Round table „I can do different: what to do instead of physical punishment?“ was held at October 5, 2018 at the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb. There were several speakers at the round table – Bruna Profaca, assistant professor and psychologist from at the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, kindergarten psychologist Sanja Jozić, social worker Jadranka Lukin, as a parents representative and psychologist Vanda Božić from the Brave phone.
The event was organized with a regard to the campaign of the same name that will be performed in October as a part of the project "From Politics to Reality - Changing the Attitudes and Practices from Physical Punishment to Child Protection Measures". Mean goals of the campaign are to:
- awake the general public about the issue of physical punishment
- tell parents that there is understanding for them and encourage them to further educate and seek support
- raise awareness of the educational methods that do not involve physical punishment
- offer contacts to parents for additional support
The project is aimed at suppression and preventing physical punishment of children through co-operation and exchange of experience between relevant stakeholders and experts.
As part of the project, in 2017, Kantar Milward Brown conducted a major national research of physical punishment, on a sample of 500 participants.
Research has shown that more than 40% of the participants do not know that in Croatia physical punishment is forbidden by law. Participants have estimated that physical punishment can be justified in some situations, though it should not be generally used (52%). Research has also shown that more than 70% of participants want to respond to physical punishment, but they often do not know how.
Parents often use physical punishment as an educational method because of the incorrect beliefs about the effectiveness of this method. Many believe that an occasional kick can not harm a child and that it is the only way a child learns that some things can not work. However, research shows that physical punishment reduces the chance that a child will really learn what his parent wants to learn.
Instead of physical punishment, parents can use a number of other methods to set limits, depending on the child's age. Therefore, it is important to think that every child needs respect, attention, trust, and love.