I know many of my friends never caned their children. Scolding them is all they ever do. Maybe a whack on their tiny backs and a slap on their palms. I grew up knowing how a cane feels and hurts. As a child, my mom would caned me if I don't keep my toys or if I fail a test. And then I behaved. And never to repeat the same mistake again. When I became a parent, I wondered if I should cane my kids if they are naughty.
Well, I did buy canes. And most of the times I just waved it at them to show my anger if they were naughty. I would use it on the floor..whacking it as hard as I can. The thundering sound it makes is enough to frighten them. They usually behaved.
However, there was one occasion..some years back. When Melody was only in Primary 1. Something happened and she came home with a big lie. I don't remember the details of this story. All I remember was what I did and what happen after that. She had lied about someone and told more lies to cover the first lie she told.
So here I was, asking her what happened. And she lied. So I ask her to stick out her hand, then I caned her palm of her hand with the cane. She cried. Because it was painful.
Then I repeat my question again. Hoping that she will tell me the truth. Again, she told another lie to cover the first one. And again, I caned her. This went on for at least 3 to 4 times, until I told her this
If you keep lying to me, I will keep caning you. Until you tell me the truth of what happened.
Then finally, she told me the truth. Then I stopped caning her. By then, her palm was red and swollen. My heart broke in several places that day. Seeing my girl in tears and in pain. It reminded me of the days I was caned as a child too. How painful it was.
But as the old saying goes.."Spare the rod or Spoil the child". I had to do this to make her understand.
And I reinforce the purpose of caning by telling her this:
When you tell the truth, the Truth will set you Free. Free from pain, from tears. All I want from you was the Truth. Even though you did something very wrong, I will always forgive you. But when you tell a lie, you must tell many more lies to hide it.
Then she wailed even louder by now. And in between her sobs and cries, she said : "Mummy, sorry..I won't do it again"
Then I took her in my arms, hugged her and wipe the tears from her eyes. Apply cold ice on her palm and slowly rub it. And I reassured her that I still loved her very much despite being naughty.
Some 4 years have past, to date, Melody never told a lie again. No matter how big or how small it was. If she is wrong, she would tell me "Mommy, sorry".
It was a painful experience for her. But she learnt it for life. She is a better child now. When my friends and students met her, all commented that she is so well behaved. What they don't know is
Kids are kids..lies and being naughty is by nature. Comes in a package. No way you can return to God and ask for a refund or a new kid. You have to nurture them, teach them the right way to go. No matter how painful it is.