Abuse disguised as discipline

The writer I supports the ruling by the Constitutional Court to do away with spanking children.
The writer I supports the ruling by the Constitutional Court to do away with spanking children.
Image: prazis / 123RF

It is shocking how children are abused in the name of discipline by their parents and relatives.

A video which circulated on social media last year showed a woman abusing her child because he lost his school shoes. In the footage, the woman can be heard shouting at her son in Sepedi, while others were watching. She whipped him while he kicked frantically and fell to the ground.

"You're sorry? What will you wear to school tomorrow? Show me your shoes. You can't lose your shoes. Do you want to die or give me the shoes?" the mother yelled.

Watching that video left my heart shattered. We still have children who are abused like this.

Children make mistakes, but there will never be a justifiable reason for such punishment.

I support the ruling by the Constitutional Court to do away with spanking children.

Some cite the adage that spare the rod and spoil the child. However, nowhere does it say, "get a rod and beat your kid or they'll be spoiled". It does not literally mean a physical rod, stick, bat, tree branch, golf club or any other hard instrument with which to beat your kid.

This is the interpretation of minds that know no better and are looking for ways to justify their lack of alternative ways of raising children without beating them.

Our preoccupation with violence as a society is the root cause of child abuse, domestic abuse, gang violence and violent crimes.

We must abhor violence in any form and promote love, peace, forgiveness and harmony. In this way, we create an environment in which child abuse, domestic abuse, gangs and crime can cease to be a part of the human experience.

Thebe Kgwetiane, Maandagshoek, Limpopo

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