Articles and Opinion

Reasons Why It Is Not Advisable To Flog Children

Perhaps before the 21st century, flogging could stand as the most effective punitive or corrective measure applied when children commit ills or do wrongs such as: disobedience, disrespect or mistakes. But contemporarily and over the years flogging have been rendered ineffective. Not only has it been rendered ineffective it is equally considered to be outdated.

As a Nigerian, flogging has always been a part of our culture and a way of discipline. Therefore, it cannot be denied that flogging did come with its own benefits such as instilling fear and discipline in the minds of Nigerian children.

But with the ever changing society and the complexity that it comes with; flogging is becoming less and less effective. The birth and introduction of the media (social media) and the internet have given rise to the proliferation and interpolation of what could be termed discipline or correction. Hence, the responsibility and capacity of training a child to the taste or standard we might want grows more and more complex, as well as difficult; far beyond the solutions we think flogging comes with. And not just that, flogging also comes with other implications or aftermath effect that could be unsavoury or detrimental to the growth and development of the child.
It has been observed that children born within the 21st century seem to be learning at a faster rate than those born before that period.

Advancement in technology has aided information dissemination and social awareness, making children more aware of the practice of flogging. Which makes them more mentally prepared for flogging before situations of flogging arises. This mental preparedness could easily lead to easy adaptation and the development of resistive mechanisms to flogging, as it is no longer a rare occurrence to see children who have been brutally flogged still perpetrate the same offenses for which they were flogged. Many children who were victims of excessive flogging have grown to be unrulier and resistive to such flogging—making them even more incorrigible and difficult to discipline or control.

Even though some people claim to have benefitted from being flogged when they were tender, more people seem to agree that being victims of constant flogging made them grow resistant to flogging, and rather than instilling fear or discipline it made them stronger and adaptive. In such cases flogging simply served the purpose of being a means to an end; such that the children only recognize their wrong or offense when they are flogged, and make little or no attempt to avoid the repetition of such offenses for which they were flogged.
It isn’t advisable to flog children because, at first the flogging might be for a just reason or can be said to be in the interest of the child, but with time the attitude of flogging gradually matures into an extreme situation, especially for individuals with short or hot tempers. And if not noticed and checked timely it can easily degenerate from just simply corrective or punitive measures to child abuse: whereby the flogger can no longer create a distinction between his/her reasons for flogging and the effect of flogging. And where the flogging becomes incessant, uncontrollable and un-justifying. The resistive measures developed by children coupled with the constant practise of flogging can easily enrage the flogger more: thereby leading to the child being brutally beaten— possibly resulting to severe injuries.

Flogging if not properly done can be done out of bounds and control, where emotions such as anger and ego becomes the driving force behind the flogging. Individuals who have anger and ego issues are susceptible to using flogging as means of keeping their pride or ego afloat, by trying to show their disciplinarian skill, thereby attempting to prove a point that might be contrary to the whole idea or essence of flogging.
In other extreme cases flogging children could breed further unruly behaviours such as disobedience and nonchalance. When flogging is practised constantly, children become used to it, therefore, they become less and less afraid of being flogged. This situation gives them the impetus to continue in whatever wrong act they have been instructed to keep off from. This in itself defeats the course for which flogging is supposed to stand for. Rather than flogging punishments can be employed; these punishments can take any form other than being strenuous or tedious. Spicing up the ways children are corrected will keep them constantly on their toes, constantly guessing and constantly being weary or unaware of what to expect any time they commit an offense or wrong.

Flogging can also instil unnecessary fear in the minds of the affected children. Children who are victims of this not only dread being flogged but also dread the flogger. In cases where the flogger is a parent to the child, it can create a rift between the child/children and the parent/parents. Some children who have been victims of severe flogging are often distant from the flogger, even though the intention of the flogger might not be for such situations to occur. In extreme cases, this could develop into hatred, denial or resentment- where the child begins to plot ways of getting back at the flogger.

In today’s world where phones and gadgets are becoming an extension and an integral part of our lives…restricting their access and usage to phones and gadgets would even hurt them more than simply flogging them. Even other things like denying them a request can also prove to be more effective especially when simply compared to flogging. It has also been noticed that some children have dislikes or irritations: these dislikes can be used as a tool for coercing them into doing the right thing or carrying out prior instructions that have been issued to them. For example, some children abhor embarrassments or public disgrace, hence they would do anything within their capacity to avoid such situations. Therefore, if they do wrong or commit a punishable offense, putting them in such situations might prove to be more effective than simply flogging.

In time past flogging children often came with its own remedies and advantages, but recently the encumbrances of child development and upbringing seem to have outweighed those benefits or remedies. Hence, flogging may not necessarily be antithetical to disciplining or correcting a child or children, but it is not advised to be practised where the child/children are particularly vulnerable, or when there is a striking possibility that it can escalate into child abuse or abuse of authority. Therefore, in order to prevent such situations or occurrences it is advisable to never not to take flogging as the best or only measure in bringing up a child.

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