Corporal punishment vs “corporeal abuse”?



I have seen so many videos on Facebook and the like of children getting licks with titles like “Trini moms be like”… I have also seen so many videos of Trinidadian children wining, twerking, fighting, cussing and other inappropriate sexual behaviour on the ‘book as well. I don’t know what it was about this one in particular though.

If you’ve taken habitat under a rock for a few days or in foreign but can’t check in as often as you’d like, I’ve posted it on my page at

Well I’m really in the middle with this one. My first reaction on seeing the video was: wheyyyzzzz to get licks for almost six minutes is brutal. You know what is over five minutes of a cut-tail? Belt falling over and over? Not to mention you post it on line too? Nah boy….wicked…..despite the daughter’s infractions. Then while I was watching it I was feeling sorry for the mother because all I hearing when belt falling is her shame, pain and lack of emotional control.

I’ve read commentary ad nauseum and listened to colleagues commenting on it and I think I will remain on the fence. I don’t subscribe to casting judgement on the lady’s parenting skills or the child’s slackness. I don’t know the basis of either. Today I heard the mother complaining of the lack of a father-figure and the daughter issuing a mea culpa, so is extra sides to the story. However I have been a daughter taking risks to do what she wanted even with a very strict mother and I am a mother of a curious daughter needing protection in the age of selfies and instagramming your breakfast. As a human being I was/am comfortable having fulfilled/fulfilling both roles (although the former made my life drama-filled). Some of us subscribe to the view that it good fuh she, licks never kill we and we come out all right so we rattle off the tools: who get piece ah wood, pot spoon, slippers, guava whip, PVC pipe and to this day I will never own a cocoyea broom. Others lay the notion that this is pure abuse full stop and there are other ways in this 2014 to rid of such barbarism such as talking, counselling, parent skills workshops for that beast of a mother and Jesus rather than the leather.

My view is this: Nobody knows what is in the minds of the mother or the child. Nobody knows what will make this 12 year old reveal herself for the world to see and nobody knows what will drive a mother to apparent insanity to blaze her child and on top of that further the embarrassment by posting it online. Yet as Trinis we have all suddenly become child psychologists and even they don’t have all the answers. Yes I agree it is necessary to get to the root of the matter, but far be it from me to nail the mother or the daughter to a cross in the interim because you know what? Clearly EVERYBODY have issues here and they both in the wrong. I pray that they get to the bottom of their problems even under the harsh glare of an unforgiving (yet strangely forgetful) Trinbagonian public. I give this 9 days to blow over and then it’s on to the next one….

Bless up


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