In the Christian faith, it is taught that those who are without Christ are condemned to hell when they die.
The first church I went to as a very young child was a frightening experience. It always seemed to be based on condemnation. I could envision the fiery pits of Hades.
It seemed like a place where people controlled how you lived and encouraged parents to punish their children with violence.
This is in no way an exaggeration; I remember the preacher saying, ‘Beat your children till they are blue’.
Spare the rod and spoil the child. Proverbs 13:24
Some religious people have mistranslated this proverb.
It does not advocate physically harming a child with a rod but rather emphasises the importance of a parent’s guidance and teaching in instilling moral values and distinguishing right from wrong in their child.
I agree that discipline is necessary to correct a child’s behaviour, but beating a child with any object other than your hand is cruel.
This is a violent act and is against the law.
An individual with a valid perspective expressed their belief that physically harming a child, even with a hand, is not acceptable. This is her statement below.
‘A slap should only be used in situations where it is necessary to protect the child, such as preventing them from touching something hot. Often, parents resort to hitting their children out of anger, simply because they disapprove of their actions. But would they resort to physical violence against another adult for doing something they didn’t like? This behaviour can be seen as a form of bullying, as the parent holds a position of power, and the child is vulnerable and dependent on them. It is undeniably cruel. If we can reprimand an adult for their actions, then we should be able to do the same with a child.’
I believe that if police can only use reasonable force on a criminal, for a parent to injure a child is barbaric.
Culture plays a big part in this crime.
This form of aggressive conduct had crossed a line that should never be crossed.
Parents were exceeding the limits by resorting to physical abuse against a child, even in situations where it was completely uncalled for.
Every individual is entitled to live free from physical harm, and it is only justifiable to use physical force when it is necessary for self-defence.
It is perfectly normal for a child to occasionally misbehave if they are subsequently disciplined with a thoughtful explanation of why their actions were inappropriate.
Correction should never involve physical or verbal abuse, as it only serves to fuel anger, breed resentment, and erode one’s self-esteem.
Have you ever wondered why, as children grow up, they tend to resort to violence when trying to resolve minor conflicts? It’s not that they intentionally chose this path, but rather, they may not have learned any better alternatives.
I am aware that certain cultures perceive this behaviour as acceptable, finding it entertaining that they can exert control over a child through such violent means that have persisted since the era of slavery.
I often come across individuals claiming that certain children are beyond redemption and require physical punishment.
However, I firmly believe that if a child is provided with proper care, attention, understanding, and love from a responsible adult, it becomes unnecessary to resort to such measures.
Instead, it is crucial to establish clear boundaries and not reinforce negative behaviour through rewards.
By conscious decision, I have chosen not to become a parent, as I firmly believe that I would have fallen short in this role.
My mindset was not aligned with the responsibilities and challenges of parenthood, and I would not have been able to break the cycle of resorting to physical punishment.
It is often tempting to argue that parents followed the patterns they learned from their upbringing.
However, it is crucial to acknowledge that any kind of abusive behaviour towards a child, whether it is verbal, mental, emotional, or physical, is unacceptable.
Instead of blaming our ancestors, we must recognise that we have the power to utilise our intellect and actively work towards eradicating this cruel behaviour.
In everything, there must be a balance.
Natalie M Bleau
Scripture of Balance