Strict but loving discipline

You have a great collection of memories on your website – thank you so much! My mother, like many parents here, believed in raising kids strictly. From a very young age, a constant companion in my bedroom was a 3ft-long rattan cane. It hung on the wall by my bedside, a constant reminder of what my mother would do to me if I misbehaved.

“Shruti, go wait in your room!” Those were the words I dreaded throughout my childhood. It instantly brought tears to my eyes. If I stalled or pleaded with her, she would simply reinforce the order. “I said, go to your room – now!” My mother’s assertive tone always made me obey her and do as told without any further delay, and I would creep off quietly to my room to await my punishment.

Although Mother generally only left me, my bottom twitching with anticipation, for maybe only 5-10 minutes, that wait would seem like an eternity. Presently, my mother’s approaching footsteps would drive me into a state of heightened fear, and when she actually entered my bedroom, I would be trembling when I stood up obediently, as I had been taught.

Mother would shut the door behind her and bolt it from inside, clearly signalling to me that there was no escape. She would then come sit on my bed. I would then have to come and stand in front of her obediently while she looked me in the eye, tying her long hair up in a bun or tossing it over her right shoulder as part of her preparations.

She would then point to a chest of drawers by my bed and I would be required to fetch a 12in wooden ruler which lived there. Taking it from me, Mother would begin to admonish me. These scoldings were very stern and excruciatingly detailed. She would break down my wrongdoing into smaller mistakes and detail how each mistake was a violation of one or more rules she had for me. 

She would emphasise how dedicated she was to me, and how despite all her efforts I had disappointed and failed her. I had not lived up to her standards or met her expectations of me. A strong sense of having failed in my duties as a daughter would come upon me during these lectures.

“Shruti, you know my rules. Why did you watch television without my permission? Hmm?” If she didn’t get the expected responses to such questions, she would reach under my skirt and pinch my bare thighs until I answered correctly.

“Why did you talk in class?” Mother would draw my hand out. “You are supposed to focus on the teacher when in class!” Smack! “And not talk!” Smack! Smack! “You know what happens when you bring a complaint home from school. Don’t you? Look at me!”

During this lecture, the ruler would be applied on several arts of my body, including my hands, arms, thighs, legs and of course my buttocks. I would stand there helplessly before her, sobbing and apologising, completely gripped overwhelmed by the discipline.

“Raise your skirt.” These words marked the transition of my punishments to the next phase. Mother would lower my underpants all the way down to my ankles, then take down the cane from the wall.

The customary preliminary swishing of the rod would make me feel sick. Then Mother would tap the cane on the bed – that was the signal for me to bend over there, hands flat on the bed, bottom sticking out prominently ready for her attention.

Mother would lift my skirt again and tuck it into the waistband to clear the target. She would then position herself to my right and administer the cane. The first set of strokes were placed across my bottom cheeks, the next few across my sit spots and the back of my thighs, and finally – and perhaps most painful of all – she would cane my calves.

Stern words and more scolding continued during the beating, accompanied occasionally by yet another pinch or a smack from my mother’s open hand.

Eventually, I would be ordered to stand up. As I faced my mother, she would reach behind me and free up my skirt, so finally at least my bottom and private parts were concealed again.

However, this was not the end of the punishment. I would now be expected to stretch out my hands in front of Mother, palms up, and a few fresh stinging strokes of that cane would be applied.

After a final stern word and reminder to be a good girl in future, my mother would draw me to her, and I would throw my hands around her waist and bury my tearful face in the warmth of her body. Mother would shush me, rubbing my back and bottom, and hold me against her bosom. Despite the pain all over my body, I treasured these displays of motherly love.

Mother would then tidy me up, clearing my tears and grooming my hair, put the cane back on the wall and ruler back in the drawer.  She would undo the bum in her hair or toss her long hair from over her shoulder to the back and say to me: “Watch the clock – 30 minutes.” After my half hour or ‘thinking time’ was up and I had settled down, I would then rejoin the rest of the family and life would continue as normal.

The sting from the ruler smacks and pinches would last for a few hours while the cane marks lasted anywhere from half a day to two days depending on how severe Mother had been with me. I have yet to have children of my own, but when I do, I will have no hesitation about keeping a cane for them.

Contributor: Shruti

All Maman stories are copyright, unauthorised reproduction may lead to legal action.