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14 Int'l J. Child. Rts. 137 (2006)
No, We Don't Get a Say, Children Just Suffer the Consequences: Children Talk about Family Discipline

handle is hein.journals/intjchrb14 and id is 149 raw text is: The International Journal of Children's Rights, 14: 137-156, 2006.  137
© 2006. Koninklijke Brill NV Printed in the Netherlands.
No, We Don't Get a Say, Children Just Suffer the
Consequences: Children Talk about Family Discipline
Children's Issues Centre, University of Otago
The aim of this study is to examine the meanings of family discipline and
physical punishment from children's perspectives. Considering that children
are the recipients of family discipline, listening to their views of disciplinary
practice in family settings, is an important ingredient in understanding the
dynamics of family life.
Investigating discipline through the eyes of children rather than adults is needed.
To better explain how discipline affects children now and in the future it is
important to understand how children react to the disciplinary incident (Holden,
2002, p. 593).
Our interest in children's experiences of discipline and punishment also
arises from concern about implementation of Article 19 of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that State Parties
should take the appropriate legislative and other measures to protect the child
from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or
maltreatment. New Zealand, therefore, has an obligation to implement pro-
cedures which protect children from violence. The last two UN Committee on
the Child reports have criticised our failure fully to comply with Article 19
(UNCROC, 1997; 2003). Research (Smith, 2005), however, suggests that the
New Zealand public is accepting of the use of physical punishment as a dis-
ciplinary method, and politicians are wary of changing legislation to protect
children. This study should, therefore, help cast more light on whether chil-
dren experience physical punishment as part of family discipline and deter-
mine what impact children think it has on them.
Any disciplinary action includes two sets of behaviours, the child's actions
and the parental response. Effective discipline is based in part on the child's
accurate perception of the parental message and the acceptance or rejection
of it (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994). Thus gaining knowledge of children's

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