Following the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt) request for submissions on corporal punishment, a number of articles have been published in the Press for or against this form of punishment.
From Our Reader FRED MISI VARUME SVINURAI CHAIRPERSON
Recently, Varume Svinurai/Vukani Madoda/Men’s Forum held discussions with men from various walks of life on this topic. The outcome showed that men unanimously agreed on the need to continue including corporal punishment as a way of disciplining children, provided it is done in a loving manner. It must be administered in a reasonable way and not border on abuse. In fact, they agreed that there is a great divide between fair and reasonable discipline, and abuse.
As men, we believe that without discipline, children will be unruly, rebellious and exert unnecessary demands or commitments on parents. Our failure to instil discipline as parents, will create a lost generation — the very same generation that will hurt us in future for spoiling and morally destroying it.
Using words like “sweetie, please do not do that” alone will not help correct wayward behaviour. Even the use of harsh words cannot stop a thieving child from repeating the act. The child will actually think that “Mudhara anopenga, (The old man is crazy,”). Proverbs 29 v 15 says: “Correction and discipline are good for children. If they have their own way, they will make their mothers ashamed of them,” and Proverbs 23 vs 13-14 says “Don’t hesitate to discipline children”. A good spank won’t kill them. As a matter of fact it may save their lives.
It is clear from the verses that disciplining a child is important for both the parent who takes pride in a disciplined child and the child who can discern what is right from wrong.
The rod as a disciplinary tool should be administered in a reasonable and loving manner and not leave children with permanent scars.
These scars are the ones that the movements against corporal punishment put forward as an argument that it is inhuman and creates resentment. A reprimand, followed by a rode when behaviour does not change is the way to go.
Let us not make children feel that it is us who owe them. If we fail to stamp our authority as parents we create a lost generation. Ask the old school and they can testify.