Parenting is a tough job

October 06, 2017

All the talk this week, it seems, has been about the video of the frustrated St Thomas woman using a machete to inflict the mother of all beatings on her 12-year-old daughter for reasons that have not yet become clear.

The woman was arrested, but the matter has sparked debate about whether she should be punished for something many parents do in this country every day.

The issue has also raised several questions as to what constitutes justifiable punishment. From where I sit, I don't care what frustrations the mother felt, hitting the child more than 10 times with a naked metal blade is madness. There had to be a point when she should have come to realise that one misplaced slap and that child could have been badly wounded, or worse, if that blade had spun in her hand.




That, for me, is reckless endangerment, and for that she must be punished.

Parenting is hard. It is probably the toughest job ever. Disruptive children are a nightmare, especially because they can shut you out whenever they are battling with their own demons - and the feeling of helplessness can break your spirit. The sad part is that there are really no parent-support services that the parents can readily access, and even then, even if those services were available, most probably would never consider them.

It's a thing with people to keep their troubles to themselves, even when they are in desperate need of help.

What is clear is that as this country struggles to emerge for an eternity of economic and social malaise, greater attention needs to be placed on these matters. There are way too many dysfunctional households in this country that are giving rise to a greater number of dysfunctional people, and that needs to be addressed. It is, I believe, one of the major contributing factors to why we are so violent.

One final thing. We in the media need to be more responsible when it comes to these matters. Yes, it drives headlines and brings more ears and eyes to our respective media houses, but why one radio host chose to interview the girl, who is a minor, seemingly without the consent of her mother, is wrong for a number of reasons.

The matter is a legal one because with the mother arrested, it is technically before the courts, and, as mentioned before, the child is a minor. We need to be more responsible, no matter how well intentioned our motives are.

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