Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents


Well the rhythm of my regular newsletter hit a snag last week when my computer decided to die. As you can imagine, being without a computer for five days is a challenge. Yes, I have my phone but it’s just not the same thing and really only covers the question of email. It’s now fixed and from today the newsletter will return to the bi-weekly format. And today we are going to look at the roots of violence.

Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents

Violence. It seems that every time I pick up my newspaper there is another story about violence. And often it’s about domestic violence. In other words, about violence in the very place we are supposed to feel safe. In our homes.

A few weeks ago, in the Globe and Mail, Elizabeth Renzetti said; “Five women have gone missing in less than two years in North Okanagan, B.C. …In Newfoundland, three women have been murdered in the past six months, prompting the provincial government to strike a committee to study the issue of violence against women.

The committee could start with the obvious issue: There is too much violence, it’s been going on too long and too little is being done about it.”

And then there is the Be More Than a Bystander program which is a groundbreaking initiative between EVA BC (Ending Violence Association of British Columbia) and the BC Lions aimed at substantially increasing understanding of the impact of men’s violence against women. The program will break the silence surrounding violence against women and girls by providing tools, language and practical ideas about how to be more than a bystander, how to speak up and how to communicate that violence and abuse is not acceptable.

Where does it start?

But what we’re not talking about is where it starts.We talk about ending violence. We talk about dealing with these issues. But, are we spending any time talking about prevention?

Where does this behaviour start? Where is it that adults learn that violence is an appropriate response? A response to frustration, anger or disobedience.

I suggest that the learning is happening over the knee of parents. As children, too many are being taught that being spanked, smacked or hit are adult solutions to frustration, anger or disobedience.

And as long as we permit the legal assault of children in Canada, violence will continue. Kids being smacked at home by older, bigger and more powerful adults (who, incidentally they love) will take these lessons with them into adulthood.

 Corinne’s Quest

For more information on the actual laws which permit assault I suggest you head to

Today I want to dispel a few myths and address some concern.

Why do parent hit kids?  Often because they were hit as children and believe that it is the right thing to do. Some believe that hitting kids is the only way to get their attention. I have spoken to some parents who in their hearts did not believe that hitting was the correct way to go but are under pressure from older relative who suggest if thy don’t nip the problem in the bud (smack the child) the child will never learn.

Does anyone deserve to be assaulted?

There is another related concern. Often people will tell me that they deserved to be hurt. I then wonder, if they connect pain with love. I wonder if they are the spouses being assaulted at home who believe they deserve it. After all, they learned over the knee of a parent that those who love them can also hurt them.

What are kids learning? They are learning to behave well in order to avoid pain. They do not learn why certain behaviours and right, only that breaking the rules causes pain. They also learn to avoid being caught. And rather than learn to develop a child/parent relationship based on the love and trust, they develop a relationship based on fear.

What does this have to do with adult violence. The research is clear that the impact of spanking can last into adulthood. Children learn societal norms and expectations from the important adults in their lives.

Hit kids and they will hit other kids and then as adult will continue to hit and often the object of their violence is a spouse or child.

Let’s end all physical punishment of children in Canada.

Let’s work to make Canada a violence-free country. Let’s repeal Section 43 which is the section of the Criminal Code which permits us to hit our kids and teach them that violence is is the answer.

Bring Kathy to your Community

Do you want to hear more? Kathy is always happy to come and speak in your community, at you event or as a workplace wellness presentation. On her website  you can find more information on her material.

My presentations will share a basic value that I call

P.U.R.E. Parenting.

P — is a parenting plan

U — is unconditional love

R — is respect for your child as he is right now

E — is encouragement

Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.

There are times when digital is the perfect answer and let’s face it, on a holiday having access to hundreds of books on one small tablet is ideal. I always have my kindle with me when I travel.

There are lots of times when a busy parent would like to be able to simply read and my books are digital and make it easier for you to take a look.

Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are also now in digital format. Who’s in Charge Anyway? talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.

But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.

I am told the books are down to earth and common sense as well as easy to read. If you want some basic parenting tips and information these books are a good place to start.

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2 Responses to Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents

  1. marlene stuart says:

    Excellent information , I too would like to see sec. 43 repealed.

  2. Pingback: Minster of Justice has missed the boat in dealing with family violence – Corinne's Quest

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