I watched this Sh*t Nigerian Parents Say video just yesterday and it struck me that a lot of it was about being hit by ones parents. I was beaten as a child as I imagine a lot of you were. It was my parents’ way of correcting bad behavior. I certainly didn’t like it but I won’t say that it broke me. It acted as a deterrent to bad behavior and really was just the way most Nigerian parents brought up their kids. The beating was usually controlled and even announced before hand if it was done by my dad, but my mother is a somewhat more emotional/spontaneous person so one had to watch out for her as she could send a slap one’s way with very little warning.
My approach to discipline is to talk things through. I make sure that the rules are communicated and understood. If I am feeling generous, I will throw in the repercussions of any wrong actions.
Am I an advocate of spankings? Yes, with the following qualifications – If it is a last resort, done with control and a good measure of love. This is certainly possible. Someone once told me about a man who was so angry with his daughter that he gathered wires that were lying around and used that as his whipping tool. That is beyond wrong in my view. If you must spank, you must never do so from a point of anger. You may ask if that is even possible. My experience has been that it is.
So what do you think? Do Africans have a handle on something useful or should we go with the thinking of the west that our method of punishment is tantamount to abuse?