"The discipline of the family, in those days, was of a far more rigid kind than now"
moral improvement
Public DomainThe Spanking - Credit: Francois Claudius Compte-Calix

Since the Puritans believed that we are all born into a state of sin, children — as yet unexposed to the corrective influence of God’s wrath — were particularly troublesome creatures. The main task of parenting was to render them obedient and fearful by breaking their wills. Regular whippings, admonishments and threats of abandonment and castration were all considered good practice. Those who failed to be broken by these cruelties faced an even worse fate: execution was mandated for intractable or rebellious children of sixteen and above.