Belgium: Flemish parents 'become stricter'

Generic image of a girl crying as she's scolded by her mother

Mums and dads in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium are tough on their kids because they reckon their own parents weren't strict enough, it's suggested.

A large-scale study into parenting in Flanders found 60% of those questioned considered it acceptable to give children an "educational slap", according to the daily paper Het Nieuwsblad. "They are [stricter] deliberately because they consider that their parents kept too loose a rein on them," it says.

However, it seems that for 37% the most frequent form of punishment is to ban the internet, computers or games. The paper said only 1% most often resort to a "slap", according to the survey of more than 1,000 parents. To date, 23 of 47 Council of Europe member states have banned corporal punishment and 6 more are committed to doing so," the council says.

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