Child rights activists have urged parents and guardians to adopt positive ways of disciplining children without necessarily being violent.
The call came during a joint event organised by a child rights groups under the Uganda Child Rights NGO Network called for the extension of a ban on corporal punishment to cover homes following recent cases of parents assaulting their own children in their homes.
Giving parenting tips, Hope Wambi, the Programs Manager Raising Voices said it’s very important for parents not to discipline children in a reactionary manner.
Wambi explained that positive discipline starts right before a child misbehaves at a family level or community level or at a school level.
She said: “As a family you have to agree that these are our values, these are our standards, these are things we all acknowledge are part of this family and you all agree, if you misbehave this is what is likely to happen.”
She added: “So what we are encouraging schools and families to do, is to tell the children what consists the wrongdoing and what is the corresponding penalty,” said Wambi.
Diana Semyalo, the Acting Executive Director, The Remnant Generation cited examples of alternative forms of discipline parents can opt for as a way of disciplining.
According to Semyalo, what is mostly recommended is counselling the children.
She says that sometimes children do certain things that parents do not expect them to do just because they are looking for attention. So it’s very important to understand why the children are doing something you are not expecting them to do.
“After understanding why they are doing what they are doing talk to them and set targets and say okay, if you do the right thing you will be able to receive this, motivate them to do good, so that is one of the things helping to make sure that children are growing up in a more positive way,” Semyalo.
On his part Timothy Opobo, the Executive Director AfriChild noted that the approach of banning corporal punishment is an idea for the West (BAZUNGU) saying that even western countries struggled with the violence against children until they realized that corporal punishment is not the best way of bringing up child. Opobo says that the Western communities have since opted for alternative ways of disciplining.
“You can withdraw some of the privileges you give a child as a way of correcting him/her, for instance if he /she misbehaves as a parent you can say, you did not do this so will not play,” Opobo.
He adds that for the parents in the urban settings you might say since you like to watch this program, because you did not do this particular task, today you will not watch program, so that person learns a lesson…so you do not have to beat to kick or slap it doesn’t correct behavior