Priests reflect on identity, formation
October 21, 2017
Dominica Strong
October 21, 2017

Learn to discipline, not punish

From the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission

“Corporal punishment will, in no way, shape or form, return under the present administration.” Speaking at an awards ceremony for the top performers in this year’s SEA examinations recently, Education Minister Anthony Garcia reaffirmed his position on the issue. Disciplining a child is not the same as beating a child.

The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) offers parenting programmes with two modules that help parents, teachers, caregivers, in dealing with disciplining their children.

The one-day Children are Gift (CAG) programme distinguishes between discipline and punishment. “Discipline is directed toward the objectionable behaviour; punishment, on the other hand, is directed toward the individual. Discipline is appropriate when a child knows ahead of time what the consequences will be for incorrect behaviour. Punishment is generally inappropriate because it involves the spontaneous unleashing of emotions by a parent on a child, who was unaware of the rules.” (AFLC’s Parenting and Family Life Manual).

A parent at one of the CAG programmes shared that “knowing and understanding the difference between discipline and punishment has helped me to look at different ways of correcting my child, instead of beating her”.

In collaboration with the Franciscan Institute for personal and family development, the AFLC offers the Common Sense Parenting (CSP) six-week programme, which involves “teaching you skills to improve behaviour, we show you how to work on improving your relationship with your child…” (Common Sense Parenting, 3rd ed.)

A testimony from a parent at the CSP programme: “I used to beat my children. Since I started this programme I have not hit them; I realise that I didn’t have the tools to do differently. CSP gave me some alternative ways to correct my children using consequences and I also learnt ways to stay calm through breathing deeply.”

CSP starts in Port of Spain and Cedros on Wednesday, October 25 until November 29. CAG will be held at the Malabar Parish Hall, Arima on October 28, 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. Both programmes are sponsored through the generosity of the Republic Bank’s Power to Make a Difference programme.

To register for one of the programmes, please contact the AFLC: WhatsApp/Phone 299-1047 or 672-4280, website:; email:;

Facebook: Archdiocesan Family Life Commission.