Firstly, my apologies for the slow going early on with this blog. It is the busiest time of the year for my employer, and cosequently I have been a little run off my feet. But no more!
I have received a series of questions from a reader, Mark, and will do my best to answer them Remember, you can direct questions or queries to the address shown on the “Contact” page.
Do you belive in bare bottom spankings? Why or why not?
I do, and every spanking I give is administered to a bare bottom. The reason is very simple. I do not belive in giving a pre-ordained number of swats during a spanking. Instead, I spank until I am satisfied that a sufiecient message has been imparted. This I judge on a number of things including the child’s body movements, crying and changes to skin colour. Clearly, this last one requires clear sight of the bottom during the spanking, which is the chief reason why bare bottom is the way to go. There is also, though, something to be said for the subtle message of defference required for the child (and it should always be the child) to bare their bottom prior to a spanking- an acknowledgement that their behaviour has been poor and tht that their parent needs to assume control to correct it.
How many swats do you give the child’s bottom?
As I mentioned above, I don’t believe in set numbers but instead on gauging the reaction of the child during a spanking. Consequently it will vary by child and incident. As a very rough guide, my 15 year old receiving the bath brush will typically receive somewhere around 25-30 swats while my 4 year old with the wooden spoon might be around 10-15.
How is the child’s bottom positioned during a spanking?
This one really does depend on age. For a small child, the parent can comfortably place him/her face down over their lap with the bottom (for a right handed parent) over the right leg, with a slight angle, perhaps 30 degrees off pointing straight at the ceiling. For a bigger child or teenager, this is impractical and instead I have them bend over the edge of a bed with cushions or pillows underneath their middle leaving the bottom raised and at a similar angle to would be found over the lap.
At what age is it appropriate to start spanking?
There is no absolute hard and fast rule here, but a general principal is that when the child is capable of understanding what they are told they are old enough to be disciplined, including by means of a spanking. For example, to use a common one, if a child is told not to put their hand near a cooker but does so anyway it does not necessarily mean they should be punished. If the child is simply not old enough of developed enough to understand an instruction, punishment is clearly unfair. But if a child has shown that he can follow an instruction, but then does not do so later, punishment is appropriate. This is very much a judgement call for parents, but I would suggest that by age 3 children will be capable of understanding.
At what age should spanking stop?
When it is no longer effective. It sounds trite, but it really is that simple, and it will vary by child. I for example can still observe that on the rare occasions when I need to spank my 15 year old it continues to be effective. I can tell by the way he cries and his behaviour afterwards. There will come a point where I will observe that spanking does not reach him in the same way, and induce the remorseful cry and and attitude I seek. At that point it will stop, and that should be a guiding principle for all parents. For some children, like my Michael that will be well into their teenage years. For others it may come earlier.
Do you talk to the child while giving swats?
No. All the talking takes place before and afterwards. Before hand, talking about whatever misbehaviour lead the child to face a spanking, and the reasons why that behaviour is wrong. That should be a two way conversation, without any anger of sharpness from the parent. The aim is to teach, and to do so requires a level and supportive manner. Afterwards, there should be assurances of love and plenty of affection, and a very brief reminder of what caused it. During the spanking, the child has too much else to process to pay a blind bit of attention to what the parent is saying, and the parent should be concentrating on administering it safely and evenly and looking out for the stop point.
How do you get an ucooperative child into position?
You wait. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from an angry confrontation with the child, which will simply overshadow the benefits of the spanking. What I do is place the child into the corner of a room, with their bottom bared ready with instructions that they must remain there until they are willing to cooperate with heir punishment. You will tend to find that you will not have to wait very long so long as you are consistent in never allowing the child to “win” by getting off of a promised spanking.
Do you start off with the hardest swats
I aim for each swat to be more or less equal to each other, and do not consciously make any harder or softer than any others.
What is your after spanking procedure?
The most important thing is affection and hugs/cuddles. A properly given spanking will, in a manner of speaking, rock the child’s world. In that state, comfort and love are the order of the day as the child recovers and calms down. Simply leaving the child is perhaps the worst thing you can do. I also see no need for time out after the event. When the child is completely recovered and stopped crying, after lots of hugs and affection I wll briefly recap what led the child their, tell them once again they are loved and that they are forgiven. I will then say they are welcome to rejoin the family whenever they want to, and typically the child will take 109 minutes or so to themselves before doing so, althought I do not require it,
Do you spank in private or in front of people?
PRIVATE. I cannot emphasise enough how important this. The aim of the spanking is a teaching moment between parent and child, not humiliation or embarrassment. For the same reason, I will not spank if we have guests in the home who may overhear. Siblings are of course different, but should in no circumstances see the spanking being administered.
Do you spank immediately or wait until a specific time?
As a rule, as close to the event as possible. But doing it quickly should always be second to ensuring privacy and ensuring that there is enough time for a conversation beforehand and affection afterwards.
Should boys and girls be treated the same during spankings?
I confess to not being the best person to answer this, having only boys. But I think so, yes. Children are children, especially before the teenage years where gender differences are small. I am sure that girls benfit from spankings, properly applied, as much as boys do.
Should fathers only smack boys and mothers only girls?
As a general principle, I think this is best. As a I mentioned earlier, the aim is not humiliations. And while most children will not be humiliated by being seen in a state of undress by either parent, especially younger children, it is best to avoid the possibility where at all possible.
I hope, Mark, that these answers help!
I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t use your hand to administer corporal punishment. The hands are used to caress, cuddle and hug not to inflict pain (even though that pain is inflicted in the spirit of deep paternal love and concern).
To that end, there are 2 implements that I use in my home when necessary.
The wooden spoon is the first implement all of my boys were introduced to, at the time they each received their first smacked bottom. The beauty of it is that it stings mightily, but the discomfort dissipates very very quickly, which is always the aim. A smacked bottom is a response to a specific act of misbehaviour and does not need to be drawn out. In later posts I will discuss ways to reduce the post smack soreness quicker, but using an appropriate implement is a good first step.
I currently use the wooden spoon with Marcus and Jamie, the two youngest and will continue to do so until about the age of 10 when they will follow their brothers and move on to the implement below.
It is important to say straight away, that bath brushes come in many shapes and designs. The type I am talking about is illustrated to the right. It has a flat back, with no ridges or bumps or holes. This is very important.
In many ways, it is similar to the wooden spoon, in that has an area that is used for smacking at the end of a handle. The difference is the larger surface area and slightly heavier build of the whole implement. Theis provides a increase in pain, although still far short of causing any kind of bruising or injury if used correctly. It may sound cruel to put it that way, but it is a fact that as children grow their pain tolerance increases. A happy and active child will have all kinds of bumps and cuts and grazed knees that come from normal play and exploration, and that has an effect. And, well, a smacked bottom needs to hurt if it is to be the teaching tool we seek it to be. The bath brush does that safely, perfectly able to bring suitably chastise 15yo Michael on the rare occasions that is necessary while still being not to much for 11yo Daniel.
A note on both of these implements. They WILL leave a very red and sore looking bottom behind after a smacking. It is easy to be put off by this and fear you have gone too far. In truth, it is just a function of the wide surface area of both, and it will dissipate in a few hours and the intense discomfort within an hour at most (and less if you use the tips I will explain in later posts). Be strong, and continue until the right point is reached, another concept I will elaborate on later.
Until next time, take care.
As this is the first post on this blog, I figure I should run through my philosophy on smacking, and how it is applied in my home.
I believe that smacking (spanking, corporal punishment or whatever term you prefer) is an important and effective tool in any parents arsenal when dealing with misbehaviour. I also believe that it is not something that need be kept for only the most serious behaviour. As a result, smacked bottoms are a fairly common occurrence in our home although they are by no means the exclusive method of discipline.
I would like to think the results the speak for themselves. The boys are all happy, polite and high achievers who have a healthy respect for rules and responsibilities but who still know how to have fun. Allow me to introduce them:
Marcus, Age 4
Marcus is the baby of the family, having only recently turned 4. A boisterous and active young boy, he has a very special knack of cheering everyone else around up. That same get up and go can sometimes lead him into trouble though, especially not doing as he is told and so Marcus is no stranger to a sore bottom. Like his older brothers, he responds well and is none the worse for wear after the tears have dried. Marcus earns a smacked bottom on average every 10 days.
Jamie, Age 7
Jamie is in many ways a 3 years older version of Marcus. All action and energy, but a lover of a cuddles too. Like Marcus, he gets his bottom smacked in the 10 day range but is capable of going much longer getting it twice in a day!
Daniel, Age 11
Danny is the football mad athlete of the family. A fun loving joker, his pants come down every 3 or weeks for a smack.
Michael, Age 15
Michael is an intelligent, mature young man who does very well at school and generally doesn’t need me on his case much at all. That said, I am still there to provide a guiding hand, which to his bottom is now measured in months between incidents.
Those are my guys in brief. Over the next while as things come up you’ll get to know them even better.