Discipline is not necessarily something a "mean" mother does.

In reality, isn't discipline at its best a form of Love?

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Don't Blame Mother

One Day You'll Thank Her

no one claims that `stern` is fun at the time

but one day you might very well THANK her

thanks to Bobbie for this
(and handmaidens.org)

"The Meanest Mother in the World"

I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate
candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others
had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can
guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.
But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two
brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd
think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and
where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that
we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly
ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each
time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was
used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you
imagine someone actualy hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now
you can begin to see how mean she really was.

We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always
wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because
she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we
have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?

The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night
and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our
friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break
the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make
beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid
awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.
By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life
became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for
us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates
and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a
girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really
there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a
boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were
dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused
to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you
dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie
in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends
had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home
from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends'
report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for
failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for
nothing less than ugly black marks.

As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put
to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind
us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the
pleasure of being a drop-out.

My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four
children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us
have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my
brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we
have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our
mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to
take part in a riot, burn draft cards, burn the flag, and a
million and one other things that our friends did.

She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.
Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three
children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my
children call me mean.

Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.

written by Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

DISCLAIMER: this page does not support abuse in any way, shape, or form. However, we believe that children need and deserve mothers (and fathers) who love, care for, and guide them -- sometimes even "jolting" them back on track (but always with care and wisdom) now and then.

bobbie's note:

Yes, I am the author of the "Meanest Mother." There are many, many copies on the internet, a lot of them revised editions.

It was first published in the Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic newspaper, in 1967, and again in Guideposts, a magazine, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. It has a copyright.

I never mind anyone using it, non-profit, as long as they use the original and my name as author. The only thing that I ever asked is that people use the original and my name as author. People have shortened it, added onto it, edited, modified and some have even claimed to be the author.

It seems to have taken on a life of its own, and I have spent many years trying to keep it corrected. I wrote this because my three children thought I was such a mean mom. I never intended to have it published, but friends and family encouraged me to submit it for publication. I have heard many stories as to how people received it. I suppose the one that touched my heart the most, was the lady who said it was read at a dinner after her mother's funeral.

Thank you for asking for permission. Most people don't ask. Thank you,

~ Bobbie Pingaro

no nonsense mothering
Tough Parenting MADE
the Greatest Generation

Should Parents Have High Expectations for their Children?

There are kissing mothers and there are scolding mothers, but it
is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.

(Pearl Buck)

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother:

Chinese parenting is one of the most difficult things I can think of. You have to be hated sometimes by someone you love and who hopefully loves you, and there's just no letting up, no point at which it suddenly becomes easy. Just the opposite, Chinese parenting -- at least if you're trying to do it in America, where all the odds are against you -- is a never-ending uphill battle, requiring a 24-7 time commitment, resilience, and guile. [Amy Chua]

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word -- excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

(Pearl Buck)

Did You Have a Mean Mother , Too

It held up Dad's Pants
sometimes MEAN is not mean

The Old Fashion Way


*Links, Kinks, Pictures :: to Inspire or Amuse*
Visit DRAMA TIME: Gettin the picture
OR drop by `Tough Love Helped Me`
OR try Penance : good for the soul
OR mull the `spanko` wars
OR stroll memory lane
OR see larry's tail
OR visit the strap
OR cf old & new

Pearl S. Buck (China): There are kissing mothers and there are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. —Isaiah 40:31