Exploring the core phenomena of positive discipline in everyday parenting programs
Shanks, Tanis Leigh
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This qualitative study explored the lived experience of 9 parents, 8 of whom indicated that they were newcomers to Canada. All 9 participated in Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP), a parenting program based on the rights of the child, to determine what it is in the program that reduces their approval of child physical punishment. In a Canadian study on PDEP, it was found that 95% of 321 parents indicated a reduction in the approval of child physical punishment, and more than 80% believed that they would use physical punishment less often (Durrant, et al., 2014). The current study explored why this change occurred and how the program made a difference in the lives/attitudes of parents when deciding to use corporal punishment on their children. The parents in the present study illustrated their experiences in the program through semi-structured interviews. Many of the same themes appeared across interviews demonstrating that there is something that makes a difference in their attitude toward the use of CPP and other forms of punishment after taking the PDEP Program. It was found that through the program, participants gained a sense of normalization and competence in their parenting. Both of these themes led to increased feelings of self-efficacy that led to the phenomenological essence of empowerment. This study provides a deeper understanding of what influences parents when making the decision to use or not to use child physical punishment. This study is also expected to assist social workers, allied professionals and policy makers with a greater understanding of the support mechanisms parents need before and during child rearing.