Daily prompt: A tribute to political incorrectness


A long time ago when my children were small, you could get (and many did) a child’s harness with a lead attached, to tether your child to you (or to the pram of an even smaller child if, like me, you had them all two years apart) as you walked down the street.

Presumably those of delicate sensibilities (and probably no children) objected to these harnesses. Perhaps they thought it smacked of walking the dog and was therefore offensive. But see, you tether the dog to stop it running away from you, possibly into the line of traffic or something similarly dangerous, and small children are equally impulsive and unpredictable. However ‘good’ a mother you are, you can’t foresee your child’s every move, and some of those moves can leave you gasping. There was method in those harnesses, and the children themselves didn’t see anything doggy about them, so why the fuss?

But they went anyway, just as a timely smack on a nappied bottom went – something my children were also subjected to. Fortunately they assure me it didn’t scar them for life.

I can see that smacking had to go. It’s far to open to abuse. But there are times – oh yes, there are times! – when I still can’t help feeling that a short, sharp, well-placed smack would work wonders. And not all the recipients would be small children.



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7 Responses to Daily prompt: A tribute to political incorrectness

  1. Arti Tyagi says:

    I opened this after reading the title expecting a political satire or something of the sort, but this is even better!

  2. Monicle says:

    I had a friend who’s Mom attached her harness and lead to the clothesline.

  3. I didn’t have kids. I cannot imagine raising them, however, without ever smacking their bottoms. I did spank my niece for being unkind, entitled and rude. I saw no other possible way to teach that lesson. All that was hurt was her pride in that adventure. I’d cooked exactly the dinner she’d asked for and she refused to sit down at the table and eat with me and my husband. She was 8. I thought, “Hmmmm, she’s angling to be the center of attention here AND to go to her room and feel sorry for herself. I don’t think so.” I cleared the table and put the food where it would stay warm. I took her hand. I took her to her room. I put her over my knee and whacked her a couple of times explaining why. She cried. I said, “Now you have to sit down and the table and eat the dinner I cooked for you. You need to be polite to me and Jim and carry on a conversation like the intelligent child you are. You’re not manipulating me.” It was awkward, but she did it and the evening was pleasant. The cause was that she was constipated because she had decided she was allergic to water. Things got pretty strange later that night, but the allergy went away for good. I am grateful I never had 24/7 kids. 24/7 2 or 3 months out of the year was plenty.

    • A smack, to me, still seems by far the most civilised way of dealing misdemeanours. It’s immediate (small children have short memories) and linked indelibly to the event. I have yet to meet a kid under about 2 1/2 who understands reasoning (the modern alternative), sitting in the naughty corner or apologising for what they’ve done (also popular). It runs the risk of turning into a guilt trip about something the kid doesn’t really understand – a recipe for future disaster imo.

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