Friday, September 17, 2010

For the cute little deer with the bare behind...

When I was growing up, my dad kept a wooden paddle in our front hall closet. It was about eighteen inches long and six inches wide, with one end narrowed into a handle. Across one side was a crude illustration of a fawn and the words, “For the cute little deer with the bare behind.”I kid you not. It’s disquieting to imagine such a thing now, but back then, most kids I knew had some designated spanking device in their house, be it a paddle, a belt, a wooden spoon, or a cutting board (one classmate claimed that his parents spanked him with the bible). Most often, parents went the low-tech route and employed the open palm technique, but in our house, the paddle dispensed the spankings. I remember sneaking into our closet and wrapping my young fingers around its handle and giving myself a few experimental whacks. My dad rarely used the paddle on us, as far as I can remember. Just the threat of it was usually enough to get us to quit whatever trouble we were up to, and now that I really think about it, I can’t recall a single specific instance when he did spank me. I remember the threat, but not the actual event. Have I blocked it out, forgotten it, or did it never happen? All of this comes to mind as Linda and I discuss what the spanking policy will be in our house. We’re not putting anything in writing, but we’re both of the mind that spanking will be in our toolbox but as a tool that will rarely see the light of day. It’s all hypothetical, of course. I imagine when it comes down to actually doing it, we’ll each be looking at the other to do the dirty work.

63 days until baby. Please comment and follow!


  1. My son's Grandpa fashioned a leather strap when Phil was just a tyke. It hung on the wall but I don't ever recall using it, although a glance or two in that direction when misbehavior was at hand was quite the deterrent!

  2. The big debate! Don't get me started....
    I remember "getting a whipping" with little green garden sticks or being threatened with punishment "when your father gets home."
    My feeling is that spanking teaches violence, and children do remember and will resent it forever. There are much kinder, gentler, more effective ways to discipline, such as a time-out alone on the stairs--one minute for each year of age.

  3. I believe a rap on the butt won't kill anyone. I only had to "spank" my kids, "butt" a few times, when they were little and then just a firm voice did the trick, thereafter. I also found that because they had experienced "the dreadful spank," that showed them what it was like to be treated that way, and they were never kids to hit other kids. They were never physical with others. Again, if each one was spanked twice, that was about it.

  4. Nothin wrong with a good tanning with Dads belt! Got it plenty growing up, and use it on my sons! Also have my Grandpa's razor strap, and do use it on occassion!