This I Believe

Genet - New Carrollton, Maryland
Entered on July 4, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

When I came to America four years a go, I lived with a relative who married and have three children. I was happy and had a good time, but one thing was wrong. At the beginning, I didn’t agree on the way they punished their children. For my astonishment, one day on my first week of arrival, one of the kids was doing something wrong, then the mother was angry and told her son that he is on “Time-Out,” and sends him to his room. I thought that she was giving him a brake from what he was doing and to continue it after he gets rest. I was confused and asked her why she did that, she said, “he should be punished.” I didn’t know it was a punishment, because in my country when my friends and I used to play a game like a hide-and-seek or volley ball in the middle of a game one of us said, “Time-Out!” just to have a drink or to get a rest, and continue to play after a few minutes. I didn’t know that telling a child he is on time out or to lock him in a room and made him sit quietly in one spot is the Americans way of child punishment, and I wasn’t sure that this punishment helps the child from doing wrong things and to be disciplined.

My problem is I grew up in the society where strict control or punishment is to be believed for the improvement of children behavior. Children brought up under parents and elderly family members by strict supervision and punishment. Even the neighbors’ feel that they have a responsibility for looking after their neighbors’ child. No matter what age the child is, he or she is always a child until he or she gets married and moved out of the house. It is not like Americans to say to their 18 years old daughter or son go out from my house and take of yourself; you are not my responsibility.

Of course more control is to focus and apply strictly until the child completed high school. When a child does some thing wrong the punishment is not “Take a Rest,” it is “ Belt whipping.” I have seen the result of this punishment, and it helps the child to improve his behavior. The child won’t do the same mistake, because he doesn’t want to get a whip by belt. I used to be punished by my parents, relatives and teachers, nothing happens to me in personality or in morality, I think it helps me to be a discipline person. Punishment for the child discipline is not done only by parents or family member the teachers also have a responsibility to look after their students. We say, “Teachers are the second parents for their students.” Teachers controls the students the class and home works, the behavior at school. In my generation teachers used to punish us either by belt whipping or kneeling down. Parents or law doesn’t prevent the teachers from practicing these punishments. These days parents don’t want their children to be punished by the teacher, but still families whip their children at home. Nobody, even a law doesn’t prevent a family from applying this punishment to their children anywhere and anytime. Everybody believes that it will benefit the child to be a good person when he grows up. The children who brought up by strict control and punishments are very disciplined, they respect and obey their parents and any elderly people. However, there are some parents who don’t take care of their children, and even these families negligence makes harder to the teachers or other people to control them. This results for these children to participate in theft, or group fight, and even to drop out from school.

Now as I am a part of the American society and live under American law, it is my obligation to obey, respect, and apply the “Tim-Out” punishment to my child. But I still truly believe in my heart strict control and “Whipping by Belt” helps the child to grow in a discipline way. I know it may heart him a little bit, but it will wipe out his bad behavior. It may cause a little pain, but it will cure him from bad behavior and be a disciplined person in the future.