Help! I Used To Spank the Boy I Baby-Sat. Like All the Time.

Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 31 2013 6:15 AM

Regrets of a Spanking Sitter

I was cruel to the kid I once baby-sat, and now the guilt is tormenting me.

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Groped,
Yet another letter in which the description of his wonderfulness is followed by a butt. Your account is so odd. Obviously you would not have moved in with this guy if you felt you needed to aim a Taser at him every time he came near. The story of his actions following the news of a young woman’s death makes me think your boyfriend needs a check-up because bizarre changes in personality can have a physical cause. If he comes back with a clean bill of health, then I don’t see what’s left for you but to pack up and leave someone who’s lewd and crude and making you hate him. It’s one thing to have your beloved think you’re endlessly attractive. It’s another to find yourself wanting to turn around and spit in his face just so you can get a few minutes of peace while you brush your teeth.


Dear Prudence,
My wife and I have a dog that is getting on in age and has recently been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in less than two years, meaning her chemo has not worked. We have to meet with the oncologist who’s been treating her, but my inclination is that it's time to stop fighting the inevitable. My wife, on the other hand, has had this dog since before we met and can't bring herself to even consider letting her die. But more treatment will wreck us financially (as it did the previous two times). I love the dog, too, but I love my wife and kids more and our resources are being drained in a losing battle. I am hoping the oncologist agrees with me, but if not, what do I do?

—Dog Problems


Dear Dog,
Whether or not your wife can accept the finality of your dog’s prognosis, in short order your dog will be dead. Your wife knows the canine actuarial tables, and preventing your kids from going to college in a useless, painful effort to extend a terminal animal’s life is only benefitting the bank account of the veterinarian. Tell your wife you are opposed to continuing your dog’s suffering, and say the same thing, firmly, to the oncologist. Let’s hope this doctor recognizes her duty to her patient and her clients.


More Dear Prudence Columns

Sins of the Father: I think my dad has a secret love child. Should I confront him?” Posted Nov. 10, 2011.
 “The Monotony of Monogamy: I married my first sexual partner, and now I’m itching to cheat.” Posted Nov. 3, 2011.
 “Indecent Proposal: My colleagues are framing our boss for harassment. Should I expose their evil plot?” Posted Oct. 27, 2011.
Bye-Bye Baby: My sister is making a huge mistake by placing her child for adoption.” Posted Oct. 20, 2011.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

Morbid Memento?: Dear Prudence advises a woman whose fiance is too attached to his dead sister-in-law—during a live chat at” Posted Nov. 14, 2011.
 “Sniffing Out Trouble: Dear Prudence advises a woman who caught her fiance's dad in a sleazy act—in a live chat at” Posted Nov. 7, 2011.
 “Halloween Hangover: Dear Prudence advises a dad whose buddies hit the bottle too hard on the trick-or-treat trail—in a live chat at” Posted Oct. 31, 2011.
Sleeping With the Frenemy: Dear Prudence offers advice on confessing to an affair with a BFF's husband—during a live chat at” Posted Oct. 24, 2011.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But… What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.