The Good Republican and the Child

Cognitive linguist, George Lakoff, has been looking into the way that conservatives and liberals in the US think. It all come’s down to models of family life he argues. And for a bit of shock value he quotes a number of books on raising children, written by Christian repulicans. So, here’s the worst of ’em

When youngsters display stiff-necked rebellion, you must be willing to respond to the challenge immediately… You have drawn a line in the dirt, and the child has flopped his bony little toe across it. Who is going to win? Who has the most courage? [1]

The spanking should be administered firmly. It should be painful and it should last until the child’s will is broken. It should last until the child is crying, not tears of anger, but tears of a broken will. [2]

Obedience is the foundation for all character. It is the foundation for the home. It is the foundation for a society. It is absolutely necessary…
Obedience is the most necessary ingredient to be required from the child. This is especuially truue for a girl, for she must be obedient all her life… the boy is being trained to be a leader, the girl is being trained to be a follower. [2]

Spare the rod and spoil the child… a number of rods should be kept throughout the house, in your car, and in your purse so that you can apply loving correction immediately.[3]

Cute huh? Those references:

  1. J. Dobson, 1992, The New Dare to Discipline.
  2. J. Hyles, 1972, How to Rear Children.
  3. L. Tomczak, 1982, God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents.