Pastor says smacking children not part of pre-christian Samoa


Reverend Nove Vailaau says during his research into pre-Christian Samoa he has discovered that smacking was not a feature of traditional Samoan language and culture.

Accepting children into family life was a more inclusive process. Traditional Samoan values promoted the protection of children, not the infliction of suffering upon them.

He says when the missionaries arrived in Samoa from Europe, they didn’t bring just the gospel.

They also brought their own culture, and biblical interpretations, with them.

The missionaires own world view flavoured  the kind of Christainity they preached.

Nove said this discovery opened his eyes, and took him on a journey which challenged many of the old ways he had accepted to be true.

“We all contend with a kind of legacy that is left over from our parents, or from a previous generation,” he said.

“My own parents had the best intentions when they smacked me: It was considered the proper way to discipline a child.”

“When I entered into parenthood myself, I took that learning with me, and started smacking my own children. But then I learned that there are more and better ways of parenting.”

Nove says becoming an adult is a process, rather than an automatic change of attitude.

“I started talking to my children more, and sharing my feelings with them.”

“I discovered that parenting can be a classroom in itself.

If we are not prepared to learn from our children, then we are not prepared to give the best mentoring and teaching that we have to give them, ourselves.”

Reverend Nove Vailaau is an ordained minister at the Congregation Christian Church in Samoa.

He carries out his ministry in Porirua East, New Zealand.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , , ,