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Editorial: Bullying parents should be given stringent prison terms

Man burns feet of his five year old son

There is a disturbing trend of some parents violating the rights of their children with impunity. Though parents have a parental role to ensure their erring children are corrected and shown the way to go, the same parents do not have the right to inflict physical or emotional pains on their children.

Unfortunately, however, The Chronicle has observed that some parents in Ghana are bullies. In their attempts to discipline their children, they overly react, and eventually inflict physical pains on them.

Since the beginning of this month, a number of such cases have been recorded in different parts of the country. One of such was a five-year old boy in the Central Region, whose stepmother accidentally slashed his left hand when she threw a cutlass at him in an attempt to discipline him.

On Thursday, The Chronicle reported that a man, whose name was given only as Obuor in Jericho, a suburb of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, melted black polythene and put the droppings on the body of his own children for taking his GH¢5.

Knowing the repercussions of his abominable act, Obuor is currently at large upon hearing that the matter had been reported to the police.

This act of insensitivity by a father is inhumane, barbaric, and totally condemnable.

Whenever cases of this nature are reported in media, people scream and get baffled. The reason, certainly, is because they cannot simply comprehend why a parent would go at that length to inflict such unbearable pains on his/her child.

But for the alertness of the media, most of these cases would have been swept under the carpet. In fact, even in spite of media reportage, some unscrupulous parents perpetuate these acts and get away with them. Such irresponsible parents do so this under the cover of darkness.

Here at The Chronicle, it is our observation that our extended family bonds have been deeply eroded, thus, leaving the responsibility of child upbringing to immediate or biological parents alone. This certainly is not helpful for all-inclusive child upbringing, and as such, children will be at the receiving end at the tender age, but the end result of the kind of upbringing will have an irreversible impact on society.

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The Chronicle is, therefore, encouraging religious leaders to factor into their sermons, messages that will reinvigorate the extended family system in our homes.

Our law enforcement agencies, including the police and the judiciary, should also ensure hefty prison terms are slapped on parents who abuse their children physically by inflicting pain on them.
Source: The Chronicle|Ghana

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