We have noticed that parents sometimes hesitate to seek professional help for their child and their family. In our culture, contacting a psychologist or a psychiatrist is sometimes seen in a negative light. Parents may be judged by others that something is wrong with them or with their child, that they are unable to solve the problem themselves, and similar. Such attitudes may cause the parents to feel shame and resistance, they may develop anger towards their child who 'causes problems' and parents may start taking their child's psychological difficulties personally.
International No Hitting Day for Children is celebrated throughout the world with occasional educational warnings of the dangers of physical punishment on this day, April 30th. Everyday practice and research such as this latest research Brave phone show, however, that many parents still use methods of corporal punishment of children and that they do not see anything controversial, often without knowing it violates the law.
Some parents will say that every spanking is not child abuse, and they are right, but every form of physical punishment is violence against children, and as such, fortunately, prohibited by law since 1999. in Croatia. So, in Croatia we will soon celebrate 20 years of prohibition of physical punishment. Unfortunately, many parents and even some experts who work with children do not know that.
In my long-lasting clinical practice, I often heard from parents that they think that hitting is actually an act of showing love because they think that they beat the children for their own good. Sometimes, however, they say to the children: ” I beat you because I love you ” or “I’m beating you for your own good” or “It hurts me more than you”. “One day you will say thank you for it.” Thus children learn that people who love them are also people who hurt them, which can later be transferred to peer and partner relationships. In this way, young people are confused, so girls can accept that beatings are a way of showing love because they did so by her parents, but also that a young man learns that beating are way to show love to his girlfriend. Also, corporal punishment by a parent can become a learned pattern of behavior that children when they grow up transferred to their children and grandchildren, raising them in the way they have been reared – by strikes and violence.
Since the consequences of any form of violence against children are well-known, we would not really have to talk about it in 2018 anymore.
Many parents who watched the movie “Trampolin” directed by Zrinka Katarina Matijević from 2016 told me that after that they decided they would never put their hands on their child again.
I really recommend this movie. It can be seen on the HRTi portal on the link: