More than half of Taiwanese parents with children under the age of six use corporal punishment on their children, a recent survey conducted by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families showed.
The group said that the results indicate a common lack of parental education and an alarming tendency for parents to vent their personal stress and anxiety on their children.
The survey was completed through information provided by 869 childcare-related professionals — including social workers, preschool educators, psychological counselors, medical workers and police officers.
It indicated that 57 percent of parents use corporal punishment on their children — most commonly slapping the child’s palms or buttocks; 31 percent tug their children; while 83 percent yelled at their kids.
A large majority, or 93 percent, of respondents said that parents required more parental education, while 73 percent said that parents brought about negative effects on their children as a result of stress and emotional instability.
The survey also found that parents were reluctant to seek professional assistance when they encountered problems in childcare.
Wang Sheng-chi (王聖基), director of the fund’s social work division, said that corporal punishment could easily escalate into severe acts of violence and cause irreversible damage on young children.
He said that the organization’s research has found that while many parents start with relatively minor punishments such as a slap on the palm, the severity of their punishment often increases with time.
“A lot of parents seem to think [of their children]: ‘You are supposed to understand what I mean, why do you not understand?’ which leads to more severe beatings,” Wang said.
According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there were 11,589 cases of child and teen abuse last year, with 23 percent of the children less than six years of age.
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