Nonviolent upbringing – Education in the family – Education – Child –

The first slap or slap in the face often happens in a stressful situation. Mother or father have a bad day, the children keep whining around, one takes something away from the other, quarrels and a wrangling follow. The noise level becomes unbearable. And then the syrup glass falls to the floor . and already the 3-year-old has his first slap in the face.

Violence in the education of children in Switzerland is still a widespread grievance with a high number of unreported cases. Physical punishment and other forms of violence are part of everyday life for many children. Although most parents reject physical punishment in principle, it is obvious that their hand “slips” from time to time, and this or that time may soon repeat itself.

Everyone knows: children provoke and they can make their parents white hot. Without a doubt, it is not always easy to stay calm in such situations. And it is human that educators occasionally reach their natural limits. Nevertheless, corporal punishment as a means of education is neither effective nor acceptable.

Of course, an adult can assert himself at short notice with the help of a slap or a slap. But corporal punishment such as slapping or punching is a form of violence against children, and children have a right to grow up physically unharmed.

Without violence

Even if physical violence in education does not cause any visible physical injuries, it can lead to severe psychosocial abnormalities such as anxiety, lack of contact, drug addiction, aggressiveness or a lack of empathy, especially if repeatedly used.

A recent study even showed that children who were mistreated as children not only retained psychological scars, but that this can also be proven by biological changes in the brain. Even decades after the abuse, the victims in the study showed an increased activity of the anxiety centre and several smaller brain areas.

Adults must be aware that physical violence against children is by no means a sign of strength and superiority, but of helplessness and excessive demands on the educators.

Of course, children need boundaries. Parents protect their children by setting limits. Rules and boundaries protect them from hot hearths, steep stairs and road traffic hazards.

For children, however, rules and limits also mean stability, safety, orientation and security. As the rules and boundaries are clear, direct and concrete, they serve the child as guidance on how to behave and how to act. For a child, rules and boundaries are not just signs of prohibition, but rather signposts in life.

But children repeatedly cross the boundaries and there are countless reasons every day to be annoyed by the children’s behaviour. Children forget about previous agreements or grossly violate rules. And sometimes the stresses in the lives of adults are so high that their patience and understanding are not limitless and they are simply overwhelmed by the situation. But to show a child his limits by means of violence must not happen.

Read here how you can protect yourself and your child from violence in upbringing.


news ticker

Fighting “tabou” | 14.08.2019

In France, corporal punishment of children by their parents is now prohibited. With the publication in the Official Journal, a law came into force yesterday prohibiting the so-called “educational power”. According to the government, slaps on the bottom or slaps in the face will be taboo in the future. “One does not educate by fear”, France’s Health Minister Agnès Buzyn had said as justification. There is no provision for punishment against violent parents, but the amendment is not “only symbolic”. Because it breaks with the widespread opinion, also among judges, that there is a “right to a beating” for parents. In Switzerland, there is no ban on corporal punishment that does not lead to visible damage. In Germany, parents and teachers have been prohibited from corporal punishment under criminal law since 2000. Sweden has even had such a law since 1979.

Without strokes less rackets | 17.02.2019

Aggression: Why do children and teenagers fight each other? Probably mainly because they were beaten by parents and guardians themselves. This is the conclusion of a UNICEF study with data from 88 countries published in the British Medical Journal Open. In countries without a ban on corporal punishment, the proportion of violent male adolescents is 50% higher than in countries where physical punishment is prohibited. The proportion of female adolescents is even 100 % higher. Scientists classified as violent those young people who claimed to have been involved in four or more physical confrontations in the past twelve months. Other factors, such as weapons laws, homicide rates, parenting programmes and prosperity, were examined as possible causes of the differences. However, they had little to no influence on the number of beating youths.

Increase in child abuse | 22.01.2017

Last year, the child protection group and the victim counselling centre of the Zurich Children’s Hospital counted almost 500 child abuse cases. Compared to the previous year, physical abuse in particular increased by one third. This is the highest figure since 2010. In contrast, the number of cases of sexual and psychological abuse has remained more or less constant. The child protection group of the Children’s Hospital Zurich deals with children from infancy who have been abused or are in danger of being abused. However, only children who have been treated as outpatients or inpatients at a children’s clinic are covered. The protection group plans interventions in specific cases and tries to protect children from abuse.

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Networks for parents: Physical or psychological violence has no place in education. The Swiss Child Protection Foundation drew attention to this at its conference in Berne. Although parents know that they should not beat their children, many sometimes reach their limits. But violence can lead to developmental delays, disturb the parent-child relationship and the child’s self-confidence. In stressful situations, parents should be accompanied by a supporting network (grandparents, neighbours, an association). (Newsticker 22.11.2012)

You can’t forbid me to slap you, can you? The Federal Council opposes a motion by Zurich SP National Councillor Chantal Galladé, who wants to better protect children with a ban on corporal punishment. Physical violence is not suitable as a means of education. It teaches violence and often hampers a child’s healthy development. According to Galladé, the number of ill-treatments has increased. In its response to the initiative, published on 20 August 2015, the Federal Council writes that a punitive right of parents is today no longer compatible with the welfare of the child under civil law (new child law since 1978). Since 1990, repeated assaults against persons subject to protection, in particular children, have to be prosecuted officially in any case under criminal law. Therefore, an explicit prohibition was not necessary. (swissmom Newsticker, 2.9.15)

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Christina Cherry
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