Caning Is Coming Back As A Disciplinary Tool

, , , , , , | Related | September 11, 2018

(I grew up across the street from a family of seven kids; I was best friends with their youngest. Their second oldest was born with cerebral palsy. Although the doctors at the time urged his parents to institutionalize him, they ignored them and treated him like all the other kids. He had a severe speech impediment, and had to walk with a cane, but his brain was fine, and he was just one of the gang. He was never allowed to use his disability to get away with anything. One day, I am over playing with my friend, and her brother is sitting in the living room watching TV. As we go back and forth through the house, he tries to trip us with his cane, every. Single. Time. Finally, after about the sixth time, his sister grabs his cane and puts it in his bedroom two rooms away, and we bolt. He has to make his way very, very slowly down the hall to his room, holding onto the wall the whole way. On the way, he passes his mom, who is doing dishes in the kitchen.)

Brother: “Mom! [Sister] took my cane!”

Mom: “You tried to trip her. You had it coming.”

Brother: “Can you get it for me?”

Mom: “Nope. Leave your sister alone next time.”

(She went back to her dishes, and brother continued his trek. He grumbled, but he never did torment us that way again. I found that whole family the world’s best model for how to interact with folks with varying abilities: treat ’em like everyone else!)

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