From Chapter 9 of Lloyd deMause’s The Origins of War in Child Abuse:
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After half a century of primary source research into the history of childrearing, I and over a hundred other childhood historians have been unable to find a single mother who did not badly beat and torture their children prior to modern times. I have long offered a prize to anyone who could find actual evidence of just one mother prior to the 18th century who would not today be thrown into jail for badly abusing their children.
The occasional reformers, like Saint Anselm, who sometimes questioned whether whipping children “day and night” was wise, did not raise any children themselves because they were ascetic. Despite the fact that Jesus nowhere says children should be beaten, Christians taught that He wanted them to beat the sins out of them continuously, from birth. Actually, the main reference Jesus makes to children was “suffer little children to come unto me … and he laid his hands on them — that is, he exorcised the bad spirits out of them.”
The central rule of Christians toward children is simply never to give the child anything it wants.