A few days ago, I lost my beloved aunt and had to go for her burial. With a load of agony and tears flowing endlessly, I sat beside the coffin in which her body lay. Despite the pain of losing such a great person in my life, I made an effort to listen to all the speeches about her.
One particular statement from the deceased’s daughter turned my focus to parental discipline. She said, “We have lost a heroine and disciplinarian. As kids, she beat us using a stick but when we grew older she beat us using the eye.’’
In my mind, this meant that each parent knows the way their child thinks and that it’s up to them to train the child before it’s too late. Children tend to understand things differently especially when it comes to disciplining them.
Florence Mukamusoni, a Kimironko resident and mother of three says, “The Bible makes it clear in Proverbs 13: 24 that whoever spares the rod spoils their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them,” therefore spanking a child is not a sin provided it is meant for correction.
Spanking a child does not mean that a parent hates a child but rather is trying to discipline this child so that they are able to live comfortably in society because it is one way of nurturing someone. When they outgrow the age of being beaten, then other measures are taken.
As a child gets older, their minds grow and their interpretation becomes higher. They can read gestures and body language better. Therefore, just a given look can tell them that the parent is not happy with whatever it is they are doing.
At this point, beating them simply means nothing because you will only be inflicting pain on their bodies and this will develop hatred. Besides, hitting a child as tall as or even taller than a parent doesn’t look very good.
“When I look at my son, his size and his weight, I do not see myself telling him to lie down to get spanked him. At his age, I prefer telling him what I want him to do and he will; otherwise, I would never beat him like I did when he was younger. At times I simply look at him and he will act accordingly,’’ says Dan Rwashande, a father of five.
Parents should understand that their children’s future depends on their upbringing. A common African proverb says, ‘’straighten a stick when it’s still young.’’ This simply means that correct a child when they are still young and flexible and you will be a happy parent.