UPDATED June 17th, 2017
In my native Puerto Rico, the methods of discipline were very straightforward: You did what you were told or you were punished. Not obeying guaranteed un chancletazo (a spanking with a flip flop). Offering to hit with other implements such as belts, twigs and tree branches was not out of the question and oftentimes, parents delivered on their threats! The rules were strict and unbending and there was no margin for negotiation.
The culture of parenting in the U.S. seems very alien to me. I hear parents saying please and thank you to their kids, asking their kids their opinions and giving them choices on what to eat or what to wear. When kids stray from their parents’ instructions, they’re given time-outs and lengthy explanations as to why their actions were wrong. Unbelievable! In my household in Puerto Rico, I was given the food mami had cooked; I was told what I must do and I was not given permission to voice my opinion (I did anyway, and got in a lot of trouble for having a “big mouth”). When I did not act according to the rules, I was punished, period!