Lessons in discipline last long after pain fades

While Mr Raymond Anthony Fernando is correct in his assertion against abuse in schools ("No room for abuse in schools"; last Friday), we must guard against the possibility of mollycoddling our children.

Times have changed - in my school days, no one would bat an eyelid at a teacher slapping naughty students.

Psychologists will continue to debate this, but shame seems to work quite well in our culture.

I was once smacked by a teacher who I had made fun of. I suffered no "long-term psychological damage" from the shame.

Rather, it continues, to this day, to remind me to be a better man, long after the pain is gone.

So, let us continue to mete out discipline, coupled with robust and consistent guidance and mentoring, and not contribute to the rise of a generation that is easily bruised and traumatised once travails come their way.

Parents have a role to play too, and should let teachers do their job.

My friends who are teachers tell of parents storming into classrooms and threatening lawsuits just because their children had been reprimanded for infractions.

These parents do their children a great disservice.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'Lessons in discipline last long after pain fades'. Print Edition | Subscribe