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CANING: Parents must consider the long-term effects, too

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SPARE the rod and spoil the child is an age-old adage that has been resonating for many generations now.

Many countries empower teachers to cane. Some schools advocate caning, believing it’s part of disciplining children. Isn’t this a sign of regression? Shouldn’t all teachers have a degree in education and child psychology to deal with children better?

Caning only makes children fearless. Many teachers lose control over children after caning them. In this situation, one cannot use the psychological approach because children are threatened at a physical level and not psychological.

It is perhaps more effective to deal with children psychologically. Caning kids may have a short-term effect but it will leave long-term damage. Children will become rebellious and difficult to communicate with. They will only expect to be caned for their wrongdoing.

Teachers should be trained to care for their students, motivate them to perform, identify their weaknesses and capitalise on their strengths. Most importantly, they must instil confidence in younger children. Caning will only teach children to adopt the same method when they grow up.

Children must be taught to understand the ground rules and be clear about their boundaries. If they are unaware of deviant behaviour, they will continue with their negative attitude.

Children also need to learn that the world is not all black and white. When they are old enough to make decisions on their own, they should not just emulate the violent approach taken by their parents or to obey authority just because it is the easiest way.

Therefore, it’s important to deal with children at the school level in a proper way (using the psychological approach) because it is their vital years of psychological, mental and physical development.

The mistakes we make can have long-term consequences on children. Some could turn to crime one day if violence is what they’ve been taught since young.

R. Murali Rajaratenam, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: CANING: Parents must consider the long-term effects, too – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/caning-parents-must-consider-the-long-term-effects-too-1.107661#ixzz20kOOC4ij