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Old 26.02.2011, 21:03
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Parenting in Switzerland

Hi all,

Today at Zürich Zoo we were walking up an uneven bit of concrete path; NickJnr tripped over and scraped his knee a bit. A few tears, a Kleenex and a bit of a fuss later and he was fine.

Just a few seconds later, a family with mum, dad, and two kids - a boy around 7-8 years old and a girl about 5ish strolled up and the boy "faked" a fall on the path, which the mother didn't really acknowledge whereupon realising he hadn't got the attention he wanted the boy immediately kicked his sister very hard in the leg as if his "falling" was her fault (it wasn't) - she looked in a lot of pain.

The only admonishment the boy received was the father saying that was "Blöd" [dumb] and the boy otherwise got off scott free - there was no attempt to make him apologise to his sister or other disciplinary action forthcoming. From the way the boy acted when kicking and afterwards, my impression was it is the type of behaviour he regularly gets away with. Moreover the parents didn't do a lot to comfort the girl (note to EF serial groaners and lovers of "banter": I know kids need to "HTFU" but this really was beyond the pail).

I am sure such parenting techniques are not typical in Swiss families but it left Mrs Nickatbasel and I rather shocked nonetheless.

What does the panel think?

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 26.02.2011, 21:10
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

This just breaks my heart

No, this is not typical Swiss parenting. I have never ever witnessed this kind of behaviour from any of my Swiss friends with children.
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Old 26.02.2011, 21:27
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

That little girl sounds like she is her brother's goatscape. And it is sad when parents (from where ever the culture) let that happen without any consequences...

Few weeks ago I saw a woman slapping her little daughter (she was maybe 3-4 years old) in the face on the tram.

I was very angry and shocked. Very humiliating indeed for the little girl...

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Old 26.02.2011, 21:31
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

OMG!She slapped her 4 year old girl?? In the tram??
I should have been there!
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Old 26.02.2011, 21:48
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

ACHTUNG: This message is not a critics against the poster, it puts the situation into perspective. This post is quite thought through, so the actual meaning of it is most probably more subtle than it looks when reading it only with emotions about the situation discribed. Thank you for your understanding.

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OMG!She slapped her 4 year old girl?? In the tram??
I should have been there!
It sounds like it was better that you weren't there. You have no right to interfer in that, even if you disagree. Calling the police is an option. Nobody in CH will judge you for calling the police, that would be rather a sign of succesful integration, but your private opinion are as good as hers about parenting.
The law in Switzerland is rather on your side, no doubt as far as the philosophy of education is concerned, but the definition of child violence is not the same everywhere in the world and at all times of history, so keep in mind where you are when reacting with such conviction on a topic that obviously is very sensitive to you.
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Old 26.02.2011, 22:26
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

Quote:
... but the definition of child violence is not the same everywhere in the world and at all times of history, so keep in mind where you are when reacting with such conviction on a topic that obviously is very sensitive to you.

If slapping a 4 year old girl in the face somehow falls into a category of "acceptable" anywhere in the world - it's the culture or regime that needs to change. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, or whether segments of society accept violent behaviour as OK. Violence is violence, abuse is abuse and that sort of behaviour is poor parenting.

Honour killings are acceptable in many parts of the world - it doesn't make them right.

I've experienced many Swiss people feeling it their duty to let mothers know their children aren't dressed warmly enough, or shouldn't be eating sweets as they're bad for their teeth. So this sort of "intervention" seems to happen here far more often than say in the UK.

Last edited by Guest; 26.02.2011 at 22:51. Reason: Fixed quote formatting
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Old 26.02.2011, 23:08
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Re: Parenting in Switzerland

"Slapping" is not defined in your message, so yes it can be violence, or it can be a gesture in a grey zone. But I know that culturally, people here are like me totally against the slightest gesture of this nature as such independently of the physical force applied. I am aware of that. But we also need to be aware of the fact that there are many kinds of slapping, some of it deadly (it's the face afterall), others at the other extreem in the light zone. And the latter is subject to definition.

But again. I am trying to think. Comparing this situation with honnor killing is not helping. So if there is a consensus here that emotions are the only response to the situation, then fine, I accept that and I will stop thinking here. No problem.
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