Sat | Oct 23, 2021

Find other means of disciplining children

Published:Sunday | October 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Thanks to Jaevion Nelson for the courage to share pain from his upbringing in the article 'Beating doesn't make us better', an issue that Caribbean people seem disobliged to address.

In 2017, there is no justification for corporal punishment of any kind, not that there ever was any. But today, we have so much evidence (read Maureen Samms-Vaughan's study on Jamaican children) that it is harmful and that it contributes to low self-esteem, low self-worth and violent behaviour as adults.

I am so tired of the reference to biblical admonition to justify continued beating or 'sparing the rod'.

As a civilised society, we have so many other tools to use, but especially as thinking beings. Adults should know and do better.




Discipline can take a more positive form: creating awareness that every action has a consequence or, as my head teacher use to harangue us, "in life, there are no rewards or punishment, only consequences of our action". I think about this every day as I shape my own behaviour and raise my children.

I am hoping that the viral video has started a real conversation about changing that belligerent mindset of child-rearing to something more compassionate, loving and more beneficial to a peaceful society.