Saifoloi Fulisa, from the village of Faleasi’u-Uta, has expressed sadness about the state of children today. He says they have become way too spoilt.
Aged 67, he explains how back in the days, children were more orderly and never dared to cause trouble because of the types of discipline they would receive.
And now in a time where children can report their parents for laying a hand on them, Saifoloi says this is why they are getting out of hand.
Talking back to the parents, mucking around and not doing any chores, dodging responsibility, and causing trouble everywhere in town; Saifoloi says it’s sad to see the state the youth are in.
“When a parent misses the opportunity to teach vital moral lessons when the child is still young then there’s a chance they might not have a bright future,” he told the Village Voice.
“I personally feel that it’s good for our children if we teach them the rights and wrongs of life while they’re still young. And if they don’t listen then we go back to our old ways of discipline.
“My dad used to smack me around when I did wrong and right after, I would never think of doing that bad thing again.”
Saifoloi recalls how the children back in the days were a lot more respectful because they knew the smacking that follows disobedience.
“It’s sad these days seeing how the young can report their parents for smacking,” he said.
“Now we see the children and their foul attitudes. That’s one of the negative changes that really gets to me.
“Back in the days on Sunday, the children would go around the land and pick up rubbish as soon as the sun starts to shine and then get ready for Sunday school.
“There were no excuses you can use with your parents when you don’t go to Sunday school, the only thing you will get is a broom on your backside.
“When it came to meals, the elders are served first before the children and then a bowl of water and towel is brought to the elders to wash their hands.
“Nowadays you can hardly find these gestures. This is the part of our culture that is very precious and we are slowly losing it. It’s a very sad thing to witness.”
But the most common of these problems is the talking back. Saifoloi explains that a parent can’t finish what they want to say before the child fires back at them with excuses.
“Another thing I have noticed is talking back,” he said.
“Not one child would dare talk back to their parents; all they did was listen and obey. Now coming back to the present, the parents won’t be finished with what they want to say and the child jumps back at them.
“That’s the problem when we stop disciplining the children like we used to. But with change, I know there can be more change so I hope we can go back to the old days.”