Yesterday my Aunt barged into our place infuriated. It is not every day that you get to see a woman as calm and composed as her, all red and fuming. Without as much as a warning, she began pacing on the verandah mumbling “How can they hit their child. He just broke a few glasses. Kids do that! Why would she hit him! My own friend hitting her child!” And in my mind, this was going on, “Why is she making such a fuss? The kid deserved a tiny hit”.
I was hit a few times as a child and to be quite frank, I totally deserved every single hit. Whatever I am today are due to those fantastic hits. My Dad never hit me on my face but regularly gave me a spank or two on my hands or my feet while my mother believed in punishing me by pinching me below my arms. I know I deserved every single hit. They were painful but never over the top brutal and only hands were used in the process. No, this did not make me hate my parents or be afraid of them. They knew their limits.
I was a bad child. From hanging on to my father’s foot until he got me a Cadbury’s lollipop, to threatening other kids that my father would hang them on the ceiling fan while I switch it on, to making a picture of a mango when asked to draw a globe, I had a lot of issues. I was not someone who listened to words of wisdom and I was certainly someone who loved making faces every single time someone asked me to not to litter the place with pieces of paper. I was a nightmare and my mother still reminds me of it. I was a mess and the only language that got communicated to me was a little spanking now and then. They tried everything. The made me go to my room and stay put all day, only to find the walls used as a slate to draw figures that looked demonic. They reprimanded me by taking my toy truck away, only to find me play with a toy that my parents do not remember buying me. Turns out, I was into childhood kleptomania restricted to toys and teddy bears. I was the child every couple prayed against.
I remember how once I asked my mom to make me an Omelette, an omelette that was as thin as paper because it reminded me of Paper Dosa. My mother tried, only to find me rejecting the 5 omelettes she made. My Dad came and awarded me one good smack on my buttocks and then asked my mom to make me another omelette. I don’t know if it was paper thin but I do remember eating it. It was bloody tasty! I can still remember the day when my Dad ran behind me in his lungi and Baniyan until I somehow managed to wriggle under the bed but got stuck midway because of my monstrous belly. The spank on my bum could have been mistaken as someone playing a congo. That incident gave me a good handwriting. Don’t ask me how.
But hey, don’t you dare call my parents monsters. They never hit without purpose and their hits were not the kind that would leave massive marks. Also, all the spankings were forgiven when my Daddy would later take me, on his white vespa, to have a ‘Top N Town’ Cornetto Ice-cream in Butterscotch flavour. Thus, spanking also made me go fat.
There is nothing wrong in spanking your child now and then. I have nothing but respect if your child was born as someone who weeps just by a slight rise in your tone but I was not that kind. I was a problem child, who always brought out a defensive smirk on my face whenever I was scolded. Who wouldn’t want to spank that!
I am not promoting violence here or abusing your children to the point of brutality. I know people who use iron box, belts and chairs to hit their little ones and these people need to be behind bars. But for all the others, who are waiting for their kids to outgrow their bad behaviour with age or to build a character on their own, while they try in vain to change them words, my answer is ‘SPANK THEM’, but never too hard. Cruelty should not be seen as a path towards disciplining your child.
My brother was never hit because he was the kind of kid who would cry buckets on receiving just a scornful look from my Dad. If your child is like that, you my dear are the chosen one.
But if your child is like what I used to be, you now know what to do!
P.S- This is just a personal blog. Expect nothing. I have no creative writing skills. J