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Guide to the Disciplinary Spanking of Adolescent Boys

by Mark Stechman

Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 27 Mar 2005

Guide to the Disciplinary Spanking of Adolescent Boys
A Primer for Fathers and Other Males in the Caregiver Role

by Mark Stechman


Being the father or the male guardian of a teenage boy is an awesome responsibility in this day and age. Unfortunately, even though a teenage boy of the 21st Century requires more guidance and discipline than a boy of any previous generation, our society has come to promote a laissez-faire approach to this vital parenting that offers these young men less guidance, direction and discipline than was provided to previous generations. Your interest in this pamphlet speaks to your concern and interest in the welfare of the young man or young men in your charge as well as your acknowledgement that strong discipline provides constant guidance emphasizing the cause and effect relationship between misbehavior and unpleasant consequences. As a young man yourself, you were probably the recipient of a sound spanking from your father in response to your own misbehavior. You know that judicious corporal punishment worked with you and that it will work equally well with your own teenage son.

Boys in this age range, generally 13 through 19 years, are normally rebellious and certainly are in need of discipline in their lives. As the saying goes, if your teenagers are getting off the track, perhaps they need switching. In this pamphlet we will discuss techniques for effectively administering corporal punishment as a means of disciplining the teen boy in your charge, whether he is your son, stepson, nephew or any other young teen man for whom you are the caregiver. It takes determination, courage and care to make the effort to provide, along with love and forgiveness, punishment that is a necessary consequence of misdeed. A sore, painful bottom is frequently needed to save the owner from more serious, long lasting consequences.


There are a variety of implements in and around the household or which can be easily acquired that are quite suitable for administering a spanking that will be both effective and memorable. Such implements might include your hand, a hairbrush, leather belt or strap, paddle, thin cane or, if you have any wooded areas nearby, a switch. On some occasions, even a birching might be the proper result of a more significant disciplinary infraction. There are pros and cons for each of these implements.

a. The hand. The advantage of using one's hand to spank is glaringly obvious. You always have ready access to it and in situations that warrant it allows an immediate chastisement that may serve as a precursor to a more severe and thorough spanking to follow. The main disadvantage of using the hand is that the spanking could wind up causing you as much discomfort as you inflict, or perhaps more. Remember, the hand will leave marks and, if you wear a heavy ring, bruises. Rings should be removed before administering a hand spanking.

b. The hairbrush. The old-fashioned wooden hairbrush with the oval back is ideal for administering spankings, particularly if the hairbrush is made from oak or other dense wood. A solid wooden hairbrush can deliver a considerable sting with a limited amount of force. When more substantial force is applied, the wooden hairbrush can reduce the tough teenage recipient to a crying little boy very quickly. The newer modern plastic type hairbrush will suffice but is not recommended. The bristles should be turned away from the boy's bottom when you spank him. The hairbrush can leave marks and bruises (especially the wooden type) and one must be somewhat careful when using them.

c. The leather belt worn by Dad and Dad's razor strap also make excellent implements for use in corporal punishment. A thin (width) strap will not be as likely to bruise and may sting slightly more than a wider strap, however it will also raise larger welts. Care should be exercised to ensure the end of the strap does not wrap around the hip of the boy since the "snap" it makes will raise large welts and bruises that will stay for several weeks. I prefer this implement since it can be easily stored in a place in the household that serves as a constant reminder of what happens when the boy earns "licks". I keep a leather strap that was custom-made for this purpose. It is 23 inches long, 2 and one-half inches wide and one-eighth of an inch thick. One end was carved to form a comfortable handle, while the "business end" is shaped into a slight "V" and four slits, each about 4 inches long, provide a buffer to reduce large welting somewhat while providing maximum benefit.

d. The paddle. There are paddle-type implements found in many homes, whether originally intended for playing games (table-tennis or the type with the ball on the rubber band) or those specially made from wood. Small fraternity paddles are also quite effective in getting the job done. The paddle should be at least 6 inches wide so the impact is spread across an area large enough to prevent serious bruising. A paddle provides excellent control and certainly stings enough to set most any bottom a-fire, but since it does cover such a broad area, you must be careful not to hit too hard. There have been cases where a great deal of force was used and the boy suffered unwanted damage. A good paddling needs only be brief in duration, and is best reserved for minor offenses where you want to make an impact quickly but memorably, but find no need in making it a prolonged, severe spanking.

e. The switch. Hickory or willow trees make excellent sources for switches. A bonus is that you can have the boy obtain the switch that is to be applied to him. This is a tremendous psychological punishment for the boy since he knows that he must obtain a switch that will hurt the most. The natural tendency is to cheat a bit, and that should be addressed at the time of the punishment, either by making the boy get another one, thus prolonging the anticipation of the impending event, or by adding more strokes of the switch while making it clear that the next time the boy should do his duty properly. The switch should be a green branch 24 to 36 inches long and should taper to about the width of a pencil. Switches generally don't bruise, but do leave welts. Care should be exercised to ensure the end of the switch is not wrapping around and hitting the boy on the side of the pelvis. Remember too that the switch can draw blood if used too heavily. A good "cut" of the switch will bring about a momentary whitish mark that quickly turns bright red, then deep red and raises to a thin welt.

f. The cane. A thin cane is recommended if you want a permanent switch to keep in a specific place for administering corporal punishment. It provides the results of a hickory or willow switch only to a greater degree. The classic British cane is made from rattan, NOT a garden bamboo cane as that is too inflexible and will damage rather than punish your boy, but may be difficult to obtain. A wooden dowel with a diameter of 1/4 of an inch is also very effective and can be found in a hobby shop or art supply outlet as well as some hardware stores. A length of about 26 inches up to 3 feet or so should be sought. It is probably the most effective (read that painful) implement you can have on hand, so kept in a "special" place where your boy will often see it, such as the bathroom closet or their bedroom dresser drawer, it serves as a daily reminder of what will happen if they do not exercise good judgment in their behavior.

g. The Birch. A variation of the switch, for use only on a bare bottom, is what the British call a "Birch", as this is what they were traditionally made from. A bundle of shorter, smaller switches not more than thick twigs are tied together. If done properly this should look like a giant asparagus bunch, with the whippy twig-ends left free enough to find their own individual targets. Some prefer to soak the Birch in warm water for a few hours before the punishment, however this is certainly optional. It can be a chore of the boy, thus adding to his anticipation. Remember to be sure the switch or birching-twigs are fresh so they don't break off or cut the skin due to brittleness. ALWAYS be sure a cool bath is given about a half-hour after the birching! A birching will cause a great deal of inflammation and welting will be significant. The cool bath will ease the swelling and help with the welting while only temporarily easing the basic discomfort which will last for a considerable number of days.

I reserve use of the Birch for very severe punishments only, and my 17 year-old son has only been birched three times in his life, the most recent event was some eight months ago. A birching is reserved for Saturday mornings with preparation made on Friday night. No breakfast on Saturday is allowed other than one slice of toast and a cup of tea about two hours before the punishment. This is a very severe spanking and the intensity of a birching can cause stomach upset. Since Todd is usually up by 7 am on Saturdays, I give him the thrashing around 11 am. He is also excused from Physical Education classes for the following week, with a written excuse by me, stating that he is under doctor's care for an intestinal disorder. After the birching, the boy will probably wish to keep quietly to himself and not want to leave the house the rest of the day, although I allow him out in the evening if he is sufficiently recovered by that time.

Preparing the boy for punishment

The boy must be properly prepared for the spanking. Spankings are most frequently, although not universally administered in private to avoid embarrassing the boy. Especially as he moves into the teenage years and sexual development becomes obvious, most parents find it more appropriate to spank privately. However, you may correctly prefer the example set by spanking the boy in front of other members of the family, especially in front of other same-sex siblings. It is certainly not recommended to spank a teenager in front of an opposite sex sibling, although some families do spank with both Father and Mother present. This is a decision you must make based upon your own beliefs and standards.

Spankings should never be administered when you are angry. You should discuss the behavior that has led you to feel a spanking is necessary and send the boy to the room where the spanking is to occur and have him prepare for it. This allows you time to calm down and get some perspective on what you are doing before you do more damage than good. The punishment is to benefit the boy, not to vent anger for the parent.

Also, it is preferable to have the boy take a warm (not hot) bath about a half-hour prior to the spanking. Tell him to use the toilet to urinate and to move his bowels particularly if a severe spanking is intended. Have him wash his private areas thoroughly. Although it's not likely, it is possible to break the skin while spanking, especially if with a thin strap or switch, and the cleaner the area, the less likely an infection may occur.

With only the most rare of exceptions, spankings should always be administered to the boy's bare bottom. If, in extremely rare instances, the Mother is going to spank her teenage son, it might be best to allow him to wear an athletic supporter to retain some modesty and avoid sexual conflicts. This again, is up to the parents and due care should be given in making these decisions. I strongly recommend, however, that spanking should be a father's responsibility.

In most cases, therefore, the following should occur soon after you enter the place of punishment where the boy is waiting for you, and should be done by the boy himself without prevarication to show his acceptance of the punishment he knows is due. First, he should either lower or remove his trousers. By lowering, I mean they should be pulled down at least to the knees or dropped to the floor. Depending on the implement and positioning to be used, removal of the trousers is often the best method. Shirt-tails should then be pulled up so that they are out of the way. If the boy is wearing a dress-shirt with long tails, he should remove it. His undershirt may remain on, as long as it is raised up enough so the buttocks are free of any covering. Most often I suggest that he simply roll up the shirt to under his armpits.

The final step, completely baring his bottom, is the most important as well as the most difficult for a boy, but again this is a judgment call that the parents must make based upon whether the Mother is going to be present or not. The underpants should be taken down to the knees if the boy is to be punished while bending over, else if he is to lie across the bed, it's best to have him remove them entirely so he can step over and get onto the bed without having to waddle. Leaving the underpants on and lowered serves no purpose other than some parents allow the boy the dignity of first bending over and then pulling his underpants down, thus reducing the amount of time his genitals are fully exposed to those viewing the spanking.


Positioning for the spanking may depend on the implement selected and in some cases the boy. Hand and hairbrush spankings are best administered with the spanker seated in a straight-backed chair with the boy positioned over the knees of the spanker. With paddles, over the knee works best for the smaller bolo type paddles too.

If you are using a longer paddle with handle, the boy should be made to bend over and grasp his ankles, however if the boy is thin or lacks a fair amount of muscle or fat in the buttocks, it would be best to have him grab his knees. The purpose here is to ensure the paddle does its job without actually hitting any bone. This same position is also suitable for the belt or switch although a little more awkward for the person giving the spanking.

Als o, for boys who are sexually developed there is one rule of thumb to obse rve: if the boy bends over and grabs his ankles, take a good look at his profile and be sure his testicles are not protruding behind him. Some boys will have a fair amount of their scrotum sticking out when in this position, and obviously this is not what you want. Because of this, for most administrations of the strap and switch it may be best if the boy lies across the bed with his legs together. However, to make the most impression on your teenager, a method which provides the most mileage per stroke is to get those licks into the crack of his bottom where the skin is much more tender. This means extreme caution to avoid hitting him in the genitals. The method we suggest is to have him lay over a pillow, and be told (preferably in advance) that he should reach underneath and lift his scrotum upwards so it is not between his legs. If you take his underpants and stuff them into his crotch, they will serve as padding to avoid genital injury, and you can then order his legs parted, about two feet between his ankles, so that the strap can do its job extremely well.

The boy should be reminded of what he is being corrected for and told that if he gets out of position during the spanking that the amount he is to receive will increase. Many boys will cry, scream and holler, as well as make promises to be good. They should understand that it will not have an effect on the amount of punishment dispensed. The spanking should be methodically applied to the bare bottom of the boy. When using a strap or switch, you should whip in a somewhat diagonal fashion, not straight across the bottom. Stand to one side of the bed near the boy's upper chest, and whip slightly downwards. Move around to the other side and do the same. Keep moving around so the entire area of the buttocks is covered after a short time. Remember, repeatedly whipping the same spot will lesson the effectiveness as the skin becomes less sensitive with each lick, so try and cover as much territory as possible.


The spanking should be of sufficient duration for the boy to think twice before committing the same transgression. The purpose of the spanking is to bring the recalcitrant to a place of repentance. Repentance means having a change of mind toward the wrong that was done, having genuine sorrow over that issue. This is different from remorse, which often occurs in boys when they are simply sorry for being caught instead of being sorry for what was done.

Simple swats and slaps are not spankings. They only create anger or resentment in teen boys and will not bring them to a place of repentance. A spanking must be hard enough and long enough to bring a repentant cry, a cry that says "I'm sorry". A father will be able to discern in a boy's cry when he has come to repentance over an issue. A repentant cry is different from a cry of anger or protest, which usually occurs at the onset of a spanking. It is not a fake cry that boys sometimes give to get out of a thorough spanking; some boys will even scream profusely when their fathers start a spanking. This is usually because they've learned that the father will stop when they cry that way. It is a father's duty to bring his boy to a true repentant cry during a spanking. Exactly how long and how hard a spanking needs to be in order to bring a repentant cry is a matter for the father to determine. In can vary, depending on the sensitivity of the boy's buttocks and the strength of the boy's will.

The typical spanking is often determined by the number of licks or swats. Although most of us got it this way ourselves and it seems like a reasonable way of doing things, in reality it is best not to place a "goal" number since the boy will try and hold out knowing that it will be over in "X" more licks. Keep in mind that repentance is the goal. If, to attain this goal, you do use the predetermined lick method, here are some simple rules to follow, assuming you are using moderate force and the implement is matched to the position properly.

Paddle: minimum of 10, maximum of 40 swats. If you give one swat every five seconds, this will take from one to four minutes. This also applies for the brush or spoon.

Strap or Belt: minimum of a dozen, maximum of 30. Assuming you are moving around properly, you can deliver about one lick every ten seconds or so, thus this whipping will take between two and five minutes.

Switch or Cane: minimum of five, maximum of 20. This is a painful punishment, and should be doled out about one stroke every 15 to 30 seconds, so this will take anywhere from a little over a minute to as long a ten minutes.

Birch: minimum of five, maximum of fifteen. Remember, this HURTS! Allow at least 30 seconds between strokes. A birching will take between 3 minutes to ten minutes.

A more fitting way to punish, especially if the boy has committed what you feel is a serious offense, would be to make no mention of the number of licks or swats to come. If he asks "How many will I get?" simply tell him: "As many as I think it takes to make you remember this for a long time." Let the boy sit and wonder for a while before you come into the room and give the punishment. In a case like this, if you want to give the boy some idea as to the severity of the spanking give him a time frame to consider. Tell the boy he is going to get 10 minutes or even 15 minutes of punishment. Then go at it methodically but slowly.

Some parents have asked if restraints are okay to use. There is no right answer for this. For boys, especially boys well into their teens, simple restraints for the wrists are not uncommon. You could even let this be up to the boy, with the understanding that if he reaches behind or moves way out of position during the punishment, he will be punished even more. Then tell him that if he wants, you will tie his hands so he can't reach behind or move too far, and let him make the choice. In the case of really severe offences, where you are going to give him that "Worst beating of your life", there is nothing wrong with securing him at the wrists and ankles, and perhaps even at the waist so he cannot thrash around and is obligated to take the impending punishment in total resignation.


After the punishment has been administered, the boy should be informed that he should expect to receive more of the same if future misbehavior occurs. It is up to YOU to follow-through on this promise. (Don't make it a threat; make it a positive statement, a promise. Then above all else, keep your promise.) Then you should provide the boy with a simple sign of affection – a hug perhaps – to demonstrate that forgiveness is available and that it is a new beginning for him. That accomplished, you may have the boy stand in the corner but not be allowed to rub the affected area or you may send him to bed.

I prefer administering corporal punishment at bedtime since this gives my sons time to think about what they have done to earn the spanking, and time to dwell on the burning discomfort of the punishment just given. Bedtime is also good because you can have the boy wearing only pyjamas that are easily lowered or removed with one yank on the snaps. They are loose fitting and if it is decided that the boy should not bare the bottom because an opposite-sex family member will be watching, it's of little consequence since the pyjamas offer very little extra protection. I would have the boy lie across the bed and then pull the pyjama bottoms down, thus giving him the benefit of no genital exposure in front of others in the room but still causing him the embarrassment of being bare-butt for the punishment.

Sexual reactions

It is possible that a boy will get an erection prior to his punishment. Although this is not the "usual" event, it is not uncommon for a teenage boy about to be spanked by any means. Nothing should be said about it. He will be embarrassed enough knowing that you have seen him erect. Words are not necessary. If this does occur, however, particular attention should be paid and an after-spanking examination and discussion is necessary. Have him again stand up, or if on the bed have him roll over, and take a look to see if the erection has gone down and also to be sure he did not ejaculate during his punishment. If orgasm did occur, you may have a problem on your hands. The simplest way to deal with this would be to talk with him immediately. Explain that punishment is not supposed to feel good, and that his erection (although uncontrollable) is not acceptable.

Explain that in the future, he is to "prepare" for a spanking by going through whatever motions he has gone through in the past, but he must also make a trip to the bathroom and masturbate. Some fathers, to be certain that the boy has spent himself, will give him a small jar or paper cup and tell him to ejaculate into it, then leave it bedside for Dad to look at when it's punishment time. The boy should be allowed at LEAST ten minutes after the masturbation before the punishment so he can go through the normal refractory period and get his wits about him. Do not wait any longer than twenty minutes, however, or you may find he has another erection. If this does happen, a second ejaculation is out of the question, just proceed with his spanking. DO NOT punish him for having an erection. It's a spontaneous reaction beyond his control.

Most parents do not encourage masturbation, although there is no reason for this line of thinking. Once upon a time, and for many years, it was considered "bad" to masturbate and all sorts of foolish reasons were given. None of them have any medical or psychological truth. Generally, religious reasons are the cause for the "hands-off" instructions given the boy about his penis. If you elect to use this method or not is totally up to you and consideration should be given it before being presented to the boy. Once you commit to the plan, stick by it. From then on, ALL spankings will be preceded by ejaculation, no exceptions. Consistency is a keyword in raising a boy and if you don't show consistency, how can you expect the boy to do so?

In summary

If you follow the procedures outlined here your boy will be more obedient and better behaved. Nothing is foolproof. Spanking is only the reinforcement of family values and acceptable behavior. Without love and understanding, spanking will be ineffective in the long run. Done in a household where love and understanding abounds, the spanking serves to demonstrate consistency, values, care and that the boy is valued and loved. Remember: If you are angry, DON'T spank.

Good luck with your teenage boy. He needs all the input and guidance you can provide. He also needs a mature man who cares enough to soundly spank him when necessary.

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