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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Dec 14, 2011

First experience to be caned as a child

Photo Credit: Mr Lam Chun See, Creator of "Good Morning Yesterday".

This picture of canes with colored handles above is familiar. I have taken the liberty to "borrow" from my blogger friend, Lam Chun See's picture which appeared on his blog here .

As the saying goes: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

Thank you, Chun See. This picture is "copied" from your blog related to a similar topic for a good intention and purpose to share on this blog..."First experience to be caned as a child".

This is not a serious blog topic about parenthood to punish kids with canes, feather dusters, wooden rulers, rotans and all sorts of devices to assert pain on the victims. Most Western parents spank the backside of the children with hand.

Caning is a form of corporal punishment to discipline people.

The public caning as a routine court sentence in Singapore for committing vandalism by American teenager Michael Fay in 1994 who briefly shot to international notoriety . Full stop. Not to elaborate and drag further irrelevance on this topic.

Nobody ever knew about my first experience to be caned as a child by my mother more than 50 years ago. Not even to my children who once asked me many years ago as a child, "Dad, have you been caned when you were young?".

"Don't be kaypoh lah" or something like that to brush away this question to change the subject, I thought I had replied.

Now slowly as iremember...tracking back to my childhood days in Bukit Ho Swee kampong. There was something for me to learn myself in my young life.

I know I could have buried this story with my ashes (by cremation, not in burial ground) when I die one day, in this anecdote.

At about age 6 before I started schooling, I stayed in a tiny wooden attap hut in Havelock Road with my family. It was located quite near to Beo Lane, where we removed to another house later in the Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961.

That was my child at the most carefree and playful age with my neighbourhood buddies.

At 6 years old, we were kids with nothing to do. Those were the days when kindergarten was unheard of. We just play, eat and sleep day by day. Parents just waited for us to feed and grow up naturally and then time for us to go to school. Our brains were uncluttered and unused...our no worries, be happy "mindless days".

I speak only of myself as a street urchin of Bukit Ho Swee, of course.

So why could a simple "goody goody" boy at six ever got into trouble to be caned by my kind and gentle mother?

It was raining heavily one late morning, my mother was cooking meals in the house.

In the front compound of our landlord's house, I was worn with singlet, shorts and a pair of slippers to play.

Suddenly, my neighbours were reporting to my mother quietly: "Quick come, your son is doing a "rain dance" at the front house compound".

That sight in front of my mother must have angered her so much to see her crazy young son jumping up and down like mad in the rain.

I didn't know, I couldn't see her face. My head was covered with a wet singlet to show-off my "rain dance" together with two other boys.

The "performance" by us were instigated by an old uncle (about 60 years old or more) who lived next door. He used to buy us sweets and had "bribed" us to dance in the rain that day for his own laughter and entertainment. He promised to buy us sweets after the show. What greedy kids we were.

Armed with a long cane borrowed from our neighbour, my mother then hit my buttock several times. I was screaming and crying with pain and only discovered that I had the first experience to be beaten with cane by my mother.

My face was wet all over, covered by tears and rain.

I hurriedly removed the singlet and found that it was my mother. I quickly ran home and knelt down to beg her to stop caning me.

So that was the first experience to be caned as a child.

It was also the first time that my mother had to buy a cane to keep in the house. A thin and long ordinary cane without handle. Not the one with colorful plastic handles as shown in Chun See's picture though.

My mother angrily scolded me: "What a boy to do such a stupid thing. What happens when you fall sick?" My mother was never seen so angry before. I repented and never to repeat this again, I promised. I wasn't a rebellious guy anyways...


As I grown older before I went to school and did not as much time to play a fool, there were probably a few times to get canned.

Not forgetting that the cane was hanging on the wall in the house; and it was more convenient to use it to discipline and to threaten with fear. But my mother was never a sadist or use that "weapon" anyhow. My mother loves with discipline, I knew.

However, there were a few subsequent episodes of caning by my mother due to my misbehaviour. I have already forgotten them. But not as "dramatic" as this first unforgettable experience to be caned as a child.

This is my true, untold childhood story by iremember...

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7 Comments:

Blogger Admin said...

Nice articles. I'm just blogwalking and very happy to stop here. And also give you some comment and following your blog here.

Dont forget to give us some your comment into my blog and following me back too.

Thanks for share,
* DARK HEART 2011 *

December 14, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Andy Lim* said...

Fathers cane their children sometimes but grandfathers don't. Why?

December 14, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for dropping by the blog to share your comments.

When the father becomes a grandfather and great grandfather, he would shower their love to the grandchildren and great grandchildren with different perceptions, different times but human love is as great to everyone. Love is great, that's why!

You have a song on your blog right?

December 14, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Hey Bro (that's me trying to sound 'cool'). LOL.

What a coincidence, I too blogged about being caned at age 6 (here).

Interesting remark by Andy. During our time, grandparents not only do not cane (their grandchildren) but they liked to interfere in the process. I recall seeing old ladies trying to grab the cane from their children to save the skins of their grandchildren.

December 14, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger peter said...

There are 2 sides to the coin, if u want to hear from someone like me was canned.

Canning instills fear of "XXXX" but at the same time it enccourages the growth of self-discipline/character-building. I make an exception for girls unless they behave like boys ; so gender equality/gender privileges extend to canning as well.

I dont believe in those "How to do this and that" type of parenting books. I have seen in my life time what happened to my cousins, my neices and newphes. They either straight up or grow up with shady personalities/characters.

December 14, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger lim said...

It's important to discipline with love, not as an outlet for frustration.

As a child, I observed a family living opposite us. A boy and a girl would frequently get a severe bout of caning from their mother for whatever reason. All I heard was screaming and crying that practically went on non stop until even the neighbours had to intervene.

I am also of the opinion that father should not do the caning but only the mother, for obvious reason.

December 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger FL said...

Yes, as young kids in our generation, we were caned by our parents for indiscipline. In our generation in the sixties, caning was prevalent in homes. I remember in the early sixties of my secondary school days, one principal carried a cane would walk along the corridor peeping through the classrooms for undisciplined students. I also witnessed one student was caned by, I think the discipline master, during the school assembly with all students present in the hall. Well, well.........

December 15, 2011 at 12:39 AM  

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