Recently someone (you know who you are) brought up the issue of discipline and it got me to thinking. I don’t know which topic is more controversial in the parenting blog-o-sphere: the breast is best/hit the bottle or the “to spank or not to spank” debate.
If you’re a blogger and you have kids, you too may have come across some other blogs, or even written a post yourself, about spanking. Just from my own experience from reading other blogs that have discussed this particular topic, there are some true die-hard fans of BOTH schools of thought. So if you’re having a slow traffic day on your blog, or want a lot of comments, post something about spanking . . . Trust me.
I’m Korean born and both of my parents are Korean. When it comes to discipline, they. do. not. mess. around.* I don’t think they ever lost a wink of sleep debating whether or not corporal punishment was healthy for us or not. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced they stayed up at night trying to figure out new forms of corporal punishment for us:
Sure there was the traditional being-spanked-on-the-bum, but what about being whacked on the back of the thighs with a certain brand name white canvass shoe you had begged your mother to buy for you earlier that school year? Oh, the irony! (I still can’t wear those.) Or getting spanked with a rice paddle? Now every time you see it you're either hungry or afraid. The belt? Pfff, so not original! I could do that in my sleep! And there wasn’t time to pull down your padji (pants), and quite frankly it didn’t matter - that shoe or rice paddle was coming fast . . .
Here in the South, “switches” are popular. In case you didn’t know, a switch is a small branch from a tree, like a peach tree or an apple tree, that is still a little green and therefore, flexible. The best or worst (depending on which end you’re on) switches have a few leaves on the end. Apparently because my family is from the South (Korea), they too, are fans of the “switch”. But my parent’s made us pick our own and sometimes each other’s. Oh, the humanity . . .
Then there was the classic get-on-your-knees-with-your-hands-in-the-air-holding-a-5 or 10-pound encyclopedia (“X” was my favorite =) )-while-I-lecture-you punishment. And hearing it sprinkled with “don’t you look at me in the eye when I’m talking to you! Did you learn that from your friends at school?!” Most of the time that meant while we were being punished, we'd be facing each other and my brother would be giving me the stink eye, telling me he was going to “kill” me after it was over. And when it was over, you’d put your arms down and the blood would rush causing that pins and needles effect – it was like two punishments for the price of one! (and because all that blood rushed to my arms, there was NO way I was capable of running away from him!). . .
How about you?
*Of course now with the birth rate being so low in Korea (and in Asia in general), kids are given a much wider swath of acceptable behaviors than just a couple of decades ago.