The Institute for Security Studies and the University of Cape Town conducted a research in a small rural South African community (Western Cape), showing how parenting affects children's behaviour and mental health.
The research findings were that children who were subjected to corporal punishment, whose parents were stressed and who suffered from mental health problems (such as depression) were more likely to display symptoms associated with violence and aggression.
The research also found that children exposed to intimate partner violence in the home (domestic violence) were more likely than other children to act aggressively and violently themselves.
Redi Tlhabi spoke to Chandré Gould, Senior research fellow at UCT to give insight to the research and to look at what can be done to prevent violence before it even starts.
What we are hoping to do in this community where the research is being done, is to put in place these programs over a year and see if we can shift the entire community’s parenting practices from harsh and inconsistent parenting, between those one of the risk factor for violence, to warm consistent parenting. What we want to do is not only reduce levels of violence, of course, but we want children to be able to realise their full potential and they can do that when they are warmly parented and have good interactions with their parents
The findings of the research imply that parent support and training, and an increase in services to address intimate partner violence and mental health problems, should be prioritised as part of a national violence reduction strategy
Click here to read a copy of the research
Still on parenting, two Maryland (US) parents are vowing to file a lawsuit against the police after their two children, aged 6 and 10, were picked up by police walking without adult supervision.
702 presenter John Robbie also spoke to a Child-Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Clementine Mudie about "free range" parenting and where does one draw the line between the hands-free approach to parenting and child neglect?
According to Mudie there are pros and cons to both styles of parenting (helicopter parenting and free range) but there should a balance between the two looking at the risks and benefits
Click here to read the full Maryland story
What is free range parenting?
“Free-range” parenting is a style of parenting where parents free their children and let them explore the world at their own pace, unsupervised as opposed to the overprotective hovering of the modern helicopter parenting.