“A Proper Backsiding” – Child Abuse Or a Cure For Disobedience?

A “backsiding” is a term often used, especially in rural Jamaica, to describe a spanking. This spanking is usually very thorough and is of an intensity proportional to the offense.
We Jamaicans are very angry people and a simple backsiding, where it involves the aluminum pot covers, barbed wires, chains, frying pans or ‘anyting di han can find’, may easily be classified as attempted murder.

“Aldeeeeam!”
“… Yes”
“Gwaan fi di belt an come”
“…. ”
” Mi seh gwaan fi di belt!”

A ‘sticky’ situation, a dilemma characterized by its complexity. Do I obey and accept my guaranteed, immediate reward or do I disobey and have my reward multiplied later? A tough decision I had to make as a child, a decision which became skewed in favor of immediate acceptance as time progressed.
I had a very interesting childhood, whenever I was sick with ‘disrespect’, Dr. Mommy would prescribe and administer ‘a propa backsiding’ or a ‘good buss ass’. It may sound violent, but I don’t believe I turned out too bad. Would the other techniques work? What if during my disrespect full phase my mother prescribed a time out? “Go to your room Aldeam” or “No TV” just to give me some time to think about what I’ve done. I laugh at the very thought. I personally don’t think that would work for a tough head like me, a very stubborn boy.
All the adults in my immediate and extended family turned out to be well disciplined persons, and all had been served a good dish of butt whooping.
Traditionally speaking a spanking was believed to cure the following childhood diseases:

  • Back talking
  • Teeth hissing
  • Disobeying
  • Unauthorized excursions
  • Child spoiling
  • Idling
  • Late home arrivals
  • Bad grades at school
  • Early pregnancy
  • Hard-a-hearing

And many more unpublished diseases.
Spanking ‘created’ the perfect child.

Modern society is moving towards a more passive approach to child corrections. Physically beating a child may result in a legal charge. Many, however, still hold the traditional beliefs that sparing the rod spoils the child.

What are your views? Share below.
Also share some of your experiences with physical corrections.

– Aldeam Facey 2015

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4 thoughts on ““A Proper Backsiding” – Child Abuse Or a Cure For Disobedience?”

  1. I believe children should be punished , however sometimes I see parents/guardians taking it out of proportion and that can either make the child or literally breaking the child self esteem, worth. Everything should be done in moderation at times different antidotes can be used.

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  2. As a child I got spanking on several occasions but honestly it really wasn’t that much.. And my mother mostly used her heavy hands.. According to my older siblings though, my sister and I got the ‘good-side’ of mommy, and look.. We all turned out to be good young people . I believe though punishment inclusive of spanking is necessary should just be based on crime committed and should be done in moderation.

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  3. I think corporal punishment has its place in disciplining children but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. I’m probably going to hit my children, especially since infants don’t always understand patient explanations. Sometimes pain is the impetus they need to keep them from doing greater damage. But who knows, what’s good for the goose not good for the gander. All depends on the child.

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