Spare the rod, spoil the nation

A draft bill in parliament proposes that parents be fined R300 for smacking their children. Our government is taking the notions of democracy, political correctness and liberalism too far.

A draft bill in parliament proposes that parents be fined R300 for smacking their children. Our government is taking the notions of democracy, political correctness and liberalism too far.

It will be virtually impossible to implement the law. Our over-stretched police service and justice department will be unable to cope with the complaints.

MPs should realise that there is a difference between correcting a child's naughtiness and inflicting abuse. There are adequate laws to prevent the abuse of children. These laws against abuse have failed because the state does not have enough resources to enforce them.

Children with spurious grievances will report their parents for imagined infractions. A UK child of five years once reported his parents for abuse because they refused to let him eat his dessert before the main meal.

Our young are in serious danger. A fine example is one of the youngsters accused of the murder of King Edward VII pupil Mfundo Ntshangase. He had the audacity to show the middle finger to people who attended the trial on Wednesday. In the company of adult relatives!

Recently, a teenage girl snuck out of her home for a weekend of carousing. Her parents searched in hospitals and mortuaries only for her to return home unrepentant.

These examples show that discipline is necessary to rear responsible citizens. Parents cannot do their job properly if the threat of a fine or imprisonment hangs over them.

Parents live with their children. They know what the children get up to and what needs to be done to bring them back into line.

A child who misbehaves must be shown the error of his ways. Repeated offences might necessitate a spanking.

A spanking merely reinforces the parent's authority and the nature of the child's indiscretion.

Children should learn that there are boundaries to their behaviour as members of a community or society.

But if the government prohibits parents from smacking their children, we will breed a nation of selfish, cruel and irresponsible people who do not really appreciate the difference between right and wrong.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

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