Let's rear our children with love

April 25, 2018
Let's rear our children with love
Sahoub Baghdadi

Al-Watan newspaper

I KNOW that this is a controversial topic as most of us have been beaten up by our fathers and mothers as well as our close relatives such as grandparents, brothers and uncles. We have felt like being beaten physically as well as mentally, especially when it comes from our loved ones.

Many of us console ourselves by saying “there was nothing wrong in such punishments as they have helped us correct our mistakes and reach better positions and that strict upbringing has made us good men and good mothers.”

Can you say that you are really in a better position now? If that is true why you stutter quite often today? Why you are unable to address the public with confidence and without fear? Certainly, it was not because of the genes you carry but because of the wrong upbringing.

Many people were successful in overcoming the problem of stuttering except you. Moreover, you have also lost self-esteem, even for small things. Lack of respect for others and dissatisfaction with your life are other problems you face now.

In a famous shopping complex in Riyadh, I saw a father beating up his three-year old son recently. He was beating the child again and again without any legitimate reason. The boy then went closer to the vendor of ice cream to see various types of ice creams and enjoy watching its colors.

The boy asked the vendor “Uncle, can you give me an ice cream.” This action infuriated the father who dragged the boy with force and started beating him again. The mother was just watching the scene with a smile and I could not understand the meaning of that smile and her tepid response.

I told the mother that this is violence against child. She did not bother about what I said and turned her back and went away. The child approached the ice cream vendor again as he could not stop his temptation. The father had no other option except beating him repeatedly.

Sometimes a child will not understand why he was beaten. His body will become rough and attain resisting power to receive any number of beatings. Some people think beating is essential to bring up a child properly, on condition that it should not exceed the limits and should not leave any traces.

In my view, this statement exposes the mentality of some teachers and educators who wanted to hide and remove the traces of their daily crimes. Developing a kind of stubbornness in children will be the only result of this beating.

In this respect, I contacted the official number 1919 for making complaints and receiving counseling services. They would register the complaint only if I knew the name of the person who beat the child and other information about him or else they will not. So I contacted the child support line 116 111 to ask two questions:

1) Is there a law that criminalizes beating?

2. Does the person who takes pictures and videos of violence against children will be held accountable legally for defamation?

The answer to the first question: Yes, you can make a complaint, and if you do not have any information about the person involved in the crime, communicate with the management, which will review what the cameras have recorded on that day or simply call 911.

It is worth mentioning that the committee in charge of family violence also receives reports of psychological abuse as well, such as threats and verbal abuse that would shake a child's confidence and shatters his sense of security.

The second question is related to documentation of the incident via mobile and certainly the person will be held responsible for that action.

I then contacted the shopping mall’s management, which promised me that they would investigate the incident that happened in their premises.

Prof. Khuloud Khaled, who launched the initiative titled “No to Violence” said beating a child for educating and disciplining is a destructive action as it would destroy the child’s self-confidence, prestige and dignity.

Unfortunately most people in our society are accustomed to such incidents and keep mum as they don’t want to interfere in the affairs of other people.

We should know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) allowed beating of children only as a last resort for encouraging them to perform the compulsory five-time prayers. You are allowed to beat a child only after exhausting all other options and solutions such as giving gifts and other incentives.

Now let’s think about reasons for which we beat our children. Is it more important than the compulsory prayers? Then why we adopt the last resort when they make silly mistakes such as crying or telling lies? We should know a child would seek love from us following different methods many of which we may not like. Most of us have expressed our extreme joy and happiness when our children started walking.

Our children are likely to face violence after we leave them. You should not become the first to make them experience the meanings of cruelty and pain. Let our children grow with love to become capable leaders, loving fathers and mothers. Let’s deal with our children with love and sympathy to become their paradise.

April 25, 2018
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