What is “43”? It refers to Canada’s laws allowing parents to use non-abusive force in child-rearing, inclusive of moderate disciplinary spanking. The loosely-worded Section 43 of the Criminal Code was explicitly defined by the Supreme Court’s rulings in 2004. Canada now has common-sense, evidence-based objective tests clearly differentiating minor force used beneficially vs. harsh or abusive force.
Keep 43 is a nonpartisan, research-based organization in collaboration with world-renown family & parenting experts, child psychologists, child welfare workers, educators, medical & mental health practitioners and children’s rights & protection groups. We are not affiliated with any political or religious entity or philosophy.
There is nothing more important for society than raising children to become loving, productive, and well-adjusted adults.
Today, a confusing array of inferior parenting ideologies are espoused which undermine time-tested and effective parenting methods. Some are even going so far as to persuade Parliament to criminalize the 82% of parents who lovingly, responsibly & effectively use minor force in child-rearing.
(1) Promote the facts about time-tested solid traditional (“Authoritative”) parenting methods which employ minor force in disciplining, and;
(2) Raise awareness of the spectrum of serious harms persistently inflicted on children, families & society when traditional parenting systems are criminalized.
Over fifty years of clinical research consistently shows that children raised with “traditional” or “loving and firmly guiding” styles, which employ moderate and occasional spanking as a back-up in a spectrum of approaches show consistently better developmental outcomes while experiencing no identifiable harms: These children exhibit better outlooks, behaviour, performance at school, better emotional & psychological resilience, are more self-controlled, less violent, and are more inclined to want children and family of their own.
There is no credible research which shows spanking, in the limited fashion allowable under Canadian law produces any unique negative effect compared to any other consequence. This field of science is inundated with deceptive & methodologically flawed “anti-spanking” material. However, the overwhelming empirical evidence confirms these opinions have no scientific validity.
The evidence is now overwhelming: Wherever non-abusive spanking is banned, and the longer it has been banned, these ten harms are persistently observed:
(1) Increased rates of serious assaults on children by parents and caregivers
(2) Increased child & youth violence rates
(3) Increased bullying / violence at school
(4) Increased CAS/CPS seizures of children from safe & loving homes, which facilitates increased trafficking into the state/foster-care & adoption industry
(5) Increased criminal prosecution of good parents, which facilitates parental alienation; negatively impacting child-development
(6) Increased mental health, behavioral & emotional disorders requiring medication or hospitalization
(7) Increased substance abuse & drug-induced death rates in later years
(8) Increased child rape rates
(9) Criminalization of normative parenting is one material factor deterring childbirths and collapsing societal fertility rates to extinction levels
(10) EU country comparisons show children growing up into adults under these bans exhibit significantly higher rates of domestic violence vs. children raised with traditional parenting
“Keep 43” believes parents must be allowed sensible latitude to raise their children lovingly, responsibly and effectively without undue over-reach, interference or harassment by government. Thus, we defend the most balanced laws on the planet that do exactly that. We work to ensure children keep their rights to be raised in loving and firmly guiding parenting styles that scientifically produce the best developmental outcomes.
Harold A. Hoff
Parenting System & Child-Discipline Science Researcher / Iron Gate Research
Chair / Keep 43 Committee of Canada