I know my parents loved me, because they showed it in many ways. I always had a roof over my head, food on the table, and plenty of support and encouragement in whatever I wanted to do. But I think one of the best things they ever gave me was limits. Kids today don’t seem to have limits.

While Mom and Dad showed a lot of trust in me, it was because I knew that there would be hell to pay if I stepped too far over the line. And overall, I respected those limits. I might have driven my car a little (or a lot faster) than they would have approved of, and I tried to lure a few girls into the backseat of said car, but I never did drugs, never got into trouble with the police, didn’t drink and drive, and avoided the other things I saw some of my friends get into that led to trouble. I think that for me, doing something that would have disappointed my parents and seeing that in their faces would have been worse punishment than anything that they might have doled out. But I also had no doubt that punishment would have been swift and sure if I had goofed up.

These days too many parents seem to be afraid of their kids. It’s like they have abdicated their role as parent in favor of being their children’s friend. And I don’t care what the warm fuzzy thinking is these days, that just doesn’t work. You can love your kids, you can nurture them, you can share a lot of interests and activities with them, but somebody has to be in charge!

We are currently staying at an RV park on Washington state’s Long Beach Peninsula, a rustic seaside resort area where you can find all of the things any beach town should have, from shops selling T-shirts and salt water taffy to espresso. You can walk on the beach, pick up shells, charter a fishing boat, watch for whales, and build a sand castle. What you can’t do is get on the internet very easily.

Verizon service is pretty much nonexistent here, though I have been told that AT&T is somewhat better. The other day I watched a young girl of maybe fourteen standing outside of her family’s RV having a total meltdown because she could not text her friends.

I’m not talking being upset and whiney, this was a screaming, hysterical tantrum that you might expect out of a two year old. “You can’t expect me to go two whole weeks without texting! I want to go home right now! My friends will think I’m dead! I hate you both and I wish you were dead! I want to text! I’m going to kill myself! I’m running away and hitchhiking back home!”

I could hear her from the next street over, and even other kids were shaking their heads in amazement. And what did her mother do? Did she tell her to shut up and behave? Did she turn her over her knee and give her the spanking she deserved? No, she said, “Let me talk to your dad and we’ll drive over to Astoria (20 miles away) and find someplace to get you an iPhone and set up an AT&T account.”

Really? That’s how you deal with an out of control, spoiled brat? You reward her for her behavior? And we wonder why our country is going to hell in a hand basket? What that kid needs is a trip to the woodshed and a big order of butt whipping to go. And her parents need a swift kick too, for allowing and encouraging their kid to be such a hellion.

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29 Comments on One Butt Whipping To Go

  1. Elizabeth says:

    My brothers and I were severely beaten, and I do not agree with THAT…but you are right, Nick…no discipline or saying NO and meaning it has gotten our country into a horrid mess. Unfortunately that girl is not all that unusual. Our 4 yr. old grandson here in Wa…we are here to help out with new sister just born…has been out of control way, too much too. We think some of it is diet related, but I also told my daughter she had to be very tough and strict and not worry about being his friend. That he might not like her all that much for some years, but they had to do what they could to prepare him to live in the real world. We have given our daughter all kinds of support, in front of grandson too, as to her authority. It seems to be helping. The daycare she takes him to at times, told her he has improved too. If you choose not to spank children (and with things as they are currently parents almost have to make that choice) then you surely have to be very strict in other ways. It makes a person kind of afraid for the future…THESE are who might one day run the country?? SCARY thought!!

  2. Marsha Knowelton says:

    I am very disappointed in you Nick. I expected much more from a person with your intelligence and usual common sense. I was never spanked as a child and I would have NEVER spanked my children either, and we all turned out just fine. Physical punishment went out with the dark ages. Every modern school of psychology teaches positive reinforcement NOT physical abuse.

  3. Tom Smith says:

    Got my ass tanned many a time growing up and it never killed me. I’m 71 years old and never even had a traffic ticket. The kid you wrote about is so out of control she’ll be in reform school by the time she’s done.

  4. Fred Hammer says:

    My father used “modern psychology.” He always told said, “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you,” and then I got a spanking. Some physical punishment does have its place in child rearing — just as a burn from a hot stove will teach a child more than any parental warning. Today’s liberal mindset regarding positive reinforcement is so misplaced. It’s akin to handing out trophies for participation rather than achievement.

  5. Rex says:

    Ms. Knowelton, Please do me a favor and keep your kids away from me. While there is a fine line between discipline and abuse, children need discipline and sometimes like this girl in this article, they need their butt whipped.

  6. George Stoltz says:

    Won’t she make a “great” employee for some company? Her parents are raising a monster.

  7. Bill Daines says:

    Many years ago I worked a case involving a young child (male) who was always pulling the hair and hitting a classmate (girl) in a early elementary school class. The boy had been sent home many times for this problem and the grandparents who had the task of having him during the day took him in for counceling. This had no effect on the behavior. To make this short, the grandfather got a call from the school again to pick up the boy and when they arrive home, he swatted the boys behind with the boys belt. When the school took the boy back, he complained of a sore behind. Later he told the school employee what happened at home. When the employee looked at the area in question she could see a red welt. Mi. Child Social Services were called because of the injury. Needless to say I got the case. I intviewed the grandfather and he admitted whipping the boy with the belt. My superior sent the case to the Prosecutor and a Domestic Assault warrent was authorized. The grandfather hired a Attorney and a plea to a lessor charge was entered.
    Then another case a child called 911 informing the dispatcher she was hit by her mother. When questioned, the teenager said her mother would not let her have her own way and sassed her back. The mother slapped her! We had to take the report because it fell into the Domestic Assault criterior.
    There is a difference in these two cases, so I’ll not say any further, you decide!
    Bill. :-) or :-(

  8. Bill Daines says:

    Oh, I forgot to say Nick, another bee’s nest was poked! Nice one as always. Bill

  9. Ron says:

    Get a life Mrs.Knowelton. It’s because of attitude like yours that were having problems with kid’s. Like Nick said and I agree with him, that girl need a spanking, not a beating (there is a difference you know!)
    We had 7 kids and they knew better than try that with us, they all turned fine and 6 are serving their Country.
    The system went from one extreme to the opposite and know we all see the results, kids that rule, no respect for anyone.

  10. Candy says:

    Seriously? If that was my daughter, she would have a lost the current phone for at least the equilivant of the time we were on vacation, after we were home, at the minimum! My kids didn’t like me much because I was the strictest of parents among all their friends, or so they said. I told them I wore the “Mean Mom” crown proudly! Later when they were both in college they thanked me for being so stricter after hearing about the home life of some of their new friends they met.
    I agree parents today are amongst the cause of many young troublemakers because they refused to parent!

  11. al hesselbart says:

    Not only did I get spanked when I had it coming but I had to go upstairs to dad’s closet and retrieve the belt for him. Worked on me and worked for me. Raised 3 as a single dad all successful with families and no jail time – nuff said

  12. Claire Rossbach says:

    Way to go, Nick! And as a Grandmother, I never hesitated to say my piece when the grandchildren would get out of control even when their parents were there, like it or not! It worked! And I never lost the respect or love of their parents either.

  13. Shannon says:

    So true!!! Kids now are so spoiled. That girl should have gotten spanked!!

  14. Elaine Loscher says:

    Every child needs some sort of discipline I do not mean beat a kid, no there are so many things other than physical punishment my three kids got both, no beatings just a swift smack on the back side,when they needed it confined to their room without any games TV etc. worked find. Today my son has a son who respects his elders does not talk back etc. why because he was taught the world does not revolve around him. Adults today fear the consequences of disciplining the kids, that is why so many grow up not knowing what is right or wrong, then parents wonder why their kids end up using drugs, etc and end up in jail or worse why they are dead.

  15. Connie Bradish says:

    I got a spanking (not a whipping) exactly twice. That’s all it took for me to understand who was boss, my parents not me. There were rules and limits. If you followed them, you didn’t get in trouble. Easy.

    I would have never acted like that whiny brat girl. That kind of behavior was NOT allowed in my family and nipped in the bud at an early age. This girl is in for some real problems in the future.

    Now days there are not two parents in many homes (70+ % of children are born out of wedlock in black populations for example). Also if parents do spank their kids, the kids have learned to be tattle tales and run to get their parents in trouble. Yes, we are raising a bunch of spoiled brats and no wonder so many of them are out of work. Employers don’t want to put up with the BS. And our country is full of young people who want every thing (house, salary, perks) given to them just because they exist instead of working for it. They are the entitlement generation. And in the REAL world that’s not working.

    Yes, I think America is in trouble. And this is one of the many reasons for our problems.

  16. Rob Fox says:

    Raising children can be tough at times but it is, perhaps, the most important job that most of us will undertake.

    The behavior of the child is a direct reflection the adults in their life and descent into physical violence is just a very poor example to set.

    Is it not to be expected, given the adult examples seen on a daily basis.

  17. Pam says:

    I don’t think kids today are all that different than kids from our generation or previous generations. Some are good, some not-so-good, some are spoiled, etc. Honestly, I get tired of hearing how bad the younger generations are. The twenty-somethings, teenagers and children in my family are all delightful, smart, well behaved people. I am proud to know, and be related to, every single one of them. Old fogeys have been bemoaning “these kids today” for CENTURIES. People have been saying our country is “going to hell in a hand basket” for as long as I can remember, too.

    You said yourself that even the other kids in the campground looked disgusted with this girls behavior. So, you see one spoiled brat and suddenly she represents an entire generation? I think, as with everything in life, it has more to do with what you choose to focus on than with reality. I choose to look for the good and I see examples of that everywhere, in every generation. Heck, if I based my perceptions of the younger generations on my nieces and nephews, and now their kids, I’d have to say they have our generation beat by a country mile!

  18. Jenny Sheppard says:

    That young gal sounded like my granddaughter, my daughter-in-law is so passive and the granddaughter got away with way to much growing up and one day I had the granddaughter with us and she threw a tantrum and was being a royal brat so I sent her to the bedroom for time out. As she was going through the bedroom door she shouted ” I hate you grandma!” I just said ” you’re not with me enough to hate me!” closed the door and left her in there for 15 min and then reopened the door and told her she could come out. Her attitude changed and she said she was sorry for being such a brat. I will not tolerate someone being verbally abusive to me or throwing a tantrum!! I remember spanking my kids, there’s a big difference in spanking and beating them. My mom spanked me and I hold no grudges against her, in fact I respected her more because she made it clear to me to knock off whatever I was doing and behave! I listened and have more respect for her because I was not a spoiled brat!!

  19. Jodie S. says:

    I worked as a counselor prior to retirement seeing lots of kids and teens. Most of the time the problem was what we counselors liked to call “PDD”, for parental deficit disorder.

    First, homes revolved around the children. If there were two parents, they never took time for a date night or a vacation without the kids. Single parents never gave themselves time to themselves out of guilt. Kids need to know that the world doesn’t revolve around them from the day they come home from the hospital.

    As to spanking, when I was working, it was not considered child abuse if it did not leave a mark. Beating children with belts and switches was also frowned upon. In my opinion, a swat on the behind to teach a young child to stay away from the hot stove for example, is okay, but more than that seems counterproductive and a little too violent.

    I found, as a practical matter, that withdrawal of privileges worked best, especially with teenagers, and the less said the better. Had the girl in this post been my daughter, her phone would have disappeared for about a month without me saying anything about it. In fact, she might have had to earn it back by good behavior.

    I agree that positive reinforcement is important, especially when you are trying to encourage new behavior. But what works best is the carrot and the stick together, in my opinion.

  20. Pam says:

    Let’s also not forget that we have been in TWO wars this past decade and the younger generation, girls and boys, stepped up and fought admirably. No draft for this generation, they voluntarily enlisted, knowing full well they would probably end up doing multiple tours in Afghanistan or Iraq. Sometimes I fear for this country, too, but not because of the kids. I’m more worried about the damage our generation has caused, and is still causing, as they sit around watching cable news with its steady diet of fear-mongering and complaining about everything. But then, I look at the younger generations and they give me hope. I think the kids today are amazing!

  21. Steve says:

    The problem, as I see it, is that too many parents are trying to raise GOOD KIDS instead of trying to raise RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.

  22. Selene M. says:

    Way to go, Nick. My kids got a swat on the behind when needed (not a beating), and learned at an early age what “no” meant. Today’s parents want to be their children’s friend and not their parent. They’re afraid they won’t be loved. My grown-up kids now tell me they know why we disciplined as we did, but that doesn’t mean they’re following our example. Unfortunately, they’re more worried about being a friend, also. Sad world, isn’t it?

  23. Linda in NE says:

    I felt the willow switch or cream stick on my butt more than a few times growing up. My kids got their butts paddled too when they wouldn’t behave. We all grew up into normal, law-abiding, self-supporting adults. I know my grandchildren have been spanked and one granddaughter got back-handed by her mother when she opened her mouth one time too many….and she’s fine too. Learned that she can only push her mother so far. Sometimes kids just need to learn to fear their parents a little to keep them in line. The idea is to make them think about what they do before they do it and if the fear of a spanking is what works then so be it. Beating them isn’t necessary and uncalled for.

  24. Allan says:

    Good one Nick. Parents need to set rules and limits. When the limit is crossed discipline of some form needs to take place or the child will be the one in control. I was spanked, switched, paddled when I was young as I got older loss of priveledges or confinment to my room {no tv there} or the house [as in grounding] was a bigger deterent. My parents always upheld each other in discipline and were always consistent. I was disciplined at school a time or two and would receive a second discipline when I got home. They supported the teachers and attended PTA etc. When I broke the neighbors window my dad went with me while I appologized. My dad paid for the window right then but assured the neighbor and me that I would work to pay it back. My daughter shoplifted some candy one time and she took it back, appologized and paid for it anyway after being told about the law and the consequences. Never had it happen again. Temper-tantrums were not tolerated. My grandson is very well mannered and a great help to his mother. It is good to see some beneficial disciplines are passed down through the generations. No beatings but discipline with love.

  25. mike scans says:

    Have two kids, only had to smack one (the boy) when he backtalked his mother. The other at one point threatened to call protective services and report her “abuse” ( a lie). I dialed the phone for her and asked for here house key back, she hung up the phone. That was 15 years ago and they and their kids have worked out just great.

  26. George says:

    I never spared the rod and my boys are just fine.

    In this case the parents are the whole issue. A fourteen year old is a little old for spanking/swatting especially being a girl. If you are still spanking then you have messed up royally up to that point. But back to the parents, this girl didn’t get this way over night and certainly won’t be fixed over night. Just like this time she always gets her way. That is not her fault in any way.

    Somebody could use a good whipping but it isn’t the girl.

  27. Dave Schwab says:

    Nick, who have said it verý well. I drive a school bus as a sub and train new drivers. The parents need the first discipline followed closely by their precious darlin’s. As a country with this mentality we are headed below without the handbasket!

  28. Wayne from PA says:


    I retired from teaching this year. But I remember my first year teaching high school. A student claimed I gave him an F because I didn’t like him because he was black (I worked in an urban school, most of my kids were African-American or Hispanic). In fact, he received an F because he never turned in his work…and he didn’t turn in his work because he never did it.

    So, we had a meeting with his mother in January: Me, an assistant principal, the student, and his mother. After I showed his mother the work he was supposed to be doing and his test grades, he finally admitted that he didn’t do his work and failed all his tests. His mother then back-handed the young man so hard that he went backwards over the chair. I looked at the principal, wondering what we should do. He said nothing. The boy got back in his seat, apologized for not doing his work (at the insistence of his mother) and they left.

    I told the principal, “Gee, I didn’t know what to do when she hit him like that.”

    His replay was, “I give them one…they’re the parent. If she had continued, we’d have to stop her. But one…well he deserved one”.

    That young man finished my class with a “B” by the end of the year. A couple of years later he graduated, received a scholarship, and went on to college. He is now a high school math teacher.

    The principal was right. He deserved one…and it did him a world of good.

  29. Tom Bedlam says:

    Well, I occasionally got a butt whuppin’ when I was bad, and it was clear to me when that would happen. I grew up to be a fairly productive member of society (first Army then university, now I’m a physicist!). I would have been a nightmare if I’d been allowed to do whatever I wanted. There’s a difference between discipline and beatings. I was disciplined when I went past the line and did it intentionally. That often involved a switch or belt. I don’t think I ever had to physically punish my kids but maybe three times. But I did set limits, and stuck to them, and the kids knew where the line was; I was consistent and fair. My boy decided to test it twice, my daughter once. That was all. I hated it. But they are wonderful kids. You sometimes have to do things you’d rather not.

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