17 May 2017, by Mandy Loh

In support of Mr Cane

This topic has been on my heart for the longest time, but I was not sure whether to write about it because everyone seems to be advocating positive parenting and discouraging physical punishment. Well, I finally decided that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is mine! I just think this post might be useful for other mummies who are trying to figure out their own parenting and discipline styles.

We first used Mr Cane on Cristan when he was three years old, when I noticed him starting to push boundaries, and even defy us.

I was initially hesitant to use physical punishment and actually took a few months of deliberating, consulting other mummy friends, and doing lots of reading up, before I finally decided to subscribe to the good ole’ wisdom that “to spare the rod is to spoil the child”.

And now, three years after Mr Cane first entered our home, I am more than convinced that it was the right decision!

Mr Cane enjoys a place of prominence, on our dining room wall at home

Mr Cane enjoys a place of prominence, on our dining room wall at home

Now, I know there are many proponents of positive parenting, advocating reasoning with the child, empathising with their “big feelings” and whatnot, to gently encourage good behaviour, but seriously…how realistic is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there are some merits in positive parenting and I DO employ many of such strategies to manage my kids. However, when they are not compliant, or being defiant, Mr Cane WILL make an appearance. I definitely do not belong to the camp that absolutely refuses to use any form of physical punishment at all.

Why? Because I feel that it places unrealistic expectations, both on the parent AND the child.

For the child, is it fair to expect them to behave or think like logical adults? They are kids. They act on impulse and don’t know what’s good for them. They need parents to step up, be tough, and parent them! Everybody agrees that children need to have clear boundaries drawn out, but if there are no consequences for breaching those boundaries, why would children be motivated to stop behaving badly?

For the parent, I think it’s too much of a tall order for me to have to handle tantrums, misbehaviour and illogical meltdowns that toddlers and preschoolers dish out on a daily basis, all while being calm, cool and even-tempered. If I didn’t have Mr Cane as my last resort, I would probably go ballistic and scream at my kids a lot more often than I would like. I’m sure that would have a greater negative psychological and emotional impact on my kids than the occasional caning!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there needs to be a balanced approach to raising well-adjusted and happy children. I believe children feel safe (and indeed, even loved!) when they know that there are clear boundaries for acceptable behaviour, as well as immediate and unpleasant consequences for crossing the line.

Many opponents of physical punishment argue that it is akin to child abuse, and claim that it will cause long-term psychological damage, or harm the parent-child relationship. I humbly beg to differ.

Cristan knows that I love him unconditionally, and we have a fantastic parent-child relationship!

Cristan knows that I love him unconditionally, and we have a fantastic parent-child relationship!

Of course, this is on the basis that Mr Cane must always be used in a controlled and moderate manner, as a consequence of last resort when the infraction is serious enough.

Lastly, if you are considering bringing Mr Cane into your home, I would advise you to build up a strong foundation of love. Tell your children often that you love them unconditionally, and that your love for them will never change, no matter what they do (or do not do.) After any form of punishment or discipline, always reaffirm them with a hug, reassuring them that you still love them, and it is merely the bad behaviour that you are correcting.

Trust me, from personal experience, having Mr Cane in the home has brought a better sense of well-being for all of us. The kids understand when I mean business, and that helps keep the peace at home. It is painful in the short-term (not only physical pain for the child, but also emotional pain for the parent), but it sure beats having spoilt and rebellious kids to deal with in the long-term!

No spoilt kids for me, thank you very much!

No spoilt kids for me, thank you very much!

So, what’s your take on this? Do you agree or disagree? Post your comments below, I’d love to hear your views!




Posted on : May 17, 2017

Filed under : Uncategorized


Amy Wong

February 8th, 2020 at 6:04 am    

Hi Mandy,

I just wanted to thank you for your post. At the time when I read yours I had tried quite a few positive parenting strategies with my 3 kids but without much success. Your post encouraged me to introduce Mr. Cane to my kids.

Since Mr. Cane was introduced to our house two years ago, behaviour and performance of my kids have been significantly improved. All my kids behave very well these days. Both older kids are doing well at their schools and secured first place in the class for last two semesters. That was a significant positive change for them as they were barely scored pass marks in the past.

Many of my close relatives and friends too have noticed their significant improvements. Some of them including my two sisters have already introduced Mr. Cane to their kids after getting to know about the magic wand. During our recent family trip to Singapore, I was so surprised to see that my kids volunteered to pick and choose their favourite colours and sizes for them as well as for cousins.

No doubt that your post has done good for few more parents in this part of the world. 🙂

All the best!

Mandy Loh

Mandy Loh

October 1st, 2019 at 7:58 pm    

Hi Sebastian,
Thank you so much for your comments! I did think long and hard before sharing my views on this issue, because I knew it was unpopular! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this camp! 😁 Glad to hear it has worked well for you too!


September 29th, 2019 at 11:05 pm    

It might be an unpopular opinion these days indeed, but the loving use of moderate and proper (i.e. not simply hitting) physical discipline has proven to be beneficial. I applaud you for making your voice heard and your opinion known.

We introduced our own Mr. Cane when our little one was four and she has been a happy and successful child. She knows she is very much loved and cherished and she also understands that when necessary, Mr. Cane comes out and she is punished.

Now, all children are different and some may not need this form of discipline, but for ours, it works and we feel better as a family with Mr. Cane and loving but firm discipline.

Mandy Loh

Mandy Loh

July 14th, 2019 at 9:22 pm    

Thanks Alfred! Although my kids are still small, so I’m not sure yet how I would deal with them when they are teenagers!


July 14th, 2019 at 3:43 pm    

You are right Mandy you have to introduce it at an early age so when they are in their teens and they need a spanking for example ,then they will comply much easier at that age.if you start later it might be more difficult to spank them when they are older.I believe that a lot of older kids need a spanking from time to time even teenagers need it as well.

Mandy Loh

Mandy Loh

April 16th, 2018 at 2:15 pm    

Hi Myra,
Thanks so much for reading my blog and for dropping a line! 🙂

I’m no Mr Cane guru, so I think it really depends on the individual child’s personality, and also your own parenting philosophy. For me, I introduced Mr Cane when my elder boy was around 3 years old. That was when I felt he was starting to become defiant. In my opinion, any younger than that, the child is just innocent and blur, haha! But it really depends on how you assess the situation at home. In the spirit of being fair, I also only started using Mr Cane on my younger girl at 3 years old.

As for serious infraction, I consider defiance to be serious. I will give instructions, some warnings, and when I get to an ultimatum and my kids still do not listen, they will get Mr Cane. Also, saying “naughty” words that we do not allow, would warrant Mr Cane’s appearance.

So in reply to your example, if you have given them sufficiently clear instructions and an ultimatum, eg. “I want you to lie down quietly on your bed and close your eyes by the count of 3. If not, Mr Cane will come out!” If you then count to 3 and they are still ignoring you, its probably a good time to get Mr Cane out and let them experience the consequence of not listening/ defying you. After they have experienced it at least once, they will take you seriously the next time.

Eventually, when used correctly, Mr Cane will be an effective deterrent and you won’t have to actually use it often. Just brandishing it around does the trick!

All the best in your parenting journey!


April 16th, 2018 at 11:56 am    

When is the right age to introduce Mr Cane?
What is considered a serious infraction? For example, it’s bedtime and the kids are not listening to you and playing loudly on the bed. Is it ok to bring out Mr Cane then?

Mandy Loh


November 20th, 2017 at 7:40 am    

Hi Amy,

Thank you for reading my blog, and for dropping a line! Glad to know my post has been helpful for you!

For us, Mr Cane appears quite often as a deterrent, but I seldom actually use it unless the kids really don’t listen despite stern warnings.

However, do bear in mind that once you have threatened to use Mr Cane, you will have to carry out your threat. (As in, if the child still defies you.) Otherwise, your kids won’t take you or Mr Cane seriously in future.

All the best in your parenting journey!

Amy Wong

November 17th, 2017 at 11:09 am    

Hi Mandy, I found your post is very useful to moms like me who support positive parenting but struggling to find effective discipline styles. I am a mom of 3 kids 7, 4 and 2 years old. I have been practicing non-physical punishments such as naughty corner, taking away toys and iPad etc. without much success.

After reading your article I am convinced now its time to invite Mr Cane to our home too. My kids are lucky at least for few more months until my next business trip to Singapore or Malaysia as Mr Cane is not available in our local shops.

Just wondering how often Mr Cane come out at your house?

Mandy Loh


May 18th, 2017 at 2:28 pm    

Thanks Jeremy! Glad to know The Godfather approves of our discipline methods! Hahaha…

Jeremy Bek

May 18th, 2017 at 2:21 pm    

In life, there’s will always be the carrot and the stick.

When you’re an adult, it can manifest in many forms as there are a lot more things that motivate and demotivate (punishes) us. Eg. High salaries/promotions and poor reviews/termination. Some of these punishments will hurt you even more than a stick can.

When you’re a child, these things are not yet relevant, so the motivations/punishments need to be much more relevant and the carrot/stick becomes literal rather then figurative.

The literal stick used early in life will help prepare the child for the figurative stick that will inevitably come later in life.

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