Was my Childhood Beating Justified
Reading Time: 8 Minutes (same time it takes to eat 16 lumpias)
I have to admit and be honest with you, I was a devilish child. I’m pretty sure I had some kind of undiagnosed ADD at some point during my childhood. I had so much energy, mischievous and very active growing up, but never aggressive nor violent. Of course, we all know it’s a normal phase and stage that each child goes through, but for a Filipino parent it meant that you needed some sweet old beating to slow you down and straighten you up. And that’s exactly what I got when I didn’t come home to eat lunch one afternoon. As soon as I sneaked in back to the house, I was met by my mother and a thick bamboo broom handle in her hand. Lets just say that my mother whipped me like she was playing for the Yankees and slugging for a home-run in the 9th inning.
The next day, the blood hematoma (clots) showed up as pink purple bruises all over my thighs and legs (it was like barney the purple dinosaur was tattooed in my leg). I remember the time very vividly in which I couldn’t walk for a couple of days due to the inflammation in my legs and the crucial pain that followed. Until today, I still flinch whenever I try to picture the situation in my head. It was quite brutal and barbaric and if you ask me if I can do it to my own child in the future, without any hesitation I would say NO. But if you ask my present self if I ever despised any of the childhood beatings that I have experienced, I can honestly tell you that not a bit do I regret any of it. I believe that this experience has taught me a lot about life and made me the man that I am today.
Here are few things that I have learned, from this not so pleasant experience:
1. It kept me grounded: Knowing that your ass used to be whipped and owned by a tiny Asian woman is a very humbling experience. As I became an adult, it made me realize the importance of humility and taking responsibility of your own actions. Although I would never ever condone this type of “brutality” on a helpless child. In some way, I am able to turn this ugly experience into something positive and valuable in my life.
2. Tolerance: Some tribes in Africa have certain rituals or right of passage as the child enters adolescence. Some tribes performs circumcision without any anaesthesia or proper equipments. The experience I had enabled me to understand that the world is not always sunshine and rainbows. After all the bruises heal up, you transform as a man and your pain tolerance increase. Not just physically but also mentally.
3. Love: I know its difficult to rationalize how a good ass whipping is translated into love. But now that I’m an adult I realized the significance of this experience. For a parent to discipline a young child physically is very painful and disheartening. Yet, my mother was able to dig deep within herself to give me that “tough” love in exchange for making a better person.
4. It made me the man I am today: Without the experience, I wouldn’t be the compassionate man I am today. If you ask me if I can ever do it to my own child, the answer would be, never. Being able to experience this enabled me to be mindful and aware about how it might affect the child in a negative way. There is no bitterness in me at all. But I personally do not believe in physically hurting a child. Instead, I believe in nurturing and instilling values through positive reinforcement and love.
I don’t have any children myself, but my suggestions for parents out there would be to raise a child using positive reinforcement. And stay away from bamboo sticks, or having the urge to whip your child…
Praising the child is the key to a successful relationship. Never discourage the child, by The rule is to not bring up any negativity in the child.
It’s okay to fail
Let the child know that its okay to fail. Its important for your child to know that “failure’s” are life’s greatest teachers. Success is a result of failures done right over time.
Nurture the relationship.
Always keep in mind that the relationship between you and the child is the most important thing.
Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I can’t wait to hear from you.