THE issue of caning children and students has resurfaced. First of all, we must agree that punishment is necessary to discipline them. But is caning the way?
I am afraid it is not the right approach to this matter.
In raising and disciplining children, I believe in the rule of reward and punishment. This will ensure stability and order in families and in the world at large.
Good deeds should be appreciated and bad behaviour should not be condoned. By upholding this principle, justice is endorsed in child-raising.
In this context, parents play a crucial role. For example, when a mother sees that her child has done well, let her praise and applaud him or her. And if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let the parents counsel the child and punish him or her, and use means based on reason.
The child needs to told what he or she did wrong before punishment is carried out.
However, it is not permissible to strike a child, or vilify him or her, for the child's character will be totally perverted if subjected to blows or verbal abuse.
Children who are caned can be affected emotionally and psychologically.
We need to execute punishment in different ways and in a more humane manner. Unfortunately, many parents today support the notion that children should be caned to ensure discipline.
It is not physical pain that a child should experience, but rather the pain of deprivation of things he or she likes. This is what child experts and psychologists advocate.
It is suggested children should be denied things they love most, like ice-cream, fast-food, watching TV, playing with friends or playing computer games.
Deprivation of this nature will make the children feel the pain, too. This will make them regret their actions.
Dr S. Nathesan, Muar, Johor
Soource: New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 31 May 2012