The Minister met parents who have benefited from support provided by Flying Start. He also talked to parents who are NSPCC’s Take 5 Ambassadors. These parents helped develop and promote NSPCC’S “Take 5” campaign, which provides hints and tips to help parents keep calm in challenging parenting situations.
The Welsh Government is committed to introducing legislation to remove the defence of reasonable punishment in Wales and investing in support for parents. This package of measures will support children to have the best start in life, and to support their parents to do the best job they can.
The legislation will be underpinned by different sources of support, including health visitors and the Welsh Government’s family support programmes, Flying Start and Families First. Our Parenting ‘Give it Time’ campaign' is another channel through which parents can access high quality information and advice on positive approaches to raising children and gain tips on handling specific issues, like toddler tantrums and potty training.
Every Local Authority in Wales provides a range of parenting support which encompasses universally available information and advice, parenting groups and targeted and intensive support.
Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“It was great to hear the views of the parents I met in Ebbw Vale today. They are strong advocates of positive parenting and by being Ambassadors for NSPCC’s Take 5 campaign will be encouraging other parents to get support when they need it .
“Parents can do a lot to encourage better behaviour in their children by adopting positive parenting strategies. Children do best when they feel loved and valued, are well supervised and know what is expected of them. Rewarding children for positive behaviour is far more effective than harsh punishments when they do things wrong. As a Government, we want all children in Wales to have the best possible start in life. By removing the defence of reasonable punishment we will build on the growing attitudinal change of parents already underway.
“Prohibiting physical punishment sends a strong message that encourages parents to adopt other positive alternatives which are much better for our children and for their well-being.
Almost 1,900 people took part in the consultation on the Welsh Government’s legislative proposal. The outcome of the consultation will be published in due course.
Vivienne Laing, the NSPCC’s policy and public affairs manager for Wales, said:
“The NSPCC understands that parenting can be as challenging as it is rewarding. But how we act towards children can make a big difference in their development.
“Our ‘Take 5’ campaign provides advice and support for parents in dealing with children’s challenging behaviour in a positive and constructive way. It helps parents and carers stay calm, keep their cool and find ways to manage stress and frustration when looking after young children.
“Hearing the experiences of our Ebbw Vale ambassadors shows how those ideas are being put into practice by parents, while the visit from the Children’s Minister shows the Welsh Government’s commitment to positive parenting.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government on initiatives which benefit parents and children in Wales, including the removal of the defence of reasonable punishment in cases of assault against children.”