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The Responsibility of Having a Child

It’s been around 9 months since I started my new life in Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat has a lot to offer, and there are many beautiful things you can witness right in front of our school that you normally only see in underwater documentaries. While other schools have a backyard with a beautiful garden, this school only needs to provide a jetty facing the ocean and Voilà! There’s a spectacular bio-diversity that you hardly see in any other place.

Unfortunately, as with coins, there are always two sides of things and not everything is wonderful and beautiful. Despite Raja Ampat’s beauty, I also encounter many discomforting issues and situations I’m unable to do anything about it.

But what discomforts me the most is neither to do with nature nor with education, and not the lack of medical services or literacy proficiency. It’s behavior of some of the children towards other children, such as beating other children with sticks and easily do violent things towards each other. It’s a big issue but I feel the need to cautiously examine it.

While the question still lingers on my head, I found both a clue and similarity in what the parents do to their children. They often beat their children violently both physically and mentally by threatening them whenever they don’t meet their expectations. Although it’s not the only factors, I believe they are the most important ones in shaping the aggression and anger behavior in many children I see.

From my personal point of view, beating children violently is a dangerous move by parents. Not only does it directly tell that it’s okay to beat others, especially those who are weaker, but I assume this behavior also contribute to some children not being able to obey simple warning. Furthermore, it creates a vicious circle of beating and hitting for the next generations. In a society where adults and their surroundings are the only role-models they have, it’s very dangerous behavior and needed to be remembered.

What’s worse, most of them think that having a lot of children is good and important to continue their legacy. They think of it as part of their culture, which makes it an act of racism to tell them that it’s not a very good thing to beat their children. Consequently, this circle is passed on to many children (who eventually will become parents of many children too) and inevitably, the percentage of parents who beat their children will rise in the future and become harder to manage.