During the earlier years of the practice of pediatrics as a specialty it was entirely natural for the main emphasis to fall on the physical care of the child, since with few exceptions only sick children were brought to the pediatrician. Then too, in that not so distant day, parents had fewer problems than they face today. As yet no doubt had arisen in their minds concerning their absolute authority over their children. While "Spare the rod and spoil the child" has been found to have limitations, it has the great virtue of simplicity and produced results in many generations of men that may well cause us to give some earnest thought to the values of parental authority as a sound teaching method even though we have found better means for its exhibition. It is said the Dutch early discovered that a blow on the bottom of a child let
SWEET C, JACOBUS LR, STAFFORD HE. THE CHILD-PARENT RELATIONSHIP: THE CHILD IN THE FAMILY. JAMA. 1941;116(1):38–43. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820010040010
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