To Spank Or Not To Spank

I got a call from my mom the other week telling me she’d give me a pamalo (wooden rod/paddle) for our 4-year-old.

I laughed as I thought it was a joke but she continued to explain that I don’t have to hit the kid very hard – just a bit.

“It’s just a small one,” she added.

I paused and tried to process her words before I answered,

“No, Ma.”

“Kailangan yun, anak. Pag matigas ang ulo kailangan talaga napapalo. Para matuto,” she insisted.

(You have to. Hardheaded kids need to be paddled. So they will learn.)

“Ma, we don’t believe in hitting.” I replied.

To be fair, I know where she is coming from. She cares and she doesn’t want her grandchild to grow up spoiled.

During my elementary years, my younger sister and I had a good hard spanking whenever we did something wrong. My mom was an occasional spanker and her pamalo looked like this.

wooden rod 2x2

Only shiny and polished. LOL

And yes, she had it made specifically for this purpose.

We were paddled once when we disobeyed, twice when we quarreled, and thrice when we repeated a previous offense. Oh, and four times when we get caught stuffing our shorts with foam or hand towels.

We were also slapped on the cheek whenever we said something disrespectful.

“Kabata-bata mo, sumasagot ka sa matanda. Pak.”

(You’re still young and you have the guts to answer back? Slap.)


“Huwag na huwag mo kong masagot ng ganyan. Pak. Sa susunod, magkabilang sampal ka.”

(Don’t you answer me that way. Slap. Next time, you’ll get a double slap.)

Yes, teleserye style.

Contrary to what most would think, I don’t remember feeling traumatized. In fact, I actually think it worked.

I am in no way close to being a perfect individual but I can never say anything rude to my parents, nor do I have the guts to slam the door on them. I turned out to be the law-abiding type. I feel guilty whenever I break rules no matter how small, I don’t have aggressive behavior, geeez, I’m not even assertive enough, and I don’t think I have any serious psychological problems. Well, except maybe for bouts of stress eating and the occasional selfies – if you haven’t heard, it’s considered a mental illness now. Our digital world made us all a little nuts. Cuckoo!

Anyway, I learned respect and obedience that way.

And that maybe the very reason many parents testify on how effective spanking is.

You will often hear spankers say there is a proper way to do it. You don’t just hit, you explain WHY afterwards.

My mother didn’t miss that important step. I knew exactly why I got spanked. And she would always follow her explanation up with,

“Pinapalo ko kayo dahil mahal ko kayo.”

(I punish you because I love you.)

I clearly remember hearing that several times.

My mom made sure that we understood we were loved despite being smacked.

And I believed her. Not once have I doubted her love for me despite the number of times her pamalo landed on my butt or her palms on my cheek.

But why am I still on the no-spanking boat? Continue reading…

Phot source: The Home Depot