Reading some of the horror stories coming out of our schools, makes one ask: what the hell is wrong with kids these days?
There were at least three violent videos doing the rounds on social media this week.
One came out of KwaZulu-Natal, where a schoolgirl kicks and stomps on another learner until she’s unconscious.
Then closer to home, another vicious video showed two Grade 8 girls at Belgravia High School punching and pulling each other’s hair during interval.
Instead of breaking up the fight, school mates can be heard shouting “moer haar!”
And in another, two schoolgirls are seen beating and wrestling a female teacher to the ground.
It’s sickening to watch - not just the violent nature of the clips, but seeing our children behaving like wild, bloodthirsty animals, while other laaities relish in filming it on their cellphones and sharing it on social media.
What has become of our youth?
These are questions Munier has had to struggle with more and more as he raises a little son who is starting school.
So it was that he decided now was the time to dispense some of his own amateur parental guidance - starting with the word respect.
“What does respect mean, daddy?” asked his almost-six-year-old?
“It means to show people that they are important to you?” said Pappa Munier.
“You must respect adults, especially old people and teachers.
“When big people talk, you must be quiet and listen.
“And you must give up your seat to old people.”
Proud of his parenting skills, Munier shared his old-school lesson about respect with a colleague, who was actually not impressed in the least.
“So you taught your child that adults are more important than kids?” she asked in disbelief.
“Yes. That’s the problem with kids these days. They don’t respect anyone,” said Munier, standing his ground.
“So adults are important, even if they are abusers and criminals?” asked his friend.
“Of course not,” said an exasperated Munier. “But that’s the general rule.”
“You teach the rule first - you know, like ‘February has 28 days’. And later the exception to the rule - ‘but in a leap year, February has 29 days’.”
Anyway, it was clear no one was going to agree.
In Munier’s humble opinion, teaching a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T and discipline goes a long way.
But how we enforce that discipline, well, that’s where many people differ.
There is the old-fashioned school of thought that says: “spare the rod and spoil the child.”
You know the type. The ones that boast: “I got lekker on my moer from my mother and teachers, and look at me, I turned out OK.”
The counter to that, if a child grows up in a violent environment, they’ll learn to accept violence and aggression as normal.
And, of course, corporal punishment (abuse) is now illegal.
There are other more modern forms of discipline, such as taking away privileges, rewarding good behaviour and “time-outs”.
What works for you? How do you ruk your laaities reg?
Rek jou bek.