In western countries, corporal punishment has long been restricted. The case of Asian countries, particularly in the Philippines, shares a different story. While there’s a law that protects children from any form of abuse, culture and tradition can overpower everything. Perhaps in American countries, the typical patting practiced in Filipino families is enough grounds for child abuse.
In our home, I admit growing from this type of disciplinary action. I have been hit by slippers many times. A few instances, I experienced having my earlobes or hair pulled by my mother.
While I don’t personally advocate inflicting any form of pain to inculcate discipline, I never blame my mother for adopting such approach. I believe my mother’s approach was effective to some extent. I grew up respecting and fearing my parents. The fear later contributed on instilling the much needed discipline.
I’m not a parent and maybe, I don’t have the right to talk anything about parenting principles. I know a number of my blog followers such as Jonalyn & Juan , Postsquared and Jen are parents. I would really appreciate if they can share their sentiments.
Setting aside my inexperience, allow me to share my opinion on corporal punishment as a tool on instilling discipline.
As I have said, I never believe in using pain to develop discipline. I’m an advocate of using teaching, learning and experience instead. When a child does something wrong, the parent should
Teach – Explain to the kid what makes everything wrong.
Learning – Let the kid speak. Let the kid explain why he did it. Let him process his own thoughts.
Experience – Make the kid see the possible outcomes of his mistake.
So why all of a sudden, I’m writing a topic out of my personality? As always, this was prompted by some incident that happened at home, work or wherever.
Two days ago, I became a stupid witness to some corporal punishment inflicted to a poor kid… (I hate to admit it) within my family. Worst of the worst, it wasn’t a family member who inflicted the punishment. It was “someone who tries to become a family” who instigated. Let me baptize that person as the Antagonist.
The pathetic three-year old kid was slapped on her thighs many times by this antagonist. I rarely see the kid so most likely, there is a high chance that the kid was often maltreated. Yesterday, the kid did something naughty. If I’m not mistaken, the kid played with the faucet in the backyard. When another cousin reported the incident to the elders, the antagonist dragged the poor kid to the backyard. I knew what I was witnessing was a mistake. I tried to get the attention of the poor kid, but the antagonist prevailed.
The antagonist perhaps later realized that there were a lot of eyes around. She ended the scene by threatening to slap the kid with her hand towel.
If only I had the genes of Kris Aquino or Simon Cowell, the story of this blog post would have been different. The antagonist’s family will curse me to death in their bravest 63,206 character allocation in Facebook. But no, I prefer to take things on my own hands… in the most silent and deadliest way.
Some of you might be wondering, where are the parents of the poor kid? A surprising back story can explain why the poor kid has always been tagged as bad and naughty. Both parents of the poor kid are mentally delayed for their ages. The parents are in their late twenties to early thirties, but their mental ages are way younger. They are unfit to become parents, but destiny made other plans. This greatly explains why the kid turned out to be the naughtiest and often the cause of headache of the elders in the family.
There’s no way the antagonist can read my sentiments. I’m likewise not in the position to confront her. Should this happens, I will surely gain nothing but enemies from the antagonist’s children. (It will be raining hate status messages screaming with grammar violations Heehee) Yes, the antagonist is a mother in her 50s. It’s quite hard to believe that she has the age but the missing understanding, patience and maturity for a poor kid. Considering she has reared a number of kids, I doubt if she doesn’t know the hate arising when another stranger maltreats your own blood. Maybe the antagonist is used to this kind of discipline. Maybe she doesn’t mean it. (I doubt?!) Maybe she has to remember that she was never family. She was just given the privilege to live within the compounds of my paternal family. I really hope someone would have the courage to clarify her limits. My cousin’s family has been accommodating to the antagonist and her family…. but behind their backs they are most unwelcome to the family.
The least I can do know is to pray for the poor kid. Despite the absence of proper discipline, I hope the kid will grow up way different from her parents. Impossible, I still hope the Lord sends the Holy Spirit to protect the kid from the hands of the antagonist. I hope my late grandma and auntie will guard her in times of another danger. Maybe in the end, I just wish that the antagonist would leave and forever stay away from my family.