DVD offers immigrants western parenting norms

Child welfare experts in Manitoba are creating a DVD to teach immigrants about acceptable parenting practices or techniques.
Child-welfare experts in Winnipeg are working on a DVD to teach newcomers to Canada that it's not OK to hit your children or leave them at home alone. 1:59

Child welfare experts in Manitoba are creating a DVD to teach immigrants about acceptable parenting practices or techniques.

The DVD on acceptable parenting practices in Canada will be translated into several languages.

Catherine Biaya, who appears on the video, was beaten as a child in her native Congo and vows not to repeat the cycle of violence with her children in Winnipeg.

She said her mother started beating her when she was just eight years old.

"Then when I would be quiet she would tell me, 'cry until your tears become blood. If not I'm going to beat you again.' So, it became like a habit," Biaya said.

Jorge Fernandez and his staff at the Immigrant Centre in Winnipeg have heard some horror stories about people hitting kids so hard it would take time for the marks to disappear.

He has also heard about discipline measures that include calling the kids names or sending them outside in the winter so they feel the freezing cold.

Fernandez said some parents have told him they're not keen about the DVD and being told how to raise their children. But Biaya is one who believes strongly that it will help.

"It's a good initiative," she said, adding the DVD will be more effective than a brochure which many newcomers can't read.

She said it's something she wished was around when she was growing up.