Majority of Parents in the Czech Republic Condemn Corporal Punishment, Survey Reveals

In a revealing study conducted by the STEM/MARK agency and the Locika Center, it was discovered that most parents in the Czech Republic are opposed to corporal punishment. The survey revealed that three-fifths of parents deem the use of a belt or a spoon as a form of punishment unacceptable. However, levels of tolerance were found to be higher when it came to slapping, spanking, or smacking a child on the bottom.

Eva Petrová, the Government Committee for Children’s Rights Chairwoman, voiced concern over the survey’s findings. “Corporal punishment as a means of discipline is used by more than half of parents in the Czech Republic. This alarming result shows that it is being passed on from generation to generation,” she stated. She added that those who were beaten by their parents often resort to similar methods of discipline.

Though most parents find spanking or shaking a child tolerable, a quarter of them regard it as a problematic disciplinary action. The survey also highlighted that most punishments were less acceptable for mothers, parents up to 44 years old, parents with a university education, those living in large cities, and parents who were aware of the new legislation on corporal punishment.

Physical punishment like hitting a child with a spoon or belt, pushing them under a cold shower, and threats or blackmail were deemed unacceptable by three-fifths of the respondents. The survey, which involved 1,011 adults, of which 693 were parents, also revealed that the biggest resistance was against cutting hair, forcing a child to kneel, or threatening to place a child in a children’s home.

In light of the survey’s results, it is evident that the Czech Republic needs to reassess its approach to child discipline. The state needs to provide families with helplines, professional advice, and field nannies, believes the Government Commissioner for Human Rights, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková. Hopefully, these measures will encourage a shift away from established, harmful disciplinary stereotypes.