Dear Ms. Marwood – Public Spanking

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Dear Ms. Marwood
I was wondering how you feel about spankings in public. I should tell you that my mom has threatened me with this a few times loud enough for others to hear. We’ve gotten some very strange looks.
It’s never happened – but it makes me nervous.


My first question would be – what have you done that prompted your mother to threaten you in this way? Secondly, I wonder if she meant this in a serious way or as an expression of her frustration with whatever the circumstances were?   As far as a public spanking goes – supposing that your mother would actually do this, I tend to question that possibility – I think discipline should be a private matter between parent and child and is best addressed in a private place between family members. But sometimes things happen in public between a parent and child.  My personal position is that with someone such you, who are old enough to pose this question, your parent would do best to use a different deterrent – such as taking something away from you for a certain duration – rather than an embarrassing public display like a spanking. But it does sound like your mother was merely threatening you. If it make you anxious then perhaps this was your mother’s intent. Obviously, you have been giving the incident a lot of thought and perhaps it has convinced you not to risk acting up in that way again. All that being said, I don’t think discipline should be aired out in public, but I have no idea what your mother’s real intentions were. If you feel that her reaction to your undesirable behavior crossed an emotional boundary for you, you should absolutely address this with her, clear the air, and work out something fair and mutually respectful between the two of you. If you bury this—and your anxiety about it– it could negatively affect the closeness between you and your mother.

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3 Responses to Dear Ms. Marwood – Public Spanking

  1. Mike Roberts says:

    When I grew up, the act of spanking was one that was not uncommon in public and the threat of one was certainly very common. I received a few memorable ones myself as you knew that your misbehavior could be addressed anywhere. Obviously things have changed today though I suspect in certain parts of the country a public spanking could take place. The definition of “public” is also subject to interpretation- ie- a spanking in a restroom where others can hear versus a spanking in full view.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe the focus on spanking kids that column generates. It seems to dominate. Now, we even have kids writing in for help.

    If this mother is the kind of person who would threaten to do that, it’s pretty risky (and very unlikely to succeed) to attempt to “address this with her, clear the air, and work out something fair and mutually respectful.” If she was interested in being respectful or willing to engage in that kind of dialogue, she would never make that kind of abusive and humiliating threat. When you have a mother like that, the closeness probably pretty well damaged by now.

    On the other hand, if she did pull that in public, these days there’s a decent chance she’d leave in handcuffs, especially if somebody filmed it and then called the police.

  3. Franz says:

    Is the questioner a child, an adult posing as a child, an adult in an unusual relationship with her real mother, or an adult who is involved in an adult relationship with someone acting as her “mom”? Ms. Marwood has answered the question as if posed by a minor, so was more revealed in the question than we see here? What is a minor doing reading about professional disciplinarians, and why would she think this is where her question should be answered?

    Public spanking is a popular fantasy for those who are attracted to embarrassment or exhibitionism. I wouldn’t assume anything about the situation presented here, but it could be just that. In that context, I like that Ms. Marwood gives practical, old-fashioned advice. She’d be the perfect “mom” for me.

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