Why focus on this?
Experiencing violent physical and psychological discipline can be particularly harmful for babies and toddlers, given the increased potential for physical injuries, their inability to understand the motivation behind the act, or the adoption of coping strategies to alleviate their distress. Caregivers often do not cause harm or injury intentionally but rather are acting from a place of anger and frustration, lack of understanding of the harm violent methods of discipline can cause, or limited familiarity with non-violent methods. In other cases, caregivers and young children need support in finding safe environments.
Positive discipline techniques, including reinforcing positive behaviour through praise, setting clear, simple rules and responding consistently to violations, allow children to learn that the world is a safe and predictable place. Establishing a routine – such as dinner, then bath, then brushing teeth, then reading stories, then sleep – can also help children to feel safe. In addition, research has shown that positive discipline practices predict increased self-control among young children.
Number and percentage of:
- Caregivers who report that an adult residing in the household has utilised specific disciplinary methods on a child under five years of age in the last 30 days