This weird idea of spending costly time pleading with a child to improve bad behaviour is certainly not indicative of common sense. Rather than stating unproven references to successful experiments carried out in some African country, I would assert that attention should be directed to Western countries where, far from children living in fear of parents applying punishment, we now have parents living in fear of possible court action taken by their children against them.
There is daily proof of the results of young children having had no punishment for bad behaviour degenerating into absolutely unacceptable members of society. Whoever heard in time past of young people committing murder, rape, displaying no respect for parents or teachers, rioting in support of imagined hardships accompanied with destruction of neighbours' property and looting of shops? Why, because there was just punishment for the bad behaviour which every child exhibits at times.
One may wonder who is supposed to do this reasoning exercise. Should teachers spend their time trying to discipline children of parents with no control over their offspring?
Corporal punishment if cruelly applied should obviously be banned but children are quite wise and talking to a child rarely achieves anything except to encourage the child in believing fundamentally that he is right – otherwise why no punishment!
Certainly we who have loving, law abiding children are the ones who exercised control over our offspring when young. One sees so often these days, the stress of modern young mothers whose children display disgusting behaviour and receive only an ignored rebuke. – Pax vobiscum, HARAREPost published in: Letters to the Editor