Today’s post is all about disciplining your Little and creating an effective form of punishment to modify behavior to achieve a positive outcome. It can be difficult to find a form of punishment that works on a Little. Some of us, myself included, actually relish the feeling of an “over the knee” (OTK) spanking or the use of a crop on our behind. The tiny bit of masochist within us yearns for the dance between pain and pleasure. Therefore, corporal punishment isn’t an effective tool to use to modify behavior. The goal that every dominant should have when instituting discipline is to:
- Correct your Little’s negative actions with discipline to nudge them towards healthier patterns of behavior.
- Implement a form of discipline that is healthy and not harmful or triggering in any way.
- Push your submissive to want to obey you so that you only use punishments sparingly and they remain effective in the long run.
Now let’s take a look at how to achieve these goals:
I. Know the Behavior and Goals that You Want for Your Little Beforehand:
I always remind dominants who come asking me questions such as, “how do I help my sub to be the best that he/she can be?” that they have to know their goals. Sit down with your Little and have them fill out a relationship questionnaire. Then discuss what goals they want to achieve this year. Do they want to lose weight? If so, then you can set rules for them to maintain a healthy diet. Do they want to become stronger? Set rules for them to workout and lift weights several times a week. The focus shouldn’t be on punishment so much as it should be on guiding your Little to reach their full potential with your help!
However, that said, a Little will break the rules every now and then. It’s only natural for people to “mess up”. When that occurs, you (the caregiver), will need to have a punishment plan in place to regain control of the situation, re-establish dominance, and help your Little to focus and get back on the right track. Consult with your Little about what punishments you want to use before you implement them into your relationship! You will need to know if they have any triggers or past trauma. Always get their consent to use a punishment on them! For some, a spanking is effective and will correct their behavior. For others, a quiet mat or “time out” to calm down is more beneficial and soothing.
Personally, I can play the role of a “stubborn Little” to my Daddy quite well. But he knows me well enough that even if I say, “no spanks!” to him… if he were to spank me, I would just enjoy it. So, whenever I break a rule (which admittedly isn’t often) he will put me in time out to be quiet. I HATE being left alone on the bed as punishment. But it is effective because it helps me to calm down and think about how to behave in a better way next time.
II. What to Do with a Brat:
Ahhh…. bratting. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “bratting” is when a Little intentionally misbehaves to their dominant to get attention. They don’t care if it’s negative or positive attention so long as their dominant is reacting to them. I have a major issue with bratting for several reasons:
- It undermines the authority of the dominant by directly acting up against them.
- It’s immature to intentionally break the rules that your dominant sets forth and can be highly disrespectful in a D/s dynamic.
- It indicates a fundamental relationship issue if the submissive needs to brat to get the attention of their dominant. If a submissive is getting plenty of healthy, loving attention regularly from the dominant, why would they need/want to brat and act out? They wouldn’t.
Now getting back to the topic of what to do if your submissive is acting out and bratting for attention. Similarly to a small child acting out for attention, it is important not to reward the submissive for their behavior. In fact, I would recommend that the dominant tell their Little that what they are doing is wrong. Then quietly ignore your Little until they calm down. The dominant must remain in control of the situation at all times and not allow for the power to shift when the Little is throwing a temper tantrum.
III. When Punishment Goes Too Far:
There are several indicators that a punishment has crossed the line into abuse and has gone way too far. Here are several “red flags”:
- When the dominant punishes the Little in a way that is not consensual and agreed upon in the contract or a prior conversation.
- When the Little is crying and apologizing but the dominant refuses to forgive and nurture their submissive.
- When the dominant leaves any permanent marking on their Little’s body to “teach them a lesson”.
- When the dominant uses harsh, derogatory, racial, etc. verbal language to put down, chastise, or degrade their Little into following their rules.
- When the dominant “stone-walls” or completely ignores their Little to try and correct their behavior.
- When the dominant threatens the Little to cut off the relationship if they don’t correct their behavior.
All of these “red flags” (and more!) are forms of abuse that sometimes occur in toxic D/s relationships. Littles are people who are more sensitive than most other forms of submission and therefore require gentle language from the dominant even when receiving a punishment.
Pro Tip: If you (the dominant) cannot control your temper when implementing a punishment to your Little, don’t be a dominant. You must always be in control and be of sound body and mind when instituting punishment and discipline!
Personally, my Daddy and I have been practicing Compassionate Communication for a while as a couple. We decided to institute this form of communication into our D/s relationship to create our own style of Gentle Domination and Submission. By listening to each others needs instead of being quick to respond, we have opened up the lines of communication much more deeply, and have nurtured a space that allows us to be very open and transparent with each other.
IV. Establishing Rules to Minimize Punishments:
It is important for dominants to establish rules in such a way that Littles will want to behave and follow their daddy or mommy. External rewards are a great way to achieve this. Is it bribery? Well, yes, to a degree it is. But like the old adage says, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” so too, will you get your Little to behave if you dangle a reward in front of them. For example: you can tell your Little, “if you clean up your room and do your chores, Daddy will take you to the movies”. Or, “if you workout this week, daddy will take you to the toy store to get a new plushie”. If money is tight, try rewarding them with more special daddy-little time. You can shop at the dollar store to make a sticker chart and keep track of them obeying the rules, all while making it fun for them through the use of pretty stickers.
Aim to get your Little to behave and follow the rules. Create rules that support their own goals. Most of the time Littles want to behave and achieve their goals, they just need a dominant to push them along the way. This is where you (the dominant) play an effective and rewarding role. By helping your Little succeed, you can feel great inside in knowing that you have helped to shape who they are. 🙂
Alright, that’s it from me, my friends. I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for the next topic, and until then, have a wonderful day and keep on smiling!