International Child Day
International Child Day is celebrated on June 1 around the world. The initial purpose of this holiday was to raise awareness about the challenges and issues for children, and find ways to resolve and address them. One of the most acute problems globally is violence against children, in particular violence instigated by their own parents.
Even presently, there are parents who believe that physical violence against children is part of the educational process. In fact, this is not just a dangerous abuse, violence in the family is also an illegal act. The Law “On the responsibility of parents for the education and upbringing of children” was adopted in the Republic of Tajikistan in 2011, according to this law parents, among other duties are also responsible for respecting the dignity of children and for preventing abuse towards them. In addition, since 2013, the Law “On Prevention of Domestic Violence” was enacted, this law stipulates parents, committing physical, psychological, economic or sexual violence against their children will be subject to punishment for breaking the law, whereas the interest and rights of the child will be ensured and represented by the Child’s Rights Commission. It is absolutely forbidden to beat a child under no circumstances!
Often parents justify their violent behavior by saying: “How many times should I have to repeat?”, “He/she does not listen to me”, “He/she forced me to!”. However in similar situations with a manager, friend or a parent the problems are not resolved by a clip on the back of the head or a slap, there are alternative methods of resolving problems, so that the parties come to an agreement. Such an approach is necessary and to be adhered when dealing with ones own children. Some parents allow physical abuse against children only because children cannot protect themselves. Parents must seek for alternative ways to avoid violence simply because they are parents, they are obliged to learn how to interact with their children effectively. Children do not have to adapt to adults, and parents have to set an example and develop a culture of how to effectively interact with people and the world. Parents should understand that violence is an outdated phenomena in the modern and it is no longer a way of communication. In case parents cannot communicate with their children without violence, they have to learn to do so and turn to a psychologist for support if needed.
Child abuse causes irreversible changes in mental, but also intellectual development of a child. Children who grew up in such an environment do not understand that they are needed and deserve to be treated with love and respect. Every child needs to understand that his/her body is inviolable. By violating bodily integrity of a child, a parent forms a precedent in a child’s perception that physical violence is a norm and in the child will be practicing it in the future relationships with other people as an adult.
Research has shown that children who faced violence at an early age may also develop the psychology of aggressor, and in the long run they will compensate their anger at those who are weaker. It is false to think that practicing physical punishments, parents are upbringing strong personalities who will be able to stand up for themselves – in fact, such a perpetrator has a weak personality, and in adult life there will be aggression only to those who cannot protect themselves.
Thus, parents should not forget that even though the result might be instant with a slap, violence in the long run is absolutely destructive for a child. Every parent must take responsibility and comprehend that we live in a new world, and the medieval methods of upbringing have become obsolete, not only these have become meaningless, but rather dangerous to the health and prosperity. The world needs new people able to become full-fledged active members of society, with high intellectual abilities. And they need to be educated without violence and traumatic life experience. Parents should look for alternative forms of upbringing that excludes violence. They should take care of and love their children.
Therefore, the answer to the question to beat or not to beat is unambiguous and clear: not to beat, but to love.