Growing up in Samoa, we all know that from time to time, we get the belt and the jandal when we do something wrong.
Lopa Lupeia, from the village of Malie, says that the western style children’s rights laws are slowly influencing Samoa, making life harder. Aged 63, Lopa says that a lot of problems with the youth nowadays are caused by the lack of real discipline.
“Looking at the young people, I can’t help but think about how different my life growing up was,” he told the Village Voice.
“When I was young, right after school I wouldn’t do anything else but go straight to the plantation to help out. In many ways, that helped instil morals into the lives of the children.”
“Nowadays the young just laze around and then get involved in things like marijuana and alcohol. It’s not good at all and the sight of it saddens me.
“Parents don’t understand that if you do not raise your children right then they will grow up struggling.”
Lopa believes that it’s the parents fault when a child becomes trouble for others.
“The downfall of any child is the fault of the parents,” he said.
“I know for a fact that the best way to bring up a child is to smack them when they do something wrong. These days’ people are starting to be lenient about disciplining their children.”
“It is wrong to say that smacking the child is harassment. Maybe that’s good for the western way of life but for us in Samoa; if you spare the rod then you spoil the child.”
“It’s not like we smack them to death, we smack so that they will learn the lesson.”
According to Lopa, the best way to teach someone is when they are young. He says that smacking a child when they do wrong will be a lifelong lesson for them.
“The best time to teach someone is when they are still young,” he said.
“So the law to prevent the smacking of children is wrong. If we don’t discipline them young then they will grow up struggling in life and the consequences for the actions will be worse.”
“It’s very sad to see that the lessons I learnt growing up is no longer taught to the young people of Samoa.”
Lopa says that the best solution for all the problems involving youth is to go back to disciplining the children the right way.
“I don’t believe that the children’s right rule is good for them,” he said.
“It’s because of this that now it’s frowned upon to smack the children. We are giving them way too much freedom and that it is the cause of all these school fight, and other problems involving the youth.”
“We need to bring back the old ways of discipline to fix all the problems these days. When a child is smacked then they won’t want to do it again.”