Do you think corporal punishment is still a valid form of parenting?
When it comes down to punishing children for their misdeeds, one woman thought that it was necessary and appropriate to shout at and even kick a child, all caught on camera and uploaded to Facebook group Complaint Singapore yesterday afternoon (May 12).
“The way he (the child) flinched looks like he gets hit on the regular,” posted Anama O’Reilly who was recording the proceedings.
She had seen the woman “screaming and kicking” the youth “outside [her] window” in Boon Keng and requested help from other Facebook users on filing a police report.
She later posted that thanks to some Facebook users, she was contacted by the Singapore Police Force and that they will investigate the situation.
In the 26-second video, the woman can be seen standing by a roadside with a child when she suddenly starts getting aggressive, shouting at him and even kicking him.
The boy then flinches and moves away, raising both hands and backing off. As he puts his hands down, the woman raises hers and the boy flinches again and raises his hands defensively.
“Poor boy needs help,” one Facebook user said. “this is violent and [physically abusive].”
“No matter how naughty he is, this is not the way please,” said another user. “Please help the boy, he is innocent. He is not born to be treated this way.”
“It hurts to see the kid flinching every time she raises her hand,” said another user who expressed her sympathy.
Other users speculated about how the woman would treat the child if this was at a private setting, fearing the worst.
“If she can do this in public, imagine what happens behind closed doors?” One user rhetorically questioned.
While many felt the woman overstepped the level of punishment permissible, some users thought otherwise.
“This is nothing compared to what our mothers used to do 30 to 40 years ago,” compared one user.
“Some whacking is good for growing up,” another user added, “but [it] needs to be done in discreet and moderation these days.”
However, in an interview with the Straits Times in 2017, Dr Jennifer Kiing, a senior consultant for the Child Development Unit at the National University Hospital then explained that corporal punishment is linked to aggressive and anti-social habits that manifest later in life.
Children that receive corporal punishment regularly have higher rates of anxiety and depression, she added.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development also said that they encourage parents to “build positive relationships with their children”, reported CNA in 2020.
“While we respect that parents have the responsibility to raise their children,” an MSF spokesperson said, “[we seek] to educate parents on child-raising via parenting programmes and public education efforts.”
AsiaOne has reached out to the police for comment.