The Ministry should stop playing Santa Claus
Kaieteur News – The Guyanese family can be a cruel institution. It should be no surprise to hear that more than parents have been involved in 85 per cent of child abuse and that 50 per cent of offenders in these cases are mothers.
The level of violence inflicted on children in their homes is a product of the colonial experience. Filling and other forms of serious violence were used as punishment and to ensure compliance during colonial control.
The victims came to accept the usefulness of violence in their own contacts. The violence was not only confined to the home.
Former Saint Stanislaus College students will vividly recall the case of a father entering the middle of the school and sounding a whistle blowing on his son. That son became a senior member of the legal fraternity. Many still think that the incident permanently scarred the child and those scars remained well into adulthood.
One of the stories this past week was about a little girl who was allegedly beaten cruelly by her mother. The story caused widespread outrage across society but few have attempted to discuss the level of cruelty many other children face in their homes where ‘licking and blowing’ are considered acceptable forms of punishment.
Otherwise, the cycle of violence will continue. Children who have suffered ‘licking’ tend to do the same as their own, and so the cycle continues. Breaking this cycle must become a priority as domestic abuse can probably be traced back to the acceptability of perpetrating violence as a form of punishment and justice in homes.
The Minister of Human Services should worry more about this issue than about her Ministry playing Santa Claus. This Ministry is asking children to write and say what they want for Christmas. The Ministry will tend to partner with some businesses to fulfill the children’s wishes.
A man tried to play Santa Claus once for a child. He wanted to do good at Christmas and so he identified a child and told the child to make a wish and he would ensure that that wish was granted.
He chose the wrong child. The child redesigned a list of things they wanted: a laptop, IPAD, X-Box, Play Station 3, ten-speed bike, electronic music keyboard, Samsung Galaxy cellular phone, remote controlled racing car and Drone . The Santa Claus man never played again.
The Ministry should not try to play Santa Claus. The people who have to meet the children’s wishes are their parents. Any outside person should only get involved in those cases where children are in need. The Ministry is going to have a rude awakening when they realize that they will not be able to meet the specific demand and needs of many of these children. And there is nothing more destructive of a child for someone to make him or her promise and fail to deliver. The Ministry is going to disappoint a lot of kids this year. Instead of this bad idea, they should give the parent every Christmas wish as many parents often can’t know exactly what their children want for Christmas.
The Ministry should focus on more important things. One such project should be the passing of legislation to prohibit any form of violence against children at home or at school. Any act of physical violence at home or at school should be criminalized. Parents should not be allowed to beat their children and corporal punishment should be banned in schools.
There are a lot of ‘messy’ parents out there in society. They were beaten mercilessly as children and came to accept this as acceptable. They beat their children mercilessly and believe that what they are doing is good for keeping their children in line. They scratch their children physically and emotionally for life. How ironic that victims of violence should become perpetrators of that same violence.
The time has come to end child abuse by stopping the use of violence to discipline children in the home and schools. This is the surest way to break the cycle of violence against children.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.)