Physical punishment inhibits a child’s development
The mentality that physical punishment of children is a tolerable practice is unacceptably widespread in Estonia, and people do not take into account that such practices have long-term effect on the behaviour of children and their later life.
In today’s world one should rather strive towards the understanding that a parent has to consider the best interests and the rights of a child, to be caring, approving and, above all, refrain from psychological or physical punishment of the child. This promotes the feeling of trust and wellbeing in the child and offers the child an opportunity to grow in a positive and secure atmosphere. Absence of such relationships considerably increases the risk of behaviour and emotional problems in children.
There has been an increased trend of diversification of the family model in the western world, particularly in the latest decades. The continued high divorce rate and the spreading practice of having children outside marriage has in recent years led to a situation where children are growing up in families of different types. Whether it is a result of the increased tolerance vis-à-vis family units other than the traditional one, or of other changes, the number of single fathers in the society is growing. Therefore families with only a father, where it is the duty of the father to take care of their children (e.g. they have sole custody) are becoming more widespread (according to Bianchi, Casper, 2000; see Bronte-Tinkew et al. 2010, 1107). Today it is impossible to say how many single-father families there are in Estonia, because the state does not have precise and appropriate statistics about this.
A kindergarten is a programme developed for young children and which was developed in mid-eighteenth century. The person developing the idea of kindergarten in Germany in 1830s and 1840s was Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852). Froebel designed a preschool curriculum for children aged three to seven that revolved around play and focused on nurturing children’s intellectual, moral and physical development. It was an education programme for the “whole child” (Elementary Teachers´ Federation of Ontario 2001, 3–5.)