Quarter of Parents Don't Discipline Kids for 'Easy Life,' Survey Finds

Filed under: In The News

Three in 10 adults say they're pushovers when it comes to disciplining their kids. Credit: RachelH_, Flickr

Time out may be getting its own time out, as 25 percent of parents responding to a recent survey say they don't discipline their children for bad behavior because they want "an easy life."

The study, as reported by the U.K.'s Daily Mail, says three in 10 adults admit to being a "pushover" when it comes to their kids, and more than half see themselves as more of a friend than a parent, saying they'd rather talk things out than dish out punishments.

Conducted for the Armed Forces Cadet movement, one of Britain's oldest, largest youth organizations, the survey questioned 2,000 parents about their attitudes toward discipline, the newspaper reports.

"It seems children these days get a far easier ride than parents did 20 or 30 years ago," a spokperson for the AFC tells the Daily Mail. "Our survey suggests mums and dads tend to avoid ticking off their children because it's easier than having to deal with them kicking up more of a fuss. They don't want to be seen as too strict and not enough of a friend who their kids feel comfortable talking to."

More findings from the survey, according to the newspaper:
  • Fifty-five percent said their own parents had been stricter with them.
  • More than a third said they feared a lack of boundaries could lead to their children getting into trouble.
  • Nine in 10 said they were strictly disciplined as a children. Six in 10 said they were smacked and close to half were sent to bed early.
  • One in five said they had to miss dinner, and one in 10 had their "ears boxed" or their mouths washed out with soap.
  • Most -- 93 percent -- said they grew up respecting their elders. Eight in 10 said one "telling-off" kept them from becoming repeat offenders.
  • For those who do use discipline, three in 10 said they had sent their kids to bed early, and one in three restricted iPod, cell phone or computer access.
  • One in 20 said they would do "absolutely nothing" to punish a child. "But a quarter of those polled said they wished they were more strict because their child was a tearaway," the Daily Mail reports.
How important is discipline in getting your kids to behave?

Related: Effective Parenting and Disciplining Children

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.