Spanking Was Alive And Well In 1914.

Here is a link to a NY Times article on a Mothers' Club that met to discuss myriad motherly matters, not the least of which was dealing out discipline to their disobedient daughters and sons.
StrictSouthernHOH StrictSouthernHOH
41-45, M
4 Responses Jan 7, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing this article

Very interesting article. If only such structure was involved in childrearing today. Thanks for sharing.

It was agreed that "all punishments should be upon the bare skin?" These were the mothers who raised what we now call the "greatest generation." Tends to throw a certain amount of cold water on the arguments of those who consider spanking to be damaging, don't you think?

I disagree with the whole "greatest generation" concept for various reasons, but they surely did grow up with sound disicpline.

Thanks very much for finding this and sharing with the group.

My pleasure. I tried to hyperlink it but it didn't work. I think it's fun to go back through old articles like that and remember a time when mothers were strict and weren't afraid to make their naughty boys or girls cry when needed. It was firm but loving discipline.

I'd agree that it is fun to review old books and articles about how things were done in the past. However, I for one am pleased with out progress away from brutality as a standard. Spankings are one thing, but some of the other recommendations would land a parent in prison today -- and for good reason. I read an online version of "The Governace handbook". This authoritative publication recommended 10 lashes with english canes for 2 and 3 yr olds that didn't finish their meals, or make their beds. That's not "discipline" in any respect unless your a member of the Taliban.

So much depends on your perspective on children. We tend to romanticize them, a la Rousseau and Walt Disney. But previous generations took a much dimmer view. Children were little savages who needed to be civilized by any means necessary. Read a biography of Susannah Wesley, the mother of the great evangelist John. The account of her child rearing methods will give you nightmares. And she was put forward for generations as the ideal wife and mother.

Caning a 2-3 year-old should obviously be abusive. I would avoid any implement until at least about age 5 or later and then only use a spoon or hairbrush. The belt can probably wait awhile longer. A bare bottom hand spanking or even hairbrushing for a defiant preteen or teen seems reasonable to me as long as the number of swats isn't overboard.

It's possible to go to either extreme. I was spanked at a young age but not with anything but mom's hand until school was enough that it hurt and was a viable deterrent.

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