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Use corporal punishment as last resort


MARK HAYNES

Use corporal punishment as last resort

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PEOPLE SOMETIMES GET things wrong and genuinely so, but when people misrepresent and misconstrue other people’s comments it conveys the wrong impression and the intended message gets lost.

In response to the letter by Olutoye Walrond dated May 11, 2017, even if the press misreported the comments of the director of the Criminal Justice Research Unit, Cheryl Willoughby, that parents should be allowed to discipline their children as they see fit, how can Mr Walrond interpret this to mean that a child be locked in a room for a whole day without access to the outside.

Where is the corporal punishment in this statement? Maybe I am missing something. Can’t he decipher between discipline and abuse? For him to equate discipline with abuse is a misconception that is sending the wrong message to the children, confusing them. Furthermore, persons outside the home are reluctant to provide any discipline

To take such a narrow view of being locked in a room all day as corporal punishment is missing the bigger picture. One needs to take a look at discipline in the context of the home, church, school, courts etc. These various institutions all exercise some form of discipline as they see fit. Take, for example, the court; the punishment must fit the offence.

I am sure and you have stated it in relation to your children that there are many parents that raised their children without having to resort to physical discipline. I understand you to say that you used this form of punishment but sparingly. Corporal punishment cannot be seen in isolation of other forms of punishment. The problem with this form of discipline is that it is more often the first and only way of discipline used by parents and usually it is done out of anger and frustration.

However, if corporal punishment is used when the circumstance warrants it, it can have the same positive impact as non-physical discipline. It is complementary to other forms of discipline and should be used as a last resort. 

– MARK HAYNES

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