Sunday, 1 March 2009

One of those things.

It's the middle of the semester, and I'm swamped with school work. And today, I decided that
I'll update my blog. Truth be told, I am not sure of what I want to write about. But I do
know, that the insides of my head feel cloudy; the hangover feeling. It's like the thoughts in
my head are blurred by this thick miasma, that I can't quite express them, coherently.
Anyway, a friend and I got into an argument, a few days ago, about corpral punishment and its
pros and cons. I've always been very questioning of corporal punishment, and I always did argue
and speak against it, even among ardent Nigerian and black crowds. But now that I'm starting to
realize that one has got to be silent,as it's the wise thing to do. Though, I do feel it's not me to be silent and risk appearing foolish and vulnerable to attack, these days, I'm beginning to understand compromise and commonsense. It's like these two similar things (if you think about it) are manners that I have to learn, and work to achieve!

Back to corporal punishment, which one of my friends corrected and claimed that it is
flogging, whipping and not what I called it. Saying it is corporal punishment is making it sound too grave, too serious like capital punishment, he said. So my other friend made a point that I find really poignant. She claimed that children who are not smacked, but raised under the whole "we can talk it through" way, tend to feel that the world, in certain ways, revolves around them, and that they think that they can solve all problems and feuds by simply "talking it through". And she said this from the point of view that these people tend to feel that others around them will always be there to listen to them, as if it is some kind of duty.

I had always attached this way of thinking to being spoilt, a trait that arises from
having people do almost every thing for you, rather than not being brought up with the whip. When one is brought up, with the maids, cooks, washermen, gateman and the others, one sort of has this
false notion of ones importance and place in the scheme of things. And with these false
notions of self, comes the whole belief that people around you will always be willing to listen,
because it has always been that way. I think that what my friend was doing was equating people
who are not spanked, with spoilt people. And I don't know if I agree with her, but her point,
sounds so strong, almost true. Here in Canada, where you see so many young people doing these
stupid things, as if they never heard of moderation, one wants to ask if it's flogging that will
solve their problems. Yet there are those who have these mature minds, and they were not spanked.
And it all just makes me wonder if corporal punishment inhibits that desire in us to question. I
mean, am I wrong if I say that spanking, sometimes lessens us into people who do not question the
state of things; the right or wrong of things. Does whipping inhibit that desire for us to
questions our own lives and choices, and dig deep into that pile of fears, secrets and motives
in our subconscious that define us.

As children when we were whipped with those cains and "Omoroguns" or "Garri-turners",
sometimes we knew what we did was wrong, yet, we were not aware of why that the thing was
inherently wrong. It was just something we were not supposed to do, and that was it. And I wonder
if this training, makes us not seek the good and bad, or analyze the values placed on us. Is
corporal punishment, one of the other factors, that creates this reactionary society, void of
movements, of people coming out with wild, provoking, questioning ideas. Maybe, I have rushed too
far here, drawing relationships between things that are too disparate.

I do not doubt the efficay of corporal punishment,it sure gets the point across, I still feel it should be questioned, and used less of. Isn't it possible to have a situation where a Nigerian parent before using his whip, the second time in a day, thinks about his action, and tries to speak, admonish or ground their child?


AlooFar said...

Thoughtful. But I'm against C/punishment... in any guise.

... you don't come off as someone who has been whipped with "Omorogun".

StandTall-The Activist said...

I was whipped ( cable wire was used on me even)a lot as a child for everything and this had a bad effect on how I related with my mom. I thought she must really hate me...

I wont mind doing a lot of "let's talk it thru" with my kids. And if I have to spank it will very mild...

A child that is talked to in all might have this aura of superiorty but a time will come in his/her life where the lesson learnt thru "let talk" will be valuable

Naijadude said...

I am from the old school and I believe in some sort of punishment! In as much I am a firm believer in spanking the butt once in awhile, I did appreciate the lil "lessons" I got then, but I still look back on those and thing most of it were unjustified!

Based on my experience thus far, kids shouldnt be beaten just because you feel like.. Thats assaulting the kid... Nonetheless I wont hesitate to employ some light tapping if "lets talk it thru" doesnt seem to work!

Osondu Nnamdi Awaraka said...

I agree with all you said - perhaps punishment limits our ability/desire to question.

I don't however think punishment should be done away with in its entirety. The Bible does recommend it. I agree less of it should be done. Spanking is a must...but it should be done sparingly, only after reasoning with the child has proved futile.

Afolabi said...

@ AlooFar....It's a good thing, you've taken your stance on it. I wonder if with this my opinion of C/punishment, I'll still ever spank my kids (that's if I do have any), because it seems the easiest way out to pass the message.

@ Stand Tall- the activist....Both ways of bringing up have their pros and cons. I guess in different situations, each can be helpful.

& Naijadude: Hey how's it going..long time!! So you're the old-fashioned type!, but try to take it easy with the whipping, when you do have kids.

@ Osondu..How far? Is spanking a must? I'm sure it can be done without. But it's not like I demonize people who do it, my parents did whip me! But I feel, if it is to be used, it should be used less of, and other means of punishment should be explored, and I wonder if ever there'll be a time when Nigerian culture morphs into one where these other forms are entrenched in it.

NaijaBabe said...

I'm gonna beat the shit outta my kid.

Ok, not to sound so bad, when he or she needs whicpping, he will get it...after making me go to the market to buy my own cane? hmmm


Interesting post. I was never flogged or beaten as a child and I resist the urge with my children. I do spank from time to time, but only with my boys because talking to them just doesn't work.

Anyway, I definitely do not advocate 'corporal punishment' and hope that parents will learn that alternative means of discipline do work.

take care.


Waffarian said...

Funny enough, the point I got from your friend totally different from yours.

"She claimed that children who are not smacked, but raised under the whole "we can talk it through" way, tend to feel that the world, in certain ways, revolves around them, and that they think that they can solve all problems and feuds by simply "talking it through"

I think that clearly shows why there is so much VIOLENCE in the world.


If she really thinks that way, then I find it very sad that people in the world go around thinking that we can not "talk" through our problems, cos we can.

Talking through things does work. One does not have to resort to "corporal punishment" which I think is quite violent anyway. I work with kids everyday and it WORKS! Just cos our parents believed in it does not make it right. We all have to get more educated on the subject. There are so many kind and wonderful men and women all over the world that were not raised with the whip and yet they are doing good.

Nigerians just need to read more on this matter and get the proper knowledge.

We do not have to do the same things as our parents. We can learn another way.

Yes, it can be frustrating but imagine how gratifying it is to see a child make the right decisions all by him/herself.

Waffarian said...

another point: The reason our parents were quick to use the whip was cos they did not have the TIME or PATIENCE needed to get us do what they wanted. Reemember, Nigeria is a very tough country for parents and things that need to be done will not wait. Most of the time they were tired, upset or plain frustrated alreday from their jobs.

One has to take all these factors into consideration before doing stuff just cos our parents did them.

Do you have time on your hands? will you be willing to spend more than five minutes explaining why something is wrong to your child? Are there any other ways, books, films, etc than can help you in your explanations?

If you have the time and energy and the will to listen to your child, them most times, it works.

However, if you are already angry and frustrated which most people are most of the time, the whip is faster.

Afolabi said...

@ waffarian-- I like that you relate my friend's claim with the problems we have in the world of turning to violence to solve our problems. And I've also viewed corporal punishment as the easy way out, and just as you mentioned, the factors present Nigerian just makes people subscribe to CP. Anyhow, it'll be great if things start to change, and we have different scenarios (eg..seeing parents that raise their kids without the whip).

Waffarian said...

sorry about the errors. I cant find my glasses...and I cant be bothered to look for them..

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