Author Topic: Hyde founder Joe Gauld: "Slap May Be Just What Child Needs"  (Read 389 times)

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Offline katfacehead89

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Hyde founder Joe Gauld: "Slap May Be Just What Child Needs"
« on: August 04, 2021, 01:23:18 PM »
"Slap May Be Just What Child Needs" by Hyde School founder and then-headmaster Joe Gauld. Originally published in Maine Sunday Telegram's column "Courage to Grow", July 8th, 1973, which later was published into a book. It's pro-hitting kids, especially girls!

Should you ever slap a kid? How about a man teacher slapping a girl student?

I think the place of such "physical" education in American childrearing is badly misunderstood. Most people who hit kids do it for the wrong reasons - like out of their own frustrations. Most people who don't hit kids, don't do it for the wrong reasons - like out of mistaken compassion.

"Spanking", at best, has a mixed acceptance in our society, but slapping a kid is definitely out. As one educator recently said to me: "If I had to hit a kid to get the message across, I would consider myself a failure."

Yet, with this seemingly "Christian" attitude in raising kids, assaults, rapes and murders mark us as the most violent society in the world today.
We do sean to have a hang-up on physical contact. We may not slap kids, but neither do we show physical affection. If a father and son embrace or kiss, we know their roots are still in the "Old Country".

A parent may believe his reasons for not slapping a child are compassionate, but the child may receive this message: "Your attitude deserves a good smack, but I won't do it because It's personally offensive and too much of a sacrifice to my principals". In other words, "I don't core that much." To answer that educator: 1 slapped my son once because I had failed three times to stop a selfishness in him. 1 had failed, frankly, because he learned it from me. But I cared too much to let any fault hurt his best, so I slapped him hard without a trace of anger. Malcolm must have known how hard it was for me, for he never made that mistake again. That was my first "slap" and it taught me something about true giving.

I have since had to slap other kids, for many parents have this anti-physical hang-up, particularly with girls. I can't like to, but I now have the confidence and the concern to give of myself to kids than most people are willing to give. But I just about gave my limit recently to Sally.

Sally was sent to me for an interview as sort of a "last resort." The Hyde approach seems generally successful, so we were often thought of in difficult cases, and Sally's was a beaut. She had taken complete command of her house and on the side had done in several psychiatrists. I hope the reader will remember these facts if he finds my methods with Sally too extreme. A surgeon can amputate a leg without blinding an eye if he knows it is necessary to save a patient's life. I knew if I couldn't "amputate" Sally's attitude, and she was headed for a hospital, reform school, or worse. The wrong attitude in a kid left unchecked will do exactly that.

One of my teachers gave Sally the interview. The Hyde interview is an in-depth session that requires both the student and parents to take a deep look at themselves and their attitudes. Sally quickly showed she wanted none of that, so shortly the teacher had to drag Sally and her parents into my office.

After several questions, she made the same clear to me. And when I tried to turn my attention to Sally's mother to tell her what she ought to do about it, Sally "made it clear" she didn?t want that either.

"Sally, you'd better understand several things. You may not want my help, but your mother has traveled over four hundred miles for my advice, so just sit quietly and listen, and when I finish, you can leave."

In response, she ignored me.

"Sally, your remarks insult me, your parents, and teenagers. I have a high regard for 16 year olds and you are going to act like one in ray office. I don't let little brats like you insult them with your six year old behavior in my presence."

She was slightly shaken, but undaunted.

"Listen, Sally, I'm not your parents and I'm telling you either change that attitude around me or I will jam it down your throat."
She left in a huff, slamming things around while startled visitors looked on. But she was shocked when she found me right behind her.

The next hour would have done justice to the Keystone Cops. I would get her apology, but she was so used to winning, she couldn't resist getting in the last word. During this battle, we had crawled in and out of her family's car twice (I got in before she could lock it), I slapped her three times in response to her screaming at me, and chased her once around the grounds when she tried to get away from me. We ended up at the Duck Pond and in her raging frustration, she let go with a well-turned obscenity.

With that, I picked her up, while her arms flailed away, and said, with what little breath I had left, "You either apologize or you're going in the pond." She knew I meant it and finally relented. Sally returned and sat somewhat quietly while I finished talking to her mother.

I don't know if I'll ever see Sally again, but at least I have given her one positive experience that tells her the reason her life is a mess, is not Sally; it's just Sally's attitude. That will give her a fighting chance to grow up in a society that presently can be a jungle for a teenager.

But I doubt it will work. Later, Mrs. S. was cold on the phone: "Yes, I asked you to try, but thinking about it since, I think your methods were extreme. You were irresponsible to say my attitude was the real problem just because my son is in a psychiatric hospital."

"Mrs. S., do you think your kids were born with those attitudes? You..." She hung up on me.


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« Last Edit: December 14, 2021, 02:34:06 PM by katfacehead89 »