Life’s dynamic experiences have shown there is behaviour among some parents to ill-treat their children and vice versa. These trends have been witnessed between both biological and step relationships.
Abuses have been verbal, physical or psychological. While the instances for such abuses vary, their repercussions are grave and sometimes irreversible.
Demetrio Banda is a catholic philosopher and marriage counselor who says abusive behaviour is common in families where parents’ own upbringing was compromised with habits such as heavy drinking and corporal punishments.
“It is obvious that if parents are harsh in their treatment towards children, the possibility of these off-springs to exert the same on their children weighs highly as they regard it as the norm.
“However, there is a solemn damage that abusive behaviour can cause on both parents and children. Their lives, for example, would be deficient in consciousness and the heart of consideration,” Banda says.
Emmanuel Nyirenda from Dowa says traits of abusive behaviour symbolise an unwillingness to accommodate dissenting views (in this case either parents or children), as well as applying inappropriate punishments to children, including the use of obscene or hash language.
But what would be the major causes of this abusive behaviour? Lilongwe based psychologist Edson Kachigamba says the environment, family set up, economic and social status are the main causes.
“Affected families can seek help from family counselors, pastors and family support groupings where relevant issues are discussed. No one has the right to assume unnecessary power over the other like some sort of possession or object by executing harsh treatments.
“Such mentalities could affect the way some people behave and respond to issues that may also in the long run affect their life choices such as education endeavours,” he says.
Chancellor College economist and sociologist Geoffrey Kathakamba says some parents take advantage of their foster children whom they believe can be treated at will.
He adds that abusive behaviour results from the background of the family and sometimes, its source of income.
Kathakamba says some people are born in harsh environments; hence, grow up to ill-treat others.
Jorry Chikaka is a father of one who says abusive behaviour manifests especially when there are financial challenges in a family.
“Self control is vital in the course of treating or disciplining our children. Marriage counsellors or church pastors can offer appropriate help in serious cases of abuse,” he says.
Chikaka says some children become abusive to the extent of threatening or beating up their parents if they do not get what they want. Chikaka attributes such trends to laziness on the part of the children as well as greed.
He further condemned this behaviour, to which he also noted might be a result of a spoilt upbringing by parents.