Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


This morning I had to be authoritarian daddy.

The youngest is wilful, and I have come to despise the word 'shiro'.  She spoke rudely to her mom, and then me, so it required first the threat of the wooden spoon, then an actual whack on the ass, to make her get dressed and go to church.

June had been wanting to let her stay because it was less hassle than having to cajole her.  I said what if she decides she doesn't want to go to school when she's older?  What will you do then?

She's been reading "10 Days to a Less Defiant Child".  I don't know what it says in there, but if it's to just let her be rude and do what she wants, the author deserves the smack on the ass.

I believe that corporal punishment should be used judiciously and sparingly.  If persuasion and logic can achieve results, good. 

But there are times when a smack on the ass is needed.

This morning wasn't really that serious.  But we are too soft on them sometimes.

When I was young if I acted like a little shit my dad would spank my ass then ask questions later.

The first time I was seriously spanked came after my first attempt to ask my dad for an allowance.  I was given what would become the infamous 'money doesn't grow on trees, you need to earn it' speech.

I thought as to how I could earn some money.  I was six.  I came up with the brilliant idea of selling stuff.  I looked over my all my things and knew them to be either far too valuable or worthless to sell.  So I went into my dad's tool shed.  I settled on a nice ratchet set.

I wandered around my neighborhood and found a truck driver working on a car.  Here was a discerning eye.  I asked him if he'd like to be the proud owner of this very cool tool set.  It could be his for the grand price of 50 cents.

He bought it.

Flush with my accomplishment, I immediately went to the store and bought some comics and candy.  I was looking forward to showing to my father that I could make money, a lot of money, fast.

I got home to find my dad asking where his ratchet set was.  A small warning bell went off in my head, and I hesitated, some of my excitement and pride deflating.  But I told him, I sold it to make some money.

What followed was a good old ass whoppin and a lecture on the importance of respecting other people's things.  Then he marched me down to the guy who had bought it from me to apologize and buy it back.

The bastard looked at me and said a deal was a deal.  My dad came over and tried to make him see reason, but asshole was adament: it was now his ratchet set, a set he particularly liked, especially since he had gotten it at a micro fraction of its retail value.

I worked for months doing every little chore around the house after that.  I once again saw light when I chanced upon the opportunity to get a paper route and was able to get over 70 customers after a weekend canvasing. 

So I learned, and with an impetus and zeal that may have been lacking had my father chosen to simply 'discuss'.  Sometimes what you need is a whack on the ass.


Anonymous said...

At what age should children be able to decide consciously whether or not they wish to continue going to church?

F5Waeg said...

When they're old enough to present a cogent argument to that effect.

David tz said...

this reminds me of a part of Starship Troopers (the book) that I just read today on the way to work. The passage dealt with the correlation between raising a puppy and how criminals are punished in today's society. Funny that I should just read this today, and you post about almost the exact same subject

F5Waeg said...

Here's a link to the passage you describe:

Not sure how I feel about being told my methods are akin to ones supported by the type of dystopian society found in Starship Troopers, but I'll say it anyway: sometimes, corporal punishment is required in raising children. And I think it is the job of the parent, not teachers, to administer it.

If your child is a little angel, you can get away with only using logic or a reward based system. But how many kids are little angels all the time? Not many. If that doesn't work, you have to resort to withholding of privileges or punishments like time outs or no dessert. If that doesn't work then you enter the realm of mild corporal punishment. If you threaten a form of punishment you have to follow through sometimes or you aren't taken seriously.

Corporal punishment should only be a last resort if appeals, discussion and logic don't work. The youngest being who she is, she earned that swat on the bottom.

I do find it interesting how quite a few people think me some kind of devil for daring to even administer a smack on the ass with a wooden spoon. I have to ask if they have kids, and what would they do in that kind of situation.

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