Korean Style Punishments – Seoulistic

Korean Style Punishments

Every culture has their own way of punishing kids, and Korean culture has a number of interesting punishments that you might not have in your own countries! Find out what it’s like to be punished in Korea!

What kind of interesting punishments do you have in your home countries? Do they work? Let us know!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. JonB says:

    There’s always the wooden spoon…

    One of the alternatives to getting paddled in school was sitting on the paddle. My mom was a teacher and she had a paddle made out of a two-by-four. Made for a very uncomfortable seat.

    How about some punishments for girls? Some of these punishments aren’t, um, appropriate for girls’ uniforms.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I remember being told this as a punishment for students, in my parents time was the teacher would draw a dot on the chalkboard and the misbehaving student would have to stand with their forehead touching the dot.

  3. Shina says:

    I dont really remember punishments at school but at home we had to stand facing the corner. Or we simply got beaten up with something xD (mostly wooden spoon >.< I still can feel the pain) . Worked well tho lol!

  4. Afoodaficionado says:

    Hmm my father adored the feather duster. For my Chinese friends and our family that was the punishment instrument of choice. Made for uncomfortable sitting down after a punishment session.

  5. Keith says:

    My mom mostly punished me with crying…. !

  6. Tracy says:

    I had to kneel on the ground for hours with my hands on my head ! That’s pretty popular in african culture, thanks mom 🙂

  7. Julie says:

    I remember training with a university Taekwondo team in Korea. As a punishment the students had to do a handstand (leaning against the wall) for a long time…

  8. Keith says:

    Tracy, a lot of Philippinos have been saying they had to kneel on the ground with rice on the floor! That’s hardcore! 😛

    Julie, yea, a lot of Korean punishments have to do with breaking someone’s will with time. lol

  9. Amber says:

    Heh. My dad had a number of Korean friends, so we had standing in the corner “korean” style. Hands over the head and nose in the corner.

  10. Shane says:

    My mom, she used slippers, the wooden end of the broom and stick (any sticks)when I was younger..oh and pulling my ears..sigh.fun daysss…lol..Now..I do the same thing to my kids because “time out” (sitting on the corner) does not work..
    Oh and I remember my teachers made us spread our fingers on top of our desk if your fingernails arent trimmed, *slap *slap on the using the a stick or a ruler..fun times too! lol

    • Ana says:

      Time out works if you do it right! Like if you can’t have patient enough to punish your kid the right way i don’t know why you didn’t just use a condom, like seriously by beating him you’re not teaching him anything, just that you can use violence on people weaker then you and making him be scared and do things without telling you, really hate people like you who just have kids and then can’t be a parent like fuck you then, hope one day you’ll understand what you doing, but probably then will be too late.

  11. Lizzy says:

    This may sound a bit odd but standing on dried peas…. it’s extremely painful also there was corn cobs and if there wasnt any of that it would be charcoal or logs that go into the fire place with the jaggedly edges…. or the teachers would make us run laps around the feild i i remember correctly it was 30-60 laps depending on what we did…
    As for other punishments we also did the hands up thing. Oh the fun days….

  12. Jay says:

    Are you Keith from Korean class 101.com?

  13. Nikki says:

    Hahahaha, the main goal of punishment is to “break someone’s will with time” Awesome.

    I watched my sister threaten her son with an umbrella beating the other day because he wouldn’t eat lunch with us. His father just made that face that Korean parents make …(>_<) "aieesssh! shekki-ah" and then ignored him. It warmed my heart, I'm so glad they don't spoil their son. My nephew cried some crocodile tears and then ate lunch with us.

  14. DavidXian says:

    In Indonesia, old-school style parents will beat their kids with whatever thing near them to punish theirs.
    Now instead of hitting directly, they use another method like lock you up in a room or standing for hours with one leg.
    And of course, since we have a lot of clans/tribes here (a lot, I mean it, Indonesia is the biggest archipelago), there are a lot of different ways for punishment in each custom.
    Btw, in this sense, I prefer the term “disciplining” instead of “punishing”. Tehehe… :p
    @Shane: My teachers did that too back then. But nowadays, it’s somehow illegal for non-parent to punish by hitting. 🙂

  15. Juno says:

    Some of my Korean friends have introduced me to the methods of discipline they grew up with- smacking on the bottom of the feet, or palms of hands with a ruler, stick, switch, or thin hanger. I’ve seen it in action on little kids, & it’s painful, but effective.
    Where I grew up, it was routine to get spanked on the bottom with a belt for serious infractions. None of that time-out bullshit. Of course, it was done after having a talking-to, & we didn’t just get hit or whacked right at the moment of doing something wrong. I think that kind of discipline can snowball into too much hitting, possibly. For parents I know of now, who believe in “no spanking” because it introduces violence….humans are selfish & violent by nature. No one has to be taught it. Teacher friends evidence this all the time by saying that some of the kids who are never discplined or have any sort of physical punishment can be some of the most violent or insubordinate kids. If they feel no unpleasant consequences for their actions, it’s like giving them a green light to do what they want~ because there’s no deterrent.
    In grade school growing up, a teacher or principal could paddle the kids with a thick wooden paddle. But it was done so rarely, because the fear of it was effective enough. 🙂 These days, hearing tons of stories about kids in schools & the horrific things they get away with, I wish they would bring some sort of corporal punishment back. When elementary school kids can get away with throwing chairs at kids/teachers, & all other kinds of nonsense, & not face any unpleasant consequences~ it’s like teaching them, “Here! You can get away with anything!”

  16. Karl says:

    (PHL) They used to hit us with anything. At school they made us have squats with books on your wrists,raise hands, or pick up lots of grass in the public schools. In my dad’s time, they are made to kneel on the floor with rice. By the way Mr. Keith Gimpo, the spelling philippinos is wrong. It should be spelled as Filipinos.

  17. Yuura says:

    My parents would punish me by the classic belt whipping, butt spanking, washing out the mouth with soap, and standing in the corner with my face in the corner for a long time. Nothing else besides that.

  18. ken says:

    in thailand, we were caned on the calves which i think i saw in korean series too. this is typical in korea and thailand. also common punshmt seen often is to stand one leg and spread arm to the side for long time and bite the ruler in your mouth.

  19. Trie says:

    I don’t agree with Juno, I was never physically punished, and I am not violent in the slightest, I think that it taught me to be kind and gentle. My parents’ way of punishment was to take away my video games, or be disappointed in me, and both were super effective.

  20. Kaci says:

    As kids my Grandma would punish us by whipping us, usually with a belt, but sometimes by spanking by hand. My mom spanked me a lot less, but she used a fly swatter (the metal end) or flicked the end my nose with her fore finger (which hurt!). At school we could be spanked, but rarely were, mostly, we had to leave the classroom and “watch the wood” (put your nose on the wooden railing in the hallway and not take your eyes off of it. If you were outside there were squares that you had to stand it so everyone could see that you had gotten in trouble.

  21. Jan says:

    Even though i come from Greenland (The arctic) my lifestyle have been far more western… two reasons. 1, Greenland have been westernized quite heavyly, two m father is from denmark, which is part of Europe.

    Thing is though… my father was/is considered strict and old school, concerning raising children… Something which my classmates did not understand until ninth grade, when he was the co-ordinator of our class for earning/collecting money for our school trip.

    When I was younger (before age 12) a physical punisment was the most common, and it came as soon as possible. To deter me from doing it again. And it worked.

    After the age of 12 and I started to get an idea of more adult concept of self-perception and other concepts such as adult behavior, I got diciplined by a talking-to, then shaming and denial of priviliges.

    Since I was an in-door child (Yay for TV, computers, comics and more) a grounding did not only mean, not going out with friends, but no tv, no games, no comics, no music. So all I could do was either clean my room, do my homework, house-chores or stare at the wall or ceiling…
    If I went to sleep or nap, I’d be woken up, so time will pass.

    Mind you I am born 1985, so I am not even 30 yet and these thing happened from 1991 to 2005 (where I was kicked out from home for the first time).

    And honestly… looking around at the kids from my age and below… I am happy that I raised as I am…

  22. Marie says:

    When my siblings and I argued with each other, our mom would make us hug it out – in other words, spend a good fifteen minutes of hugging the last person you want to look at, let alone touch. Another was throwing shoes at us or spankings or spanking us with a shoe.

    Ah, memories.

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