Corporal punishment has been at the center of academic debates for years. Parents and academicians are often unsure on whether the types of corporal punishment in schools including caning, is necessary at all. But a recent case of the caning of a young schoolboy has left Singaporeans divided, humoured, and sad; all at the same time.
A secondary schoolboy who was caned by his school shared his ordeal online, and asked fellow netizens if he was ‘caned more’ intentionally. The post was shared by @sgfollowsall and sent to their team by a follower.
Here’s what transpired.
Secondary Schoolboy Caned For “Vaping & Truancy”
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In an online post that was shared by @sgfollowsall, the boy stated that he was given three strokes of the cane for vaping and truancy. In the post, he described himself as a “Sec 2 student from NSS.”
He further added that one of the strokes of the cane accidentally hit him on the thigh. It hurt him so much that he didn’t know what to do. It was so painful that he couldn’t even sit down. The purpose of his post was to verify if indeed he could be caned the way he was. He added, “My *ss got line and stings, can’t sit down.”
And that he had heard from his friends that the school should not have caned him like that, and hence he came online. The post went viral within minutes by left the readers completely humoured and slightly divided.
Many users felt that the boy’s punishment of three strokes was lenient, considering his act. User “wpealtf4,” wrote, “Sheeesh vaping and truancy at sec 2?? lmaoo.” Another user “hariz._.adha” said, “who asked you to vape?”
Correct or not, caning is acceptable as one of the major types of corporal punishment in schools here. Here’s why and how.
Why Caning Is Allowed In Singapore
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Caning is the only form of corporal punishment allowed (and accepted).
It is allowed on the palm for female and male offenders and on the buttocks over clothing for males.
At most schools, caning comes after detention but before suspension in the hierarchy of penalties.
In fact, you will find, some schools implement a demerit points system. Students receive mandatory caning after they have accumulated a certain number of demerit points.
Under MOE regulations, the punishment may be administered only by the Principal or any staff member.
A maximum of three strokes may be inflicted at a time, using a light rattan cane. The limit was previously six strokes before MOE reduced it to three strokes in 2017.
Most parents, if you ask them, would admit — albeit in hushed tones, that they have on occasion caned their own children. This pretty much makes it normal for Singaporean society to accept caning as a norm, both at home and in school.
So do you resort to caning and spanking? If yes, do understand that it can have some serious long-term effects on your child.
Types Of Corporal Punishment In Schools And Its Long-term Consequence On Kids
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Caning or any type of corporal punishment can come in the way of the psychological and emotional development of your child. When you hit your child, they begin to believe that it is an acceptable method of dealing with conflict. The more you hit your child, the chances of them developing anger when they grow increases.
They might also become extremely aggressive and destructive in their nature. And some may also develop low-self esteem, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Physical discipline is increasingly being viewed as a violation of children’s human rights. The United Nations Committee issued a directive in 2006 calling physical punishment “legalized violence against children” and that it should be eliminated in all settings through “legislative, administrative, social and educational measures.”
While you may feel that caning is the fastest and most effective way to change your kid’s behaviour, it only works as a short-term solution. If you’re looking for alternatives of disciple that do not involve using physical punishment, you can try the five ways listed below.
5 Discipline Strategies To Control Your Unruly Child
1. Anger management
This is surely easier said than done. For instance, you are in the middle of work and your child spills milk on your laptop, angering you. But instead of shouting or resorting to physical punishment, try an anger management technique.
Begin by counting numbers: 1 to 20. When you can feel that the initial gush of anger subsiding, then talk to your child and explain to them why it is not ‘okay’ to play with your office items and how that can impact your work and your job.
2. Praise them
Everybody loves to be praised, because it is an acknowledgement of good work or practice. Children are no different. If you find them doing their chores or work properly, tell them “You are doing an excellent job.”
This will keep them motivated and their performance will improve. They may even put extra effort to prove themselves worthy of praise.
3. Give them credit
No matter, how small it may be, but give your children their due credit. Perhaps he helped you clean the room or your cupboard. Tell him, “it wouldn’t have been possible without you helping me. Thank you.”
4. Losing Privileges
If you want to discipline your child, try teaching them about the value of earning and losing their privileges. For instance, for unruly behaviour, they will lose the privileges of ice creams, or TV, or play.
5. Ignore mild unruly behaviour
You will find that sometimes it is best to ignore some mild unruly behaviour. It is best not to pay attention to their whining or complaining, always. Try to divert their attention, instead. However, this doesn’t mean that you will also ignore when your child is doing something risky.
Yes, children are like clay and they shape up the way we mould them. While there is no right or wrong way of parenting, it is always best to avoid corporal punishment and work with them through love and kindness.
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