Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Parents must stand up to responsibility

Published:Wednesday | October 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This letter is a response to the article titled 'Savagery! - Scores of Jamaican children bearing the scars of brutal beatings; mothers are the main ones carrying out the abuse', published in The Sunday Gleaner on October 15, 2017.

The issue of the viral video of the woman beating her 12-year-old with a machete is, indeed, nothing new for our society. It is quite despicable that even babies are subjected to this kind of treatment in our country. I have come to realise, having been a victim to some brutal 'discipline' myself, that some victims are not only scarred physically for life, but mentally they become broken and many even fall into the vicious cycle when they become parents.

It pains me to see persons commenting on social media that nothing is wrong with parents disciplining their children in such a manner. Many will say they received such punishment and it "never killed them". I wholeheartedly believe that children need to be disciplined, but not in such a gruesome manner. There are alternative measures to disciplining our future generation that do not involve body injuries.

Also, there would not be any cause for disciplining the child in the first place if proper parenting takes place. Many parents tend to take out their frustration and angst on their children. This results in the thousands of scarred children in our country. Parental planning needs to become a must in our country if the cycle of child abuse is to be broken.

If one cannot maintain and care for a child, one should not have one. Until parents really set things into place before making babies, our children will be disadvantaged. The brunt of parenthood is often left on the shoulders of mothers. However, both mothers and fathers are to blame for such savage behaviour. Both were in the heat of the moment, so both should be held accountable.

Contraceptives are relatively cheap, so if one is not prepared to become a parent, why not choose that measure? It is high time the matter of parenting is taken into consideration by our citizens. We cannot continue to treat our future generation like dogs and allow them to be seen as burdens rather than a blessing. If there is a cause for disciplining a child, choose an alternative that will have a lasting impact on the child's conscience, not his or her body.

Parents should be encouraged to be proactive and instill morals in their children from the onset of the child's life so that they will have little to no cause to retaliate in such a way.

NISSAN GENTLES

Student, Shortwood

Teachers' College