You have heard this statement made before. It may have been at church, at home, at school or maybe
when you were getting punished or beaten by someone older than you. And if you haven’t heard it then
you have read it because it’s practically everywhere.
This statement is supposed to be just another metaphor but it seems to be treated more literally than
any other bible metaphor on training children.
A lot of people may argue that beating a child is really necessary in corrective measures for a child.
They argue that the child is very stubborn or that the child doesn’t take corrections. The child may be
very strong willed and very annoying but, is physical damage in the name of discipline really necessary?
A lot of people have taken beating or corporal punishment to be the only form of correction and
sometimes are no longer inventive with punishments. They say ‘My parents beat me too and I turned
out fine’ or ‘I was also beaten while I was young’.
Some people even turn it into community events where they give canes and ‘kobokos’ to older family
members around to beat said child.
Other examples being to pour pepper into the child’s eyes to beat them.
Looking at all these practices, is it really necessary? Because of these beatings, most children eventually
have injuries or bruises that most times leave them very unhappy and in some cases with a lot of anger
towards the person that beat them.
A study was carried out by National Violence Against Children Survey in 2014 (The Economic Burden of
Violence Against Children | UNICEF Nigeria). The study showed that about 50% of Nigerian children have
reported some form of physical violence by a parent, adult relative, community member or an intimate
partner before getting to the age of 18.
These scars are also surface situations that can be seen. What about the emotional and mental damage
done? It is basically using pain to instill fear in a child so that they can ‘behave properly’ even though it
may just be a façade.
I am not saying that disciplining a child isn’t right but does it always have to be physical