Disturbing video shows stepfather beating up child in Singapore

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"So many people making comments about ‘this is nothing compared to last time.’ If this is not child abuse then I don’t know what is."

A disturbing video of a Singapore stepfather caning and beating up his son has been doing the rounds online. The incident apparently happened at Bukit Batok St 21, and was shared by Facebook community site, Rilke1corner on 2 July 2018.

The stepfather seems to be enraged by the fact that the boy was constantly staying back at school, and was always on the phone — in spite of being repeatedly warned not to do so.

The mother is heard repeating, "That's enough! That's enough!"

Reactions to Stepfather Beating Up Child

As usual, netizens were divided in their reaction to the incident.

Most people claimed that this sort of punishment was nothing compared to what they had experienced, growing up in the 80s and 90s.

Many others condemned the incident saying, "So many people making comments about ‘this is nothing compared to last time.’ If this is not child abuse then I don’t know what is."

Is it okay to inflict pain on our kids because they didn’t measure up to our expectations? Would it be okay for your boss to hit you because you didn’t do well at work?

Let’s do a fair examination of the pros and cons of caning.

Why parents still cane their kids:  

  • It was part of our childhood. And most of us still grew up alright, unscathed, and well mannered.
  • Shock works. The shock of the pain, coupled with your anger, may be an effective and INSTANT deterrent to your misbehaving child. It sends a very clear, if threatening, message that the misbehaviour has "painful" consequences.
  • Instant release of your own frustration. So you have been warning your kid against the action for the longest time, and it still isn’t working. Caning gives parents that superior feeling of power and authority, and provides instant release of tension and frustration.
  • All children are different. Perhaps the biggest argument in favour of caning might be that every child is different, and some parents truly believe that caning is the only way to send a lasting message.

Why parents should NOT cane their kids:

  • 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 caning does more harm than good. 

Many studies have shown that there are actually a number of negative long-term effects of caning 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. Caning teaches children 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. Caning 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 lead to one too many strokes of the cane, causing more physical harm than you ever imagined. 

What do you feel, parents? In this day and age, is caning a child considered disciplining or outright abuse?