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Should parents cane their children

RH and RJ Schooled in the 70s

Posted by RH on 2018-05-21 15:05:52

Hello again, Rick.

Things have been so busy. When you make changes in your life to reduce the burden somehow you end up increasing it. But by the time the dust settles things will be better. I am not thinking of retiring just yet, and I will still be working full-time. But I am standing down as a partner.

It was something of a disaster when I failed all my exams- they were called O levels then, and I failed nearly all of them. My school could offer nothing better than to repeat the year so my parents took me away. For the sort of fees they were paying my school should have done better by me. But things did turn out well for me probably better than if I had stayed at Rugby. And I ended up at one of Great Britain's top Russell Group universities. Yes, Rick it is funny how events have unexpected consequences, and how a small step backwards can lead to a huge leap forwards as it did for me. I was much happier after leaving Rugby living at home and studying with students much older than me who needed more exam certificates than they had. A year on and at sixth form college in North London age was no longer a factor. Most of us were 17 or 18. Yes, things really turned out for the best for me.

We have all looked back on our growing years and wondered why we did some of things we did. I think there are two reasons. Number one because we were boys. Number two because we could. We did not stop and think about things for too long. We made plans with the added spice of some risk, setting out for some excitement rather than with the intent to be naughty. The fun was in the risk, rather than in the fact that it was naughty.

I had a good family too, with limitless unconditional love. I knew that even when things did not work out well my parents still loved me and worked even harder to sort things out for me or with me. Like you I got all the basics a boy needs, and some. You say you got the privileges of being an only child but I believe I did better from having two older brothers. I still made mistakes, sometimes made poor choices but the discipline was relaxed. But when we went too far the discipline safety net was always there and we were punished. And learnt from it. There were rules and expectations but we did not feel hemmed in by them. We knew very firmly what we could get away with and seldom crossed those boundaries. We did not want sore bottoms any more than anybody else. Spankings were rare but we all knew what was going to happen when Mum picked up her hairbrush and told us to take down our trousers.

It was expected and accepted that the head of house a prefect only 3-4 years older than us would give us younger boys the slipper as punishment. We never considered it odd. It is just the way it was. The head of house took the responsibility seriously, did not deliver a spanking on a whim, and if you were beaten by him you had probably already had more than one last warning. We had had three. It was the accepted norm back then with no options and no choices. it would have been a lot more serious being sent the house master. He did what not want to have to deal with everyday minor infractions of discipline. I was too old by then to be wearing shorts for school. If I had worn shorts for school when I was 13 people would have thought I was mental! I think we were always slippered as we were. All I had on was pajamas. I don't think he would ever have expected us to lower our trousers. Be seen as inappropriate. I should stress it was only the head of house who was allowed to beat the boys in his house. Progress? Between the time Dr. Arnold arrived and the term before I did any of the house prefects, sixth formers, could beat younger boys who misbehaved, and the head of house was allowed to use a cane. I am glad that changed before I arrived. I knew all about the cane from prep school!

I tried smoking because my friends did but I not enjoy the experience. I think you were lucky that your dad thought one or two swats was a sufficient punishment. However, waiting for what you know will be bad is like a punishment in itself. You get all churned up and twisted inside although you know it is hopeless you still hope. Hope Dad will not spank you, but he does. Hope he will not make you take your trousers down, but he does. Hope he will not tell you to drop your underwear, but he does. Hoping he will not hit you too hard. Yes, a couple of paddle swats across your briefs probably did do you some good. Yes since you can still remember it now. Honestly Rick would you do any different with your son?

Everyone enters high school at 14. It is an awkward age for boys because the first time you change for PE class you see boys in all different stages of development. Some boys are bushy, some are bald, and the rest are somewhere in the between. You see all shapes and sizes of, you know. 14 is just are when you get shy so I am not surprised you found it embarrassing at first. Because I had been made to strip off and shower naked at school since I was 11, it was not an issue for me by age 14. Stripping off, playing basketball on the skins team and showering with your classmates afterwards soon became a part of normal school routine.

Warnings, second chances and last chances, and somehow not get a walloping when you knew you had done enough to earn one is probably the experience of many boys. However there is only so much good luck and one day it runs out and that is when you get punished. In our house it was mainly mum who spanked us but I behaved better at home than I did at school so Mum spankings were there. She did sometimes say wait until your father gets home but he tended to bring us to tears without needing to resort to bottom therapy.

I agree that teen boys need a strong male role model and firm consistent and fair dad discipline at home. Without that many boys will struggle, be confused and never learn to make those good choices which could change their lives. I was given the cane at school and that bruised up a lot. The headmaster at my prep school thought that was an appropriate punishment for us 10 to 13 year olds, and we agreed. Maybe you do not need to beat a kid until he is bruised to get a lesson across. I guess it depends on what you are used to. I agreed that a good spanking should be confined to his bottom. No boy, not even a good boy like you or me is so well behaved that an occasional corrective spanking is never needed.

Good to talk.

The best


Posted by R.J. on 2018-05-29 17:46:24

Hi Richard,

I can understand about staying busy. Found that true also in retirement.

Obviously that boarding school was not for you. Maybe even at mid-teen age, you were not ready to be away from home at school. Did you really give it your best in those exams you failed or maybe a bit of teenage rebellion set in? I've had young clients in my career that taught me they needed attention at some points & even negative attention was better than feeling ignored or wants/needs not met.

No argument from me when you say boys will be boys and that has been true I assume for many generations & will continue to be so. My dad commented several times of seeing himself or one of his brothers in things I did at the same age. If a misdeed, he didn't excuse it & I faced punishment, but not to the apparent extent that dad & uncles did. My grandpa had died, so I never knew him to confirm the fact, but dad & uncles claimed he could use a wicked strap on their young hide when needed.

I never saw myself as intentionally naughty, but as with all boys, especially when with friends, trouble sometimes found us. Did having those two older brothers then save you some punishments because you learned from them about 'territory' not to tread into because you witnessed them punished & learned from it? Always appreciated that unconditional parental love. Mom wasn't the primary disciplinarian, but I did serve a few corner times or time-out sitting on a chair when naughty. Dad used his hand until I was around 9 & those spankings were bare bottom across his lap. Around 9 he made a spanking paddle & because I was too big for his lap, he'd prop his leg & tell me to lean over. Sometimes it was simply being told to open the waist & fly & dad strip me to my undershorts or bare; other times it was get'em down before I bent over & that meant bare butt. The belt replaced the paddle as a teenager & those definitely were bare hide. Never recall a hairbrush used. One positive with my dad was I had warnings & second chances like you say from the prefects & often I heeded & that ended it. Didn't need a butt busting all that frequently. Dad also always spanked privately in my room.

Neither of us enjoyed that first smoking incidents & not just because we were caught & punished. My mate got it worse from what I recall him later telling me. His 11 y/o bottom got a dose of leather because not only had he smoked, but had swiped the cigarettes from his dad's supply. The wait for dad to get home was certainly a part of my punishment. One of those more rare paddlings I got from dad over my briefs. My thin briefs sure didn't dull the sting much however. No, as a dad, I wouldn't and in truth didn't do any different when I punished.

The locker room changing & open bay showering became normal too for me in short order. We were all boys & I had changed in front of friends or we had slept over at each other's house & be it briefs, boxers or in the buff, we saw each other. The pe classmates were then just guys. What really would shake me sometimes was when a guy got it from coach (pe teacher) in just gym shorts or even a still wet butt. Was at a friends house several times when a dad tanned their bottom in front of me or at least overhearing it. Always seemed embarrassing for the other dude & for me too.

Always good to hear from you too. Stay in touch.


Posted by RH on 2018-06-06 15:06:26

Hi Rick

I think that is right. THAT boarding school was not right got me although been very keen go to the same prestigious school as Dad had been to, and I had passed a tough common entrance exam to get in. Despite the high fees there is huge competition for places. But I had been at boarding school since I was10 ½ and I LOVED my prep school set in the heart of rural Gloucestershire. (Prep, as in preparing for Common Entrance) It was not that I was homesick or anything. I was very badly taught by teachers I did not hit off with and who did nothing to inspire me or motivate me. Many of them should not have been in a classroom. If you had a first class honours degree from Oxford or Cambridge and were a CCF Officer or had played cricket for Scotland your ability as a teacher did not seem to come into it. Maybe they thought we were smart guys who could/would learn on our own.

I thought I was working hard and making progress, but I think I had never really settled down. I always struggled, and the staff either did not know why, or what to do about it, how to help me (Nor did the education psychologist I was taken to see) I do not think here was even a gram of teenage rebellion. I wanted do well but funny things happen as you pass through 14-15 without you noticing. I was often in trouble with teachers. One even said he would cane me if he caught me eating sweets, candy in class again! I get plenty of attention at home, but because I was not a high flyer I was largely ignored. I was very introverted, conventional and just at the wrong school at the wrong times. Other boys thrived.

It is funny to think that when your Dad punishes you he can probably remember his dad punishing him for doing something very similar. And you jus’ know your son will do the same and it will be your turn to be the stern dad with the big stick. I have said there is a time and a place for CP even now, because boys are as naughty as they ever were, and a paddling in their bottoms will still calm them down.

I was not intentionally naughty either but it just happened. Sometimes having two other brothers saved me from trouble because I learnt from their mistakes. More often they got me into trouble because I used to take along with what they were doing. Were very close friends. We still are.

It is funny how clearly we can remember the times we were paddled belted or caned even after many years. As you grow up you realize last chances and final warnings or just that. And a smart guy learns quickly that is a good time to change his behavior. The only spankings that were there were those play spankings with your friends. With Mum it was done in underpants, at school it was whatever you're wearing, trousers or shorts if you are lucky but I can I can tell you pajama bottoms do not lessen the pain at all. I was only beaten in front of my friends once. I think the view was that we were not the only guilty ones and it would serve as a warning to all of us for another time.

I was a little apprehensive the time I had to strip and shower naked in the communal shower with other boys. There was no alternative no choice and once I got used to it I did not care anymore. We were all boys. So! So what? Alan Ball was always sent up to his room at least when we were there where is Mum laid into him. At David's house across the road we would be sent home.

I always like to hear from you so keep talking

All the best


Posted by R.J. on 2018-06-13 16:29:09

Richard...good to hear again from you. That school experience was unfortunate. It is great that it ultimately worked out best for you. Teachers are an honorable profession but not everyone makes a good teacher. Those adolescent and early teen years of 11-15 is a transitional and changing period for both boys and girls in both the physical and emotional realms.

Yes, my dad referenced several times that my granddad had caught him doing the same pranks & stunts. Sometimes it was handled with a stern talk; often though it was handled across his backside. From all details told, dad was less stern & punished less than granddad. I took my role as a dad seriously but likely was more lenient, mainly because social perceptions change over generations. I firmly believe that spanking still has a place & did use as a dad. Boys are still boys and a butt tanning could still get a boy's attention & adjust behavior. I think it might work best if parents were ask by school or other parents if they wanted to consent to spanking if young person was found misbehaving or withhold consent & refer behavior solely to the parent.

I suspect the school paddlings had the dual effectiveness too...the misbehaving boy got punished but it set an example for other boys in the class or school in general to not try the same or face too that punishment. I guess I remember because I was an overall good boy and to get it on my bottom was an experience to remember. My dad punished privately so my friends & classmates only knew what details I might tell or red bottom marks when we changed in the locker room. Wearing just briefs or boxer shorts offered the bottom no padding or protection. Hurt as much I thought as if it were bare but just more modest. Was grateful school policy said over whatever pants a boy was wearing rather than paddle spank his underpants. At 14 and beginning high school was my first locker room changing experience so initially a bit hesitant too to strip down but then as you said, we were all boys and there was no alternative but to change for pe class and mandatory communal shower after, so I did it.

Appreciate hearing your thoughts too.


Posted by the captain on 2018-08-16 08:14:21

I too am from London, but never got any physical punishment either at school or home, other than 2 whacks from a "slipper" at school once. At home I was just sent to my room for hours. Think a belting would of been better/ easier lol

I still sort of feel I missed out on getting at least one thrashing