Paddling in the Philippines

Maman special report

NEW UPDATE Due to both its strict Asian parenting roots, and a high representation of traditional Christian families, it seems that spanking continues to enjoy popularity with parents in the Philippines.

Among the many items sold by the Christian bookstore chain PCBS (Philippines Christian Book Store) are two wooden spanking paddles. They come in two sizes, 13in and 19in long respectively…

The paddles can also be bought online through the Filopino retail channel Shoppee. There, they are described as ‘good for toddlers, pre-schoolers and gradeschoolers’. Though a label on the larger paddle seems to clarify that only its smaller brother should be used on toddlers’ bottoms…

The seller adds: “If you truly love your child, then you have to apply spanking to him. Yes! Spanking is Biblical, correct, and effective way in disciplining your children. It’s not about punishment and child abuse; it’s about discipline. And guess what, we have some available paddle sticks at an affordable price! Buy now and instill discipline in God’s heritage entrusted for you.”

One side of the paddle has the familiar maxim ‘spare the rod and spoil a child’, while the reverse has instructions on ‘how to spank’…

These are:

  1. Before spanking a child, consider the place and circumstances. do not publicly embarrass him/her.
  2. Ask ‘what is our rule?’ or ‘what did daddy/mommy say?’ You are making sure the child understood your instructions before you correct him/her.
  3. Ask ‘what did you do?’ You are asking him/her [to take] personal responsibility for his/her action; this is important.
  4. Explain that you love with correction. Say: “I love you and want to help you [to] learn to do the right thing next time.”
  5. Spank the child. Give a few swift but painful swats on the buttocks. The child’s angry or mad cry should change to a softer ‘giving in’ cry.
  6. Comfort the child immediately after spanking. do not make him/her feel rejected. Hold the child close and reassure him/her of you love. The parent/guardian who spanked should do the comforting.
  7. If necessary, have the child make restitution for the damage done.

The website has plenty of feedback from happy customers. One of them said: “The wood is firm, but softer than other types of wood, so it hurts but it does not leave a mark. I love the instructions at the back – to remind the parents that spanking is not about scaring your child into obedience, but about discipline and love.”

Some even posted pictures of the paddle’s intended recipients with their new spanker…

This little boy’s mother reports: “When he sees the rod, he immediately fears it! It is no longer difficult to get him to obey.” The seller responds: “Thank you for the feedback and pics. He is very obedient to mommy and daddy, so God will be happy with you.”

Here is another prospective bottom for the paddle’s attentions…

From his mother’s remarks and the picture, it appears that this little boy is about two years old (and still in diapers/pull-ups). Nevertheless, mummy has decided to go with the larger of the two spankers!

The use of this particular paddle is chronicled in greater detail in a 2016 article in the Manila Times, where journalist Bettinna Carlos recalls the first time she used it on her young daughter. After an argument about screen time, she brought out the rod (which she bought at her local church) and showed it to the little girl.

“I proceeded to explain what it was for and that her behaviour that day called for Mommy to bring out the rod. Her conduct was unacceptable and I expressed that I will no longer tolerate it. I had to discipline her to correct it. I told her that when Mommy gives a rule, it must be obeyed without challenge, without excuse and without delay.

It was a 15-minute struggle just getting her to pull down her undergarments so I can spank her bottom. Please note that you do not force them to show their bottom. I made sure to put her on my lap. Skin to skin. I lost count how many “Mummy, I promise not to do it again” she said. She also refused to be spanked because it will hurt.

I explained to her that it is more painful for Mommy and that it is not easy, but God is asking me to do it to when you disobey, because if you disobey Mommy, you disobey God. I have to obey God and discipline you when you disobey.

During this whole discourse I kept calm and never sounded angry. I was pure objective and rationale. I had to be firm the whole time. And then finally the spank. Just one spank on her left buttock cheek. The yelp from a mix of pain and shock and the look on my beautiful and innocent daughter’s face, seeing that agony I knew I did the right thing.

I know the pain I inflicted was enough for her to take her obedience seriously. I know she will remember that pain and every time she is be tempted to disobey, she will recall that and may think twice. True enough the next time I used the rod on her was over a month later.

Immediately after the spank, I pulled up her underwear and pants and embraced her. I let her cry and I just comforted her until she hushed.”

UPDATE 1/10/20: It appears the seller of these paddles now has them back in stock, and another product aimed firmly at little bottoms is also now available on the same site.

One of the buyers of this product left the following feedback: “The quality of the product is good. It’s light, so it’s perfect for toddlers.”

Another commented: “It’s good. It really helps in disciplining the kiddos. It’s good that there are discipline rods like this. You can see the children behave immediately.”

Yet another buyer appears to have bought the rod mainly as a deterrent (‘it just scares the child’) while another purchaser remarked: “A stick is better than a reed broom!”, presumably a reference to a more makeshift implement for smacking behinds.

Some of the feedback from the seller refers to Teach With Joy, a blog by Christian Filipina mum Joy Mendoza…

As you can see, the website offers advice on discipline, obedience and spanking. So maybe Mrs Mendoza is selling these paddles herself?

Also on Shopee, another seller in Manila is offering these ‘Gift Christian scriptures ferule household rubber the rod of discipline crafts’

All in all, it seems clear that little Filipino and Filipina bottoms are not to be spared any time soon!

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