Why as a daddy I choose talking not beating

Ian has some positive discipline tips he’d like to share with other parents. #ENDviolence

Ian 'Cowfoot' Salmon
Father Ian ‘Cowfoot’ Salmon together with his two sons Jevontae, aged 16 (left) and Devontae, aged 13 in their community of Mountain View, St Andrew.
UNICEF Jamaica/2020/Sheil
Father Ian ‘Cowfoot’ Salmon together with his two sons Jevontae, aged 16 (left) and Devontae, aged 13 in their community of Mountain View, St Andrew.
07 February 2020

The reason I believe in talking to my children … beating doesn’t work! Sometimes when you beat them, you beat them with anger, you beat them with vengeance, and when you tell yourself that you’re licking them here on the arm, it might catch them in the eye – scrape them, leave bruises, welts, marks and all those things.

Talking to my three children if there is a problem I like to ask: ‘What is that you don’t want to tell me? What is it that you are hiding from me? Don’t hide nothing from me! Anything that you want, say it to me! Anything that you want to ask me as a daddy, ask me.’

That is how I am able to talk with them. And there are different things you can try. What works for me is to walk with them down the road and talk. Or tell them ‘Put on some clothes and let’s go buy something.’ Instead take them to Emancipation Park or another similar place and sit them down.

How you can do this with your children

‘Big man watch this. Hello young lady watch this. You are going to tell me what is the problem? You don’t want to tell me that is on your mind? What is it? What don’t you want to tell me?’

In the whole entire process of doing that you are going to free up yourselves together. It’s like you’re sitting down around a fish tank or a water fountain and your mind just relaxes and you can just talk to your children.

Beating doesn’t work, especially in the ghetto. Sometimes when you beat them in the ghetto and their friends laugh after them then they feel even more hurt. Next thing is that they have ran away.

Building an open parent-child relationship

Instead, sit down with them and don’t use any bad words. Don’t talk to them with a big board in your hand, a big stick or a belt. Sit them down on their level, calm them down and talk.

Me and my children might sit down and ramp, but then we get to the point. They come to me with their problems, especially the oldest. He comes to me every day.

The littlest one, me and her just sit down and talk because every day she is getting bigger and bigger so we need to find out what is going on at school this week, and how the book work is coming on.

A so we deal with tings with kids. We deal with the kids nice. We don’t beat kids. Beating don’t work!

UNICEF Jamaica supports positive discipline as an effective way to teach children good behaviour: whether at home or in the school. U-Report, a social messaging tool by UNICEF, recently conducted a poll on corporal punishment for the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA). You can see the full results on the U-Report website:

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