CHILDREN make mistakes and may not behave in a manner expected of them but that is not an excuse for them to be physically abused or given corporal punishment.
That was the message from Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer Chandra Shekhar at a positive discipline workshop held in Lautoka last week.
Rather than reverting to beatings or hard labour, children need encouragement and understanding, he told this newspaper.
"Children need to feel appreciated and wanted and above all they need to be given an opportunity to show improvement," he said.
Mr Shekhar said the training program was adopted from Save the Children International. This was after it was identified that disciplinary measures currently being used in some places were tantamount to child abuse.
"Many a time children were subjected to very harsh punishment and these measures, most of the time, worked against what we were trying to instil, and that is a better or improved behaviour among children. Because of the harshness of the treatment being meted out, children tended to retaliate or rebel and did not oblige or take heed of advice.
"Save the Children International has devised a program on positive discipline training where we look at alternate forms of discipline. Nobody doubts that children must be disciplined and shown direction and taught what is right and wrong.
"And there are a number of ways we can do that. Positive discipline training is geared to understanding why certain behaviours are emerging in children and how these behaviours and the root causes can be eradicated. It is also geared towards finding amicable solutions," he said.