Gender Gender

Inflicting pain is not children’s right

Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
IT IS worrisome to read about the increased violence against children, who are being denied an opportunity to enjoy their childhood.
Parents should respect the rights of their children and allow them to grow into responsible adults.

Proverbs 13:24 states: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

However, what the Bible quote does not imply is that children should begin to live in fear because their parents and/ or guardians may inflict unforgettable pain on them for doing wrong.
Recently, various stakeholders welcomed the five-year jail term slapped on Zambia Association of Musician (ZAM) president Njoya Tembo’s wife, Brenda, who was convicted of assaulting her 13-year-old niece with a cooking stick.
However, I will not dwell much on this matter because for now, it stands as an allegation because Brenda has appealed to the High Court against the conviction.
Yes, children should be disciplined but parents and guardians need to be mindful not to inflict pain and or injury.
If an adult cannot stand the pain that comes with being assaulted, why subject a child to such cruelty.
Stories of parents or guardians being mean to their children have time and again been highlighted in the media. I hear and read of stories where some children have had their fingers burnt for stealing money. Theft should not be condoned but surely, who does that to a child?
I have heard of women who try to justify certain cruelty towards their dependents, that a child that is not theirs is not easy to bring up but even if that was the case, should it go to the extent of burning a child?
Another story that I heard some time back is of a stepmother who used to lock up her two step-children in the deep freezer whenever their father went for work.
The children would be closed in the deep freezer for some minutes before being let out. They were sternly warned against telling their father.
However, one day, the man forgot something home and returned in haste and wondered where the children were. When he learnt that they were in the deep freezer, the wife defended her action by stating she was trying to discipline them.
At the same time, I know some children are impossible to deal with but there are better ways of managing such children. Assaulting them may land the perpetrator behind bars, with a lifetime of regret.
Until next week, let’s keep in touch.



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