Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Corporal Punishment

Jesse is currently in his Terrible Twos phase. As the name implies, he can be terrible at times - kicking up a shitstorm in his wake when he doesn't get things his way. Unfortunately for the boy, Mommy's been reading Dr. James Dobson. If the name sounds familiar, well, he's the guy you hear on radio's Focus on the Family. And he's all for corporal punishment.

So in a particularly difficult episode of tantrum and tears, Mae brought down the cane on Jesse's butt. Expectedly, he cried his eyeballs out. Unexpectedly, however, minutes later he turned into a sweet little cherub of a boy - laughing, hugging and kissing Mommy.

"Children expect to be punished," Mae says smugly, regurgitating the good Dr. Dobson.


Yesterday, Jesse was throwing stuff around in a fit of tantrum. I warned that I would cane him but he continued his rampage anyway. And so I brought out the cane. One look at it, he cowered into a corner pleading for his life, "Daddy, dunwan!"

It melted my heart seeing my kid plead for mercy (heh!), but I knew that I had to follow through or I'll never earn his respect for my authority. "Give me your hand," I said sternly, then lo and behold, the boy raised his hand fearfully but obediently. I was so impressed that I almost hugged him and kissed him there and then. But I regained my composure quickly enough and brought down two light strokes on the palm of his hand, reading him his rights as I did - just to make sure he understood why he was being punished. He gave me one of his obligatory cries to signify that he had indeed learnt his lesson, and that was good enough for me. And soon after, hugs and kisses and laughter followed. :)

I hate the idea of beating my kid but I accept that, properly administered, a beating can be the best thing for a child. My grandma used to beat the crap out of me, and look how wonderfully I turned out. Heh.

Footnote: Read this. It's important. BTW, just because I'm for caning doesn't mean it's okay to beat your kids whenever you feel like it. It's also not okay to beat them out of anger and frustration. And don't ever let me see you beating your kid in full view of the public (e.g. supermarkets) - I'll kick your ass (unless you're bigger than me). Pull him into corner somewhere and spare him the public humiliation, if you really need to discipline him.


  1. Of course there are two sides to everything when you said, "Pull him into corner somewhere and spare him the public humiliation, if you really need to discipline him."
    My Mum only need to beat us ONCE in public and we learnt our lesson well because we KNEW Mum would never give us face. So to avoid embarrassment, we were never naughty in public.

  2. wah....corporal punishment already?
    geez weez.. that's a tough noogie eh! The naughty wall/chair/spot/mat/floor method not working?
    it'll break my heart if i had to cane my monyets. smack them - no probs. but cane?? cannot la..my heart..cannot take it.
    I got caned big (and many) time(s) from my mama... too many painful memories la!

  3. think my son's butt too meaty to feel anything... so not working leh :s
    tough nut to crack... must have got it from me :P

  4. James Dobson has some pretty interesting takes on family values, but he's a Christian fundamentalist at heart. His organization, Focus on the Family, openly opposes homosexuality. And "discrimination" is not just in my book of family values.

  5. *Calls Children's Aid*

  6. notty corner dun work?
    mine if i said gimme yr hand he will give me and give a high 5. *pengsan*

  7. Aww.. Poor Jesse..
    But you know what they say, James! "Lovekan your son, hand-hand kan your son".
    You're doing it!
    What my mom used to do was to make us "kwai tei chu" for the entire incense.. While waiting for it to go off... we sometimes fell asleep. LOL!

  8. IMHO caning can be used, but only where and when necessary. Too frequent a caning is degratory to the child's esteem and then the punishment loses its purpose of disciplining. The kid won't be able to comprehend why he/she was caned in the first place - all he/she will know that he/she is a BAD BOY/GIRL and a burden to the parent.
    Also, there is no point in avoiding public smackings when it is replaced by loud public threats of upcoming punishment at home.
    That's why all Mommys have "The Look" with them. ;)
    BTW, strokes of the cane are not as painful as kneeling for 20 minutes on tiny jagged filler stones, or doing the horse stance over joss-sticks (kung-fu style).

  9. Wah... caning is now illigal in NZ.. only allowed to smack the kids on the butt or their hands, with your own hand. Guess not moving in the near future then. Hahahaha :)

  10. canning is good if you use it to discipline a child gently. most certainly one should not use the cane when in anger or frustration, as you are not disciplining the child but rather taking it (stress, whatever) out on the child.

  11. Mr Whippy and three hotdogs on my bum. I had a steady diet of that - at least once a week! - when I was growing up. I was one hellraiser then, to be sure. But I'm glad I had sensible parents. It's what taught me to be respectful of authority, mindful of consequences to my actions or the choices I made.
    It's a time tested method, I now carry on this tradition to bring up my son who's turning out to be an even greater hellraiser than I was! Probably because I don't cane as hard as my dad did me. Kids these days tend to be coddled.

  12. Good for you, Pelf. Only getting it once. :)
    MOTT, someone once told me that it's not good to punish your kid with the very same hand that loves them. Confuses them, apparently.
    Egghead, skinny guy like you? :lol:
    Yeah, Zemien, he does have a hard-ass stance against homosexuality doesn't he. But then again, I suppose quite many of us are also not quite ready to embrace homosexuality as a good family value.
    Fanboy: *Calls off beating*
    Hmm... I have heard of the effectiveness of the Naughty Corner, Sasha, but something tells me it will fall on deaf ears with Jesse. Will try it. Thanks! :)
    Luckily not onto the burning incense, Shine. :lol:
    Hmph. Maggie, my grandma used to torment us psychologically. It was a fate worse than death.
    Wow, Chiwi. Sounds a little over the top if you ask me. Then again, some parents do tend to overdo it with the beatings. *sigh* Back in my day we got the shit beaten out of us as still we turned out fine.
    Lucia, I think it happens a lot anyway. Hope it never happens in our homes.
    Yeah Jony. Kids today are wimps..

  13. Tag, you're IT! :p :p :p

  14. YES! I've made a difference...one less abused kid in the world...

  15. I hate to admit this but I have succumbed to using the hanger to beat the crap out of my kids! :-( Then after that say 'sorry'. Now, if you ask my kids why was the hanger was invented, they'll tell you "To beat out butts!"
    But now that they are older, I've stopped using the 'hanger' liao. Most also beat the hand REALLY REALLY hard...

  16. i grew up with cane marks on my buns and back of legs. my mum said this will show my friends how naughty i've been, or terrible marks on report book. although i do smack aidan hard on his bum i cannot bring myself to cane him.
    when aidan was at his worst at the mall, my hubby and i was really up to our noses, but we went to the baby change room instead and had time out.
    but yeah, i can relate what you're getting at with the TT!

  17. NoooOooOoO Maggie!!!!
    Yes, you have. Vote Fanboy for president of UN.
    Really really hard, Marsha!? Pook kids.
    LOL. I had my share of cane marks too, Sweetpea.