Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parenting back in the day - 1928

One of the January Mommas mentioned that she came across a very interesting book on parenting that is almost a century old.  Reading bits and pieces of James Watson's Psychological Care of Infant & Child (1928) made me wonder if the baby boomer/hippie generation was a backlash against this sort of emotionally detached parenting.

Here are a few snippets for your reading pleasure:
  • There is a sensible way of treating children...never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap.  If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night.  Shake hands with them in the morning.
  • Children should be awakened at 6:30 A.M. for orange juice and a pee.  Play 'till 7:30.  Breakfast should be at 7:30 sharp; at 8:00 they should be placed on the toilet for twenty minutes or less 'til bowel movement is complete.  Then follow up with a verbal report.  The child would then play indoors 'till 10 A.M., after 10:00 outside, a short nap after lunch, then "social play" with others.  In the evening a bath, quiet play until bedtime at 8:00 sharp.
  • Won't you then remember, when you are tempted to pet your child, that mother love is a dangerous instrument?  An instrument which may inflict a never-healing wound, a wound which may make infancy unhappy, adolescence a nightmare, an instrument which may wreck your adult son or daughter's vocational future and their chances for marital happiness.
I did some research on this guy and it turns out that he argued that institutions like the Boy Scouts and the YMCA could lead to homosexuality.  Girls, in his opinion, were even in more danger because they held hands, kissed, and slept in the same bed at pajama parties.  Yikes.  This guy sounds like a barrel of fun.
 
Even worse...he concluded that mothers that smothered their babies with love did so for sexual reasons.  His reasoning was, why else would mothers kiss their children on the lips?  He insisted that excessive affection would make children forever dependent and emotionally unstable. ::rolls eyes:: 
 
Sadly, Watson's harsh parenting style resulted in depressed and unstable children of his own.  Two of the four attempted suicide multiple times during adulthood (one succeeded).
 
I think I will strive to do the opposite of everything that this sad excuse for a human being recommended.  No waking up Carina at 6:30 AM for orange juice and a pee.  I think she will be grateful.  ;)
 
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4 words of geekdom:

Amanda Westerlund said...

This is so crazy!!! So this is the parenting philosophy that raised Grandmother?? lol

Mama G said...

LOL @ 'Grandmother'! Yes, I believe it was. Doesn't that sort of explain a lot??

Eliza said...

Um, wow. That is pure insanity. Sad for his children, especially!

Mama Spaghetti said...

That is absolutely crazy. Except that I do with I could schedule when my little guy had his bowel movements. Lol

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