Good Dick Parenting
Or how not to raise gremlins in an era of the devil spawns
We all know of at least one child of a friend who is the devil incarnate. A critter so dastardly that non-parents who have encountered the creature, stop having sex a while, for fear of spawning one themselves. True bro-hood friendships can withstand love triangles, fire-tornadoes and can probably even endure a 20-year zombie apocalypse, but the tantrum-rich devil child can tear even the strongest bonds asunder. A friend has one such child, albeit a lesser-demon, and for many years ‘it’ has been a pickaxe-wielding termite that’s been chipping away at our brotherhood base.
He, the thing from the black abyss, not my friend, did it gradually and meticulously over the span of a few years, wearing patience and murderous-inclinations thin. This was achieved by behaviour both reprehensible and nauseating at the same time, at every gathering that had his unfortunate presence. Problem is — you cannot discipline a Bro’s spawn. That is his and his duty alone. Sure, you can give the brat the evil eye, or a well-timed “Oei!” but that’s it. The discipline MUST come from the testicular source.
Sadly, my now almost-an-acquaintance did not execute the necessary action needed to curb this demonic uprising. And soon the gatherings lacked my presence and participation — mainly motivated by the pleasure of not coming face-to-face with troll-child, and not being able to do anything to curb his growing evil. To which the last straw came when the child kicked his sister in the face, and received no reprimand — but instead riotous laughter — just because he was ‘cute’.
Yes, he’s a child but that kick to the sibling-face demanded swift justice. It definitely required landmark act of discipline to etch into his mind the gravity of his action. To ensure that line, kicking a girl in the face, is never crossed again. Left unchecked, this boy was going to grow up a real dick.
They’re everywhere in Singapore, these dicks. Brats who grew up either privileged to a point where they were undisciplined by parents, who essentially outsourced the process via maid agencies — or were children who were left to their own devices during their formative years, and never knew the cold slap across the face and the warmth that followed afterwards. The Millennials have a larger proportion of dicks among them it seems, this from general workforce observation. Which alludes to the early Gen X Singaporean parents being either less than optimal disciplinarians; or were simply too busy working on double-income household optimisation. But to really see the effects of slack or worse, too-kind helicopter parenting, look to the behaviour of Gen Z — the digitally savvy mobile-gaze generation of human disengagement.
To be fair, the multitude of nurture versus nature elements, societal demands and of course, historically-influenced parenting styles — among other factors — all contribute to eventually how a human grows up to either a lifetime of douchebaggery or the path towards sainthood. However, as far as untrained observation goes, we now have to stem the tide of idiotic undisciplined selfish behaviour from ruining relationships and causing general chaos during rush hour on the MRT.
This is where parents have to step up to the plate and become dicks to prevent nurtured dickery. Paradoxical? Nope. It’s about tough love, my brothers. Tough love, in need.
Growing up, my dad was a real dick sometimes. Sure, recollecting the good times were easy, but acts of discipline we goddamn unforgettable. In his household, you NEVER disrespect his wife. If you did, there was hell to pay from the rod-wielder himself. As a dick teenager, I once told her to kiss my ass after she gave me an earful for coming home late without reason. Being the cocky prick I was (or still am), I laughed at her tearful reaction and went about with my well-deserved shower. Dad comes home to a tearful wife and he did what he had to do — which was to kick down the toilet door and rotan-whip my stupid, naked and soapy ass into remorse. It was a dick move on his part, but that was to me, a landmark act of disciplining a half-formed adult, who thought he ruled the roost. I’ve clearly haven’t forgotten it and if he hadn’t done it, can you imagine how much of a bigger dick I’d be right now? In fact, if he had spared the rod, my brother and I would be in some form of custody for acts of dumb crap in our adulthood — which has happened to some degree regardless.
So now, as a father of two, the discipline which was entrenched in me MUST manifest itself upon my own spawn. First rule of my household is that you do not disrespect your mother. She has sacrificed too much for any form of idiocy. Number two: if one of you screws up, both get punished. Just so in the future, you idiots check on each other before the rotan comes out for mutual punishment. I’m still working on number three (the rule, as the next child is on the way).
Thus far, the reaction to my old-school parenting has been mixed. Many are appalled, especially when my screaming three-year old gets naughty-cornered in public for demanding for toys rudely. The message is simple, “That crap doesn’t fly with us mister — you’re three, so you get to stand next to a dustbin till you calm down, and by sheer virtue of your age, the rotan will wait for you at home.” But passers-by are generally freaked out by this, and quickly hustle away their own spawn by directing the maid to herd them quickly.
In some way, I’m also hoping my buddy gets my drift as well, and notices the dick-style I’m propagating. To which one day, I hope his spawn feels the full fury of his father’s wrath and remembers, forever, to never kick a girl in the face.