I was sitting in my office this morning and these two Italian co-workers of mine were showing off to each other how badly their parents used to beat them up. They were showing off about how disrespecting their parents would get them the belt or the cane or they would get thrown into the corner (Italian style is similar to solitary confinement)
I am a child of the 80s and in the 80s it was still acceptable to beat your children, I’m not really sure if its still acceptable by normal standards, but the timeless “I’m going to give you a poch” is still alive and well in the frum community.
There are a couple of beatings I remember pretty well, in the 6th grade I would steal money from my fathers wallet to buy baseball cards (like a Herroine addict I had no control) One day my old man comes home infuriated, I figured he had just heard something real disturbing on Rush, but this time it was because he went to buy a coffee that morning and there was nothing is his wallet – he knew – and I was screwed. He gave me a good beating combined with loads of expletives. Then he said that if he ever caught me stealing from him or anyone he would “break my f–ing legs” while he waved a cane in my terrified face.
Then one time we were playing football during laining up in the ball room of my shul. I kicked the ball into this huge window, by huge I mean 6 feet by 6 feet and it came crashing through. I was sure my old man could hear it from shul and he came running up the stairs screaming at me how I am always destroying things and can’t ever be a normal kid – I was a very destructive kid.
There were many other beatings, none that I ever had to make up stories like that I fell down the stairs, but the phrase “I am going to give you a zetz like you’l never forget” rings in my ears to this day.
Did you get beat or hit as a child?
What do you think of this form of discipline?