Parents' Quotes

Following is a selection of comments and thoughts on the booklet and on non-violent child-raising we received from parents through oure questionnaire survey and focus group discussions. The frequency with which parents took the option in the questionnaire to comment and the kind of feedback they gave, show that the issues addressed are extremely relevant and contain much food for thought for many parents.

No to smacking

"I believed it was sometimes acceptable to smack a disobedient child - but I wouldn't do this to an adult so I have changed my mind." (UK)

“I was already against smacking beforehand, but after reading the booklet I feel I can explain and advocate my conviction better.” (GER)

"The booklet reaffirmed me not to smack my child.” (GER)

“It helps you to see there is another way.” (GER)

“Telling me about fear making us clumsy.” (UK)

"To learn your child will reflect this attitude in others.” (UK)

On Conflict and Positive Parenting

“Fantastic, keep it up! There will never be too few examples of how parents can handle conflict situations without treating their children disrespectfully.” (GER)

“Reducing commands to important ones only, helps him [my son] respond sooner” (UK)

“Good advice on how to set rules for children, step-by-step.” (PL)

“Children are the most important people to a child and all children try to grow up to be like their parents. So if parents shout, the child will copy. If parents hit, the child will copy. If parents laugh, cuddle and hug, the child will copy”! (UK)

“It makes a real difference if you just give instructions to a child or if you sit down together with your child and develop the rules together” (GER)

“Giving my children confidence, and me!” (UK)

Feeling Understood

“It is helpful to see other parents are in the same situation.” (GER)

“It could be me.” (UK)

“Many parents think,“it’s only my child that behaves badly.” (GER) 

“In every situation I saw myself- I’ve had exactly the same.” (UK)

“It’s great to get advice not only on what is best for my child but also that it is important to look after myself.”  (PL)

“It is as if [the authors of the booklet] had installed a video camera in my house.” (GER)

“The booklet helps parents by allowing them to make mistakes and not expecting them to be always perfect.” (GER)

“I like the way the booklet is written: As a mother I never feel valued. The letter is inspiring and supportive.” (GER)

“Although one is not born a perfect mother, nonetheless there is a silent demand for parents to know everything from the start.” (GER)

Understanding children better

“It [the booklet] had the reasons behind why they might be doing it.” (UK)

“In the immediate situation you don’t think about your children but only what they do to you.” (UK)

“It’s very important to think about what your children think.” (UK)

“The brochure helps to understand the situation from the child’s point of view and this is very important.” (PL)

“I very much liked the empathy shown towards parents’ annoyance caused by the behaviour of the child and advice on how to deal with it so as to stay in control and bring up happy children.” (PL)

“I found the explanations for how children “work” and of the importance of setting rules especially interesting.” (GER)

Suggestions for Improving the booklet


“I would have liked the booklet to contain more day-to-day parent-child scenarios. For example, how do I deal with my anger when my son refuses outright to go up or down the stairs [to our flat]?!” (GER)

“I know most of the information in this leaflet already and follow it but real life is much more messy and not all black and white. I do appreciate that the leaflet will help some families a lot.” (UK)

Greater age range- including relationship to infants & toddlers

Quite a few parents from all three countries made the request to also include examples and advice dealing with very young children:

“One thing that is missing, in my opinion, are tips of advice for parents of young children of 1.5 – 2 two years of age, who do not fully understand verbal messages yet but who already feel the "call of independence”(…). How to show to such a toddler an alternative way for letting off steam, how to explain that it hurts a doggy when you kick it?” (PL)

“My child is twelve months old, but the examples contained in the booklet are for older children. A conflict situation involving smaller children would be useful.” (GER)

More on addressing problems in the relationship between adults

This issue was also addressed by anumber of parents, regardless of nationality. “How to raise the issue of smacking if another parent does it in front of you.” (UK)

"Too little attention has been given to the issue, when one parent is pro giving slaps, while the other is against it. What to do then? My husband comes from a family, where he used to be hit with a belt, not only on his buttocks but sometimes in other places, too! I was never slapped by any of my parents and I know that it was good. My husband thinks that a slap will not do any harm to a child, just on the contrary, will help him or her, because he knows a family where children were not slapped and they’ve turned drug addicts now. My husband doesn’t like reading books and brochures, he is annoyed when I attend educational workshops for parents  and listen to what others have to say. According to him, I do not have my own opinion. While I was reading this brochure to him, he fell asleep. My husband bears a grudge against his father for beating him and his brothers, but he himself thinks that a child should get a slap, as it is not the same as beating.” (PL)

“[…] It would also be good to put more emphasis on the necessity of caring for the marriage/ partnership itself, which often is a source of frustration which then affects children.”  (GER)

Children's Safety Map of Europe

Children's Safety Map of Europe