Is child abuse and emotional mistreatment the best form of child training and development? What are the implications of this training to the future of the child?
To throw more light to the above questions, I would like to quote some of the responses gotten, from intelligent contributors.
ELM wrote, “I think abuse is wrong and most unnecessary. I would not stop a parent from discipline of the child. But i think most of what i see is transferred aggression and not lessons on life. Parents or parent are our first teachers, but sometimes all people aren’t the best teachers. Balance to fit in a society that is passive aggressive and use of power and violence is not the way as it has been or was.”
On ELM’s opinion, he noted that, any abuse done on a child is a form of transferred aggression and use of power. This statement is agreeable, because, most of the times a child is beaten by his/her parent(s), the father was either having a bad day at work or had a misunderstanding (usually a hot argument) with his wife, and the child innocently makes a mistake, instead of approaching the case with some patience and understanding, he takes out the residual aggression on the innocent child. The mother also, may be overwhelmed with a lot of things around her, from; the father, to her boss at work, to the house chores, and she responds to the child with so much contempt and bitterness (most times, cursing); this is very common in African/Nigerian homes; I can relate to this in so many ways. So yes, it’s a given fact that most of the violence on children are transferred aggression from the parents’ overwhelming mental/emotional situation.
Mfon Emeh also wrote, “Eve, thanks for this great input. it is a clear fact that parents are the first and most influencing people in the life of every child. Whatever their parents do will definitely influence them. So, parents should endeavor to be positive in their approach towards whatever lesson or virtue they intend to help their children cultivate. No abusive method will ever do the children good.”
In addition to what Mfon mentioned, it is true that, any form of abuse on a child leads the children nowhere, but destruction. Whatever virtue or training a parent must teach their child, it does not require any form of abusive method. Children will only learn properly if they are taught with patience and kindness, and not with force.
With all said, I strongly believe that parents do not have to beat up their child, or even go as far as inflicting severe injuries on them or place lifetime curse on them, on the pretense of training that child; you as a parent will create a moron or a rebel for yourself and not a future responsible man/woman. The mistake many parents make is, turning themselves into demigods that need to be worshiped and feared as long as they live or as long as that child lives, rather than to be friends and get to understand their child properly. They make their child fear them to the extent, the child loses trust and love towards them as parents, and such a child goes all out to tell his/her friends more than half of what he/she may be able to tell their parents. In Africa/Nigeria, it is a common thing for parents to become overbearing and mostly, not understanding, towards their child’s goals and aspirations, who the child really is, what they really think of themselves and life as a whole. Many children prefer to surprise their parents with things, rather than to sit down and discuss things with them, for the fear of rejection or abuse from the parents. What do you call parents that beat up/curse their child because he has set his aspiration to being an artist, but they would rather have him study medicine instead, and become a medical doctor. Just because the child has his own life agenda, they tell him he would never be successful with what he has set his heart to, but he will make more profit and prestige for the family by being what they want him to become. What’s the assurance that the child will excel, following their own plans? Did God call them personally to inform them of that? Why is it so important to have a child you can boast about, and not one you will always be happy to have, and be proud of, as a good parent?
In Africa/Nigeria, there are many timid children; children that don’t feel comfortable to mingle or talk in public, why? Because they have abusive parents that beat them up or shut them down, when they try to express themselves, and so they adopted the habit of not speaking their minds in public. There are also very rebellious and stubborn children that only understand violence and curse as a form of expression; you will only see them picking up fights and cursing people in public, why? Because that’s the only training they are used to, in their homes.
Having said all these? I would also like to add the issue of divorce/separation/arguments between parents. Not every marriage works out well; sometimes, it’s beyond the control of either of the partners; sometimes, caused by either/both of the partners; but we cannot deny the fact that such disagreements can be done without creating a war or an uncomfortable atmosphere, especially, around the children. Must a child have to suffer abuse from his parents due to a disagreement between them? What are the implications of this on the future of the child?
Your contributions are still very much appreciated for the next part(s) of this topic.
Many Thanks to those that have contributed to this part, hoping to get many more feedback in the coming part(s) of this topic.
- Violence of any kind against any child is wrong, unacceptable and inexcusable (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- The Zen of Parenthood (psychologytoday.com)
- Do therapists tell parents what kids say? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- A Prayer for all our Parents (mithasam.wordpress.com)