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Recently, there was a viral video on the Internet about a school kid being beaten by her teacher over inappropriate behaviour. The video showed the schoolgirl had scars on her arm and thigh. While some had said that the girl deserved the punishment, others thought the teacher had crossed the line in disciplining his student.

Back in the day, the popular method towards disciplining children was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Kids then were fearful of the rattan cane. Those who received lashing in school for misbehaviour would not complain to their parents after that for fear of another round of disciplining. Many from the older generation grew up to be more disciplined.

But as we progress, we start to absorb foreign ideas in the way we bring up our children. Westerners feel that excessive disciplining could have a long-term impact on the child’s psychological well-being. Western parents prefer to the “carrot” to the “stick” method. In fact, some years back, a Malaysian couple working in Sweden were jailed for meting out corporal punishment on their kids.

When it comes to disciplining children, one shouldn’t go to either extremes. Excessive physical injuries can be psychologically damaging, just as being too “soft” can make kids indifferent towards acceptable behaviour.