‘La Chancla’

Shanon Hernandez, Staff Writer

Let’s go back in time to our childhood when some of us got hit for discipline. Nowadays kids simply get yelled at or grounded. Some of us used to get hit with a hand, belt, slipper, stick or any object in reach at that moment.

If you’re Hispanic, most likely you have heard about “La Chancla,” the slipper or sandal. This is an Hispanic mother’s top-choice weapon because it is easy to grab and handle.

For decades “La Chancla” has been a key to well-behaved children in many Hispanic or Latino families. Child Trends Data Bank found that Hispanics were the only group where more women than men felt that a “good hard spanking” was sometimes necessary for kids. Parents use the sandal for discipline and to make sure their children won’t make the same mistake twice.

“La Chancla” was also used to improve our grades and to stop us from pestering our siblings. In many cases, our Spanish-speaking parents would say, “Te calmas o te calmo.” This means “Either you calm down or I’ll make you calm down.”

Not only Hispanic parents discipline their children with a flip-flop, but so do other foreign parents. Many people would consider this child abuse, a physical maltreatment of children. Would you?

In the view of many Hispanic or Latino parents, using “La Chancla” is closer to discipline then abuse, making the child listen more than if they only were yelled at. To parents “La Chancla” is as far from abuse as the distance between the sun and the moon.