I read some comments yesterday about corporal punishment in a Nigerian primary school. They made me think deeper about our attitude to ‘discipline’. Why do we hit children? To punish? To correct? To change them? Do we HAVE to? Our response is that we were beaten and we are not damaged, but aren’t we? Looking across various societies in the world, we realise that ours is tinged with an element of violence. We do not hesitate to use a fist when a word will suffice, and if we are not of the physical bent to use a physical fist we use a verbal fist – our aim is to obliterate our opponent. We are not born violent – violent is learned. Now, I completely believe that if you spare the rod, you will spoil the child, but discipline is not as synonymous with beating as we seem to think it is, and the import of that verse is sometimes figurative. A life is delicate, and more so a child’s life, before leading a child down a spiral of violence, we need to take a step back and think. Think about your life and what ‘discipline’ did for you. Were you always beaten for the right reasons? I am not saying never discipline your child, but think each time would a word or a rebuke suffice? If it would why go for a beating?