I grew up in the 1970s in the south of England. My mother had me when she was considerably older than most mums and gave birth at 30 years old. Mum raised me as a single parent, and a very strict single parent at that. Having said that, I had a good upbringing and my mother provided well for me and worked hard to give me the best life she could.
Mum firmly believed in spanking as the main form of child discipline. I remember being spanked for the first time when I was six – this was for drawing on my bedroom wall. My mother was furious and took me to her own bedroom to punish me. She lifted up my dress, pulled down my knickers and bent me over her knee. Then she smacked my bare bottom until it was red and sore .
As well as the spanking itself, I also vividly remember the scolding which accompanied it. “How dare you draw on your wall? You’re in for a good hiding, my girl – I’ll show you what happens in this house every time you misbehave or disobey mummy!”
After she had soundly spanked me, Mum she sat me on her knee. She told me: “Veronica, I’m afraid I’m going to be a lot stricter with you in future. Things need to change around here – you need some discipline in your life.
“You will do as you’re told, and I won’t tolerate any more of your disobedience or back chat. You will go to bed when you are told, eat what you are told, and wear what you’re told.”
Mum also explained that from now on, I would be required to help her with chores around the house. I did these as soon as I got home from school. My tasks would usually included cleaning the kitchen (and doing the dishes), cleaning the bathroom and washing the floors down. I always took my shies and socks off for the last task, as I would always get my feet wet while I was doing this. After all this was done, I would have to bath myself, change into just my nightie, then come back downstairs to help Mum make dinner.
Meal times themselves were something of a chore – Mum was a stickler for healthy eating and I was only ever allowed ‘junk food’ as a rare treat.
One Saturday summer lunchtime sticks particularly in my mind. When I got down to the kitchen after my bath, Mum told me we would have a ‘nice salad’ for dinner as it was too hot to cook. She told me to get all the ingredients out of the fridge and start chopping them up. Now, I absolutely loathed salad and had to stand at the counter and chop every single ingredient, including the horrible-looking pickled vegetables.
Mum finished off the dinner and told me to sit down. On that day, I wasn’t particularly hungry anyway, and I asked her if I could put mine in the fridge and eat it later.
She replied emphatically: “No, you will do nothing of the kind. You will sit here at this table and eat every single bit of salad on that plate, young lady – and I mean every bit!”
I started whining that I didn’t like salad. Mum shot back: “I don’t care whether you like it or not, child – you will do as you are told and eat it. I won’t tell you again!”
For a few minutes, I just sat there sulking, pushing my food around on my plate. Finally, I looked up again and told Mum I didn’t want any more. That was it – she got up from the dinner table, grabbed me by the arm and yanked my nightdress over my head, taking it off completely. Then she ordered me to bend naked over the kitchen table. I started crying but obeyed. I was filled with dread as I heard Mum take off her belt.
Then the scolding started. “What have I told you about eating what you are told, young lady? You know very well that I won’t tolerate food being wasted in this house! I’m sick of you disobeying me, and complaining at every single meal time. I’m going to teach you a lesson you’ll remember every time you sit down at this table.
“You are in for the belting of your life, Veronica – and after I’ve finished strapping your naughty bottom red raw, you will sit back down and finish that salad. Do I make myself clear?” By now I was absolutely sobbing, even though my backside had not yet been touched. “Yes, Mum,” I replied through my tears. I really couldn’t believe what was happening – I generally only ever got a hand spanking for not clearing my plate.
Mum then raised her belt and whipped my bare bottom until it was beetroot red – I cried my eyes out. After the belting had been given and I was still naked, I was told to sit back down on my now very sore bum. Naturally, I finished eating all of my remaining salad without another word.
After the meal, I was made to do the dishes and wipe down the counters, my little red bottom still on full display. Finally, I was sent straight to bed with another hard smack from Mum’s hand.
In retrospect, the whipping I received was quite harsh compared with my misbehaviour, but it certainly worked. After that belting, I was much more obedient to my mother and my spankings became a lot less frequent.