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Swedish parents jailed for 'spanking' kids

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 27 Nov 2010, 17:28

Published: 27 Nov 2010 17:28 GMT+01:00

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The couple, from Karlstad in central Sweden, were imprisoned for nine months apiece, according to a Sveriges Television (SVT) report.

Corporal punishment, formally outlawed in Sweden in 1979, was a regular feature of three of the couple's four children's lives, the Värmland district court heard.

According to the court transcripts, the parents "explained that they had used, what they themselves described as spanking, physical punishment as part of their methods for raising the children."

The court heard that the couple had used a hairbrush, a wooden plank or a hand to punish their three eldest children, SVT reported.

The father explained that when the children did something wrong they were given a first warning and then a second and if they, for example, carried on cycling in the street without permission, they would then receive a physical punishment.

The court found that "despite the details of the case at hand" the parents "had a loving and caring relationship to their children", but that the systematic treatment metered out was in breach of the law and deserving of a custodial sentence.

The parents were furthermore order to pay damages of 25,000 kronor to each of the affected children.

The three children at the centre of the case, as well as a younger sibling, have been in care since the preliminary investigation was opened against their parents in the beginning of the summer.

Story continues below…

Parents' rights to meter out physical punishment was revoked already in 1966 in Sweden, with a formal legal ban coming into into force in July 1979. Children in Sweden now enjoy the same legal protection from physical assault afforded to adults.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:50 November 27, 2010 by Rizwan Rahim
Good for them, so at least now they (parents) will learn not to punish their children physically behind bars.....i wonder "in what they claimed was a method of discipline prescribed in the Bible"

Pr 22;6 P-860

Pr 22:13,14 P-862

2Co 12:14 P-1450/1

Eph 6:4 P-1463

Col 3:21 P-1472

1Ti 5:8 P-1482

Tit 2:4 P-1489

some are, but never meant to hurt physically your loved children some argues using of a ROD as it mentioned,but not to harm them,

dear parents, please never punish your children physically or mentally instead give them the "REWARD OF DISTRESS" to discipline them.
20:35 November 27, 2010 by repat_xpat
Good thinking! I'm sure the children are much better off in government institutionalized care than with loving parents who are doing their best to raise well disciplined children. This article provides no evidence of abuse, it assumes that physical punishment is abuse. There is a massive difference between abuse and physical punishment. Equating the two only hurts children.

I thought my kids and other American children were out of control until I put them in the Swedish public school system.
20:43 November 27, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
Well said Rizwan!
21:12 November 27, 2010 by vancer

you seem to be missing the basic concept here. rightly or wrongly physical punishment is illegal. Period.
21:15 November 27, 2010 by Kaethar
Well, of course. They most likely knew corporal punishment is illegal in Sweden yet did it anyway. They even indirectly admit that they follow the Bible's laws instead of state laws. Which is unacceptable in my opinion. It's like trying to smuggle in transfat burgers (which are illegal) into Sweden because you prefer them to healthier burgers. Well, good for you but it's still illegal because society has deemed them "undesirable." And a burger is a burger is a burger. Just like there are many different ways to discipline kids, of which only one is corporal punishment. Some people sadly just aren't willing to think outside the box.
21:20 November 27, 2010 by BoEddy
All people, including children, have the right to protection of their physical integrity. Sadly this right is not universal. Corporal punishment of minors within domestic settings is still lawful here in the United States, and in spite of strong evidence of corporal punishment of children being associated with for instance increased aggression, antisocial behaviors, decreased quality of parent-child relationship, decreased mental health, as well as adult abusive behavior. None of this will matter of course to parents who invoke the bible in defense of their actions.
21:42 November 27, 2010 by Acroyear
I think I'm with repat_xpat on this one.

I was hit as a child, but it's not something I could ever do to my own kids, irrespective of the law. We've moved on from that and we know more about child development and psychology now than my parents did.

There's a lot of terrible parenting around but we can't legislate for everything and putting children into care and putting parents in jail is a ridiculously extreme response.

Maybe we think we're better parents because we're not so dumb as to use the Bible as our parenting manual.

But how many us who are parents put our babies in front of the TV to keep them quiet, give them sweets from a young age, feed them junk, drink alcohol irresponsibly in front of them, project our own problems onto them, stick them in dagis when their too young and leave them there too long, take no time to talk to them, compensate by buying them ridiculous amounts of toys, dress our girls like Barbie dolls and our boys like paramilitaries, shout and get angry at them just for having needs, impose on them all our hangups, prejudices and crap we inherited from our parents?

None of us is a perfect parent and in extreme cases, we need to be warned, educated and monitored if what we're doing to our kids is harmful. But there are no substitutes for parents: Dagis, school, social workers, care homes, foster parents - they have their place in a caring society but they are no substitute.

So I think it's irresponsible, unintelligent and hypocritical of the police, social workers and judge involved in this case to go so far as to remove the children and incarcerate their parents. I hope they appeal and have the case quashed.

By the way, I wonder what this social and legal fiasco is costing the Swedish taxpayer?

How much did you say it'd be if I paid cash for that job, Lasse...
22:35 November 27, 2010 by glamelixir
C'mon people, no child can be beaten. Let's get real. PLEASE, we can't justify that action. Not physical violence. Did any of you recieved a slap, or a hit with a brush? It is not fun at all, it is not nice at all, it just can't happen.

If you can't handle it, just don't have them. Once you brought them to this world deal with it in ways that less affect the kid.

It makes me really sad.
23:22 November 27, 2010 by Acroyear
Comment: @ vancer "rightly or wrongly physical punishment is illegal. Period." Not all illegal activities are a) morally wrong and b) punishable by jail. So what's this basic concept that repat_xpat is missing, because I don't get it either...

@ glamelixir "Let's get real" Yes, let's do that, glamelixir.

For a start, nothing in this article and no commentators (so far) have actually advocated hitting children, so what exactly is your point?

Yes, the thought of a parent hitting a child makes us all sad. But let's get real.

As a 4 year old child, being told to pack a bag, get into a car with a stranger, being handed over to other strangers in a care home, listen to the screaming of other distressed kids in the other rooms, waking up in a strange place, having to eat strange food, losing contact with your school/nursery friends and being told that this is how it's going to be for 9 months... that's f*cking sad.

That's why this case is so tragic for the family concerned. The solution for dysfunctional families is appropriate, early intervention, education and continued support.

What's the solution for dysfunctional social services and legal system?

23:29 November 27, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
A good swift swat on the butt works wonders to shut down a tantrum.
23:37 November 27, 2010 by unseen

mate, your presentation is fabulous...

i never ever think of physical solutions with children, yet still things you mentioned above keep irritating me and makes me feel real sad...things that i might have no control over!!!

one of the things that i am not good at is fearing breaking a promise i make to them...which confuse me, big time, so i go angry refusing their needs in which as adult know how harmful and/ or bad for their health, as example.

since you have such a good knowledge on child behaviors as i can see through your pretension, please, give an advise on this one....i have tried with social care, unfortunately, it didn't really help.
00:21 November 28, 2010 by seagull
Much as I agree with the law. I too was spanked as a child, and ultimately I am fine. I agree with the sentiments above that the removal from parents and pushed into a home will cause far more damage in the long run. Although it may do them a world of good to get away from god-botherers and into the real world. I'll hold my thumbs for the poor kids.
00:39 November 28, 2010 by Swedemom
I consider myself fairly religious, but I really hate it when people use the Bible for their justification for spanking.

The biggest problem that I have with spanking, beyond the physical factor, is that if often feels like revenge and is instituted in anger. Furthermore, it isn't really teaching a child how to change the behavior. Parents need to be in control of themselves. But I don't see how spanking accomplishes this.

As for the parents and children, it is tragic that the children were farmed out to foster homes. I am sure that was far more traumatic than the actual spankings and in the long term will do more damage. However, all Swedes AND foreigners, know that spanking is illegal in Sweden. It doesn't matter if you think you have the right. It's illegal. They gambled by spanking their children and lost the gamble. Whether you disagree with the law or not, you still have to abide by it, or pay the price.
01:04 November 28, 2010 by lennea
If an adult were to strike any other adult in the family, he or she would rightly go to jail. But because it's a child (not to mention the immense size and power disparity present in that relationship), it's supposed to be okay? I don't get that logic.

I was spanked, and I will never, ever spank a child.
01:27 November 28, 2010 by Acroyear
@ unseen Thank you my friend - you're too kind!

The reason I'm so riled by the situation in this article and some of the more simplistic comments is partly because of an article in today's Guardian entitled, "A year in the life of a foster parent" - I defy any parent to read it and not be moved to tears. Understanding what so many children have to go through certainly put's this case of the bible and child thumping father into perspective.

Which parent doesn't feel guilty for failing their children? Certainly not me. But I'm the only dad my children have got. Just as we learnt from our parents' mistakes, vowing never to hit our children or talk to them as our parents talked to us, so (hopefully) will our children learn from our mistakes. Children are tough; they're born to survive in human society and human society is not all love, peace and understanding...especially family life.

They need you, even when you are uncertain, confused, irritated or just not at your best. You're their parent, you helped bring them into existence and their relationship with you is written into their DNA.

One thing we're not always good at as parents is looking after ourselves. We work too hard, we don't sleep enough, we try to keep too many plates spinning, we get resentful of our partners and kids.

If I don't get a grip on my life, my children suffer. So I slow down, I call in sick, I sneak home early, I switch off the computer, whatever it takes to tune back into myself and my family. It's good.

Another thing is that sometimes you just have to be very honest with your children and explain the situation to them - but in a way that doesn't burden them with responsibility for how you feel. They're kids. As kids, they fully understand what it is to reach one's limits and what it is to fail. Furthermore, they love you and need you. So don't be afraid of admitting your limits to them.

A final practical thing is to try as much as possible to live in the "now" with your kids rather than the future. Who knows what the future will bring?

On our deathbed, when we think back over your lives and wonder which bits were the highlights and which bits were worthwhile, I bet it won't be any of the stuff we planned or promised or worked so hard for.

It'll be the moment when your child disobeys you for the millionth time and you're about to snap when suddenly you catch their eye and you make a funny face and then both burst out laughing because you both suddenly realise how ridiculous and stupid and funny and wonderful it is just to be alive and together, even when having the same old arguments. For me, that's the joy of being a parent.

Very sad when such simple joy is stripped from this family so unnecessarily.
03:40 November 28, 2010 by Swedemom
Well spoken, Acroyear. I'm the mother to five children and I think you summed up beautifully, the challenges of being a parent. Your second to last paragraph was brilliant.
06:36 November 28, 2010 by mairapma
This is a very difficult subject. I am sure most of us believe that parents are "loving parents" above all... but I still can't see where is the love and the education "thing" when spanking your kids with a hairbrush or a wooden plank.

Maybe separating the kids from their parents and giving them to adoption or social services is a brutality, but I fear for the damages this loving, abusive and "biblical" system can do to them.

As @lennea said, violence is not acceptable amongst adults. Why should it be acceptable between an adult and an innocent child? I still believe that there are other ways to raise your kids.
07:15 November 28, 2010 by Viola1d
I do agree that with the courts judgement, only based on the fact that parents, though they love their children, can make mistakes too. I agree with Sweden's decision to make spankings illegal, not just because of the parents that wrongfully do harm to their children but because in some cases, parents can spank their children as a way of showing "good" discipile, but they themselves might not relizes that they are doing it for the wrong reason. Some parents can get irratted with their children and decide to take it out on them, just because they are angry. Hitting their children might feel better for the parent, and they might not even know it.

I'm not saying this is the case for all parents, but people sould understand that spankings should not be the last resort. At that age children can also respond to you raising your voice or time outs. But ofcourse some children wont even respond to that, but if they don't them hitting them will not let them learn a lesson. I would never hit my chidren, not just because I don't want to hurt them, but because I don't want to trust myself with that, because I would feel terrible if subcounsiously I was just pleasing myself and not trying to teach them.

I don't know if the chidren got sent some kind of social services program, hopfully they did not, I really hope they got to stay with some family members because that would be ten times better. But I think the parents should learn a lesson, that just because their children are kids, does not mean that they can be disrespected. I'm glad that Sweden is showing that children also have rights.
07:16 November 28, 2010 by Soft Boiled
Go forth and take the holy hairbrush and smite thy children! Its written clearly in the bible ;)

Actually the children had 3 warnings but the parents didn´t get one - Sounds unfair.
09:25 November 28, 2010 by Nemesis
Hitting a child anywhere in Europe is illegal.

That is the law.

Break that law and I hope you goto jail.

As for religeous following the bible when raising children. There is no excuse for imposing vengeful fantasies onto children.
09:45 November 28, 2010 by unseen

what you have written above is a favor i never forget in my life...i agree with all well being said in your answer,,, i have read a lot, but it gets me more confusing every time i finish some essay or a book that refers to child care...yours was way simple, clear and most important pure reality to what children go through in nowadays parents daily life.

i wish that your arguments will be published on the local as an article.

thanks million time my friend
10:15 November 28, 2010 by jonathanjames61
Its quite sad,that people misquote the Bible,If the law says dont beat a child,you dont need to do it,there are 1,000,000, ways to train a child without getting physical,we are living in dangerous times.I think if the laws could send this parents to jail,they should also send all those who produce dangerous Toys,,games,Tv shows,etc to jail,because they are more mind troubling to the kids of this generations,the fact is our kids these days leaves a dream world,and we realy need to get real here before we produce next generations of those who thinks the opposite about life is reality.
10:29 November 28, 2010 by Puffin
I guess I missed that bit of the Bible that said beating small children with planks of wood was OK?
10:52 November 28, 2010 by Ravioli
The author finally has achieved his goal of getting the discussion to be about The Bible in light of all of the negative news about Islam that we've seen recently. Mind you this is the same author who wrote the widely-mocked A,B,C, article about those who dare to disagree him regarding immigration from certain parts of the world (which will remain nameless in order to avoid being censored) as well as the article about 1 person who complained about a prayer service in school.

However, if someone were to comment about how much members of a certain religion beat their children (not to mention their wives) then it would make this one incident look like child's play.
10:52 November 28, 2010 by calebian22

Indeed you did miss it.
11:13 November 28, 2010 by Magnloquence
If anyone wonders why youngsters do not respect authority and why the world (especially the Western World) is in such a mess, this article answers your question.

Spare the rod and you spoil MORE than just the child.

I'm sure the children are suffering more by having their parents taken away from them than they do by getting a few smacks.

As a Christian I would rather believe what I believe, and find that I am wrong, than to believe what the World believes and then find that I am wrong.
11:45 November 28, 2010 by Uggla
News flash Christians, SPANKING DOES HURT! Violence is violence no matter how candy coated you make it. And the scriptures are no excuses to bring upon violence to little children. The bible also says to do many many other violent and horrid things as a "punishment" but I do not see Christians carrying out those. What a lame excuses for being a bad parents and a bully to a defenseless child.

So glad these creeps are in jail.
13:14 November 28, 2010 by Cheapjack
You should try to reason with children first, but children can get violent too, and in the UK can attack adults and teachers with little redress. Controlled violence is better than anarchy. Knowing from an early age that adults can hit back, too, might do some good. As long as it is kept to a minimum.
14:21 November 28, 2010 by Rebel
Why don't parents in Sweden come to their senses and realize that the state owns both them and their kids? What the state says is moral is moral -- no Bible or Koran or Torah can substitute the wisdom of Fredrik Reinfeldt or the glorious Swedish bureaucracy! Legal, therefore moral, to rape a horse...legal, and therefore moral, to have sex with someone who is only 15...but never swat the rump of your child or you might go to jail.

Thank goodness now the state can re-indoctrinate these kids so they can grow up and get drunk every weekend, have sex with all kinds of people, and know that religion is only a subject to be studied in an historical context.
16:02 November 28, 2010 by Swedesmith
We spanked our oldest child on a few occasions but realized it wasn't the way to go and stopped and never spanked our youngest. Both have turned out well.

However, I am glad it was our decision as parents and not the states.
16:43 November 28, 2010 by BCIS
If the state thinks they can do a better job, then they should take them. As a parent I don't know how I'd feel if I were undermined to my children in this manner. These parents won't be able to tell these kids a thing. These kids now know they are in control. If you think this is right...hold your breath and let's see where these hellions (and I mean the kids) are at in 10 years. I'm not for child abuse, but sometimes a child just needs to be "punished" and a swat on the butt has never hurt a child as much as it's hurt its ego. I was spanked. And, at times I deserved it. I did what I was told not to do and knew the consequences if I got caught, yet I tried to get away with it anyway. BTW: I'm not anti-social, i have a great relationship with my mom, I'm a law abiding, respectful to my fellow humans, have good friendships, and I'm gainfully employed.
16:59 November 28, 2010 by samwise
is there any data to show the "experts" raise better children than average parents? If some spanking scares a kid when he is caught walking on the thin ice, why would I be against that? There is no time to read a book or consult an expert.

Will these "experts" take responsibilities if the kids they take away from their parents turn out being not so well?

But aborting babies is perfectly okay.....
17:04 November 28, 2010 by Bumblebeetuna
I can hit a child in many countries but not an adult! It's an over simplification but I honestly think the Swedes are on to a good path here.
17:30 November 28, 2010 by tangentialusa
"Children in Sweden now enjoy the same legal protection from physical assault afforded to adults."

Since adults also cannot be assaulted, one would conclude that the parents have protection from assault as well. Also, in most countries the failure to report a crime is in and of itself a crime as well.

That would imply that if a small child strikes, bites or pinches the parents they would be in violation of the law if the parents did not report the crime and have charges pressed against the child?
18:17 November 28, 2010 by crankpot
i got cracked on the a** as a kid and never turned into a criminal for that.. sad thing about all of this crap is.. the parents got longer jail sentences than what rapist and pervs get.. something wrong with the justice system in sweden or what??
18:28 November 28, 2010 by samwise
tangentialusa, good question.

Even the ones believing kids should be treated the same as adults will call the parents when their car glass is broken by the kid.
18:46 November 28, 2010 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
little wonder there are many juvenile criminals here....cos they don't understand consequences....

a 17 year old already held for murder....you just tell him don't do that again!! haha..

i know it could be hard (for some pple) to draw the line btw physical abuse and correctional spanking.
19:27 November 28, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
Imprisoning the parents for nine months seems a little bit too much. How will they support the family being locked up? Do the kids go to a foster home? The use of severe verbal pursuasion probably works better in Sweden than here in the US. We have 2 million + incarcerated here and many more roaming the streets who should be locked up as well. Who knows if smacking your recalcitrant rascal keeps them from becoming a future felon. However here in the USA we do have lots of criminals running loose and if giving them appropriate beatings keeps them from a career in crime then so be it.
20:03 November 28, 2010 by wildair
As a married man who only recently received professional help for a long time mental health problem from spanking I can only offer my testimony and some web links that describe the secondary sexual danger of spanking children. I suffered in shame and silence in adolescence and younger married life for having a spanking fetish. After six years of professional psychotherapy I have been helped but the process was expensive and emotionally very painful. I learned I have lived most of my life with a psychological phenomenon called, dissociation, a mental/emotional self preservation technique that uses a powerful sexual addiction to repress and block out trauma memory from childhood of spankings from my parents. They were raised from German heritage and that cultures strict parenting practices of the late 18th century, even though my parents and I were raised Americans in the U.S. The terrifying trauma flashbacks of those punishments upon reaching out from my buried consciousness were betraying. Sadly my mother had passed away so I could not resolve my damage feelings and sexuality with her understanding of what she had done to me. Many people are very private and protective of their sense of sexuality. Some live with a spanking fetish and indulge in it with other such partners of the same psychosexual damage. They see nothing wrong with it and never consider that its origin was their own childhood spanking punishments. Living with this fetish creates a sense of being a monster once one realizes that they are experiencing emotional and sexual feeling if they spank their children. This form of sexual abuse remains culturally hidden where the social culture and or a parent's religious belief consider this form of punishment morally good without lasting harm to children. I have done much reading to help me understand the psychology of this problem and I have one web site that offers a glimpse into the problem, it is a child abuse web site owned and managed by a Canadian woman. She describes how she discovered her mother had a spanking fetish and acted out her adult sexual desires of BDSM in the context of corporal punishment of her son. This hidden form of child sexual abuse goes unchallenged in the privacy of homes of parents that use spanking and have emotional and mental damage to their psychosexuality where the counties laws have yet to make it illegal. I have always been very grateful to know Sweden made child spanking illegal in their country back in the late 1970's. I wish to thank the people of Sweden for leading humanity in this much ignored problem.
20:07 November 28, 2010 by wildair
Sadly in the U.S. the professional psychological community has removed spanking fetishes from its list of mental health disorders. While not being a serious condition it allows the hidden continued sexual exploitation of children as a non contact form of incest. I have much I could share about my journey to mental healing and the struggle to live with a sexual addiction that effects how one relates to other people. I would offer my private email if one has a serious interest in learning more about this problem. I realize many individuals deny this is a problem. Most spanking fetish parents may completely repress any sexual feelings and thoughts when they spank their children because of the strong taboo yet they can't be entirely successful in avoiding some level of self gratification. I offer these U.S. professional psychotherapy books as excellent references. Both are written in English. The first describes how deliberate shaming is used to emotionally harm abused adults and children when using punishment. The second describes how a spanking fetish is created in young developing children sometimes ignorantly and sometimes motivated out of a person's own fetish impulses.

I would never wish to be responsible for creating this psychosexual damage to my children having suffered living with this condition myself. But I have unsuccessfully argued this problem especially to parents who live with this condition and spank their children. I actively speak out accepting much parental outrage in the U.S. and Australia and risk being labeled a pervert or worse pedophile. I do this to educate and hopefully find open minds especially within the authority of religious leaders to understand that the cycle of sexual abuse is being perpetuated by organized religion.

“Crimes of Punishment” by the late Dr. Timothy Dorpat,

“Regression: A Universal Experience” by Averil Marie Doyle

The Canadian web site where other victims speak out about this mental health issue is:


Finally in closing I'll address the common response of people. Many claim they were never spanked as a child yet live with an “adult” spanking fetish or other BDSM impulses of sadomasochism. My therapist has enlightened me that some children were too young to recall their trauma and some are traumatized by just hearing or witnessing a child spanking indirectly.
21:51 November 28, 2010 by greatar4
If all they did was using spanking, there is nothing wrong with that. But, if they used other things to punish their children that's bad.
00:44 November 29, 2010 by Uggla
The lame justification/example that is being used here stating that unless your spank (abuse) your child they will become brats and criminals or they will be violent to you is just bull-pukey! I have NEVER used any violence against my children in anyway and they are very good, kind and well mannered children.

Guess how they became that way? Through love and understanding. Through patients and perseverance.

What is knowledge without understanding? How is physically harming a child into fear teaching them in a positive light. Effective discipline does not have to include hitting.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
00:50 November 29, 2010 by Tanskalainen
Are Swedes still capable of blushing? If you can't smack a brat and if little boys are forced to pee sitting down and if anyone critizing Islam is called a "racist" (Islam is not a race by the way) then Sweden is a house of cards and will fall soon.
02:35 November 29, 2010 by JoeSwede
The article said that the jail sentence was due to only breaking of the literal law... there was no abuse or complaint from the children. Did I get that right?

The punishment seems too severe....9 months and the taking of the children away from the parents. Shameful. Big brother is Sweden.

School bullying in Sweden seems to be much worse of an issue...but that is harder to tackle and not as PC...
09:43 November 29, 2010 by unseen

you are right, Islam is not a race! however, please try to differentiate between Islam and Muslims...

all people are entitle to criticize religions since its a kind of Ideology (well, spiritual wise at least) that is not owned by certain people...

i was born of Muslim Parents, and i always criticize Muslims for misunderstanding Islam and on the other hand criticize Islam for some points that carry more than one meaning, the ones that carry two contradictory views.

i know to comment on such topic has nothing to deal with Islam. and i know i am not that religious to give answers to your wonders my friend, but i can at least tell you that you can always criticize Islam.

the world is smaller than we think to fight each other for just your and my opinion. same time same world is big enough for us to accept each other the way we are.

smile, be happy and enjoy life
11:14 November 29, 2010 by J Jack
@ vancer, what a good citizen you are reminding us what is legal or not, period... ha ha ha as if you never cycled without lights or accidentally stole a pen, get a job at the courthouse and save us some space on this comment board. Now can anyone tell me where I can find a hooker in Lund?
11:48 November 29, 2010 by Cheapjack
I don't think most people get outright sexual pleasure from spanking a child that has just kicked you or bit you. A sense of righteous indignation and a desire for revenge, yes. It's a controlled way of hitting people that can be used in other, sexual, ways as an adult. Reasoning is the most healthy option, spanking, a resort,and outright anarchy where children commit violence against adults and rule them, not healthy at all.

Swedes are reasonable.
16:02 November 29, 2010 by alingsaskev
Once again (and this seems to happen all too frequently on this site) we have deviated from the original topic, Corporal Punishment, through Islam and Sexual Fetishes into yet another odd pit of depravity. Please at LEAST TRY to keep on topic people!

The parents in this case broke Swedish Law - That makes them criminals regardless of whether one agrees with it. Their use of the Bible as a justification is frankly rather odd and people really should get to grips with the idea that the live in Northern Europe at the beginning of the 21st Century and Not Cannan or Babylon at any time within 500 years of the Birth of Christ.

For my part, I think it's a daft law. Parents should be allowed to bring up their children as they think fit and the less state meddling the better. Children are already protected from abuse by a gamut of laws - indeed children are amongst the most protected individuals on the planet (and rightly so!) Sometimes a smack is just the wake up call that is needed for a child that is putting itself in danger or doing something seriously wrong. It is terribly tricky trying to reason with a 4 year old - but by all means feel free to try.

I'm not one to hark back to "the olden days" and to view it through misty eyes shrouded in a halcyon glow of nostalgia however children were better behaved in the past and had much more respect for their parents. That respect has evaporated somewhere, and I think it disappeared around the time that Mothers stopped saying "You just wait until your Father gets home." Of course mothers can still technically say that, but there's little that Father CAN do when he gets home, other than say, "Now Jimmy, you naughty little toe-rag you. Just jolly well don't do that again!"

Well he could smack Jimmy I suppose, but he would be better off just handing the 2,500 SEK to the little snotbag there and then and locking himself in the garage for a year, rather than go through the trouble of a court appearance.

It really is a win/win for Jimmy - sadly for society though - Jimmy knows this and takes his "Human Rights" along with him into his adult life - and that's where at all turns a little nasty! Jimmy you see is now 6'4" weighs about the same a small car and takes his temper tantrums out on old ladies with a baseball bat.

Still, at this point he's old enough to be treated as an adult, and doesn't have any of the protection that he had as a child, so he gets locked up and taught how to behave correctly in society at vast costs to the tax payer. And what if Jimmy gets slapped around a bit by his fellow inmates in prison? He's an adult - he can take it like a man! Problem is, he's picked up a few nasty friends in prison and when he get's out (and although the prison authorities have tried to teach Jimmy right from wrong) he just keeps on being naughty.

"Just wait until your Father gets home," now that doesn't cost a penny, and makes a very lasting impression.
17:24 November 29, 2010 by Åskar
Astrid Lindgren used to tell a story about a child who had misbehaved and was going to get spanked, but first he had to go out in the forest and find himself a suitable rod. After a while he returned and said with tears in his eyes, "I couldn't find a rod, but here is a stone that you can throw at me, mother".

'nuff said.
18:31 November 29, 2010 by thebigo
I think it's really sad that Sweden isn't a free country! What else does your government have you do? Spanking children, as long as it doesn't cause injury, is perfectly fine. I will say that the hairbrush, and a plank are too harsh. Maybe next, your children can report you to the authorities for eating the wrong kind of food! Maybe you should read "1984" by George Orwell.
18:31 November 29, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
Also I bet that Malaysia is at the top of Sweden's 'Shame on you list'. Rumor has it that the Bamboo stick or cane is used on misbehavior types.
20:42 November 29, 2010 by Acroyear
@ alingsaskev you talk a lot of sense but...

1) "The parents in this case broke Swedish Law - That makes them criminals"

So by your definition, the 95% of us who transgress various laws are criminals. Good - it'll helps us empathise with these bible bashing, child thumping parents.

2) "Their use of the Bible as a justification is frankly rather odd and people should..."

What do you think Swedish law is originally based on? Of course it's not f*cking odd - it's perfectly natural if you're a Christian and there are a lot of them about. And even if it was odd, so what? You want everyone to be Mr & Mrs Normal???

Nevertheless, by mentioning the Bible, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Totalitarian powers (religious or secular) fear any kind of independent thought. They fear intellectual/moral/conscientious/external objections to their authority more than anything else. They know it only takes a small group of independently minded, committed idealists to undermine the whole f*cking system, so when someone steps out of line, they must be subdued and made an example of for the rest to see.

It must be done cleverly - brand the subversive with the accusation of child abuse or sexual perversion and let the sheeple do the rest (see some of the above comments).

In a civilised society, you'd take these parents aside, engage the services of a Christian pastor and engage in that lost art - dialogue.

You'd explain the law using rational arguments, let the pastor show them a different way of interpreting the Bible and, behind all that you'd let them know the punishment for breaking the law. Gradually, you'd win them over. But it requires a level of imagination, intelligence and empathy that our army of well paid, highly educated but thick as pigsh*t social and legal practitioners lack.

Economically, Sweden's hanging in there. Sadly, the collective IQ seems to be going down the plughole, as this case shows.
22:45 November 29, 2010 by Bumblebeetuna
I spoke to a Swedish woman in Värmland about this article and said she read the same story in her local newspaper. She said that the "spanking" was much worse than just casual spanking. To the point of abuse as she described. If that is true then the couple are being punished quite extremely based on a moral and legal standpoint. It also implies that this paper is writing stories to get a reaction out of it's base readers. If it happened more like this article explains then I understand the reaction to the excessiveness.
23:10 November 29, 2010 by PDeverit
Only suitable for minors?:

Schoolchildrens' "spanking" related injuries (WARNING - These images may be deeply disturbing to some viewers. Do not open this page if children are present).


Reasonable and moderate? You decide.

(WARNING - This sound recording may be deeply disturbing to some listeners. Do not open this file if children are within listening range).

23:13 November 29, 2010 by PDeverit
Only suitable for minors?:

Schoolchildrens' "spanking" related injuries (WARNING - These images may be deeply disturbing to some viewers. Do not open this page if children are present).


Reasonable and moderate? You decide.

(WARNING - This sound recording may be deeply disturbing to some listeners. Do not open this file if children are within listening range).

23:13 November 29, 2010 by PDeverit
People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, college students, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the sex organs, anal region, and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be intentionally or unintentionally sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can read the testimony, documentation, and educational resources available from the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at www.nospank.net

Child bottom-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child bottom-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

There are several reasons why child bottom-battering isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking

by Jordan Riak


The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children

by Tom Johnson



by Lesli Taylor MD and Adah Maurer PhD


Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping/battering isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,

American Psychological Association,

Center For Effective Discipline,

Churches' Network For Non-Violence,

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,

Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The US states with the highest crime rates and the poorest academic performance are also the ones with the highest rates of child corporal punishment.

There is simply no evidence to suggest that child bottom-battering instills virtue.
23:15 November 29, 2010 by PDeverit
"The much-touted 'biblical argument' in support of corporal punishment is founded upon proof-texting a few isolated passages from Proverbs. Using the same method of selective scripture reading, one could also cite the Bible as an authority for the practice of slavery, adultery, polygamy, incest, suppression of women, executing people who eat pork, and infanticide. The brutal and vindictive practice of corporal punishment cannot be reconciled with the major New Testament themes that teach love and forgiveness and a respect for the sacredness and dignity of children, and which overwhelmingly reject violence and retribution as a means of solving human problems. Would Jesus ever hit a child? NEVER!"

The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf, United Methodist Clergy (Retired), Hamilton, Indiana. Personal communication, 2006.

"If we really want a peaceful and compassionate world, we need to build communities of trust where all children are respected, where home and school are safe places to be and where discipline is taught by example."

Desmond M. Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2006. See www.nospank.net/globalreport.pdf

Ten Reasons I Can't Spank A Catholic Counselor's Critical Examination of Corporal Punishment By Gregory K. Popcak, MSW, LCSW


"I have always been an advocate for the total abolition of corporal punishment and I believe the connection with pornography that is so oriented has its roots in our tradition of beating children."

Gordon Moyes, D. D., Pastor, Uniting Church, Superintendent of the Wesley Central Mission, Sydney, Australia. Excerpt from personal communication, 1980.

"I have never accepted the principle of 'spare the rod and spoil the child.'... I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons... Children don't need beating. They need love and encouragement. They need fathers to whom they can look with respect rather than fear. Above all, they need example."

Gordon B. Hinckley, President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, October 1994 General Conference.

United Methodist Church:

UMC General Conference, May 3, 2004, takes a stand against corporal punishment in all settings.

Click on the following links:



Rita Swan, introducer of both resolutions, describes strategy

Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps


Arms of Love: A grace based explanation of Biblical child rearing:


Nurturing God's Way


Churches Network for Nonviolence


Christian website about attachment parenting:


Matthew 19:8

Just because something is a long-standing tradition, doesn't mean it was ever right to begin with.
04:35 November 30, 2010 by Investor612
It's amazing how many people escalate a spanking into "beating."

Literally hundreds of millions of people managed to grow up into responsible adults, including myself, in spite of the occasional spanking when they were badly behaved as children.

What's really alarming, to those who value their freedom, is the principle at work here that the state knows best and has control in the most intimate areas of family life. Little wonder much of Western Europe, including Sweden, is on a demographic collision course with Neanderthal man.
06:10 November 30, 2010 by Rebel
pDeveret, not even Freud would classify spanking a child for wrongdoing as a sexual thing.
09:49 November 30, 2010 by Rick Methven

"Literally hundreds of millions of people managed to grow up into responsible adults, including myself, "

Can that statement be independently verified, or is your usual overly great opinion of yourself?
09:56 November 30, 2010 by justagurlfromSeattle
So.... it is ONLY a free country if you are allowed to HIT your child????

Did some of you MISS that they hit their kids with a BOARD and hair brush?????

I grew up fine with spankings too..... BUT did I respect my parents????

or did I FEAR my parents?????

FEAR is NOT respect...... and I KNOW that my daughter does not fear me... she respects me.... and always has.... and I know she always will....

that is because I treat her as a HUMAN......

If I am not allowed to hit my friends when they MISBEHAVE..... why should I be able to my child?????

just because I had her, does NOT make her my POSSESSION...... she is not an item I own..... she is a human being....

and yes.... when somebody that is even a bit bigger than you hits you even joking... it hurts far more than somebody your own size hitting you.....

So.... Hitting a child in my view is ALWAYS WRONG!!!

Sweden by the way has FAR LESS Child abuse than the USA... that alone tells me Sweden is doing a LOT right.....
10:57 November 30, 2010 by Alf Garnett

Sweden by the way has FAR LESS Child abuse than the USA # it should have, there are nearly 30 times more people in the USA. This does not mean Sweden is doing a lot right, in fact if you experience the lack of respect children/youngsters/teenagers show, then they are in fact doing as much wrong as any other country.

I grew up with spankings, I can remeber my Dad hitting me once & I deserved it, my mother slapped my hand several times. This did not turn me into a "spanking" pervert & I RESPECT not fear my parents.

This is political correctness gone stark raving mad, the so called psychologist/psycho-analysts/psychiatrist need to be analysed, their teachings have resulted in the immoralistic society we have today.

A quick clip round the ear, or a slap on the backside has helped millions of former children distinguish right from wrong.

Abuse on the other hand cannot be tolerated.
10:59 November 30, 2010 by Cheapjack
I'm not sure whether I would spank my kids, I obviously wouldn't, if I was in Sweden, it's illegal. It would depend on them. If they attacked me I would. Time out is a physical punishment, it's depriving of liberty, it could be argued of as unfair. I have seen some psychiatrists who advocate sitting on a child, holding them down, that's physical. You can discipline by just making out you are more devious and ruthless and can outthink a child, that was done to me a lot. It would depend on the child and some only understand one language and even if you don't hit, the threat has to be there.
16:33 November 30, 2010 by johann2340
For sure not everybody agrees with the 'nospank.net',

see the link below.


A smacked child 'is a successful child'

January 04, 2010

YOUNG children smacked by their parents may grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been hit, a study has found.

According to the research, children smacked up to the age of six were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to university than their peers who had never been physically disciplined.

Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said her study showed there was insufficient evidence to deny parents the freedom to choose how they discipline their children.
17:03 November 30, 2010 by roaringchicken92
On the issue of illegality, it is also illegal to exceed the posted speed limits on the roads. The illegality issue in both cases is in degree, not kind.

No child should be "beaten", but neither is it effective to ask a 5-year-old (for instance) to take a couple of minutes to ponder the existential causalities of the actions (s)he has purveyed and to consider contrition for the emotional, social, and/or cultural distress questionable behavior can cause. The child will count off their penalty time and go right back at the same behavior, because there's no undesirable consequences from this behavior to be reckoned with. None.
18:02 January 10, 2011 by jjoensuu
@roaringchicken92 (#64)

apropos what you are writing in reference to the 5-year old, it should still be quite rare that a 5-year old does something that requires a beating. And they very often understand why something should not be done if a simple explanation is provided. Sometimes you can appeal to their kindness.

But besides that it sometimes seems that we beat kids for reasons that we would not beat adults, and that the kid is made to feel like a "bad person" for actions that were not even mentioned in the law given by Moses (since the Bible was included in this discussion). Of course rules and limits are required and there will always be actions that cannot be allowed but perhaps there are other options than beating the kid.

Penalty time (not being allowed to play for a moment or something like that) can be an undesirable consequence as well, although granted that there could be kids for whom this is not so effective.

@johann2340 (#63)

I would guess that it is not NECESSARILY the smacking that brings up a kid as successful but the parental involvement and concern. Perhaps parents that smack are sometimes more concerned about the kids development (or even "overconcerned").

As to what the Bible says about child rearing, I would say that the references to the "rod" should be seen more as a reference to the shepherds rod. The shepherds in ancient Israel did not use the rod to beat the animals but to guide them. Of course I cannot claim that this interpretation is somehow obviously evident when reading some passages...
20:08 March 4, 2011 by lakota
Beating their kids was a mistake.

To put them behind bars and therefore destroying the family is a crime.

A crimecommitted by the swedish state
19:05 July 17, 2011 by peacetoyou

If they've had a good relationship in the family, then it will hurt more, that the kids can not see their parents anymore.

I am against corporal punishments, but also do not play god. In the end will both sides, kids and parents, only confused. that will help nobody.

To talk with the whole family about all the stuff as a beginning of changing would be better.

Do not get me wrong, parents, whom torture their children must be punished, but in that case i found nothing like this. They did something wrong, but they also did not know about it.

so, all you judges, think about it.
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