I have been sitting with this issue for a very long time as I have 3 children of my own. I have read books and seen Psychiatrists and doctors to ensure I give my child the best possible upbringing. Now it seems our learned friends wish to shove their noses up where it doesn't belong by investigating legislation on how we should discipline our children. Although I fully understand their views on this, as I have seen what adults can do to children more than once when I was still in the SAPS, I still feel that this is one issue they should rather try to fix at the real problem.
Been listening to 702 yesterday afternoon where the topic was that we should not smack our kids. "There are other and better ways to discipline our children" was a constant message we had to listen to...
To me this is probably the most important and passionate point in my life as my children mean absolutely everything to me and they are to me the reason I am in this life. So I ask myself where did civilization go wrong in not understanding certain issues. Well I would like to open this debate here by mentioning my views on a couple of arguments.
- "By hitting your child you teach them that violence is the solution"
Such a short sighted statement certainly is shocking and normally comes from people who studied many years to become a specialist in the field of children psychiatry. Absolute nonsense is definitely not the response to this statement. Rather understand that this person has gotten lost within their own statement as they have never gone into researching further what exactly they are saying. Is this statement true? Is it true by smacking our children on the bum with a wooden spoon we are actually teaching them that violence is a solution to problems? What does actually cross a child's mind and how should punishment be implemented?
- So you have warned your kid to stop kicking the table, he decides it time to test daddy a bit, he carries on, daddy caries on asking the kid to stop. The next moment you scream at him that he should stop or else! Well... the kid decides to see what "or else means" and pulls his lip and look naughty kicking the table continuously. The next moment daddy flips and give his kid a hiding that will be remembered for many years.
- After talking to your kid repeatedly it is time for punishment. They look up in your eyes all sweet and innocent and you decide that once again you will grant them a final warning.
- After weeks of constant warnings and threats a kid gets his behind reddened by his mother after a long day's work for apparently no reason at all.
- So you sent your kid to the naughty mat and he refused to go, you threaten him again and he still refuses. This becomes a show of power between adult and kid and eventually the parent just gives up and let it go.
I can continue for some time with examples that is an arm long. But at the end of the day what does all this mean?
I have been put through the ropes and realized that in my case the best way of bringing my kids up is to be strict and have grades of punishment, which includes the wooden spoon. My daughter turn 10 this year and I am very fortunate that she adores me with everything in her. She is loving hard working, reliable and a friend. I have in my entire life given her probably 3 or 4 hidings and never once lost my temper with her. The reason. She knew where the borders was. She knew I spoke once, maybe twice but never more than that about the same issue. She knew there was consequences for her actions and she still does.
Her younger brother is the complete opposite from her in personality. He needs to avoid sugar/caffeine and had an aggression problem from birth. He also has no problem sitting on the naughty mat for hours as he simply starts dreaming. But most of the time his life was all about measuring his temper with the rest of us. If you reprimanded him he would loose his temper and start shouting and screaming. (Tantrum) If you sent him to his naughty mat he would simply refuse and if you force him to go he wouldn't even mind injuring himself just to make his point that he is the dominant one. Well during that time we went looking for some help. All the learned specialists had some wisdom to share but eventually the problem was resolved by simply being firm at the right time. He quickly stopped going crazy as he knew at some stage after his craziness and the situation has calmed down we will have to sit down and discuss how many times the wooden had to talk. This happened 2 or 3 times and the situation was resolved.
My youngest are only 2 months so no problems on that side yet.
Now for my point. We have a great mix of people in South Africa. Different income levels, different social pressures, different society and traditions etc. We are all different. We have people that abuse alcohol and assault their children. We have people that will in order to make themselves feel good tell their kids how stupid they are. Insults that are meant to break down. You get parents that will hit their kids with anything nearby because of some stupid infringement that the kid didn't have any clue was wrong and then you get parents that truly love their children and goes through many lengths to give them everything they possibly can just to loose them to bad friends in high school. Then you get parents with strict standards and discipline that completely smuther their kids with rules and regulations. Then there is parents like me that love their kids with all their hearts and have a strict and disciplined upbringing planned for them. Then you have parents that are able to bring their kids up without hitting them and still are able to do it well.
Once again I can carry on and on about it. The question is... Is corporal punishment the problem. Do I give my kid the wooden spoon because I believe in violence? Do I smack my kid because I am angry at him/her? Or is there another reason why society is failing. Is a law that are ultimately so far reaching that it can potentially destroy many kids lives the way to go? May I mention the yobs in the UK?