Debate / Spanking, Christian Education and Ordinary Educational Violence (VEO)

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Based on the Old Testament, corporal punishment has often been viewed in a useful and positive way in Christian homes, but is it correct to borrow an educational model from the Old Testament (Pr 23: 13-14)?

Do not spare the child correction; If you strike him with the rod, he will not die. By smiting him with the rod, you deliver his soul from hell.… Proverbs 23: 13-14

The New Testament (Mt 18: 6) is moreover severe towards those who scandalize children and even calls on fathers not to anger their children (Col 3:21)!

Fathers, do not anger your children, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:21

In an interview with Kaisen Magazine, Olivier Maurel author of Educational violence, a black hole in the human sciences defines Ordinary Educational Violence (VEO) as follows:

"All behaviors which are intended to be educational, but which are forms of physical, verbal or psychological violence tolerated or recommended in a given society" and specifies that "in France, slapping, slapping and spanking are examples" .

Discern what is the responsibility of educational violence, whether physical or psychological, and what is the responsibility of educational freedom parenting is not always easy, as a recent case in Norway has shown. While some plead for the protection of children, others see it as the persecution of a Christian couple free to educate his children as he sees fit.

If the origins of human violence are still unclear today, theObservatory of Ordinary Educational Violence (OVEO) specifies that “hitting children is probably not instinctive. It is a human, cultural behavior, acquired by imitation ”.

While the consequences of mistreatment are now well established, the same is not true of ordinary educational violence. However, it is not the scientific findings that are lacking on this subject, indeed ordinary educational violence is according to a study published in Pediatrics in 2013 a source of aggression in children aged 0 to 9. Likewise, it is recognized that the body responds to violence with stress reactions (production of cortisol and adrenaline) which in the long term can lead to serious disorders such as "memory loss, weakening of the system. immune system, hypertension, stomach ulcers, skin problems, weight gain, digestive problems ”(How punishment can affect health, 2009).

Yet according to the 2009 SOFRES survey, 67% of parents questioned still spank and 82% of parents still remain hostile to an anti-spanking law. And for good reason, who has never heard a friend say that he had been spanked in his childhood and that he "was not dead". Willingness to trivialize this violence or real ignorance, difficult to say, because as Olivier Maurel explains:

“The young child who suffers beatings or verbal violence from his parents to whom he is viscerally attached is convinced by these beatings that he is bad and that his parents are obliged to beat him to correct him. He therefore adapts to this treatment and considers it a sign of parental love. He comes to think not only that this treatment does not harm him, but even that all that is good in him flows from it. "

The ban on educational violence such as spanking is not ready to arrive in France : the bill that the deputy Edwige Antier had tabled in 2009 was rejected despite the sustained efforts of several associations such as "Neither slap, nor spanking". There are other alternatives. Camille and Olivier, blog authors les-super-parents.org, understood this well and propose in particular to "eliminate all corporal punishment", to practice benevolent listening or "to find alternatives to shouting, punishment, blackmail and threats".

Initiatives which are reminiscent of the main lines of benevolent education. Taking its source in the American concept known as "attachment parenting", caring education was popularized by Alice Miller, author of the famous It's for your own good or Isabelle Filliozat, psychotherapist and author of I have tried everything ! et At the heart of children's emotions.

Elodie Crepin

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