Dad Loves an Old-Fashioned Spanking

A vintage postcard from a more innocent, or far more twisted, time

We could be entering the two toughest parenting weeks of the year. Greedy, sugar-charged kids with no school, no structure, and no sense of decency are suddenly roaming your halls at ungodly hours -- like noon. What will you do? Turn to Ask Dad, of course.

A mother says her husband still insists on spanking the kids and she's totally opposed. She wonders if she has to just get used to it or try to convince him he's wrong. 

Spanking, really? I thought we'd all agreed to drop that, not because of its cruelty, but because it's so old-timey. It's like the MySpace of punishments, largely abandoned except for throwbacks, fetishists, and musicians. 

I guess if we declare your husband a horrible person, we'll have to do the same for half of our parents and all of our grandparents.


But for all the widely-cited reasons, it's really time to give up the paddle, even if it is signed by all his beloved fraternity brothers.

It would be one thing if spanking were totally and obviously effective. Then you could get into the arguments about cruelty and decide on that alone. But without evidence of its worth, it just means dad is insistent on being an ass, something we all are at times.

I am worried about one thing though, if corporal punishment becomes truly rare. Will the adult spanking fetish die out? Think of all the jobs lost for dominatrices and workers in the paddle and leather-whip industries.

But so be it. We all have to modernize, from auto workers to grocery checkers to paddlers of "naughty" businessmen.

This includes your husband. So at the risk of invoking the Iron Law of the Internet*, may I suggest some alternate harsh punishments if your husband feels the need to be cruel?

  • Lock the kid in the closet and make him smoke a whole pack of cigarettes: As long as we're going for archaic punishments, this old penalty handed down to kids caught with cigarettes is extremely rare nowadays, what with the difficulty of getting smokes and society's disdain for closet-locking. The same retro-chic as spanking, but so much more poetic!
  • A 12-hour marathon of the Fresh Beat Band: The reasons should be obvious, but if not, they are explained here.
  • Teach them the days of the week out of order: This from guest suggester, Rob Delaney, who calls this method "Effective, horrible, not illegal."
  • Have them sit in a car seat installed 10 percent looser than humanly possible: Over the top? Maybe. But sometimes kids gotta learn.

*The Iron Law of the Internet: There is nothing you can say so ironic or sarcastic that at least one person will not think you're serious. 

Image via Flickr/Ha!Designs

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