Moms spank kids more than dads
A pan-India survey reveals that 21% parents in the city said it was a daily occurrence
Amdavadi mothers have admitted to spanking their kids at home more often as against the father. This has been revealed in a pan-India survey on ‘Spanking 2018’ further stating that 21% of those surveyed also admitted to this as a daily occurrence. Spanking, defined as hitting a child on the buttocks with an open hand is a common form of discipline still used at many places.
The survey conducted by First Moms Club along with Early Childhood Association (ECA) highlighted that 77.5% parents resort to hitting children across the country. Nearly 12000 parents across the country were interviewed as part of the survey.
67% of the 1,690 parents from Ahmedabad admitted to spanking their kids at home. More often than fathers, it was mothers who raised their hands whereas 72% of the time, their partners disapproved of this. This survey was conducted to help parents accept the fact that they do spank their kids and that they are not the only ones struggling with this.
Speaking about the reasons Swati Popat Vats, President, ECA said, “The main reason is that since fathers are not involved in parenting, the entire burden is on the mother and hence they take out their frustration on the child. Also, for working mothers, it is the guilt of not able to spend much time and if the child misbehaves in that short duration, they end up spanking whereas for stay-at-home mothers, they feel that they dedicate their entire life to kids but they yet do not not listen.”
Interestingly, while 80% of the parents never sought any intervention, 95% wanted to stop spanking.
“Spanking does not solve the problem, it only aggravates it. Children who are beaten learn that violence is a form of showing love and so will accept violence even as adults and will practice the same. Girls will accept violence from their husbands and boys will not hesitate in physically abusing their wives as they have learnt that the solution to all issues is violence and then a simple hug or sorry will make things right, added Vats.
Consulting psychiatrist Dr Hansal Bhachech opines that dealing with children in present times, who are argumentative, self-dominated and stubborn itself requires a lot of patience. Having said that, he further feels that it is mothers who end up spanking because a mother has to play multiple roles. “Tolerance of a woman is less as far as discipline is concerned and hence she loses her cool quickly. However, the amount of rage with which spanking is being done needs to be seen. If the mother is spanking light heartedness, then it is different but spanking with real hatred in the eyes in which a child feels insulted then it has ill-effects on children. On most occasions these days, mothers are frustrated in own life and displaces anger on the child. Also, children know whether spanking is out of real punishment or he/she is punished for a reason out of proportion. Once the child realizes the latter, it affects the personality and he/she feels a victim and eventually develop hatred towards mother leading to aggression. The child then displaces his/her own anger either on a sibling or classmates, Bhachech added.
Radhika Iyer, Director Udgam School for Children feels that these days children have become more sensitive and hence they cannot take any sort of physical punishment. Also, the beating these days comes more out of frustration as parents do not know what else to do when children act stubborn or misbehave with them. “By spanking, parents feel more powerful as the child is not able to protest.”
Anju Musafir, Founder, Mahatma Gandhi International School said, “The problem is that families have not only shifted to nuclear family but single parenting. The breakdown of a family structure has not prepared parents. Parents need to understand that each child is different, while some may need more boundaries, some may be more nurturing. Parents need to engage with the child and distract younger children from performing a particular activity. Often mothers go through high expectation and stress which ultimately results in spanking. Children these days are under pressure to perform. They go through lack of leisure time. For children, day dreaming is a must along with reducing gadgets usage. Hitting children will only lead to a violent society.”