No control over children

PF Kruger, Fish Hoek

I refer to the letter by Johann Kikillus of Soteria Ministries, Ocean View Care Centre (“Change lives,” Echo, January 23).

As the articles says, the Western Cape has battled with gang problems since the 1970s.

Whenever I read these articles, often everybody, including government, is to blame except where, in my humble opinion, the blame really lies and that is with parents who seem to have absolutely no control over their children or quite frankly don’t care.

Disciplining of children seems to have just disappeared. I am pretty sure that the parents are aware that their children belong to gangs and in many cases carry weapons in the form of knives, guns, etc, yet seem powerless to do anything about it or in some cases even too scared of confronting their own children.

This lack of discipline is not confined to any particular race group. Children today lack respect for older people, have few manners and generally lack any self-discipline. One of the major causes of this is, I believe and particularly with respect to boys, is the abolishment of all forms of corporal punishment, both in the home and in schools.

In addition when I was at school sport was compulsory unless a medical certificate was provided, stating that for medical reasons the child could not participate in sport in which case one had to join a chess or science club, etc.

Computer games and cellphones must be controlled, particularly when it comes to these very violent war games which ultimately desensitises the children to violence – excess energy is not being burnt up.

I’m sure Mr Kikillus, who is involved in a ministry, should know that in the book of Proverbs there are a number of scriptures which mention discipline and one in particular says in

Proverbs 13v24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (NKJV) – using the rod should only ever be used on the behind and nowhere else and the child should receive an explanation as to
why he is being disciplined.

For me one of the most disturbing outcomes of the lack of any form of discipline is the fact that children are no longer taught to understand that throughout life, life is about choices and every choice has a consequence – make the wrong choice
then suffer the consequence. My two cents worth.