The Child Development Agency (CDA) said it has launched an investigation into the now viral footage of a woman issuing a beating to her daughter for allegedly running away to visit a man.
The video, which has been heavily circulated on social media, shows the mother pulling the child from the passenger seat of a taxi in the Spanish Town, St Catherine, bus park, while delivering some powerful blows to the child’s head and face.
“A kill you wah kill me, little gyal? A man you want suh? Mek me bruck yuh [expletive],” the enraged woman is heard shouting. She continued to beat the child until police officers intervened.
It is said that the child, who attends a Spanish Town-based high school, went missing from her home on January 27, leaving her mother worried.
The mother then spotted her entering a taxi dressed in casual clothes on January 31. That is when the beating unfolded.
Public relations and communications manager at the CDA, Rochelle Dixon, said the matter is a serious one and the agency would be probing it further.
Meanwhile, parents are being encouraged to practise more effective methods of disciplining their children.
Counselling psychologist, and former head of the National Parenting Support Commission, Dr Patrece Charles, said she understands the mother’s frustration, but it does not justify her actions.
“When [the child] went missing and she was spotted by her mother, I can just imagine that her initial response was out of fear. There is a very thin line between beating and beat up. What she [the mother] is actually doing, is pushing the child away from her,” Charles reasoned.
She added, “When you beat up a child, it is not remorse that you’re going to get, it’s resentment. So she defeats the purpose of creating some form of discipline for the child.”
Charles said parents need to steer away from the archaic type of parenting and adopt a more modern approach, which sees them listening to their children and treating them with respect, while still being firm.
“Jamaican parents have a way to say, ‘do as I say and not as I do’. These children are now exposed to social media, a different type of life and reasoning, so our discipline needs to change,” Charles implored.