Belt or the Slipper?

Photo taken from:

by Allan

Caucasian Mother (in calm voice): “Now Thomas, I need you to take a timeout in the corner! You’re behaviour just isn’t acceptable!”


Mother (in calm voice): “What will I ever do with that boy! Here you go son! Have some ice cream……”

Thomas (still angry): “FUCK YOU BITCH!”

Could you imagine replaying the script above in a Filipino household?  What do you think? How do you think we should discipline children today? Do they need a stern talking to or do we need to have our belts and slippers ready?

One thing’s for certain for myself.  Personally, if I said that to my Mother when I was young child, she would have KICKED MY ASS! I’m talking corporal punishment!  First, the belt, then the slipper, then the slap to the head, then the shouting, then silence, followed by the statement, “this hurts me more than this hurts you”.  I would probably get a lecture that I shouldn’t be so rude, but by that point I’d already know for certain that I would never be rude to my Mother — ever again!

In North America, it’s looked down upon to physically punish your chidren but a sentiment that hits close to home in a question that so many of my Filipino friends can immediately answer:

“Growing up, did you get the belt or did you get the slipper?”

The way most of my Filipino friends were disciplined while growing up directly equates to accounts of some sort of physical punishment.  It’s a different world we live in today where it’s more appropriate to talk to your kids, rather than physically discipline them.

In 1994, my parents decided to become one of Toronto’s only Filipino Catholic Foster families.  It was then that the physical punishment stopped — and the talks and lectures began.  The extensive “training” my parents went through had to meet provincial standards to be ready to handle the diverse needs of the children we took into our care.  We had to deal with crack babies, neglected, malnourished and abused children. 

Growing up with these kids in my adolescent years, I saw that they needed extra special attention and in no way the kind of discipline that I took when I was young.  I experienced two different parental discipline styles — both of which I am the product of. 

The result?

I went on to graduate high school with honours, graduate both university and college an obtain a very good paying job with which I’ve been a part of the company the last eight years.  I also do what I want to do, as opposed to feeling obligated as far as getting involved with various ethnic and religious organizations.

I now personally have a soft spot in my heart for children.  I’ll always be a big kid since I’ve been surrounded by adolescent teens, young kids and lots of babies, all of different ethnicities/cultures, religions and financial situations throughout my life.  I believe in encouragement, nourishment, sacrifice, patience, and a little understanding on everyones part to truly raise a child the right way.  It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years!

Guide them towards the right path.  Let them make their own decisions for themselves when it’s appropriate but still be watchful and offer suggestions.  Do not make their decisions for them.  Lastly, love children unconditionally.  I’ve had the privilege of growing up with children in various situations and to not be judgemental and authoritative is for the best – especially when dealing with children.

 13 AM

photo courtesy of Yahoo! TV

As I watched America’s Best Dance Crew, I totally felt for that young Filipina from SoReal Cru – and for her family.  The pressure that young lady felt must have been overbearing.  In my opinion, it could have all been prevented if the Filipino parents approved of her being there from the beginning, thus giving her a clear conscience to be able to perform at her highest level.  Your daughter wants to be an entertainer/dancer! Just let her be and encourage her!  Don’t be a deterrent to her dreams because now, she and her friends are pop culture icons!

Explosion! Shoutouts to both SuperCr3w & SoReal! Good job & Congratulations for your success!

~ by allanserrano81 on August 31, 2008.

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