Children Youth

New Findings on Child Discipline* in Ontario

The Best Start Resource Centre has just released Child Discipline: Ontario Parents’ Knowledge, Beliefs and Behaviours based on findings from 500 parents of children 0-6.

To discipline means to teach.

The report shares the results of a survey of parents’ knowledge, beliefs and behaviours about child discipline in Ontario. It reviews the results and makes recommendations for initiatives aiming to reduce the prevalence of corporal and emotional punishment of children.

The best news is that Triple P is listed as a resource. We encourage all members of the CYSN to read the report as it tells us a great deal about parent’s knowledge of child discipline, what they believe and who they rely on for information.  A majority of parents indicated that they don’t know what to look for in terms of information about child discipline.  Influences and “go to” sources of information included friends, family and colleagues, the internet and social media, teachers and educators, and primary health care providers.  Many of you know that these information sources are identical to the findings from the CYSN’s survey of 929 family members across Hastings-Prince Edward in 2012.  And, of course, child discipline has a direct correlation to early childhood development (one of our red flags).

The report is also a part of the background research done by the Best Start Resource Centre to guide its upcoming campaign on Child Discipline (scheduled for fall 2015).

For more information on the campaign, including highlights of this report, we encourage you to read the article on the Best Start campaign published in the Ontario Health Promotion Bulletin, August 15

Recommendations contained in the Best Start report are as follows:

  • Parents need practical suggestions to help them manage their reactions to their child’s behaviour in a positive way, without using punishment. (Triple P)
  • The strategies offered should be attractive to fathers, who are more likely to erroneously believe that strict discipline and punitive techniques are effective.  Mothers and the general public would also benefit from such strategies.
  • Social media and internet are good ways to reach parents of young children.
  • Childcare providers and teachers, as well as health care providers, are key services providers who can help disseminate information to parents on effective discipline methods (Triple P partner agencies).

When I read these recommendations, I am reminded of Triple P Positive Parenting and that it is recognized to reduce social and emotional problems and child maltreatment.  Triple P teaches positive strategies so parents feel more confident in their abilities to raise children in healthy, support ways.  Should Triple P classes be embraced by our community as a key source of information for parents to receive practical suggestions and strategies about child discipline?  To learn more about Triple P:

Contact:   Julie K. London, Coordinator Phone 613-968-1144, Toll Free 1-877-968-1144

Email: Web:;

* Best Start Resource Centre. (2014). Child Discipline:  Ontario Parents’ Knowledge, Beliefs and Behaviours, 2014. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: author.

Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network

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