Saturday, May 10, 2008

Potty Training in South Korea

Last weekend we went out to lunch with a colleague of mine and his family. At the time I was a bit concerned about how to potty-train Gabi as I figured she didn't have much more time. She was already wearing close to the largest size I could find in stores and complaining to no end whenever her diaper was the least bit wet.

As you might have noticed in an earlier post on this blog, she managed to potty train herself, we just had to give her the opportunity but the style of potty training in Korea is the most interesting point for me now.

The wife of my colleague upon hearing my concerns about potty-training went on to explain how she potty trained her son at 2 years.

Her method:

- Show the boy the potty
- Slap him
- show the boy the potty
- slap him
- repeat

Pretty simple and effective I imagine.

Of course, I had to immediately explain to her that this method is probably just as effective in Canada except that if anybody admitted using this method they'd be thrown straight into prison. At the very least a parent in Canada using this method would lose custody of their child and at worst they'd lose custody and spend about 5 to 10 years in jail for child abuse.

In the Philippines, you probably wouldn't go to jail if you lived in the Barrio but also Manila residents wouldn't get a visit from the police because they are busy with the nasty taxi drivers and public urination and so forth. But your typical Filipino would likely shun you if you admitted to using such harsh methods.

Personally, I'm not completely against corporal punishment, especially if the child is sub-verbal or only beginning to communicate verbally. But I would never use corporal punishment just to save myself money on diapers and there is no way in hell that I would do it just to keep up with the Kims. But there are many things about Korean culture I find strange and scary.

I just thank my lucky stars that I don't often see men dragging their girlfriends around by the hair -- I'm sure I'd get myself mixed up into it and it would be I that suffered the consequences of interfering with the man's right to slap his wife around.

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