• Sweden's news in English

Three in ten parents 'manhandle' kids: study

TT/The Local/rm · 1 Dec 2011, 14:56

Published: 01 Dec 2011 14:56 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“These figures must be seen as slightly alarming,” said Maria Larsson, minister for children and elderly, to daily Dagens Nyheter.

The survey, carried out by the foundation Allmänna Barnhuset, which works to safeguard children in society, shows that the number of parents handling their children roughly has increased from 12 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2011.

Swedish-born parents are more likely to grab or shake their children than parent born outside of Sweden, according to the survey.

Among the Swedish-born parents, the majority of such punishments are carried out by men.

Almost 42 percent of Swedish-born fathers said that they had on occasion used such methods, while 34 percent of Swedish-born women had done the same.

For men born outside of Sweden the corresponding figure was 16.7 percent and women 24 percent.

However, no parents in the survey said they had shaken a child younger than one year old, which the authors of the report saw as a positive sign.

Neither had any child under two years of age been subjected to corporal punishment.

Despite the rise in the general rough handling of children, the study showed no significant changes to parents’ attitudes about corporal punishment.

Story continues below…

92 percent of parents in Sweden didn’t think that it was acceptable to beat children.

Men and women from outside of Sweden and parents with a lower level of education were on average more positive to corporal punishment than the others.

The study was carried out by the foundation Allmänna Barnhuset on the behest of the government. Similar studies were carried out in 1980, 2000 and 2006.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:11 December 1, 2011 by Migga
I`d love to get my eyes on this study. I bet it`s pure crap. There might be an explanation tho and that is that native Swedes grab and pull their kids while immigrants don`t. They do worse. And so it doesn`t show up in this study.

BRIS came out with a rapport, regarding abuse towards children, in 2011. In that you can read on page 37 that;

"Immigrants beat their children more and worse then native Swedes"


Something that even this study hints to, if you read the entire article;

"Men and women from outside of Sweden and parents with a lower level of education were on average more positive to corporal punishment, than the others."
16:37 December 1, 2011 by star10
How frequently do Swedes on average visit/call their aging parents? I am not sanctioning abuse towards children. But there is a lot of attention to each detail about how parents deal with their children but very little focus on how grown-up children try to care about their elderly parents.
17:03 December 1, 2011 by lovedealer76

Good point mate
17:06 December 1, 2011 by alieninsweden
I just want to point out the historical inaccuracy of characterizing Europeans as 'native Swedes.' Saami are the true native Swedes... It's bizarre how this trope is continually invoked in various posts here, the opposition between native (Germanic) Swedes and 'immigrants.' The truth is, those considered natives invaded this country.
17:15 December 1, 2011 by calebian22
Stress is the reason for manhandling your kids? Jante friggin lagen! Feel stressed in life? Beat your kid, your spouse, or your dog. What goes on behind closed doors in Sweden, truly is a dirty little secret.
17:31 December 1, 2011 by Migga
@ calebian22

Sweden is the least tolerant against abusing children. If you worry about what goes on behind closed doors in Sweden then your head would explode thinking about closed doors anywhere else.
18:12 December 1, 2011 by Greekfan
You should NEVER shake anybody, it can be very dangerous. Beat, what exactly is meant by beat? I see no harm in the ossasional mild single slap on the back of the lower legs given after several warnings. I remember the, there is a slap coming, I can definitely see a slap, it's getting closer, it's almost here, routine. This usualy worked and said slap was only very rarely needed.
18:19 December 1, 2011 by calebian22

Sweden is the least tolerant against abusing children? My butt. It just depends on your definition of abuse.
19:17 December 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
I agree, Greekfan. A well placed swat on the rump is a lot less dangerous than shaking a child which can damage their brains.
19:20 December 1, 2011 by Migga
@ calebian22

Read the rapport I linked. Swedens definition of abuse is one of the harshest. And abuse is frowned upon by the public. Not something you can say in the rest of the world where everyone just mind their own business even when abuse is obvious.

Take the case with the italian tourist this summer. The father slapped, pulled and lifted his son by the hair in the middle of the street. Abuse in Sweden, not abuse in Italy. Witnesses stepped up and contacted the police, the italian father was taken to jail. I`d say Sweden is the least tolerant to abuse of children.


Feel free to read the comments to that article aswell, filled with people who like to flog their kids. No native Swedes tho.
19:57 December 1, 2011 by GLO
Does a kick in the pants count???? Its too late mine are 33/36.......
20:44 December 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
Mine, too. Well maybe 34/36 if I don't want to hold my breath.
21:51 December 1, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I think we could make a good case that putting up with children's bad behavior in public rather than correcting them, and allowing some children to blackmail their parents with threats that they will claim to have been mistreated is a far more harmful situation.

God knows I was beat enough as a child, and would not wish that on anyone, but the current Swedish situation just represents the other extreme and does not work either.
23:22 December 1, 2011 by rumcajs
Ok, define "grab". I have a 2.5 y/o son and he's got a loooot of attitude. I had to put him in the car, take him to his grandparents and then go to work..... and guess what: he didn't bloody want to use the belt!!!!

My options are: 1- Shout like a Death Metal "singer" and hope his gonna sit after all the people around look at you like if you were nuts.

2- "Grab" him, put him in the chair and hold hm till you fasten the belt hard enough so he can't perform some escapist trick (coz he can) and stand even more people looking at you with even worse ayes.

3- Be late and tell your boss that you are late everyday coz your son doesn't wanna get in the car and it's not acceptable to grab him. After some time get the sack and the same people that looked at me like if I was nuts would comment here that all those people without jobs are lazy parasits living from their taxed!!!!!

I never beat him or shake him, but if we don't GRAB'em............
23:56 December 1, 2011 by chantal11
It all comes down to parenting- you raise a respectful child... and you don't have to abuse them; a slap, a grab, a shake... it is all abuse.

Instead of beating your child you should use that effort towards correcting his/her behaviour. It is not there fault they are acting up- it is the parents fault.

You get the child you raise.

I think it is heartbreaking that a child is hit because their parent isn't putting in enough effort into how the child is raised.

It is pure laziness on behalf of the parents.
00:24 December 2, 2011 by CCVB
so what??? it has worked for hundreds of years and kids grew up having much more respect than the ones now who cant get a little smack once in a while and therefore think everything is allowed! Stupid that something that worked for centuries suddenly becomes illegal! RIDICULOUS!
01:01 December 2, 2011 by shiraz
All countries perhaps ought to avoid physical, psychic, spiritual and psychological abuse of any kind towards any lifeform. Unfortunately some communities are struggling with parents abusing children (leave along enemies or strangers).
01:10 December 2, 2011 by samson123
my parents slapped the crap out of me when i was growing up and i turned out just fine. still love my parents too.
01:23 December 2, 2011 by swenrika
It just sooo amazes me how laws can get so extreme.

Parents should be allowed to discipline their children. THEIR children. The family is the MOST important part of society and the law comes a few steps later, but this seems to be the reverse in so many instances.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm talking about the slap on the butt, sweet short sting on the butt and lesson learned, not a beating that the kid winds up in hospital, that , I agree, is a no no.

It is amazing to see how we humans learn so much from nature, have and still are, but somehow I do not see a Lion mom sweet talking, begging her cubs into behaving. But I do remember seeing them getting one mighty slap, and shortly after being cuddled, learn the lesson again, or grandparent and some of our parents knew them well, applied them well and here we are today, grown adults,

@CCVB #16

So agree, if disciplining your kids was so wrong, we all are a bunch of degraded misfits (well, the older ones amongst us) that are no use to society. But, strangely enough, we live, we love, we work, we have fun. And all after we got spanked a few times whilst being younger.
09:33 December 2, 2011 by Central European
Well the problem is that physical punishments are sometimes much less cruel than psychological violence which is not in generall feared by ministers for children and families and all "kids rights activists"

The adequate physical punishment is short quick response with clear contact to situation of children misbehaviour.

Many of alternative psychological punishements are bit thick, too long and do not drawe the lessons to kids.
13:45 December 2, 2011 by Internationalist
With regard to this article, I think discussion of whom, what race or nationality group harm their kids is nothing except escaping from the main purpose of this subject. We could

Researchers have been saying for 50 years that CORPORAL PUNISHMENT is not a good way to discipline children; it's painful and humiliating, and leads to resentment and revenge, not remorse or impulse control. Now for the first time, someone is saying it's even worse than we imagined: The more children are CORPORAL PUNISHED, the more likely they will grow up to be less successful academically, have unhappier marriages, earn less money, and live unhappier lives than children who are never spanked.

Hard to believe all that can come from a swift swat on the tush now and then, isn't it?

"Suppose there are two medicines that work, but one has harmful side effects that don't show up for 10 or 20 years. Even if one dose has only a tiny chance of an adverse effect, I think us parents would want to avoid that risk. That's the way we should think about spanking,". We can't argue that CORPORAL PUNISHMENT doesn't work, rather that other strategies work better and most probably don't have permanent side effect on our children.
20:38 December 2, 2011 by Tengo
By the way, what does the bible say? Which is worse. Physical abuse or psychological abuse, why is focus only on physical abuse? What about psychological abuse of students by their teachers? What about economical violence/abuse? Material violence (parents breaking things infront of their children)? Abuse can take many forms, there is no society that is spared from it. Just not talking to your children and walking away from a difficult situation at home or with your family can cause damages to your children. We shouldn't be so biased in our outlook, we should look at the problem for what it is instead of ethnicising it...
11:36 December 3, 2011 by Internationalist
Tengo: As you've addressed this entity has many underlying attributes. Therefore it seems at this article the writer and us commenters only fucus on physical abouse, level of it, efect and side effect ot it. Since children upbringing is one of the most important psychological subject we should analys it section by section and level by level. Generalisation normally does not result effective.
Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available