Today Dodgy Perth answers that difficult question: Is it okay to hit 17 year old girls? In the 1920s The Mirror used to run an advice column. Readers would send in their problems and the following week other readers would offer their opinions.
Today, we offer a problem and advice from 1928:
Up to what age should a father spank his daughter?
I have a daughter who is nearly 18, and lately I have had to speak to her several times regarding the late hours she keeps but she takes no notice.
I am now seriously considering asking her father to apply the slipper but I am afraid he would refuse on the grounds that she is now too old to be spanked.
There does not seem to be any other way to enforce parental authority. What should I do?
Yours etc, ‘Mother of Five,’ (East Perth).
The answers were consistent.
‘Mother of Five’ has a perfect right to ask her husband to spank her seventeen-year-old daughter if she won’t do what she is told and refuses to correct her bad habits.
Spanking isn’t a matter of age; it’s a matter of common sense and girls should be spanked until they have sufficient common sense to be able to get along without the strap.
Yours, ‘Twenty-one,’ (Subiaco).
Another mother wrote:
I take the opportunity of giving the lady a little advice on this most important subject, which as far as spanking children is concerned, is as old as the hills.
If the girl of nearly 18 years old did not do as I told her and she treated me with so much contempt I would not go to her father to perform the operation of spanking her.
I should take the pleasure of getting a cane about 18 inches long and put her across my knee, and use it to such an extent that it would sting and hurt, and give her something to remember.
Don’t think she is too old to punish at 18, don’t hesitate about it, and you will get the respect all the sooner from your daughter.
Yours etc., ‘Another Mother.’
Anyway. So now you know.