Tough love or criminal act?
SOCIAL MEDIA have emphatically changed our lives in a more profound manner than we may have realized. Sometimes the things on these media can evoke a smile when they highlight the humorous side of life.
On the other hand, some of the things that have been put out there for public consumption are not of entertainment value, but show the more perverse side of people.
Such was the case of the video which showed a Barbadian mother inflicting severe punishment on her young daughter.
Whoever captured Karen Jordan’s actions and ensured they went viral may have done a good to call attention to why we need to stop this type of inappropriate behaviour. The defence that this was neither cruel nor inhumane, but simply tough love, is full of holes.
Many people across this country have long supported the position, either based on biblical interpretations or in support of the legacy of slavery, which equated severe punishment with ensuring discipline. Hence, we speak with adoration of yesteryear and the way some head teachers, grandparents and parents and even those with some position of authority in various areas of society administered punishment.
Almost anything on which they got their hands was used: a piece of wood, a broomstick, a tamarind rod, a birch and eventually the cat-o-nine tail.
This type of punishment was supposed to have made us all the better if not docile. Thankfully, education and exposure have shown us this is not the best way to deal with bad or deviant behaviour.
Miss Jordan’s actions were clearly out of order and not to be held up as a parent doing the right thing. While we accept that she needs to ensure her children behave themselves, her form of corporal punishment is totally unacceptable.
What would have happenedif the child had been injured? Perhaps she needs to listen carefully to the very chilling comments of her 16-year-old son who she said indicated he would shoot her if he had a gun.
The Miss Jordans across this country need help in coping with, and caring for, their children in the best ways. The schools can help as they will have an idea of those children exposed to brutality and cruelty at home.
The Child Care Board, the churches and the various community organizations need to see this as an issue of national concern and reach out to help both parents and children.
Despite the frustrations, we have to show greater care and love for our children. We do not want to give birth to a cycle of violence. Our children deserve better, especially when they are going to be exposed to the world on Facebook and all the other social media.