A very hot topic on social media and most households and workplaces is the fact that giving your child a hiding is officially illegal in South Africa. On 19 October 2017, a ruling in the Gauteng High Court put an end to any form of corporal punishment at home.
Since 1996, the South African Schools Act Section 10(1), states: “No person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner.” Daily we hear of children at schools being stabbed, raped and bullied by fellow students, even in primary school. Drunkenness, drugs, sex and no discipline is experienced daily by the teachers. Why has the world changed so much? It was unheard of years ago. Children had respect, firstly because they were taught about God, and secondly because the parents loved and disciplined them. The family was a unit, parents set the example and taught the children manners and respect. I do realise that there was abuse, but it was not the norm.
As a Christian parent, I believe God’s word. The bible clearly states that you have to discipline your child. Proverbs 23:13 – 14: Withhold not correction from the child: for [if] thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
If we consider how the demeanour and attitude of children are, is the new law a good thing, or not?
There are advocates for and against it. We each have our opinion about it. With the electronic age of TV, computers, apps, games and so forth, children are exposed to violence, foul language and aggression from a young age. The television and cell phones have become the one-eyed idols in our houses. There is no time for each other anymore. The roles have been turned around in the household. You now get obedient parents and strict children. Some children seem to rule the house, whether by tantrums, anger outbursts or whining.
The reason for this is that your word is not honoured anymore. We threaten all the time: “I am going to hit you,” but never follow it through. Your yes must be your yes and your no your no and your authority must be trustworthy.
My opinion… love, or the lack thereof! Parents are so busy trying to survive financially, both working to supply in the needs. I am not saying that parents do not love their children. There is just not enough time to give them. Everyone demands your time and attention. Children feel rejected, insecure and inferior because they do not receive the Godly love from their parents.
How does a child learn about life? From the example the parents set. When last did you just as a family spend time together, camping out or playing games together? It is easier giving them some money and drop them at the mall. Do we sit around the table at meals, talking about everyday things, are we as a family praying together, are we teaching our children the word of God?
All your children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Is. 54:13). God has been taken out of the schools, out of the government, and consequently mostly out of our lives. We don’t have time for God. How can we expect the children to be good if we don’t teach them that? As a Christian parent, are you doing what He expects from you, or is it too much trouble?
Children’s main requirements are to be loved, fed and to be cherished, to know that they have their parent’s love and ATTENTION! Maybe you were a broken child and does not know how to love your child in a Godly manner. Seek God’s face and ask for guidance. It is never too late, even if your child is grown up. Change begins with you!