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Child Abuse, Discipline And Bullying – Government Interference Or Duty?
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Child Abuse, Discipline And Bullying – Government Interference Or Duty?

“Spare the stick, and save the child” or is it, “Use the stick, and save the child”? So many items appearing on the pages of news papers and TV's; A man arrested for killing his step child, using a metal pipe; A mother pouring petrol over herself and child and committing suicide. More and more on the internet. Now I'm no advocate of beating children for the smallest of infringements, but let the punishment fit the crime.

Child discipline.

I was no “angel” at school, especially senior school, I attended a boarding school, rich in tradition and standards, where infringements required the use of a cane. My “tail end” received many a greeting from switches of differing descriptions, from senior boys called prefects, to teachers, house masters and the headmaster of the school. I experienced them all. Discussions of pain and comparisons, displays of the wounds worn like medals, always followed these incidents, and the crime or infraction, quickly forgotten.

Was the beating teaching me anything of note? I'm not convinced it did, as the hero status achieved from receiving 6 of the best, out weighted the pain. Specially with the marks and welts that became an attraction for all around. Did these make me more angelic? No way, they where merely rungs on the experience ladder, carried forward into the future.

Despite this experience, I still consider it was good for me, I learnt right from wrong, the choice to continue with the wrong, entirely mine. At home the rod was not spared, but used less often, infractions of a higher degree got what they deserved, but they were always preceded with a discussion covering the reason for the punishment. This, in my case, was far more dramatic and caused me far more thought about what I done. My children received the same treatment, with my wife punishing the minor infringements and discipline, the harsher dealt with by me. The threat of “I will tell your father!” apparently was enough to get the children to behave. They received very little punishment from either my wife or I, the fact is, they grew up good kids, successful in what they do, and perfect parents to our Grand children.


Bullying, those of an advanced age, all the way to the present generation, it either happened to you, or you know of someone who suffered from it. Today, despite new laws, more serious, with verbal, telephonic and computer related formats being used. Cell phone photography displayed on the net of children fighting, with teachers standing by and watching, astounds me. Why are these teachers not arrested and charged with derelict of duty, or something similar?

I suffered from bullying when 7 years old, I started boarding school. I had to attend boarding school as we lived far from the nearest. On my first day of attending school, after being dropped off and booked in by my Mother, it started. My Mother's greeting had left lipstick residue on my lips, this noticed by a more senior boy, who proceeded to paraded me about as the lipstick boy, this was not pleasant and I assumed it would desist with the cleaning of my lips. No such luck, within a week I was being, with others, bullied in the most dangerous of ways. Injected with water, using a syringe and hypodermic needle, forced to ingest tablespoons full of salt until vomiting resulted, beatings followed, if a refusal to partake in these shenanigans was forthcoming.

This bullying dealt out by boys of 12 years old. I survived, and like the Elephant of Africa, never forgot. Bullying, a scourge of schools, has I'm sure lessened in intensity compared to yesteryear, where tradition and initiation fed the fires of courage to the senior boys. This is a disease that needs eradication from junior, senior and tertiary institutions. This is where the laws and statutes need attention.

I condone the punishment, of children, by parents, a smack on the rear end, good for them. Create laws for more serious offences, but the child's future is in the hands of parents. Good, disciplined, respectful children, grow up as good parents, as well as achieving success in their chosen professions.

To finish the article, I would like to relate to you a story from my life. When I finished school, completed my military training and had grown to a fair size, I met up with one of the bullies from junior school. He no longer seemed as big as he appeared years earlier, as I am sure, he never gave a thought to the size I might become in later years. On questioning his memories of those times, he showed very little recollection, but the more I reminisced, the better his recollection became. I taught him what it felt like to be on the receiving end of bullying, I did this in a way that gave me much pleasure.

Street Talk

Kylie R  

Great article. I think political correctness when it comes to child discipline has gotten way out of hand. That being said, kids and adults who bully, I believe, do so because they have low self esteem and feel the need to be important.

  about 7 years ago
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