Save the Children thanks pope for speaking against slaps

Charity urges parents to discipline without slapping

Save the Children thanks pope for speaking against slaps

Rome, June 18 - International charity Save the Children thanked Pope Francis on Tuesday for telling parents they should not slap their children on the face. The pope told parents that such actions damage their children's dignity - an important statement, said Valerio Neri, general manager of Save the Children Italy. "Save the Children has been working for years to promote positive parenting based on dialogue and listening to children and never the use of physical punishment," such as slaps, said Neri. Pope Francis discussed the importance of the Biblical lesson of turning the other cheek during a homily Monday, and reminded parents that their children should be treated with dignity. In 2011, the charity launched a campaign encouraging parents to discipline their children in other ways than physical punishment. "We hope that the words of the pope are a further stimulus in this direction," said Neri. According to a study produced for Save the Children, more than a quarter of Italian parents smack their children routinely as a form of discipline, and 48% say they do it occasionally.

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