“When I hit my child, I saw fear in his eyes.”
This was stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Rupeni Fatiaki while speaking at the National Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Celebration in Suva today.
Fatiaki got emotional while talking about the incident when he hit his son for lying to him when questioned if he had worn Fatiaki’s sandals to school.
Fatiaki says this is when he saw fear in his son’s eyes and this is when he changed his approach.
He also told the participants that he loved his father but because his father had used the rod on him, he never has been close to him and they have never been friends as he was always afraid of his father.
Fatiaki says the physical injury on our children will heal in a couple of weeks time but the emotional and psychological injury will last for their lives.
He says the art of positive parenting is vital.
The theme for this year’s celebration is Healthy Homes, Help Children Grow.
Young offenders who live at the Fiji Juvenile Rehabilitation and Development Centre and girls and young mothers from the Homes of Hope were also part of this event.
Fatiaki has told them to forget about their past and focus on their future and the Social Welfare Department and other service providers are ready to ensure they are able to achieve their goals.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations