Police, MSF investigating case of Singapore dad who slapped kneeling child in public

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"If it had been a grown man or woman kneeling in public and getting slapped, it would not be acceptable. So, why is it so with a child? It's double standards."

A Singapore dad was seen slapping and yelling at a little girl (presumably his daughter) at IKEA Tampines carpark on 5 Nov 2018. The girl was asked to kneel down on the ground, and given a big whack. The video of the incident went viral after a witness reported it to Stomp. Police and MSF are now investigating the incident, and experts are weighing in on the effects of slapping a child in the face in public.

Police, MSF investigating alleged child abuse

By now, the video of the incident has been viewed more than 42,000 times.

An Ikea spokesman has told The New Paper (TNP) that, "From the images in the video, we can verify that it's an Ikea carpark."

"This incident has been reported to the police and we will render any assistance they need in their investigation."

A concerned netizen, Richard, has also reported the matter to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

He wrote on Stomp's Facebook page, "If this man can behave this way in public, there is no telling what he has done in private."

MSF has also confirmed to TNP that it is investigating the matter, together with the police.

If investigations reveal that the girl is in danger, MSF's Child Protective Service could step in, according to experts.

Experts weigh in on the effects of slapping a child in the face

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2015/11/dreamstime xl 25546476.jpg Police, MSF investigating case of Singapore dad who slapped kneeling child in public

MSF has investigated 894 cases of child abuse last year, of which 373 were for physical abuse.

When we posted about the incident on theAsianparent's Facebook page, majority of our readers felt that it was wrong to humiliate the child in public. Some of them though, empathised with the parent, and his right to discipline his child. Some others felt it was wrong to peep into someone else's life.

Child psychologist Evonne Lek opined to TNP that the girl remaining still during the incident could imply that she was used to the abuse.

Psychologist Dr Carol Balhetchet also told The New Paper that the behaviour of the father was abusive and inexcusable.

"If it had been a grown man or woman kneeling in public and getting slapped, it would not be acceptable. So, why is it so with a child? It's double standards."

"No matter what the child did, it is the parent's responsibility to demonstrate respect for the child if they want to be respected."

Parents, here's why hitting kids is not advisable:

  • It was part of our childhood

And most of us hated it. We don’t wish to remember that part of our childhood.

  • Studies show it does more harm than good

Many international health organisations have called for a ban on corporal punishment on children. Research shows that it does more harm than good. 

Many studies have shown that there are actually a number of negative long-term effects of physical punishment which may even remain until adulthood, which are:

  • Increased aggressive behaviour
  • Violence
  • Lack of self control
  • Continuing the cycle of abuse (bullying others, abusing their spouse, abusing their children)
  • Higher risk for delinquency and criminal behaviour
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Alcohol and drug use/dependence
  • Personality disorders
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Lesser grey matter in the brain
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mental health disorders
  • Addictive behaviour
  • Decrease in cognitive ability
  • Corporal punishment teaches aggression

Hitting children teaches them that the use of power is okay to get others to obey you. It introduces violence and cruelty at home.

Children subject to corporal punishment may end up using violence as a tool to solve their problems, later on in life.

  • It can damage parent-child relations

Physical punishment makes your child scared of you. The child will be tempted to lie and cover up his mistakes, to avoid the pain of being punished.

  • It can get too extreme

That fit of anger, or long bottled-up frustration can get out of control, causing more physical harm than you ever imagined. 

Also READ: Is caning a child considered disciplining or outright abuse?

(Source: Stomp, The New Paper)