DRUM - - Ed's Note -

I com­mend DRUM on the ar­ti­cle about al­ter­na­tives to spank­ing your child (When you don’t want to spank, 19 Oc­to­ber). As a pas­tor I’ve ob­served with hor­ror the force of moth­ers beating their chil­dren. Many moth­ers think they’re do­ing the right thing by “dis­ci­plin­ing” their chil­dren.

The word “dis­ci­pline” has the same root as the word “dis­ci­ple” and should never mean phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment. If we want to win our chil­dren as dis­ci­ples, there’s only one way: to live by ex­am­ple.

I’ve of­ten heard from wise el­ders that in the past African chil­dren were not hit or even smacked. A call to de­colonise the way we raise our chil­dren would, in­deed, be heal­ing for our na­tion.

If a boy is hit by the per­son who loves him most, his mother, what does he learn? He learns that love and phys­i­cal hurt be­long to­gether. And the girl? One day she might ac­cept be­ing hit by her lover as she’s learnt there’s a con­nec­tion.

The cy­cle of vi­o­lence in our so­ci­ety starts with the way we raise our chil­dren. We need many more ar­ti­cles like this! REV­EREND NOBUNTU-RE­NATE COCHRANE, HOUT BAY

I’ve al­ways felt cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment is some­thing to be done spar­ingly, only in ex­treme cases in schools or at home.

In Proverbs it’s said: “He who with­holds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him dis­ci­plines him dili­gently.”

Don’t get me wrong! I com­pletely agree with that state­ment from the word of God but only if it’s right­fully ad­min­is­tered. Peo­ple use the rod to vent their frus­tra­tions on the child so the child’s first re­ac­tion is fear and re­treat or even lash­ing out.

Con­se­quently, the child might not be able to thrive as a per­son and could find it dif­fi­cult to deal with sit­u­a­tions.

Who knows? They might end up do­ing the bul­ly­ing as they wouldn’t be able to trust any­one. I agree some­what with what King Good­will Zwelithini was quoted as say­ing, but it should be ad­min­is­tered the cor­rect way and not with belts or neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions.

Par­ent­ing coach An­da­lene Salvesen has a point too when he says, “Your chil­dren have to learn that their choices de­ter­mine their con­se­quences.”

It’s bet­ter to sit down and talk with the child and ex­plain the con­se­quences of their ac­tions and give them op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn from their mis­takes. DHANALUTCHMEE MOOTYEN, EMAIL

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