I started using the cane on my son’s bottom when he was 10 years old. Up until about seven, I had merely given him a few smacks on his trouser seat when he misbehaved.
However, he gradually got inured to this punishment, getting up from my lap afterwards and telling me that it didn’t hurt. My response was to start taking his pants down and smacking his bare buttocks. This had a more salutary effect, but it wasn’t so much the increased sting as the embarrassment of Mum seeing his private parts that did the trick. Unfortunately, over time he also become somewhat accustomed even to this.
The breakthrough happened when I went over to the house of a friend who had an eight-year-old daughter, who had come home from school with a note to say that she had been continually disruptive in class.
My friend got very red in the face as she read the note from her daughter’s teacher, then stood up and simply said to her: “Wait there.” She left the room and I noticed tears welling up in the child’s eyes.
To my astonishment, my friend came back holding a cane of the sort at that time used in schools (this was the late 70s, I should add). She looked straight at her daughter and said: “Right – you know what to do.” Tears were now rolling down the girl’s face and she pleaded: “Please, Mum – not in front of Mrs [my name].”
Her mother took no notice of her child’s plea and instead just stood there silently, holding the cane. Eventually, the girl turned her back to us and her hands went up her school dress, coming back down with her knickers. Then she raised the back of her dress to reveal a pale bare bottom and bent over obediently, hands on her knees.
My friend went over and placed the cane against her daughter’s buttocks for a moment, then brought it down smartly on the target. The girl yelled out in pain and began to cry properly, and her mother put a firm hand on the small of her back to hold her down. Without a word, she calmly and slowly administered three more strokes.
After each one, the child’s bottom quickly showed a sore, thin red line across both her buttocks. At the end of the punishment, her mum ordered her to go to her room until it was time for dinner.
Once the girl had taken herself off, her mum and I resumed our chat and not unnaturally the conversation turned to the subject of family discipline. It transpired my friend had written off to somewhere for the cane, and had been using it on her daughter for about a year. I voiced my own frustrations at the increasing ineffectiveness of the smacked bottoms I had been giving my son, and the upshot was that my friend offered to come around with the cane next time he was naughty, to show me how to use it.
I was a bit hesitant about this at the time but a few weeks later, when he had answered me back really insolently, I telephoned my friend and asked to take up her offer. She replied that she would call round in about an hour. In the meantime, I sent my son to his room, telling him that he was going to be punished. He looked surprised when I didn’t take down his trousers and pants right there and then, but had a bit of smirk on his face, perhaps imagining he had got off lightly.
Back then there was absolutely no shame in spanking your children, so my friend arrived with the cane openly tucked under one arm. I told her what had happened, and she advised that he should be given six of the best, which I agreed with. “I’ll give him the first three, to show you how it’s done, then you can give him the others,” she suggested. I was very happy with this, as I wasn’t confident in using the stick this first time.
I called my boy down from his room, and he was very surprised to see my friend there. He was even more surprised – shocked, really – to see the cane in her hand. The cane was a familiar object in comics of the time, so he definitely knew what it was, and what it was for.
My friend addressed my son: “I hear you have been a very naughty boy for your mother, so I’ve come over to show her what needs to happen to naughty boys.” My son looked at me pleadingly but I averted my eyes.
“Take down your shorts and pants.” My son finally spoke up. “Please, Mum…” “Do as Mrs [name] tells you,” I said, “I’m sure she’s seen a boy’s bare bottom before.”
Just as the girl had, my son shyly turned his back to us and after fumbling nervously with the hooks of his grey school shorts for a few seconds, he slowly lowered them to his ankles, revealing his white underpants. He gave me one last appealing look over his shoulder but I nodded sternly, and his thumbs went into the waistband of his pants to bare his bottom.
“Bend over and put your hands on your knees.” My son complied. My friend then took a moment to arrange my son’s clothing, lifting his shirt tail over his back. “You need to ensure the target is totally clear of obstructions,” my friend told me. She placed the cane across my son’s buttocks. “Make sure the end is well clear of his bottom, put the cane where you want the stroke to land, then bring it back with a flick of the wrist…”
“Owwww!” My son howled with agony as she suited her action to the words and brought the stick down on his buttocks. “Wait between strokes so he feels the sting properly,” she advised me as my son began to sob. “They can cry if they want to, but mother must ignore the tears and get on with the job.”
So saying, she brought the cane down again, a little lower this time. I could tell from my son’s crying that this was a very definite step up in punishment.
After giving him one more, she handed the cane to me. “Your turn.” I remember being surprised at how light the cane was and yet how obviously painful it was.
As I stood by my son’s bare behind, I was quite nervous, and my first stroke was quite a wild one, which made my boy howl even more as the tip caught his far buttock. My friend guided my hand further over. “Don’t be afraid of it – it’s for his own good.” The next stroke I brought down far more confidently and firmly, and the cry which rewarded it told me I was now doing it properly. After listening to my son’s crying for a few seconds, I finally administered the last stroke.
He was bawling like a toddler by now. When my friend had caned her daughter, there had been four neat parallel lines across her bottom. There was a bit of criss-crossing on my son’s seat due to my inexperience, but I overall I was happy with the results. I told my son to make himself decent and get ready for bed without supper, and my friend nodded approvingly.
I was noticeably a bit shaky from that first experience. My friend brought out a packet of cigarettes and we smoked as we discussed the experience. She gave me a little slip of paper with the address to write to for a cane of my own. “Practice a bit on a pillow over a chair when it arrives,” she said with a smile. “You’ll soon get the hang of it.” I did!