It’s been ages, hasn’t it? I’m so sorry for leaving you guys out there in the cold. But, I’m back *insert dazzling lights and awesome background music*. And what is better than a comeback? An awesome comeback. Yes! I have an issue I would like us to discuss. This is child violence. Where do we actually draw the line between child violence and discipline? Is there even a line? Or have we blurred everything into one big horrid mess?
Let me paint a vivid picture for you. A young boy, probably just got into JSS 2. He is the son of my hairdresser. I walked into the salon one day to find him in a terrible condition. He was stripped, flogged and had crushed chilli peppers rubbed in his skin. Why? Simply because he stole and was caught. This is just one of many experiences that I have witnessed. In my few years, I have seen so many horrible acts done by people all in the name of ‘discipline.’ I have some parents what the aim is, and their replies were almost sickening. Here are a few :
A. ‘If they think about doing this again, they’ll remember this beating’, but is that really what we want? Do we want children that shudder at the mere thought of us, or the mere sound of our footsteps makes them run away?
B. ‘When you have your own children, you can do as you bid’. When did children become lesser beings, that they deserve to be treated anyhow we deem fit?
C. ‘I would rather have him die than bring disgrace to my name.’
D. ‘Foolishness is pent up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction drives it away’.
Why then, do you have to act while you’re angry? How about you go, cool off, and then come back. Make sure you hear what the child has to say, and then explain what the child did wrong. A lot of times, they do not know that they’ve done wrong. Children are capable of understanding us, we just have to be patient enough to understand them.
I have seen children slapped so hard they flew across the room, just because they asked a wrong question. We need to understand that these are children, and they are bound to make mistakes. Even adults make mistakes, so what’s your excuse? It’s our duty as adults, to correct them with love and understanding.
As I looked at the little boy, stretching his hand out to me, begging for mercy, tears filled my eyes. As much as this grieved my heart, there was little that I could do, and I decided to do that to the best of my ability.It took a lot of persuasions for his mother to release him, give him a bath, and give him some food to eat.
When do we draw the line between child abuse and discipline? Is it impossible to discipline with love? When do we finally have our eyes opened, and see that children are highly impressionable? I vividly recall the day my mother whipped me on my bare back, and I don’t remember it with joy. I am scarred by that memory. And I be levied that there are children that go through worse every day.
Children everywhere are prone to violence, not only from their parents but also another person around them. The list is endless, from parents to teachers, to caretakers, and even the strangers on the streets.
My childhood memories are precious to me, but I can’t speak for everyone. These are memories are meant to be looked upon and smiled at that is how it’s meant to be, but many people have them locked away in a vault in the back of their minds, with the keys thrown far away. There are adults in our current society, that is haunted by the memories of their childhood. From incessant beatings to willful starvation, talking down to them or withholding love and affection from them. These are fully mature adults that just cannot function as they ought to in the current society that they find themselves.
Children aren’t less human than we are. Let’s treat them as equals while teaching them the fundamentals of life. Let’s work on building a better tomorrow for them, by making their today great.
The end of child violence begins with you and me.