Image copyright AFP Image caption Kids are getting older, and their parents are getting younger
Children in China face harsher penalties if their parents behave badly around them.
The Xinhua news agency reported that a draft bill had been approved, which would punish parents and guardians for disciplining children using physical or emotional abuse.
Any abuse to a child under the age of 16 would be punishable by fines, as well as up to three years in prison.
A further draft would also impose fines for parents who “sow terror and ruins their children’s lives”.
A spokesman for the education ministry has confirmed the news.
It comes amid growing concerns about child wellbeing in China.
China’s media have extensively reported on aggressive social media messages being sent via apps such as WeChat and Line, as well as school bullying.
In 2015, China’s parliament passed a law that banned physical and psychological abuse of children.
However, there has been a lag in the implementation of the law.
The cabinet report to the cabinet said a scheme was also being prepared to punish parents who use different forms of punishment, including online censorship.
In an online response, netizens were sceptical, saying this was a way to silence bad criticism of the regime.
“How can the government give out any punishments without a law? Nothing is more difficult than promoting a ‘movable education, fixed adherence to a political role’,” one user wrote.
Another added: “There’s no law here. I’m worried it’ll just be a mechanism to muzzle everyone.”