23 CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS (continued) What does work? What does work is to build your child’s confidence and problem-solving skills. It is important to figure out the reasons for your child’s behaviour.When you understand the reason for your child’s behaviour, it may be easier to handle the situation without losing your temper. Ways to help your child behave well: • Create a loving and respectful home. • Be a good role model. • Focus on prevention. • Decide what is truly important and have a few clear and consistent rules. • Tell your child what you expect. • Praise your child’s efforts, even if they’re not perfect. • Respect your child’s need to express their emotions. • Listen to your child’s thoughts, ideas and concerns. •Watch your child closely so you can redirect behaviour before it gets worse. • Make sure that you both get enough sleep. • Make sure that you both eat nutritious food regularly and exercise. • Last but not least, try to have fun with your child. Reproduced from the Department of Justice publication Child Abuse is Wrong: What Can I Do? without affiliation or endorsement of the Government of Canada. (continued) The law on assault in the Criminal Code The Criminal Code outlines most crimes in Canada. It says that assaulting someone or threatening to assault someone is a crime.Touching someone without their consent can be an assault, even if it doesn’t harm them. Under the law, assault can include: • slapping; • punching; • pinching; • kicking; • confining; • restraining; or • unwanted touching. However, not every action where one person hits another person is assault. And not every threat of contact is assault. People may give their consent to contact. For example, hockey players may body check each other without it being a crime. This is because they have given their consent to physical contact within the rules of the sport. Also, section 43 of the Criminal Code can give parents and caregivers a defence to a charge of assault in limited cases if they use reasonable force. Section 43 of the Criminal Code says that parents and caregivers who use reasonable force to correct a child’s behaviour may not be found guilty of assault. But section 43 is not a defence for every use of force against a child. Parents or caregivers may only use reasonable force to correct or protect the child. For example, a parent may use reasonable force to put a child in their room for a time out or to pull a child away from traffic. A person who has physically or sexually abused a child cannot use section 43 as a defence.