Los Castigos De Nuestros Padres

Yup, I'd agree with the kid.

It’s no secret that our parents (Latino moms and dads) do not play when it comes to discipline.  My mother and father, papá especially, didn’t have to do more than give us “The Look” in order for us to know it was time to stop whatever we were doing immediately if we did not want to suffer the consequences.  We’d freeze, shake in our pants, cease and desist before they could say anything, for we knew what would follow, if we didn’t, would be anything but nice.

Definitely not to say that we were abused or suffered children by any means – we weren’t.  Más bien, éramos bien canijos, so absolutely we, well me more than the rest of my siblings I like to claim, undoubtedly endured the occasional coscorrón, manotazo, pellizco, cintarazo, and yes even the world famous chancletazo, probably the most effective of the bunch because it was administered by our mother and felt more like an attack on our heartstrings than anything else.  But those dosages of corporal punishment, even when they didn’t feel like it at the time, actually helped us become more responsible, more respectful, and definitely more aware of our place in the world.

Mother and father: authority.

Us: subject to their discipline and enseñanzas.

So now, my question is to you, what do you remember about your own parents’ discipline style?  There are no right or wrong answers, nor should you feel like you can’t share your opinions if you don’t believe in corporal punishment.  This is more of a way of honoring our parents for all of their efforts to raise us the best way possible, that they knew how at the moment.

12 thoughts on “Los Castigos De Nuestros Padres

  1. Carlos and I came from two very different worlds. I lived under a threat of “spankings” which almost never, ever happened, (and of course, we knew they were empty threats.) Discipline for my sisters and I consisted usually of being sent to our rooms – which wasn’t much of a punishment – we had T.V., CDs, and all kinds of entertainment up there anyhow.

    I remember for a few years my Mom threatened us with a wooden spoon but we usually hid it from her.

    Honestly, my parents probably should have spanked me more. I may have stayed out of all the trouble I got into if I’d had a little fear in me – but I grew up fine anyway, (I think? lol.)

    Carlos on the other hand was beat with chanclas, belts and anything else that was readily available. This wasn’t just regular Latin American discipline though – Carlos’s home was pretty abusive in many ways. So he grew up under the other extreme.

    Now that we’re raising our own 2 boys, we’ve kind of met some place in the middle on discipline – and it’s worked out well. We don’t spank often, (and now that they’re older, it’s awkward and I can’t even remember the last time) … but what I like is that we’re consistent and fair. We follow through on the punishment, but the punishment isn’t over the top.

    We’re not perfect parents, but I think in this area, we’ve got it figured out. (Ask me again in a few years and I’ll be singing a different tune though… The 12 year old officially becomes a teenager next month!)

    1. Hey Tracy, I’m really glad you left this comment because while it is all fun and games here, our memories about the corporal punishment some of us received as kids, the act of physical abuse is no laughing matter. I’ve had this conversation with some who have suffered more than the average spanking… quite frankly they were mistreated and scarred in very traumatic ways, and to them the memories are not the same for obvious reasons. I’m sorry about what Carlos had to go through.

      I talk a big game, but in reality we have not spanked Edgar anywhere near as many times as I got spanked… maybe because he isn’t as bad as I was, maybe because we like to talk everything out, well not really, but sometimes we do, or maybe it’s just that we’re not as old school as my parents were… In any event, if the situation arises and he deserves a good whipping, he knows he’s going to get one, LOL!

  2. One of the castigos that stands out for me happened when I was in the third grade. It was report card time and I got two or three C grades. My minimum goal for grades was B and strictly enforced by my father. He told me to go get a belt. Yep, he sent us to get the instrument of torture. I retrieved a belt that was made of a light brown leather and had designs etched in. After two or three correazos, I looked down and had the designs imprinted on my legs. Didn’t last too long, the marks were gone a couple of hours later. This one stands out the most though Papi was also found of the boomerang chancletazos with his heavy rubber/cardboard chancletas. Lol

  3. Boomerang chancletazo, I like the sound of that! jajaja… oye, I had so many different styles of cintarazos imprinted on my legs over the year that I learned to appreciate being allowed to get my own belt. I’d pick the lightest, simplest belt, without any designs that I knew would hurt less and wouldn’t leave as many marks… Maybe it was an act of clemency on their part, jaja!

  4. My mom was physically abusive. I joke about it now with the Chancla Blog, but honestly, she was just nuts. She went after me and my sisters with the cinto, chanclas, a broomstick (metal and my sister has the scars), whatever she could get her hands on. I learned how to run and hide and one day at age 15, I kept running and got married in TJ, had four kids in quick succession with an actual legal marriage in the U.S. the second I turned 18 just to make sure then ended up divorcing the guy at 24. I raised my kids differently, not always easy with my history and being a single parent without help from the ex. I was lucky in that I had other family members like my grandparents who were wonderful, loving and never raised a hand. We WANTED to be good for them because their approval meant everything. Never heard of the kneeling in rice thing but it sounds like something my mom would have come up with.

  5. Wow, Gina… thanks for sharing that with me. I had no idea and now the whole Chancla Blog has a whole new meaning for me. I’m glad you’ve been able to come to terms with what that must have been like and can even joke about it now. Guess it’s true what they say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, because you are definitely a testament to what a true and strong Latina woman is. As I mentioned above, this post is all in good fun, but actual abuse beyond a little discipline here and there is not okay. And yes, you’re absolutely right. We always want to avoid repeating the things we grew up with that were not pleasant for our kids, but it’s a very tricky thing to do a lot of the time. De nuevo gracias for the insight. I feel like I know you so much more now 🙂

  6. When I was younger, we went to Mexico to visit my grandparents. The house was full of relatives that came to visit, mostly in the living room. My Aunts & Uncles which are not much older (teenagers) than us were playing with us kids, with a stray kitten that we had rescued a day before. BUT we were NOT allowed to have cats, my Grandma hated them, so we kept it hidden.

    The kitten decided it had enough of us kids and made a mad dash to the living room with us kids following close behind. All we saw was the kitten hide under the sofa AND everyone in the living room looked at us, like ‘Why are y’all running?’. None of the adults saw the kitten that kept on dashing back and forth between the sofas. With us kids trying to keep track under what sofa the kitten was under. All I remember is seeing two little black paws trying to scratch at people’s feet but the adults kept talking (I guess he missed). When all of the sudden we saw my Grandma jump about 2ft off the sofa and start screaming! The kitten was attached to her foot and she was jumping and hollering like a crazy woman. My aunt quickly got it off and we RAN, but my Grandma went after us! Chanclas were flying by our heads, still not sure where she got so many shoes in such a short time?!!? To this day she reminds us of what we did but now tells my kids! We got to keep the kitten after her son talked her into it and she grew to really like the cat!

  7. I remember talking about this with a girlfriend from France I had. She is more or less my same age. She said that she was resentful because she was hit by her parents when she was a child. I replied “me too” in a very casual way. She was very surprised and asked how they hit me. I answered “oh, you know, the normal way.” It was very funny to me how we viewed physical punishment in such different ways.

  8. Flippyman, it’s true. Culturally discipline is viewed in such different ways. Even within the Latino culture I would say there are so many differences on how we choose to discipline our children. We once had a neighbor who was pretty much from the same background we were, but who refused completely to discipline her children by any corporal means at all. We all thought it was the strangest thing, and even wished our own parents would have felt the same way, but in the end all of us, her kids and us, came out okay… I think! It’s matter of personal choice and figuring out what works best for you as parents. Thanks for sharing that anecdote.

    Anonymous, thank you for sharing that story. It really made me visualize being there and chasing that cat, feeling those chanclas flying around everywhere, LOL! Somehow they always managed to find more shoes than what they were wearing to attack 🙂 Truly a wonderful read!

  9. I’m new to the punishment game… its hard… i got a good chancletazo.. every now and then and de cabrona pues a good ass whooping , some yelling, threatening of running away… ur typical messican family i guess… nothing to wild.. my mom always TALKED to me afterward.. a good lecture..which my bf does not know anythign about.. his dad would just say “hmpm pinshi cabron” and that was about it… n our sons at the age were he is un bien travierso hecho u know.. and im not to sure if I should spank him, or even how to punish a 2 year old?? Any suggestions?

  10. Let’s see, two year old, we always used the hand slap… That’s to say first we’d say NO or STOP THAT, then increase the volume and repeat, third was the threat “Stop or your going to get pow pow”, if he still didn’t stop then it was making him put his hand out and slapping him. He’d usually cry and then we’d tell him why we hit him “I told you to stop. That’s what happens when you don’t listen.” And a few minutes later there he’d come ready to apologize. A coscorron will have the same effect. That’s just from one messican family to another 🙂

  11. lol thanks! I loved the advice for sure goign to try it… my bf always tells him “Papi ‘pow pow'” I guess when his dad use to tell him that he would cry before even having to be spanked! Gracias amigo!

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