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The Move To Ban Physical Punishment For Kids In Mexico Is Proving To Be Controversial And Here’s Why

The topic of whether spanking your kids is right or wrong is a topic that has come to the forefront in recent years. Abusing a child is never correct, but what about an old-fashioned spank on the butt? I say old fashion because spanking children seemed to be customary back in the day. For many Latinos, getting a chanclado isn’t deemed an enormous deal; in fact, on social media, people look back at these moments as funny. But times are really changing, maybe that’s a good thing?

In Mexico, the Senate approved a new law that prohibits parents from hitting their kids

The new addition to the General Law on the Rights of Girls, Children, and Adolescents and states that guardians must not spank, scratch, yank ears, or pinch children. If parents are caught doing so, they could face harsh repercussions. They call this form of discipline corporal punishment. 

The law was backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund, who stated in 2017 that “300 million, or three-quarters, of the world’s two- to four-year-old children experience either psychological aggression or physical punishment, or both, by their caregivers at home.”

“The harm inflicted on children around the world does tremendous damage,” UNICEF Chief of Child Protection Cornelius Williams in a press release on the report, titled A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents. He added, “Babies slapped in the face; girls and boys forced into sexual acts; adolescents murdered in their communities – violence against children knows no boundaries.”

Mexico rolled out its anti-child abuse initiative with a campaign that shows the patterns of abuse and what it looks like. 

The animated images show a child that is being threatened with a belt; another picture shows that abuse is often an action that adults inflict on each other. 

People on social media expressed their disapproval of this new law. Some of them said it sounded silly, and others said that giving kids structural discipline is needed much more today. 

One woman on Twitter wrote, “What a stupid thing!! I am very grateful to my parents for correcting me as it should be and I am not with any kind of trauma. With this, all they are doing is spoiling future generations and with them the future of our country.”

Another said., “Correct the child today, so you don’t have to punish the man tomorrow …. my house my rules … it’s that simple.”

“By not correcting the child in time, you make him rebellious, not in all cases or with all children. But there are some who do not understand until you reflect authority as a father. Just see what education was like before we all lived in peace, and now that there is so much violence,” another chimed in. 

There is no denying that children are getting abused. 

The U.N. provided staggering statistics that show just how much children around the world are getting abused either by a guardian or sometimes caretakers at school or daycare. 

They state: “Worldwide, 176 million, or one in four, children under age five are living with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.

The report also finds that around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts in their lifetime. Only one percent of teenage girls who had experienced sexual violence said they reached out for professional help.”

Yet, still, people on social media stated that Mexico’s stance against chanclazaos and/or getting pinched is a bit much. They also don’t appreciate being told how to raise their children. 

“Now it turns out that politicians will tell us how we should educate our children,” a person said on Twitter. “If I had my doubts about this government, today it is clear to me, one thing is discipline, and another is violence or denigration, depending on how the child is educated is the values of the man of the future, as one person said before, a punishment now avoids more significant damage later. 

What is your opinion? Should it be okay for parents to spank their children? 

READ: An Ode To La Chancla

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