Encouraging Better Behavior, Should You Smack Your Child?

Using a cane on a child's palm as a form of discipline
Yesterday, I went shopping at the open market and saw canes on sale. Although I asked why canes are being displayed for sale when we know that they cause pain. The seller explained that they are for discipline. That these canes help to tame naughty, stubborn, rebellious and disobedient children. While she  talked, I remembered my last girl who
loves to do the opposite of what she is asked.

When my girl is told to sit down, she stands up. When asked to keep quiet, she raises her voice; When told to eat; she says she is not hungry, but when food is cooking she cries on top of her voice for food. When everyone is quiet and is concentrating on something, she begins to read loudly and when told to stop making noise, she replies  "reading is not noise."

Then again, she sucks her thumb, even though I tried everything possible, we couldn't stop her. When I wrap with celloplast, she pulls it off or throws so much tantrum that we end up getting it off to have our peace. This sucking happens when she is bored, while sucking, she has this habit of rubbing the elbow of whoever is sitting next to her and eh, this is so so irritating. When your elbow is being rubbed by that tiny five year old hand, you just lose concentration and it really gets on one's nerves. I have never seen her stop when one says STOP! She just continues with eyes closed until the victim looks for another seat. The annoying part here is when she follows you to the next seat.

While this cane seller was still doing her explanation and all, I quickly picked the smallest size for twenty naira. I was very happy when I got home and discovered that this little thing had the power of making my girl obey in a flash like lightening speed. It was all fun watching her quickly obey without being mischievous. Though I haven't yet used it, I sincerely do hope to. I will use that cane when occasion demands. I hear male children can be so full of energy and mischievous, but with girls, I think it's easy because they are soft and easy to control even in public. Anyway, that's what people say, that boys are difficult to raise. Girls like to help and obey without being compelled to.

However, with this my little girl, I think this cane has come in timely. Even though she hid it last night, I still found it this morning and we are all more relaxed not having to yell and scream before she obeys.
Now, question is, Should you smack your child? Do you think kids should be flogged as a form of discipline, or just grounded and kept at naughty corners since flogging is old school? Not that I feel guilty, No I dont, but, I'd like to know what you think.
Please share your thoughts.


  1. I love disciplining kids. I think African kids obey only cane, whenever they see it, tears flow into their eyes and they regret what they have done. My kid brother arranges himself when he sees uncle koboko and i'll surely use it with my kids no matter where we find ourselves, be it abroad or in Nigeria.

    1. I agree with U. Personally I do not think canes are old school for disciplining a child. All the oyibo that we imitate by grounding and grating the kids, how well have most of their kids turned?
      Moderation calls for in all things, not that life should be flogged out of a child,No but wisdom should direct a parent on when to correct verbally or by caning.
      I believe in using cane for kids especially those 3-6 years of age when some parents say "they're still tender,they don't know nada" which I think is not true coz children no matter how small knows purely when they do wrong so the earlier the better. And if U say they don't know, when a baby bits the mum's nipple while feeding and his/her chin is given a little lesson, the baby is likely to repeat it next time but observe that he/she will immediately look at the mum's face to see her reaction, and with repeated correction the baby doesn't try it again especially when their gums starts scratching them. Unlike the Igbo adage that says "okwuru adighi akari onye kuru ya (okro doesn't outgrow its planter)", children at some certain age outgrows SOME TYPES of correction which if we don't use while they can be bent at ease will end up making them hostile and arrogant.

    2. Nne Chukwu gozie gi. two things i've promised myself to do while raising my kids no matter where i will live are using the cane when necessary and teaching them Igbo language. my kids must be flogged when its absolutely necessary and they MUST know how to speak Igbo except i don't marry an Igbo man which i don't see happening. I'm all for petting kids but at times one needs to flog them but it should be done in love not with anger cos if its done with anger, it might be over done.

  2. Anonymous4/11/2013

    Hehehe....aunty Eya I can't stop laughing o.but seriously pple tink flogging is old school bur a little with no marks will do. Aunty Eya just a little o. Wen kids kow dat cane cause pain dey sit still @ d sight of cane even if its for a while. U can try some aloevera on her thumb. Op dat helps sha.Horlah

  3. chikoko4/11/2013

    Haa mr do good,d best way 4 naughty kids

  4. Anonymous4/11/2013

    Dr do gud! U jus ve 2 behave wen u r bin flashed! N aloe Vera works perfectly

  5. Anonymous4/11/2013

    It shld only be used when a child does something wrong but if a child did something wrong and later confesses when he/she is being quizzed then I think d child shouldn't be flogged. The right thing here is to instruct the child not to repeat such negative behaviour.

  6. Sis Eya I have a son and daughter but d boy is more calmer n listens to instructions compared to his sister, maybe because he is older than she is. After several warnings I use my hand and a few smacks does d trick for d next couple of days to a week. I was whipped with a cane in secondary school and it left horrible painful marks that led to a fever so my palm does d trick of sitting quitely for my kids. Don't 4get 'spare d rod and spoil d child'. Nigerian parents in d Uk here smack their kids and it does help as long as its not excessive coz if marks are left social services will somehow get involved n might end up taking d child away from d parents.

  7. Anonymous4/11/2013

    I smack my kids very well and they behave. If its done sensibly no wahala. They need us to teach them everything and using a whip to pass it across sometimes is neccesary.

  8. Anonymous4/11/2013

    I am a pastor in a chucrh. One day one of the church wardens was using a strong cane and very ferociously on the kids. I tried to correct him by stoping him because I thought that was a poor practice especially inside the church. The entire congregation disagreed with me and said that is the only language the kids understood. This was in a village set up though. I was speechless

  9. Aunty Eya, you're so funny. i'll like to meet your little girl. I sucked my thumb for a very long time. I dnt even wish to tell you how long cos it's so embarrassing. Although it did not come with any other habits like rubbing ears, elbows and bellybuttons as I have seen some kids do, it was BAYD! It got to the extent that the thumb I usually sucked became darker and longer, yes longer, than the other thumb. It isn't noticeable now but it was like 5 yrs ago. I'm in my early 20s, so do the math!

    So I said all that to say, one day ur baby will stop on her own. My mum said after I came out of the womb, I started sucking. It was funny cos other kids cry and sleep off. I just sucked and slept off doing that. So I think there is some (maybe genetic) reason why a person sucks. And about getting bored, I am a champ at that. I get bored even while busy. I get bored at the cinema so I watch a movie and surf the net at the same time. I get bored while cooking! I have recently added sewing to my list of 'work' everyday, but I still get bored. So just look for things to keep her busy. I bet she is creative too. Look for her talent and work on it. If she starts now, she'll be perfect when she gets older. Being busy will also help minimize sucking.

    About flogging kids, all I can say is that, the bible did not stammer when it said "spare the rod...". It was not being literary or metaphorical. Some people say rod means 'telling the right thing to do". No my darling, rod is rod-cane, whip...etc. Many parents today want to raise their kids the Oyibo way (time out, Go to your room, no ice-cream for you, no Play Station for two days), however when their kids start behaving like oyibo children (telling their mum to 'shut up' and their dad to get out of their room) these same parents start complaining. Why complain? I thought you love your child more than other parents(who flog)love theirs...

    In the other post,people were advising the lady to adopt her husband's style. Hm! Two parents cannot be all lovey-dovey with the kids. It is normal for one parent to be disliked. Just do the best for your children now, when they get older, they'll change their perception of you. Fact!

  10. I flog my children very well when they deserve it. The 6 year old gets 6 strokes, the 4 year old gets 4 strokes. It works. It helps instill discipline o. The bible is always right.

  11. my son took ill and was given an injection,hence he knows the power of the almighty needle and syringe. just pretending to be calling a doctor is all i need to get my 3 year old boy behaved,and it works sooooo well for me.

  12. I think it depends on the child. I know a little boy who is stone headed when u beat gim, but talking to him usually works

    I personally, do not think caning should be over used .. i feel like it's abused. but when necessary why not

  13. mizosa4/11/2013

    Hmmmmm my mum reaally used dis cane on me while I ws growing up. If not I wuld hv gone out of hand with sturborness. She ws alwz using cane to correct me. As 4 ur daughter sucking her hand she will stop when she is ready to. I sucked my hand very well lol and I will wrap my dried wraper which I unirated on and smell it anytime am sucking my hand. Dat ws my own immediately I got to boarding sch in jss1 I stoped gradually. And trust me children who suck their hand or tongue while growing up are very intelligent seriously. She will grow up to be very intelligent. About the issue of cane my mum used it on me I must use it on my children *shekina*

  14. Aunty Ojay am so in suppory of using the cane to instill discipline. Am a proponent of spare the rod and spoil the child.
    My siblings were very lucky,coz as d first child I received it when my dad was still very strong. Dat man dealt with me. But I thank him for killing me yesterday,that I may live today and tomorrow.

    ~BONARIO~says so via NOKIA3310

  15. Eya,u had me laughing about this your daughter's behaviour! She is so funny. On d issue of cane,I can't even compromise. D oyinbo style can't work for me,though I hate when some parents overdo d beating. If u see some parents flogging dr kids,u'll marvel! Moderation is d key for me.

  16. Anonymous4/11/2013

    Adaeze! U have jst hit d nail...d bible truly did not stammer(lol).

  17. My mother; cane and koboko and abara. My father; two fingers to smack my cheek or palm. I loved Daddy more. Loll.

  18. After all said, age also has a part to play. She will generally act her age, but as she grows older, she will be getting better. I have 3 boys aged 12, 10 and 7. Yours truly I didn't find it funny with the first boy, he was restless and hyperactive. I was almost getting frustrated, and quetioning my parenting skills, until I came across a book called " bringing up boys" and " the strong willed child" written by dr James Dobson. I understood how boys are wired and what to expect at each stage of their development. I put all these to practice of course with plenty prayer, discipline, firmness and love. I can testify now that the young man is so mature and calm now. I would recommend the books to you all. He also has " bringing up girls".

  19. I agree that caning is ok in moderation, but not for the behavior you listed here. And never in anger. All the best.

  20. Anonymous4/12/2013

    for a child dat sulks, i like d alovera option, rub it on all her fingers, inshort u dnt even need to cos by d tym u rub in on one it just spreads on its own. It will take her d whole day to get d bitterness off her mouth and finger.
    It all about love, and tyming, if u dnt punish a child at d tym of d offence u will end up lookin like d wiked one cos he wnt know y. Parents shldnt b abusive towards dere kids even with cane, spank alittle, and give him a heart to heart, it works unless d kid is somethin else. Its one thing to apply any form of disciplne on a child and anoda thin to make him really undastand frm d debt of his heart y his behaviour is not good for u and xpecially for him as a person. If u just spank, or ground or use wateva method u like belive me u'll end up with a pretentious of dubious child. Bt if u mix it up well with a lovin councel, and a word or two frm d Bible u will b touchin d heart wihile ur punishment does d work of touchin d body.

    1. Hm, they tried it on me but because the urge was so strong, I sucked the finger anyway. After a while the bitterness disappeared and the finger remained in my mouth.I have even sucked my finger with plaster on it. Sucking is a very strong habit. I'm not sure anything short of therapy can stop it.

    2. Anonymous4/12/2013

      @ Ahdaisy,maybe dey used it on u wen u re older cos dere is no way a kid below 5 can suck away d bitter d bitterness of aloevera.av tried it countless times on kids dat suck dia fingers n it worked.even nursing mothers use d mtd to wean dia kid wit just a lil on d nipple.unless d child is wise enof to wash it off her hands wit soap. Horlah

    3. Yeah, I think I was too old for it. Thanks for the age tip,I'll definitely tell any mum who has a sucking child.

    4. Please how and where can I get the aloevera cos I have a child who is 1 year + and sucks. Guessed this is the right time to stop it

  21. The Bible says 'Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him..' There's no shortcut, when children do wrong they should be punished.
    they need to be taught at a young age that there are consequences for wrongdoing.

    What I don't subscribe to however is over punishing a child. Let the punishment be equal to the 'crime' and this is very important, let them know why you're beating them. It could be before or after the flogging, let them know that you're not punishing them cause you hate them but because they've done what is wrong.

    I believe the actual discipline and the psychological part of letting them know they did wrong will curb such wrong behaviousr.
    My mum disciplined me so much, at a point I used to tell my friends that she wasn't my mum. Lol. But the point is, it worked. She raised me extremely well.

    The only thing worse than a spoilt child is a spoilt adult who is always used to getting their way at all times. When they grow up and life deals them hard cards, they can't handle it and usually self destruct.

    Discipline isn't about the child today, you're moulding her future so I'm 1000% in support of it.

  22. Thanks for the tip, Ovine. Will definitely get the book. I have 2 boys and sometimes I feel like locking both of them up for 1 week so everyone in the house can have peace...

    I support spanking (either with the palm or cane) in moderation as a form of correction but it becomes wrong when it's seen as the only means because I've seen some parents who dont know any means of correction other than using the cane. End result- the kids eventually developed thick skin and would still go back immediately to doing the same things corrected with cane for.

  23. I believe in using the cane, after all, the bible states that when you spare the rod, you ll spoil the child. It becomes a problem when it is abused, but if properly used, it brings the best results. So Pls don't feel guilty using it to scold your child,as long as u don't inflict injury on the child.

  24. Anonymous4/12/2013

    if u dnt have a head ache correcting ur child while he's a boy, u will have a heart ache correcting him wen he becomes a man. I dnt support over punishment, i dnt support flogin till d child bleeds or get wounded, i dnt support xtreme punisment, i dnt support not punishin at all. Bt with care cution and love u'll know just d rite kind of punishment suitable for an offence. Just rememba to always talk to ur children cos flogin alone wnt work. Rememba to always apply biblical teachings. Though theres one thing about that, some parents are xtremists wen it comes to religion, and dese typ of parents dnt seem to know wen dey go too far with wat dey do.

  25. Anonymous4/16/2013

    pls note this, always spank them on their palms, bumbum and legs alone. dont ever beat a child in anger.

    there notable quote here. thanks.

  26. Anonymous5/12/2013

    it's ok to cane ypur children, when necessary but don't over do it. If you are raising kids abroad pls spank/ cane them on their buttocks or soles.That's b'cos as parents when usingt he cane, some parents over do it, leaving marks ont heir faces and arms(visible places) . This Oyinbo,dem get as dem be. Make dem no call child services for una.
    Anyway, my point is moderation!! Don't over beat the child,and after punishing them make sure you talk with them,letting them know why you caned them also make sure they apologize if possible.

  27. Even the bible says, train up your child in the way that he/she should go and it also reads spare the rod and spoil the child. So ah think it's right to flog your child when he/she goes wrong.


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