To Beat, or Not To Beat

The video of a Caribbean Mother beating her 12 year old daughter has gone viral and is causing an array of emotion and opinions around the world. The 12 year daughter shared sexual photographs with some boy via Facebook and received a whipping with a belt as her mother found out. For some reason her mother recorded the punishment and the 6 minute long video is being shared all over the net.

There are hundreds of sites, blogs and pages where people have shared the video and offered their opinions of outrage or agreement with the actions. There seems to be a 50/50 split between those who condone the behaviour and those who are horrified and call it child abuse and violence.

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My thoughts? I personally agree with her actions. *Cue shocked gasps*

Now, before I go further the mother DID go over-the-top and she could have given her a few slaps and communicated the problem with her daughters actions etc. but people need to remember that this IS the NORM for the Caribbean. This is their parenting style and has been going on for centuries. I’m also not shocked because this was the norm for me (and other Indian/Asian kids) when growing up.

As a general observation through the comments on this video,  it is mainly the white western individuals who are extremely shocked by this footage and that is completely understandable. For the majority of these people it is probably the first time that they are witnessing an act of violence occurring in a real (not staged) environment and event.

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When I first saw the video it scared me because it bought back some memories (which I am now able to laugh at in hindsight). In particular when the mother makes even a slight movement, the daughter flinches and cannot stop hyperventalating. Yep, that really was a sense of deja-vu for moi. Been there, done that.

Why am I (and so many others) reacting so casually to this?

Because, like I said discipline of this kind has been around for decades, and will continue till human existence. Seriously if more kids were disciplined by parents (a couple of slaps won’t kill you) then the world would be a better place. Kids wouldn’t be going to school with knives and guns in their pockets, girls wouldn’t be getting pregnant and giving birth aged 12, people would have more self-respect and quit with the ridiculous level of loose sexual activity going on and people would be more respectful and hopefully more well-mannered.

You can bet your life that she will NOT be sending ANY type of remotely sexually photographs to anyone again in future.

The beatings are to NIP THE WRONG TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR IN THE BUD.

Now there is a difference between giving a disciplinary beating (a slap will suffice, no need to whip anything), and venting your parental/life frustrations onto a child. People are commenting that the mother seems to have gone overboard and seems to be beating the child based on her own life fustrations. This may very well be true, the lifestyle in other parts of the world, especially Trinidad and Tobago is very different and lot harder than other places. Working to get bread onto the table is difficult and thats only one aspect of their numerous problems.

We cannot judge because if we were in the mothers shoes we would probably do the same given that:

  • The environment you grow up in dictates a significant part of your mentality.
  • That is the norm in the Caribbean and it is expected that kids are kept in line by their parents.
  • Lifestyle in different parts of the world entail a different level of hardships, which affects the mothers mentality and her action  on that day.
  • Lifestyle in different parts of the world mean that societies have their way of dealing with things. The more economically developed countries and areas tend to dwell on their problems and like to analyse, dissect and discuss issues till they are dead from boredom. Other areas have no such privilege and have an abrupt ‘deal with it now’ type of attitude, where things are dealt with quickly, efficiently and you move on.
  • Different cultures have their rules, for example flaunting your sexuality in the UK and USA is a ‘no biggie’ to many people now, whereas some parts of the African/Asian/Indian/Arabic cultures do not accept this on any level and breaching such a rule results in harsh consequences. Also keep in mind that the children are brought up knowing this, so the girl posted half-naked pictures, knowing that circumstances would get dire if anyone found out.

Now, everyone has different parenting methods and obviously anger and violence should be the last resort, but I felt that I should offer my 2 cents from the POV of someone who has grown up with beatings just to ensure you that most people DO get over them (a minority of children won’t be able to move past the trauma). And trust me, you learn your lesson!

Also please note that there is a difference between giving a beating for a BIG mistake and giving beatings every time a parent loses their patience.  The former is disciplining a child and the latter is just child abuse and violence for no reason at all.

Have to say, perhaps if parents were more strict on their children then:

  • Kids wouldn’t be getting pregnant before they even reach 13 years of age (seriously I didn’t even know what sex was at that age)
  • Children-going-on-to-teenagers would have more self-respect instead of sharing nude/tasteless sexual pictures on the net, sexting, web-camming strangers and considering stripping/prostitution as a future line of work.
  • Teenage boys-going-on-to-men would respect women more, guys wouldn’t treat women like objects (and females wouldn’t allow themselves to be treated as such).
  • Kids would respect their elders, and display manners and politeness in public.
  • Kids wouldn’t feel the need to get involved in criminal activities and carry weapons on their bodies (strict parenting CAN prevent this, you underestimate the impact of fear)!
  • Children would avoid the allure of narcotics (that’s why I hate drugs, alcohol and cigarettes so much) and not stumble around the streets at midnight drunk and vomiting in the roads.

London Riots, Broken Britain

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Drunk British Girl Vomiting On Street

Anyway back to the point, I read some really shocked comments from people who saw the video and kept repeating the phrase “child abuse”. Yes, the mother went overboard, but from someone who has suffered “child abuse” you get over it and actually thank your parents for keeping you on the straight-and-narrow. I see friends and distant cousins who act like tarts and floozy’s, criminals, druggies and alcoholics, and think back to the beatings that were the difference between me becoming one of them!

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Scantily Dressed Girls Drunk, Night out Britain

Also you forget that beatings are the ‘good old-fashioned‘ form of discipline. So it makes sense how the generations before us weren’t so broken, vile and crude. They had respect, manners and morals. Just saying.

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