It is noted that as junior high students reach Form
II level, they are likely to have more emotional problems.
To explore the relationship among the parents emotional
status during the disciplining of their children, the
method applied and the teenagers' responses, our "Family
Networks"-Integrated Family Service Centre launched
a survey by interviewing 2,956 parents of Form II students
from 17 secondary schools this summer.
Eighty percent of the interviewee were mothers of the
students; 45% held full-time jobs, 40% were housewives
and 15% were unemployed. Most of the interviewee had
either attained senior secondary school level (34.6%)
or junior secondary school level (29.5%), while the
remaining ones had received either primary school education
or post-secondary education.
The survey revealed that when parents were under pressure,
they would likely lose control of their own distressed
emotions and would easily resort to hitting or nagging
while disciplining their children. As a result, their
children were inclined to respond with negative behaviors
such as staying out late, hanging around with bad company,
and showing their indifference in school. Since the
mothers seemed to demonstrate a great deal of weariness,
it also meant that they had taken on much stress disciplining
their children; thus an apparent sign to summon support
and assistance from their spouses.
Although the survey revealed that 80% of the interviewed
parents felt positive and confident in communicating,
sharing and expressing their concerns with their children.
Nonetheless, there was 70% of the parents continued
to worry about their children; 40% of them expressed
their incompetence as parents, discouraged and perceived
their parenting skills as total failure.
It has also been noted that approximately 10% of the
parents in the survey would frequently or periodically
resort to corporal punishment as a mean discipline.
Parents who were unemployed were found to have a higher
percentage (12.8%) of hitting their children than those
who were working and were housewives (7.5%).
The coordinator of our "Family Networks"-Integrated
Family Service Centre, Mrs. Cammy Wong, reminded parents
to be aware of the emotional upheaval that might come
along in disciplining children. She suggested that parents
should practice the '4-more-and-1-never' principle:
more joyous, to understand one's own weariness while
learn to remain calm when facing and handling stress
; more communication, when discipline is necessary,
try talking and discussing attempting to gain an understand
from each other; more interaction, spend time with your
children to establish a strong mutual understanding;
more support given to each other as a couple by sharing
the role and responsibility as parents; never use corporal
punishment as the sole means of disciplining your children.