I grew up in a large, very religious family and discipline was taken very seriously. ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’ was my father’s favorite maxim – although in our case the rod was metaphorical, as he preferred to use his hand or a heavy leather belt.
Running his own business meant that my father often traveled out of state, and this is why we had a family meeting after church every Sunday.
We’d each in turn have to stand up and tell Dad what we had done that week in school, and confirm that we had completed our allocated chores around the house. Mom would then always remark on our behaviour too. If Dad was satisfied with our conduct, we’d get our allowance. If he wasn’t, he’d tell us to meet him downstairs in the basement afterwards.
There were seven of us altogether, and that meant that there was usually at least two of us who had to meet Dad in the basement. Now I should say that I agree with spanking – I spank my own children – but one grievance I have from my childhood is that Mom would usually have punished us already with a spanking, so we were effectively punished twice!
In the basement was Dad’s spanking chair, which was actually a large stool. He would start with the youngest, which could be as young as four. Dad spanked with his hand up until we were nine years old – after that, it was the belt.
Being the second oldest, I would often have to watch as my younger siblings were punished before my turn came. Each child, in turn, would approach Dad, then drop their pants and undies before being positioned over his lap.
He spanked hard and for about a minute – which is a long time for a child. All of us cried, but the younger ones usually screamed and pleaded for mercy as they writhed on Dad’s lap, but none was ever given. He would continue to slap the culprit’s reddened bottom until he was satisfied they had been sufficiently chastened.
The older ones were expected to bend over and grip the edges of the stool – again, bare bottomed – and Dad would then whip us with a heavy leather belt that usually hung from a nail in the wall. This belt was kept specifically for warming our behinds, and believe me it was used to good effect. We’d all have trouble sitting down afterwards. Dad let me keep my panties on from 12 upwards – but he would also give me an extra couple of licks for the ‘privilege’.
As a mother today, I think there is no place for implements in corporal punishment. However, as I have already mentioned, I use my hand on my boys’ bottoms, so they are certainly aware that severe punishment is available if they are naughty enough to deserve it.