You are a 'fifties' father, one of a minority who doesn't spank. You don't hold any strong views about it, its just that you've never thought it necessary.
You are proud of your eleven year old son, Robert, he's a good kid, bright and lively and you have a good relationship with him. Rather tall and gangly for his age he is academic rather than sporty and will, next term, be moving up to grammar school. He is full of innocent mischief but he responds well to admonition and when he does overstep the boundaries a brief grounding and a sheaf of chores is all that is necessary to pull him back into line.
Today though there is clearly something wrong; he came in from school with none of his natural ebullience, grunted in reply to your greeting before going straight to his room. When you called him down to eat he was morose, ate his food and went straight back upstairs. You exchanged looks with your wife, gave him a few minutes and then followed.
You find him sitting on his bed just staring at the wall. You sit beside him. "Something's bothering you Rob. Would you like to talk about it?"
He shakes his head, but starts to tear up.
You put your arm round him, pull him in close and as you wait you can sense a slight tremor in his body.
It was a while before he managed to speak - "I got the slipper today for the first time, I only got two but they really hurt and I cried."
He turned to look up at you and the shame tumbled out "The other kids don't cry after just two and they were laughing at me in the playground and calling me a big baby." You hugged him tightly as the tears flowed. After a while he went on and you detected signs of panic in his voice.
"Tom and Pete" (his best friends) "never cry and they say I did 'cos I'm not used to it. They both get spanked by their dads, bare bum too, and Pete sometimes gets the strap. They said if I'd been used to it I wouldn't have cried." He looked up at you "Dad what if I get it again and cry again? and then when I go to the big school I'm bound to get the cane, they say everybody does. They'll all laugh at me if I'm a cry baby."
You pull him close "Are to trying to say you want me to start spanking you? - Just to toughen you up?" you murmur.
"Dunno!" ..................... "S'pose so," he choked on the words
"A real spanking, especially bare bum would hurt you a lot more than a couple of whacks with the slipper. It would be horrible for you - and for me. Is that how you really want me to punish you?"
There were a few moments of silence before a hesitant little voice asked "Would you think I was a cry baby if I cried when you were spanking me?"
"Good heavens NO. I always cried buckets when your granddad was spanking me."
More silence, then - "Did you cry when you got the cane at school?"
"Not in class - but we never got more than three, anything worse got you sent to the head. It was a point of honour that we boys tried to pretend it didn't really hurt when we got it in class. Only the babies cried. I only got sent up to the Head once and I got six of the best in his study. That time I cried."
"Poor Dad" he murmured into your chest as you felt his grip tighten.
He held on tightly for a while and then suddenly pulled away to look you in the eye.
"Will you do it then Dad? - - Please?