Lately I’ve noticed these public service type commercials on a local Toronto TV station that says: “parenting isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t hurt”. It’s an anti-spanking campaign.
This naturally got me thinking because spanking is a common tool used in raising children everywhere in the world. I’m not a parent and I might be wrong but it always seemed to me that children that were never spanked and were instead “grounded” or had a “time out” were more troublesome than their counterparts. Is it just me?
In the Arab world spanking is common. I don’t know many people who were never spanked by their parents. I don’t know if it works or not, but its alternative doesn’t seem to be helping. My mother didn’t hit me as much as my older sisters, I’d like to think it’s because I was more behaved but it’s probably because she got more tired as the years went by. But yeah, I got spanked like crazy for doing stupid things which I never did again.
To be honest a lot of people over here in the western hemisphere slap their kids, they just don’t do it in public. I’ve seen other parents here who refuse to touch their kids or threaten to call the cops on a mother grabbing at her kids in a mall parking lot. You see them in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and their kids are jumping off the walls like monkeys high on sugar, while their mother’s screaming for them to sit down. I’ve seen temper tantrums on public buses that have the heat of a supernova.
A generation of kids misbehaving so badly have inspired TV shows like Supernanny and Nanny 911, all of them about some British Mary Poppins type who helps American families out with their kids. I tune in and out of these shows in between channel surfing sometimes and I constantly notice that in a nation of immigrants only the 4th generation type white families tend to ever show up on this show.
It’s become a phenomenon. Half the show is about the kids going crazy and the nanny shaking her head, then the other half is the nanny using psychological mumbo jumbo to turn the family from the Simpsons into the Flanders, the Adams family into the Von Trapps, but only for a brief 5 minute clip of smiling faces. How long all of that lasts after the cameras pack up and go is questionable. All I know is that we never get to see that family on the show again.
So I leave you with Cartman: the epitome of today’s white fat kid of small town America…