Is it okay to hit your child? Vlogger's video sparks up discipline debate in Lebanon

Is it okay to hit your child? Vlogger's video sparks up discipline debate in Lebanon
Aida Sabra had mixed reactions to her video talking about whether hitting your child was a good form of discipline in the Arab world.
3 min read
04 Sep, 2017
Aida Sabra [Facebook]
A Lebanese actress and vlogger uploaded a video over the weekend which sparked a wide debate on beating children as a form of discipline in the Arab world.

Aida Sabra, also known as Sitta Najeh, started the video by telling a story about a girl on a street pavement throwing a tantrum because her mother refused to buy her a toy. The mother tried to gently reason with her, but the child continued her tantrum.

“I was telling my friends about this story and we were reminiscing over the way we were raised,” she says.

“When I used to put my mum, may she rest in peace, in such situations, I used to get pinched. The pinching was used for public places, or when we had guests as a covert form of punishment,” she added.

She continued to talk about the “death stare” also being used in the same context as alternatives to being hit, or being beaten with a belt by her father.

She then concluded the video with pretending to take a pill and ended it with saying: “This pill is the pill of thanking God for such a good upbringing.”

The video, which has received nearly thousands of comments in less than 48 hours, caused a lot of controversy.

Many commented saying that “she is right and has a point,” with some even laughing at the shared experience of being beaten with a slipper during their childhood.

“Madame Aida, you are totally right. I wanted to be a modern parent and not hit my kids, but I now have a four-year-old and she humiliates me in front of people with her behaviour. I try to hold my nerves, but I can’t help but pick up the slipper,” one mother said.

Another comment even victimised parents who no longer feel it’s socially acceptable to beat children: “Very, very true now parents can't even talk to their children and look what a waste generation.”

One user said: “I swear to God this is the best form of being raised! New age parenting is what has ruined these modern kids. I am from the middle generation and I can say that we were raised the best."

Another commenter justified Aida’s words with the Bible: “‘Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.’ Prov.23:13.”

However, not everyone saw the funny side to the video.

“Madame Aida, I fully understand the sarcasm in what you're trying to say and the really nice way of saying it, but there's a lot of ignorant people who watch anything and by watching this with their violent methods and state of mind, it'll only encourage them to say, look at us we're fine and start or keep hitting their children [...] please make another video where you say you deeply believe this is wrong,” Nathalie said.

“People are not fine, people are very disturbed or angry all the time, specifically Lebanese compared to other nations where it's completely forbidden to hit a child,” she added.

Join the conversation. Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab