Spanking in Reformation Europe

Here is an interesting quote from Steven Ozment’s book When Fathers Ruled.  All punctuation and italics are Ozment’s.

When the unpleasant task of spanking was necessary, always as last resort, the housefather books, summarizing generations of advice on corporal punishment, instructed fathers never to punish a child to the point that he became terrorized, embittered, or moved to anger against a parent; fathers, after all, are not “hangmen.” A proper spanking should be timely, coming on the heels of the infraction; “coolly” administered; calmly explained and justified in advance (a spanking was a rational exercise); and accompanied by profuse assurance of parental love…Spanking a child also required a degree of humility on the part of the parent because its very occurrence attested to the incompleteness, if not also the imperfection, of his child rearing.