Friday, June 22, 2007

Wallop you then you know!

Quote of the day :“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” -Bette Davis

I made a startling discovery few days ago. I am 30 years old, and my right feet is smaller. So is my right breast. And right eye.

How bizarre is that. I'm a walking asymmetrical disaster! With 5 more new shoes... which in the process of buying has led me to this discovery. Money well-spent.

Yesterday, we officially became Chinese parents.

The little one loves washing his hands in the sink, and playing water while at it. I was doing my thing by the kitchen sink, and he was standing on his stool so he was able to reach the sink. There he was, relentlessly playing. I usually give him 5 minutes. Then I say "It's enough. No more washing hands. Go down" He refused, and kept on. I gave him the ultimatum again. He whines pathetically. Usually, my approach is ignore his whining, and giving him the "No" lecture intermittenly, until he stops on his own. With this approach, I hope he learns that he can't get what he want by whining and crying, all acting if I may say.

His father took out the cane, in the form of the feather duster, which I bought initially solely for dusting, and hanging unused since eons. He gave the whiny brat a short and fast stroke on his calf. He was crying for real this time. Now, standing on the floor, both knees slightly bent, he reached for that calf and uttered with his mucus-dripping mouth while sobbing very sadly, "Tong Tong" ( Pain pain in Mandarin).

Talk about pulling parental heartstrings... or rather, maternal. I truly understand the old adage, it hurts you more when you beat your child.

I knew sooner or later, the cane would have to come out. But I am never the one holding it. I am the 'cool down corner' type.

Who's the daddy eh.

It's amazing how a child can forget about it after 5 minutes and continue having a relationship with the cane-holding monster. Of course, every 'lesson' is accompanied by explanation, then kiss and make up.

I understand that Westerners and alike, cannot condone use of physical punishment. Instead, lots of talking and time-out are used, which I agree, support and try to implement. But being Chinese, or Asian for that matter, the cane is still the ultimate disciplinary tool.

Of course, being more educated and modern now, we no longer yell and pull our kids ears in public like what old aunties do in the market. We simply do the lecturing privately. Caning is only reserved for the very serious crime, in the confines of the home. Not because we are afraid of a commonly-used well-known-like-in-America toll free 1800-Saya-Nampak-kanak-kanak-Kena-Dera line, but because we acknowledge and respect the child's pride.

We can't escape our roots.

I think we're on the right track here. He wasn't very whiny anymore after that, in fact he had the take-it-like-a-man kinda attitude.

"NO, I can't destroy your phone? Fine, I'll destroy something else". And walks away with his chin up.


Angeline said...

lana used to want to "wash" her hands forever too at the sink.

wat i do is that i just switch the water off and say "ALL DONE!" and wipe her hands dry.

in the beginning, she'd whine for more but i just press my ignore button. now, she knows her whining gets her nowhere - at least when it comes to more time playing with water.

the few times i smacked her on her bum, i realise i did it out of personal frustration - an inability to control my own impatience and anger - really nothing to do with the "seriousness" of her crime.

i have very bad memories of being caned by my parents. in fact, thinking about it right now, i can only feel despise for them. because as i got a little older, i realise that they were hitting me because they were unable to control their anger. i'm sure not all children who have been caned will grow up despising their parents. maybe i was a little extra-sensitive, maybe my childhood in general was a very emotionally deprived one.

the last time i smacked L on her bum, i was a guilty wreck unable to sleep at night and i swore i'll never do it again.

Anonymous said...

"NO, I can't destroy your phone? Fine, I'll destroy something else". Love it.


Bubbles said...

I always wondered if I'll lay my hands (or cane) on my child. I have so many questions on parenting and what's best for the child while trying to retain my sanity. I've seen really psychotic kids who can push you to your limits. I'm not even married and no where near planning for a kid. But so many questions still plague my mind. Being a mother is such a big responsibility. Kudos to you all who are doing a good job and bringing up good human beings in this nasty world we live in.