and intelligent they are.

If being positive works that well with dumb animals, I ask again, why would anyone choose to use violence on either animals or kiddies?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

'' Because I survived it, everyone else should as well. Because I experienced it, and I'm fine regardless, the tradition should continue. ''

Sounds really dumb if you ask me.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Maybe the govt feels that the situation is so serious that a ban is needed. This is understandable as there has been some horrendous abuse of children and it needs to be spelled out loud and clear that this will not be tolerated. If so, this should be temporary until a better balance is reached.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Its all about balance and reason. The challenge here is everybody has their own balance and reason. Unfortunately there is no "Almighty" guide book on how to raise a child.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@yakyak - Unfortunately there is no "Almighty" guide book on how to raise a child.

Actually, that is where you are wrong. All parents should start with 'Taming Toddlers' by Dr. Green. This book was first published some 40 odd years ago and is still in print. It puts all kinds of discipline and punishment into a real perspective. If parents have to regularly discipline their kids, it is the fault of the parents, not the fault of the child. This book clearly explains how to deal with naughty children. It also explains why small children have tantrums, which is the fault of the parents.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Actually, that is where you are wrong. All parents should start with 'Taming Toddlers' by Dr. Green. This book was first published some 40 odd years ago and is still in print. It puts all kinds of discipline and punishment into a real perspective. If parents have to regularly discipline their kids, it is the fault of the parents, not the fault of the child. This book clearly explains how to deal with naughty children. It also explains why small children have tantrums, which is the fault of the parents.

Our parenting is just fine, thank you very much. Our son is doing just fine with how we are parenting him.

If you want to do it a different way, that is your prerogative. But for you to state that parents are at fault if they have to regularly discipline their children is just nonsense.

Think what you want, raise your children the way you want.

I will raise my children the way that I think best, knowing full well that I am doing a darn good job of it, your views not withstanding.

And that will include physical discipline if and when necessary.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Strange that people on this board who constantly complain about how incompetent the government here is would support more government intervention in the most basic human relationship between parent and child.

I think many people are understandably wary about this law because it appears to be a sledgehammer of a solution to an issue that requires a scalpel. I don’t think the problem stems from the difference between discipline and abuse. The wording of the law, at least in how it’s being presented, states that ANY kind of physical punishment will be illegal. But isn’t every form of punishment by a parent essentially physical because the ultimate arbiter in disputes between parents and children is the fundamental power differential between them? Even if you advocate a measure like timeout, its efficacy depends on your ability to physically restrict a child to a specified area. What if the child decides he’s had enough of timeout and wants to go play? Is barring him from leaving considered physical punishment? How about sending a child to bed without dinner? Isn’t that a form of physical punishment?

It also strikes me as delusional on the part of some here saying, “If you have to raise a hand to a child, you’re obviously doing something wrong.” Maybe your kids respond to positive reinforcement, maybe they’re angels who could be reasoned with from the time they were born. But not all kids are the same, and this is a one-size-fits-all reaction to a more nuanced problem. I sure wish I lived in this utopia that some of you do, where negative reinforcement is never necessary in a child’s upbringing.

Bottom line is, why would you trust the government with the most important thing in your life as a parent, your children’s wellbeing, when you can’t trust them to compile data in order toadminister retirement benefits?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Bottom line is, why would you trust the government with the most important thing in your life as a parent, your children’s wellbeing, when you can’t trust them to compile data in order to administer retirement benefits?

Exactly!!

The less the government is involved in administering the raising of children the better!! There has to be some involvement, of course, but the less the better!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It also strikes me as delusional on the part of some here saying, “If you have to raise a hand to a child, you’re obviously doing something wrong.” Maybe your kids respond to positive reinforcement, maybe they’re angels who could be reasoned with from the time they were born. But not all kids are the same, and this is a one-size-fits-all reaction to a more nuanced problem.

It seems to me that the kids that are most difficult - the ones most likely for people to physically punish - are the ones that it will be the most counter-productive. If you have a kid that is so difficult to communicate with that you need to smack them, it would seem to teach these people that the way to communicate is to smack.

I sure wish I lived in this utopia that some of you do, where negative reinforcement is never necessary in a child’s upbringing.

No one is saying to not use negative reinforcement - just that there are better options than hitting kids. You've created a bit of a strawman there.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@zones2surf

This kind of overreach is what leads to situations like with what happened to Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans in the UK - bureaucrats deciding what is best for your children.

I think we can agree that there are certainly cases where someone has to step in and save a child’s life. Some parents are monsters, or simply unfit to raise kids. But vaguely-worded catch-all legislation that can be backward-engineered to suit any kind of exercise of governmental authority is not the solution.

I’m sure what I write about distrusting the government comes across to some as tinfoil hat-type stuff, but we’re talking about a government that forcibly sterilized tens of thousands of people over the span of decades and forced tens of thousands of abortions during the same period, ending in 1996. 1996 ain’t that long ago, people. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony were on the charts, and last time I checked, all those guys were still alive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just take away the WiFi and battery chargers and watch their faces turn to horror as they see their device batteries slowly drain into oblivion!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@cleo

You said, “I didn't say you were wrong (though I do dispute your claim that physical 'discipline' is or can be more effective). I was asking a question; if two methods effectively produce the same results, why would any parent deliberately choose the method that causes pain to both parent and child? Why not choose the 'nicer' method?”

and

“If being positive works that well with dumb animals, I ask again, why would anyone choose to use violence on either animals or kiddies?”

To answer:

Not all children are the same, and even the same child will differ in behavior from day to day or year to year. No responsible parent who uses physical discipline uses it as a first-line solution. I can recall being spanked once in my life for grevious misbehavior, and my father never had to do it again to me. He didn’t spank me in anger or for vengeance. I truly understood that he spanked me for my own good. If another, less intense method could have been equally effective, he would have used it.

Your wording of “using violence” points to great bias on your part. Why does the government choose to use violence to enforce taxation laws? Why do the police use violence to ensure safety in a community? These systems are qualitatively more “violent” than spanking a child, yet we all live by them. Does the government come and kick in your door the first time you’re late in paying your taxes? No, but if you make a lot of money which you try to hide over a long period of time, the satsu aren’t going to show up at your house with a cookie trying to get you to cough up the money (see Ghosn, Carlos).

Why use physical discipline on a child when even dumb animals can learn from exclusively positive methods? Well, do people keep dogs on leashes in most cases? That’s a form of physical restraint. In the context of training dogs, something I know a great deal about, dogs respond to conditioning because they have no other choice. Dogs do not have the intellectual capacity to resist consistently applied conditioning. Children do. Dogs also lack the capacity to be deceptive, to withhold information, or to be manipulative, all traits that children have in abundance.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@zones2surf - Our parenting is just fine, thank you very much. Our son is doing just fine with how we are parenting him.

And, the parents of the little girl in the above photo said exactly the same thing. That's something to think about, isn't it? Why do you hit your kids? Because your parents hit you and there parents hit them and there parents hit them? Perhaps it's time to break the cycle of violence and keep your hands to yourself! What are you gonna do when your kid starts hitting other kids because that is how his father handles situations? Are you gonna hit him again? There's the cycle of violence! Children are a product of their environment.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Just take away the WiFi and battery chargers and watch their faces turn to horror as they see their device batteries slowly drain into oblivion!

Wait, do you mean the kids or the parents?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

From John Rosemond’s The Well-Behaved Child:

”Oh, by the way, the notion that spanking teaches children that it’s okay to hit other people is pure, unmitigated malarkey. Research done by eminent and ethical social scientists finds that children who are occasionally (the operative word) spanked score higher on measures of social and emotional adjustment than children who are never spanked. One study even found that children who have never been spanked are more aggressive than kids who have experienced spanking’s purgative powers.”

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Disillusioned,

And, the parents of the little girl in the above photo said exactly the same thing. That's something to think about, isn't it? Why do you hit your kids? Because your parents hit you and there parents hit them and there parents hit them?

What an utterly reprehensible and contemptible thing to say! Utterly and completely reprehensible!!

To equate measured, non-harmful physical discipline with actual harmful child abuse is not only contemptible, it is beneath contempt.

You know full well that measured, non-harmful physical discipline is completely different from injurious, harmful, and even deadly child abuse.

And yet you conflate the two on purpose to support your view that any physical discipline is wrong!!

You besmirch the reputations and the decency of all good parents who engage in proper and legitimate physical discipline.... and you do so knowingly !! Utterly contemptible!!!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Disillusioned,

Actually, that is where you are wrong. All parents should start with 'Taming Toddlers' by Dr. Green. This book was first published some 40 odd years ago and is still in print. It puts all kinds of discipline and punishment into a real perspective. If parents have to regularly discipline their kids, it is the fault of the parents, not the fault of the child. This book clearly explains how to deal with naughty children. It also explains why small children have tantrums, which is the fault of the parents.

Very true and I completely agree.

When my son was a toddler, there was one time me and my ex were having a heated discussion and we were not properly watching him while playing outside.

After a few minutes, we noticed he was gone, we ran around for a couple of minutes and found him crossing a street (he was trying to go to a park nearby).

My ex slapped him in the bottom and yelled at him asking why he crossed the street and why he walked away alone.

I slapped him in the ex's bottom asking him to apologise to our son for yelling and slapping because it was not his fault, it was OUT (adult's) fault for NOT properly watching him.

He was upset with me that I suggested WE should apologise to him and stood with his opinion that our son was bad for crossing the street.

It is not always the children that are the problems, it is more than often the adults' problems. Thanks for the reminder :)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And just for the sake of disclosure: I have two kids who I’ve never spanked, because the need hasn’t arrived yet. But I wouldn’t pretend I know what your kids are like, what messes they cause, and I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone how to manage their own family - and I sure as heck wouldn’t want the government telling any of you what to do with your own kids.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

OUT (adult's) fault -- OUR fault.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The photo shows a child too cute to harm.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The problem with trying to fix parental issues, is that even horrible parents think they are awesome, and pretty much no one is willing to admit that their parental skills are lacking.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"There will be no penalties for offenders, however."

I absolutely KNEW this was going to be in there! Another gutless 'law' by the gutless wonders who create them. Seriously, if there is zero punishment -- ZERO -- what on earth is the point, besides grandstanding and self back patting? How can child services take children away from their parents if there is no punishment for physically beating them to begin with, for example?

"The planned amendment would also seek to strengthen the ability of child welfare centers to "intervene" in abuse cases by separating staff members in charge of taking children into protective custody from those dealing with their guardians."

You see? Common sense would have the police come in and arrest parents/guardians who break laws, but since there is no punishment, they have to rearrange education, social welfare services, and more to accommodate the toothlessness of everything. And what are they going to do at social services?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not all children are the same, and even the same child will differ in behavior from day to day or year to year. No responsible parent who uses physical discipline uses it as a first-line solution.

I'm sure Yua and Mia's parents thought they were 'responsible parents'; they did not recognize their behavior amounted to abuse.

If you put in the time and effort with the toddler, there should be no need for physical punishment in the older (5+) child.

Well, do people keep dogs on leashes in most cases? That’s a form of physical restraint. 

Well I don't know about you and your dog-training ability, but I keep my dogs on a lead when we're outside because the most intelligent dog has the intellect and reasoning powers of a toddler - and you know what? When my kids were little, I put them on a harness and lead when we were going anywhere near traffic, too. You know why? To keep them safe. So I never had to 'discipline' them physically for repeatedly running into the road. Because they never got the chance to do it, and by the time they were old enough to understand, they no longer needed the lead and harness. Dogs never reach that stage. (My dogs are ecstatic when the leads come out, coz they know that means they're Going Out; they have no objection at all to wearing a harness and lead.)

dogs respond to conditioning because they have no other choice. Dogs do not have the intellectual capacity to resist consistently applied conditioning. Children do.

Dogs and toddlers have a lot in common intellectually: conditioning that works on a puppy works equally well on a toddler (and on adults too, did you know?).

Dogs also lack the capacity to be deceptive, to withhold information, or to be manipulative

lol Seems you haven't interacted with many dogs.

We used to have a German Shepherd who was not allowed on the furniture. When we came home from being out somewhere and looked through the window, there he would be, asleep on the sofa in the living room. We would hurry to unlock the front door, to get in there and scold him - to find him 'fast asleep' on the floor. Plenty of deception going on there.

The Dobie I have now is great at giving me stuff he has in his mouth - toys, balls, etc. I say gimme, and he gives and gets a treat in return. But if he has something he knows I'm not going to give back to him - a sock or a used tissue, for example - Gimme doesn't work. He acts as though he has nothing in his mouth, and turns away from me - withholding information. (We're still working on that one.)

As for manipulative, anyone who lives with dogs has surely been on the receiving end of big doleful eyes, ultra-cute begging, pitiful whines and sighs .... not manipulative, my eye!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Back on topic please. No further discussion about dogs, please.

There will be no penalties for offenders, what is the point of making a law that has no bite or punishment? how bizarre? its almost saying carry on as we won't do anything about it, what the government should say is its against the law to hurt/harm a child and if you do you will be punished by 1; a fine. 2; jail time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And just for the sake of disclosure: I have two kids who I’ve never spanked, because the need hasn’t arrived yet. But I wouldn’t pretend I know what your kids are like, what messes they cause, and I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone how to manage their own family - and I sure as heck wouldn’t want the government telling any of you what to do with your own kids.

I couldn't agree more with your posts. This law is governing gone awry.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm sure Yua and Mia's parents thought they were 'responsible parents'; they did not recognize their behavior amounted to abuse.

If you put in the time and effort with the toddler, there should be no need for physical punishment in the older (5+) child.

I avoid trying to read minds as an attempt provide evidence to bolster my opinions. If telepathy is what you’re relying on to make your point, it’s probably a bad sign.

Well I don't know about you and your dog-training ability, but I keep my dogs on a lead when we're outside because the most intelligent dog has the intellect and reasoning powers of a toddler - and you know what? When my kids were little, I put them on a harness and lead when we were going anywhere near traffic, too. You know why? To keep them safe. So I never had to 'discipline' them physically for repeatedly running into the road. Because they never got the chance to do it, and by the time they were old enough to understand, they no longer needed the lead and harness.

You physically restrained your child? Well, that could be construed as physical discipline by some. You might want to watch out. That being said, I’d much rather have my grandmother pinch me on the arm for saying something naughty than be trotted out in public tied to a leash like an animal.

Dogs and toddlers have a lot in common intellectually: conditioning that works on a puppy works equally well on a toddler (and on adults too, did you know?).

Which is why parenting advice that allows for some form of physical discipline, such as the book I mentioned above, specifically notes that children younger than three years six months of age are unable to sufficiently think ahead and understand fully the consequences of their actions. No one here is advocating for parents giving two year-olds a hiding.

lol Seems you haven't interacted with many dogs.

I’ll direct you to my first response in this message about trying to read minds.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Strangerland:

You wrote, “No one is saying to not use negative reinforcement - just that there are better options than hitting kids. You've created a bit of a strawman there.”

My original argument is that every form of discipline is conducted within a clearly unbalanced power dynamic between parent and child - the wording of the law is so vague that it would seem to open the door for any form of discipline potentially being construed as a violation. A kid says a bad word so the mom pinches his arm or pokes him in the side. Maybe she makes him sit with a bar of soap in his mouth - that could all be considered physical discipline. Is this all in the same grouping as beating a child to death?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Here’s a legitimate question for all of the parents in this thread advocating for corporal punishment as a form of discipline...

How do you feel about other people hitting your children?

I mean, if it’s just a measured form of discipline as you claim you should be fine with other parents, teachers, coaches etc swatting, smacking or spanking your kids right? Or are you the only ones who are allowed to hit your kids??

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A kid says a bad word so the mom pinches his arm or pokes him in the side. Maybe she makes him sit with a bar of soap in his mouth - that could all be considered physical discipline. Is this all in the same grouping as beating a child to death?

Are you saying that anything goes so long as the kid doesn't die?

Really?

I avoid trying to read minds as an attempt provide evidence to bolster my opinions. If telepathy is what you’re relying on to make your point, it’s probably a bad sign.

If you mean you didn't understand, please say so. I'm not a mind-reader, either.

You physically restrained your child? Well, that could be construed as physical discipline by some. You might want to watch out. That being said, I’d much rather have my grandmother pinch me on the arm for saying something naughty than be trotted out in public tied to a leash like an animal.

Putting a toddler on a harness and lead is no more 'physical restraint' than putting up the side of the cot when you put baby down to sleep. It's simply a safety measure.

You claim 'responsible parents who use physical discipline' know what they're doing, but now you cannot tell the difference between keeping a child safe and deliberately causing him pain?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

See how child grows up and interacts with other people after being acquainted with said rod.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bfarm,

No, it is not. Nonetheless it is abuse. Physical punishment is only one of the many forms of abuse.

Mia’s father did not beat her to death. He just made her stand long hours in the bathroom and take cold showers. (Another, more sofisticated form of physical punishment.) If we follow the logic of your post above, she died not because he abused her. After all, he just disciplined her the best way he could. Too bad she failed to appreciate her father’s parenting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again the government has over stepped in trying to control the behavior of people by use of laws. Laws can only set standards and limitations on people's actions but can not control behavior and prevent any action. It can only act or react on "results" that are negative (not enough or too much) that hurt and harm its citizens of all ages by use of policing and the judicial system. Instead they should look into the "causes" of such negative behavior and find ways to make its citizens aware and "advise", "educate" and "train" , if necessary in its educational system (as with harassment and bullying) to minimize and if possible prevent such harmful behavior.

In some sense, government is invading "personal" space and "personal" rights, which is another issue all together.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@smithinjapan Today 04:04 pm JST

"There will be no penalties for offenders, however."

In legal theory, there should be no problem, because most actions that would constitute child abuse also meet the definitions of various articles in the Special Part of the Criminal Code, so the penalties are already there. What's needed is a clear sense and declaration that the acts are Unjustifiable.

None of this should have been necessary if the Japanese legal commmunity read the Criminal Code and Civil Code like ordinary human beings. The Civil Code, article 822 establishes:

Article 822 A person who exercises parental authority may discipline the child to the extent necessary for the care and education under the provisions of Article 820.

Given how vague and abstract this is, one might reasonably think that whatever this mysterious right to discipline is, it will be delimited by the provisions of the Criminal Code.

But no, they decided (until now) that this provision "eats" into the Criminal Code as a justificatory defense, so it is "justifiable" to beat one's children.

Ugh. Hopefully they'll break that habit this time...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@zones2surf - To equate measured, non-harmful physical discipline with actual harmful child abuse is not only contemptible, it is beneath contempt

This has has to be the most confusing statement in this thread. How does one use non-harmful physical discipline? Physical discipline is not divided into levels. If you hit your kid and make him or her cry, how is that non-harmful? It just doesn’t make sense. Do you measure non-Harmful and harmful physical punishment by the size of the welt left on the kid? If it doesn’t leave a bruise, is it ok? It just really doesn’t make sense. There are far better methods of disciplining kids that hitting them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Trust me, “physical dicipline” is just a euphemism for corporal punishment and it doesn’t work. You never lay a finger on a child. Period. If they misbehave, give them a time out. Kids are smart and will get the message.

I love my parents but what they did to me as a child would probably be considered criminal in today’s world. I made a vow never to be like my parents with my own children. Unfortunately for many it is a cyclical pattern that repeats itself over and over again.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan already has those bratty ass kids that are already very rude when they talk to their elders and bully other kids that really needs their ass spanked

Yeah but those kids are on holiday here with their elders or in the schools until mom and pop are redeployed elsewhere.

Seriously though. Hitting children is wrong and bad parenting.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Heres my point. This law is over-reaching ..but...

i was smacked and belted. I love my parents and realize they were doing what they thought was best. I often heard that they got it tougher from their parents - and that was no doubt true.

and I smacked my kids - and didn’t belt - thinking I too was softer than my parents.

I never abused. And didn’t need to smack after the first few years when I could reason.

unfortunately, unlike Cleo i don’t have another kid to try things differently with.

But I can say this . I hated getting hit by my parents and didn’t feel love.

And I always felt bad if I smacked my kids and they felt pain.

I think there’s a better way.

Just like with husbands and wives or with people we have problems with, if it’s change in behavior we want, let’s try the more pleasant way.

many of us remember a time we saw someone get hit too hard, or we were, or we hit too hard by mistake.

I used to be of the opinion that hitting was ok. But maybe like a lot of you, we don’t want to criticize our parents?

But, if I had my time over again, I’d never smack my kids.

Unfortunately I can’t see them now which makes it all the worse.

If you have kids, please really think about it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Here’s a legitimate question for all of the parents in this thread advocating for corporal punishment as a form of discipline...

How do you feel about other people hitting your children?

I mean, if it’s just a measured form of discipline as you claim you should be fine with other parents, teachers, coaches etc swatting, smacking or spanking your kids right? Or are you the only ones who are allowed to hit your kids??

Well, it's obvious is it not? Other parents, teachers, coaches, etc are not responsible for raising my children. And for that matter, neither is the government.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can see the following situation - Parent Smacks Kid for being aggressively abusive towards Grandparents, then gets as a result a criminal record, and if a Foreigner kicked out of the Country.... thus potentially destroying the Family life. Things to watch : (1) Divorce rates increase and (2) unruly kids roaming the streets doing whatever they like - Parents now have no control over their Kids, so let the State deal with it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

 so let the State deal with it.

There's already a lot of this in Japan, parents think it's up to the school to teach their kids everything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Things to watch : (1) Divorce rates increase and (2) unruly kids roaming the streets doing whatever they like

And hellfire! Watch for hellfire. And brimstone.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can see the following situation - Parent Smacks Kid for being aggressively abusive towards Grandparents

What happened before then, to make the kid aggressively abusive?

If the kid has been raised with smacks and is still aggressively abusive, obviously the physical 'discipline' hasn't worked and isn't working.

If the kid was born aggressively abusive (personally I don't believe any kid is born 'bad', but let's put it out there as an option), then smacks are hardly likely to change his DNA and serve no purpose but to let the parent feel they're 'doing something' about the situation.

Either way, smacking doesn't help. And in the case of aggression, can make a bad situation worse.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The fundamental issuance approval for a plan to legally ban parents and other guardians from physically punishing children will be dependent on existing provision and cost.

Family individual preference on smacking will ultimately impact on essential resources dedicated to combat serious physical child abuse highlighted in cases such as the tragic deaths of 5-year-old Yua Funato, 10-year-old Mia Kurihara.

The provision for structural support, both to provide social service child protection professionals and investigation specialists going to materialise from ?

How will out-of-home placement for child welfare be resourced.

The statement a plan to legally ban parents and other guardians from physically punishing children is a another political sound bite without reason or forethought.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

San MiguelMar. 20  07:25 am JST

After the Children's Act in 1989 in the UK, children suddenly turned around to teachers and parents and said "touch me and I'll sue you". Discipline in schools went out the window and people nowadays won't tell kids off in public because the kids know they can just bring the police in. While in theory it meant well, it's now raised a generation of self entitled brats.

Schools are different matter- they have more options for discipline than parents- write lines, sit in the corner, sent home.... . More likely a case of do-gooders in the school system frustrating the discipline options that teachers should have had.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can see the following situation - Parent Smacks Kid for being aggressively abusive towards Grandparents, then gets as a result a criminal record, and if a Foreigner kicked out of the Country.... thus potentially destroying the Family life.

I assume this scenario has the kid hitting his grandparents just as the parent sees it. In that case, parent can rely on Article 36 of the Criminal Code to justify a proportionate level of physical action and exclude their criminality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I mean, if it’s just a measured form of discipline as you claim you should be fine with other parents, teachers, coaches etc swatting, smacking or spanking your kids right? Or are you the only ones who are allowed to hit your kids??

I am annoyed by this hypocrisy myself, but I answer it straightforwardly: others should indeed be allowed to spank as needed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some here think physical discipline may consist in hitting.

It is not. If I use that word it means for me the purpose is to inflict pain that lasts.

Never did that.

I speak of spanking, giving slaps on fingers and so on. No violence.

If you cannot differentiate abuse from standard physical discpline, you got a problem. By the way, you need to learn from you'g age that hurting people is bad by a return.

I remember my nephew hitting me by surprise my balls for fun and gave him a good smack on his face by reflexe. He learned his lesson for life with no harm.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Smacking kids will be outlawed here in Scotland this year, making it one of 52 countries to ban the physical punishment of children since Sweden started the ball rolling some years ago.

I remember being smacked as a kid - horrible. Kids should never fear their parents anger.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I speak of spanking, giving slaps on fingers and so on. No violence.

That IS violence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you put your hand over a lit gas burner, will you do it again later on ? Why not ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know the difference between (a) an open smack on the hand or backside that causes little pain but sends a corrective message, and (b) actual abuse.

That's because as a child, I definitely experienced both.

In principle I can understand (a) if it's used as a last resort.

But the problem is that it's all too easy for a parent's "discipline" to deteriorate into (b).

If (a) is never done, (b) will never be given a chance to occur.

An analogy might be if you're going to a party but don't want to get drunk. In that case, the best choice is to not drink at all ... because if you never have the first drink, you won't possibly have the sixth or seventh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites