Posted by: tituteo | April 18, 2008

To Smack with Love

Now that I am a mother, the challenges of discipline arises and I am often stuck between these 2 schools of thoughts. “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Kid” or “Lessons with Love”.

Having a Full Time Working Mother, my grandmother was my primary caregiver. However, with all of Granny’s pampering and indulgences, I am amazed my mother managed to instill discipline and values into us during the short weekends and after-work hours she spent with us.

My mother was a believer of the first school of thought. And 1 stroke of her rod is enough to inscribe fear so deeply in us that we never commited the same mistake again. She was not the typical mother who runs after the kids with canes. My mum has this special ability to make us kneel still before her and stretch out our hands willingly as she landed the rod on our palms with all her might. And the rule of the punishment was, we were allowed to choose the number of strokes (1 stroke = 100% strength, more strokes = less strength) and through it all, we were not supposed to cry, nor sniffle. Yeah. She’s a sadist.

However, her style of discipline changed 13 years later when she had my kid sister. Citing old age and dwindling strength as a reason, she stopped her canings. Instead, she chose to reason and sweet talk my little sis into submission. Yeah, baby sister had it real easy! I was often mystified and angry at the way she ’spoils’ her, but now, seeing how my lil sister grew up well and obedient, I had to agree ‘Love-Education’ did work in a certain way.

I am currently using a mixture of both. When the second method fails to give results, I’ll resort to the first. Heh!

The question is, “When do we draw the line?”

Do we reason gently when we see our child kicking an elder? Do we give in to them when they refuse to eat their greens? Do we let them throw temper tantrums just because they ‘couldn’t control themselves’? Do we allow them to be rude to elders in order to let them have ‘freedon of speech’? Over-indulging love can be detrimental in the long run I find.

Love is weird. The bible says, “Love conquers all things”. My mum taught us to love each other like nobody will. Who can be closer to us then our own blood-related siblings? From young, she will instill in us the need to love one another as siblings. She has this wish that after she passes on, we will be as loving and as close-kit as ever. We were taught never to have differentiations. Even when it comes to monetary issues, we were never to get upset or jealous over who gets a bigger cut. And everyone knows, “Money talks hurt relationships!” Of course, we had our quarrels and our fights. However, it blows over as soon as it comes. We are not perfect beings. But we know to honor our mum’s words, and to love is to forgive. How do we stay angry with someone we have loved all our lives?

Things turned complicated when we got married and others with different values come into our lives. It irks me when family members distinct themselves between ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ and the different surnames. And it is extremely disturbing when I see Seth being discriminated against just because he does not have an elder sibling to fight for him. It makes me want to have a truckload of offsprings so that they can protect themselves from ‘outsiders’. Sigh.


Sisterly Love Forever? Maybe not.

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