Karen sent me this wise tome a while ago - not sure the occasion - but it has been floating around the house since then. I disgorged it from some pile of junk recently, and as the girl has a shine for tiny books she can carry around in her tiny purses with a bunch of rocks and Polly Pockets and whatnot, my husband and I keep finding it and reading aloud to one another. (My favorite of these tiny books are these bitty Soviet poetry books I brought back from Minsk when I visited there in the early 90s. Sorry, Belorussian poets, for your ignoble treatment as reading material for Barbie.)
Anyway, Richard read out the following passage:
Don't punish a child too harshly. A punishment should be as mild as it can be. Small children may be sent to bed without supper or tied in an arm-chair, or sent out of the room and forbidden to return, &c.
Which, what'll you know! I'd been doing already, so I feel pretty golden. Thanks, Victorian era parenting book!
Anyway, pretty fun stuff, partially because half the advice is bananas, and half of it is completely sensible, much like parenting books now. The only thing that changes in the Mommy Wars is particulars, and we would do best to laugh at most parenting tracts, no matter what the era.
You're not going to tie to me to a chair though, right? Being my daughter's response.