Have you ever taken a walk in a supermarket or any retail establishment that sells children’s apparel, toys, games, candy or any other thing children would find captivating? If yes, you may have come across a child crying their heart out while throwing a temper tantrum all because their mother or father turned down their request to get the item of their hearts desire. These tantrums can be quite interesting to watch but certainly not when you are the parent in question. Whenever such tantrums take place in a public place, the audience is usually split into two respective factions. There are those who look at the parent with disgust, deeming them savages for not giving in to their child’s request. Then there are those who look at the parent with disgust due to them not being able to take charge. In today’s society, most parents would relent and get the child whatever they wanted. Especially in a situation with so many eyes focused upon them.
I once bore witness to such a tantrum. There I was one Saturday afternoon walking through the aisles in Nakumatt Prestige Plaza. I had gone to acquire some new cologne that could transition into my new trademark scent as the previous one was just not cutting it. I slowly strolled taking in the sights and sounds around me, watching shoppers go this way and that with their baskets and trolleys. I got to the perfume section, picked my preferred cologne and prepared to leave. For some reason, I got the sudden urge to pass by the toy section. I do believe the child in me just wanted to go have a look at what was hot and trending. It would also give me a chance to scout the toys just in case a relative or friend informed me of their child’s birthday or graduation (Even kids graduate these days apparently). I got there and begun admiring the items on display. There were cars, dolls, action figures (dolls for boys), board games and so much more. Had I been younger, that would have been my paradise. I reached out for one of the remote-control cars when suddenly there was a blood curdling scream (Yes, blood curdling) from my right.
I quickly turned to see a boy of about 4-5 years old holding on to a Spider-Man action figure, crying his heart out while his mother looked on unamused. I quickly put two and two together. Someone had just been told no and couldn’t take it. “I WANT IT!!!” the boy shouted. “No, put it back Toby (Not his real name. I’m withholding it lest the mother ever stumble upon this post),” his mother calmly responded. She was clearly getting irritated but I had to admire her composure. Other parents would have quickly given in to the demands just to put an end to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, but not this lady. No, she was different and this young lad was about to learn it the hard way. The boy clearly realizing he was dealing with a firm individual, staged a sit in or rather a sit down. He sat on the floor in defiance and when she still said no, proceeded to roll on the floor. The performance was award worthy. If you had put him in a dark room with some candles and crosses he could have passed for an exorcism victim. His mother told (Not asked, but told) him to stand up and stop dirtying his clothes. He stopped his act momentarily to tell her, “I HATE YOU!!!”. That did it. A part of me wanted to yell at him, “Run Toby, RUN!!!” but he was too far gone. She was mad and he was going to get a taste of her fury.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
The lady slowly reached down, pulled him into a sitting position with one hand and landed two hot slaps with the other. Some shoppers gasped at the sight of what they thought was unjust punishment. Little Toby went silent as if he too had been stunned by his mother’s actions. In all honesty, he should have seen it coming. This might have been the first time she had laid hands on him in such a manner. She forced him to stand up, yanked the toy out of his hands and slapped him again. He tried to restart the water works but she gave him “the look”. If you were ever caned as a child, then you know the one I’m talking about. The look that needs no words to convey meaning. The look that strikes fear into the hearts of kids and rekindles pain in the seat of their pants or whichever part of their body their parents were fond of caning. It was like she was telepathically informing him, “Go ahead, cry and see what happens.” Toby kept silent and when she turned to walk away he silently followed. As I watched her go, A bad mama jama by Carl Carlton, begun playing in my head. Now that was a lady who could take charge.
Toby’s tantrum aside though, we need to realize that kids today have a very dire problem. They are being accorded too much freedom way too early and disciplinary action has been reduced. Don’t get me wrong, a child can and should be accorded freedom, when they earn it. A child want’s the freedom to move out before they come of age? Sure, they can, if it’s to boarding school. They want to drop out of school? Fine, as long as they find a way to make their own income. They have become bold enough to demand (Not ask) for freedom to do some insane and outlandish things and in some places, they actually do get it (*Cough* USA *Cough*).
If you go to Google or Facebook, you can find a multitude of videos depicting rowdy students openly disrespecting their teachers. I used to find them funny and somewhat entertaining until I came across a clip of a child slapping his mother (Actual slaps) because apparently, she would not talk to him. Now, back in my day, if either one of your parents refused to talk to you, either they were sick or they were so mad, that keeping silent was the best option to refrain from caning your Gluteus Maximus into oblivion. Basically, they were doing you a favor. Laying your hands on your parents was a suicide mission. Granted, you may have had the limited martial arts knowledge to land a punch or two but you just didn’t do it. The respect for them was deeply ingrained in our psyche that we would obediently conform to their demands. Failure to do so would lead to unquestionable punishment.
In first world countries, you hear of strange punishments given to kids like standing in a corner to think about what they have done. No matter what the offence, go to the corner. This may be effective at first but bear in mind that overtime they adapt and gradually overcome it. With smartphones and tablets nowadays they would prefer to stay in a corner anyway. It’s no wonder some of these countries are siring little sissies (Yes I said it. It had to be said) who can’t even hold their own or adapt to harsh situations. The only authoritative figure they truly respect is a person with a gun and even then it’s just the gun that makes a difference to them. Lose that, and you are just another average Joe. When it comes to caning, it is quick and easy. You simply cane and release and await the next transgression they may commit. Yes, there will be pain and possible resentment but in the end the child will learn their lesson. Now there are those who will tell you that caning makes a child dumber but I beg to disagree. When you cane a child they understand that they committed an offence and have received the consequences. When you send a child to a corner and tell him/her to think about what they have done, it’s much like telling them to act as their own judge, jury and executioner. They may possibly begin to believe they made no serious mistake.
I personally am in favor of a good caning to drive out the SRDs (Spoiled Rotten Demons) in kids just as long as one does not take it too far. If you draw blood, break a bone or in any way injure your child in an inhumane manner, then you have no right to lay hands on them. The idea is to discipline not to maim and break. You want them to learn from their mistakes not die in vain for something as minor as say spilling sugar. You want them to understand that with wrong choices come consequences. You can even employ the use of levels to indicate the severity of the “crime”. For instance, spill milk on the floor, clean it up and stand in the corner. Break the windshield of the neighbors Mercedes, 10 strokes of the cane. You will find this quite effective.
There are those parents who view this as trash but to them I ask, what are you to your child? Are you their parent or their friend? Answer, you are their parent first and their friend second. Why? Simple, when your friend does something wrong, all you can do is offer some advice. You can’t knock sense into them as you may end up losing their friendship. If you approach your child as a friend, then you end up shooting yourself in the foot. If they say they want to try something you do not approve, all you can do is offer advice then it is up to them to decide if they wish to take it or not. In your efforts to appear cool, hip and modern, you fail at being a parent to them and hence any misdeeds they get into are entirely your fault. It is possible to gain the respect of your children as their parent as well their trust as their friend. You just need to find a balance, for if you fail at bringing them up right, then the future generations that will walk this earth are doomed to be filled with anarchical individuals who will cause nothing but chaos and possibly lead our race to self-destruction.
To my future kids, this message is directed to you. You may not be born yet but today I make a sweeping declaration. You will get all the love and affection required from me and maybe even more, but if you step out of line, I will not hesitate to castigate you and administer sense with a preset number of canes. I will however, give you the freedom to choose the number. A number that does not deceed 3. Do remember that the lower the number, the harder the strokes and vice versa so pick a high number. It will still be painful, but it’s worth the risk.
Let me know what you think. Are you for corporal punishment or are you the stand in the corner type? Leave a comment down below.
Till next time. さようなら.