Doing It Old School: Victorian Discipline

When people hear the word nanny, they often think of the women in Victorian novels, the governesses and nannies who ruled the nursery. Sometimes they were severe; sometimes soft and understanding. What would Jo Frost think of common discipline methods in Victorian times?

“Spare the rod and spoil the child” was taken quite literally. A cane was the favorite whipping tool both in classrooms and homes, with a whip as second choice. Another popular form of punishment was locking children in their bedrooms without food or water.

Victorian parents claimed to be doing this for the good of their child, as the belief then was that children were born with ‘Original Sin.’ Their spirits must be broken in order for values and morals to be imprinted on a ‘clean’ soul and mind. Not the quite naughty chair, is it? What would Jo say?

Oh, well. Next time your kid complains about having to go to his room, make him read Jane Eyre.

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