Is caning the right way to discipline your child?

Some believe that caning does not relevance - Pix from Google

By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid

Johan was only three years old when he accidentally dropped his mother's favourite vase while playing with his younger brother.

Later his mother took out the infamous 'rotan' and whipped his back.

Johan felt the pain and cried but his mother claimed that this her version of caring and loving.

But Johan didn't feel the same way about his mother.

This 'phenomenon' is very common in Asian countries including Malaysia. 

Studies show that children become less confident about themselves and this can lead to various behavioral issues.

Some said in order to discipline the child, they must be punished as such.

However, the question is how caning can discipline a child?

Raihanah Syairah Rahmah, 34, a mother of two, is against the idea of caning to discipline a child.

"I am totally against caning or any physical harming of a child. If we consider hitting a woman as domestic violence why doesn't it apply to innocent children?

"The failure of parents to discipline the children is solely on them. Using caning as a way of disciplining is just an excuse for lazy parents who do not want to take an effort in using a non-violence method," she said.

The tricky part with the rod is that it’s always intended for discipline but can sometimes easily be a gateway to parents going overboard hence releasing their own stress or emotions out instead.

Another mother Nurul Hanim Ishak, 26, said caning a child can negatively influence a child in the future.

"Caning or any physical harm may lead the child to more likely develop social issues especially with self-esteem and even bullying issues later in life due to the tyrannical form of parenting at home.

"They will be thinking that since this is ok at home, it can be done outside as an easy way to get people to bow down to them," she said. 

Meanwhile, there are some parents who think that the idea of caning is effective but should not go overboard.

Muhammad Faizal Ridhuan, 36, a father of three, said parents can use the rotan but they need to know their limits.

"I myself grew up with the rotan, nagging and yelling environment from my parents. It definitely gives me a thicker skin for survival. Rotan is bad when you don’t balance it or use it as the primary way to teach kids. There are many other ways," he said.

Concurring with Faizal is single father Azri Aiman, 29, who said there could be other ways to discipline a child. 

"I think balance is the key, without it nothing works well. It does seem like a simple and fast solution but it’s more like putting a band-aid on the problem rather than finding the root cause of the problem and properly addressing them.

"Realistically it’s tough but my view is that at the very least, be aware that it’s to be used sparingly, with proper intent and limits.

"However, I still feel there could be other ways to go around disciplining your child, after all the parent knows best, he added.

Malaysia has yet to oust the caning, be it in household and schools.

In fact, the cane is seen as corporal punishment that is lawful in schools for boys only and is regulated by the Education Regulations (Student Discipline) 2006.

Violence cannot be condoned, be it in any form of abuse, verbal or physical, as there are many other methods to discipline a child.

However, in truth, to not punish a child when they do something wrong will be difficult for the child later on to learn what is right or wrong

Therefore, to chastise them in such situations would probably be for the better but not through the cane.