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What Is The Right Way To Raise Your Child?

It can make or break your child.

BY Agnes Amondi

Mar 13, 2023, 01:50 PM

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The government amended the Education Act and banned corporal punishment in schools in 2001. This brought to an end a practice that had been in place for years after several incidences of students being manhandled by teachers in the name of discipline much to the disappointment of some.

For the longest time, our society believed that the only way discipline could be instilled was through caning. Teachers were given the authority to beat pupils and some went too far. They used bamboo sticks and virtually anything they could find. Some of the punishments meted out were highly disproportionate to the incident.

Corporal punishment didn’t take place in school only. Our parents continued the trend at home. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos on YouTube that address African parenting. We were thoroughly beaten and we never had a say in anything. You couldn’t get an opportunity to explain anything and if you dared to, you would be considered indisciplined.

However, times have greatly changed and today, the current crop of parents are choosing a different path. Here’s why the changing face of parenting is important.

Children’s Voices Should Be Heard.

The fact that you have lived more years doesn’t mean that you should belittle what your child or someone who is significantly younger says. Everyone deserves to be respected and part of that includes listening to them. Even in the face of a dispute, you should always endeavour to let your child explain themselves. 

It helps them to really think through what happened and also boosts their critical thinking skills. Remember that your thinking capacity as an adult is totally different to that of a young child. Therefore, at times, they might not innocently know what they are doing is wrong. Beating them will not help them understand why. Talking it out will.

Creates A Space For You And Your Child To Talk.

The type of parenting style that was previously used instilled fear in the child. The idea was that if your child fears you, then he or she would not dare go astray. What society never thought about was the impact of this type of upbringing on the child. It makes your child fearful about sharing anything with you. 

Consequently, they refrain from talking to you because should they share something that you don’t agree with, they know that the consequences will be dire. As such, they’d rather talk to a peer or not share anything at all. This explains why so many children choose not to talk to their parents at all. 

Nowadays, kids tend to be more open with their parents, at least from what I’ve seen. They share their thoughts and even point out in good clarity what they want and how they’d like things to be done. Some people will call this entitlement but it is more of an open line of communication between a parent and a child. 

It Helps Your Child Learn How To Express Themselves.

Some kids struggle to express themselves these days because they hardly got a chance to do so when they were young. When you are raised in an environment where you are supposed to be seen and not heard, you never really learn how to process and capture your feeling in words. 

As much as things boil inside of you, you feel like you have no one to talk to because your parents are not available. As such, growing up, you struggle to do the same. When people take advantage of you or when the authority is acting in dubious ways, you can hardly stand up for yourself. 

It Creates A Healthy Relationship With Your Child.

Again, I will not generalise but some children do not have a good relationship with their parents as a result of how they were brought up. As much as our parents mean well, the damaging effect of their parenting manifests in our adulthood. 

For some kids, from the moment they leave home, they leave their parents in the rare view mirror and move on. Most of the time, we hardly tell our parents why we are keeping our distance. To avoid this, parents must recognise the impact their decisions will have and seek to maintain a good relationship with their children. 

Corporal Punishment Breeds A Culture Of Violence.

The fact that bullying in our schools is normal demonstrates the fact that violence is not a big deal and things like corporal punishment only encourage such. We’ve largely talked about how the previous generation is angry and expressed their anger on their kids. The only way to counter this is by changing the narrative.

Now, we are progressively talking about our mental health and flagging any traits that smell of corporal punishment. If we want a healthy generation, we have to call out these behaviours and ensure that kids are protected. 

There’s no end to the benefits of the changing face of parenting. It only leads to good things. For those who say that it will produce soft kids who can’t withstand pressure, well, maybe we also need to change other parts of the system to ensure that everything works holistically.