THE biggest punishment that a parent could give to a child today is taking away his or her technological gadgets including laptop and cellular phone.
This is according to the Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau who said more creative ways of punishment was needed.
De Coteau was responding to an Express article that reported a court matter in which a guardian was charged with beating a ten-year-old girl with a belt.
De Coteau said: "There is a provision in the law that allows the parent to discipline the child but we should try and avoid the physical punishment as much as possible. The greatest punishment that you can give to a child present day is either take away their laptop from them or their iPad, to prevent them from using that for a few days. We have to be more creative in our punishment. "
De Coteau, a former school principal said: "At one point in time, I did support corporal punishment but all the educational psychology books will tell you that it has a negative impact on the child. Corporal punishment is the thing of the past and I would not support it. “
What the law says.
The Children's Act of 2012 states in Article 4 subsection 6 that “Nothing in this Part shall be construed to take away or affect the right of any parent, teacher, or other person having the lawful control or charge of a child or young person to administer reasonable punishment to such child or young person.”
Subsection 7 states: “Reasonable punishment referred to in subsection (6) in relation to any person other than a parent or guardian, shall not include corporal punishment.”
And Section 3 (1) “If any person over the age of sixteen years, who has the custody, charge, or care of any child or young person, willfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons, or exposes the child or young person, or causes or procures the child or young person to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed, in a manner likely to cause the child or young person unnecessary suffering or injury to his health (including injury to or loss of sight, or hearing, or limb, or organ of the body, and any mental derangement) that person is liable of conviction on indictment, to a fine of four thousand dollars, or alternatively, or in default of payment of such fine, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment for two years; and on summary conviction, to a fine of one thousand dollars, or alternatively, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment for six months.”