Pioneer Parenting: The Hot New Parenting Style You Have To Try

pioneer lady man handsListen, everyone needs a parenting style, okay? Babies are something akin to artisinal crafting endeavors or really expensive handbags, and if you don’t subscribe very rigidly to one style or another, you might forget that and start treating them like little humans instead, which is unacceptable.

The problem, of course, is that there are too many parenting styles that go too soft on kids, like attachment parenting, yes parenting, and duct-tape parenting. This is also unacceptable.

Nowadays parents go way too easy on their children, which is a mistake. This is why we need to look back in time to take our parenting cues; for instance, why don’t we hit our kids more, a la 1950s-1980s style? We all turned out okay!

But why stop there? Let’s really commit. I say let’s go back to 1843, where men were men, women were men, and everyone died of dysentery. I’m calling it Pioneer Parenting©, and trust me, you want in on this.

1.Pray that your womb is bless’d many times over. Oft times little babes will sadly perish on the trail, and thou will need extra hands to till the Western soil. If your good husband balks in his marital duties paddle him roundly.

2. When your first young babe is born, rub his body with a goodlie amount of trail soil and buffalo dung, disguising his scent from the coyotes. To test the willingness of his lungs, thou must paddle him roundly.

3. If your babe is old enough to walk, he is surely old enough to fell a sickly bison. If he fails to bring home supper, paddle him roundly to ensure he will not become spoilt and rely overmuch on his parents for food.

4. If your children should refuse to help you forde the river crossing by carrying their belongings atop their heads, it is vital that you paddle them roundly.

5. When you reach the end of your treacherous journey and lay claim to your land, gather the little babes around you and if they have not contracted dysentery, paddle them roundly. This will ensure that they will not be tempted to contract dysentery.


via IGN

6. If your child has already succumbed to temptation, bleed their ill-humours with a goodlie amount of leeches. Should they balk, thou must paddle them roundly.

7. A simple piece of slate will suffice to teach your children their letters around the hearth of your sod house. If your child speaks out of turn, or misspells a word, thou should paddle them quite roundly.

8. If thou hast failed to paddle your children roundly, they may become spoilt, and ask for extravagances like sack-dolls stuffed with rags or stick-and-hoop toys. If you must give in to such requests, at least take these toys away when your babe becomes an adult, within a fortnight of their seventh birthday. Then paddle them roundly.

9. Once your boy child becomes a man, should he refuse a sizable dowry when marrying a comely, wide-hipped lass, thou must paddle him roundly.

10. If your daughter begins to beribbon her hair and wear a harlot’s rouge after her first blood, this is a surely a sign that she is The Red Whore of Babylon and you must paddle her roundly.

(Image:Jay Boivin /Shutterstock)

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You can reach this post's author, Theresa Edwards, on twitter.
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  • Guest

    Should I paddle them roundly before I paddle them roundly or after paddling them roundly?

    • Ingrid

      Both, just to be safe.

    • brebay

      pssh, after. duh.

  • Lindsay
    • scooby23

      Everything’s a paddlin’ in thee old pioneer countree.

    • DanaLaneybop

      Allen responded I am shocked that some one can earn $7025 in 1 month on the
      computer . Read Full Report F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

    • scooby23

      May I give you a paddlin’ for being a scammy spammer?

    • KiraHaxellepa

      Josiah . although Jacqueline `s stori is surprising,
      last week I bought themselves a Chrysler from having made $5060 thiss month
      and-in excess of, 10/k last-month . it’s realy the easiest-work I have ever
      done . I started this 4 months ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in
      at least $78 per-hour . why not look here C­a­s­h­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

    • Allyson_et_al

      You’d better believe that’s a paddlin’!

  • Eve Vawter


  • EmmaFromÉire

    If, while paddling your children roundly, your paddling hand becomes all round tired, make sure to save that grievance for another round of paddling them roundly.

  • shel

    I didn’t realize the pioneers were so into spanking… KINKY ;)

    • Theresa Edwards

      googling spank images=not recommended if you are at starbucks

  • Sailor Fruitpunch

    So much delightful paddling going on here, I must try it. Starting with my good husband. For science. ;D

    • Kitsune

      I think a paddling would get my marital duties started for sure.

    • Psych Student

      For science!!

  • KSo

    My children are 4 and 6 and have yet to fell a sickly bison :( There will be a paddlin’ tonight!

    • Theresa Edwards


  • Oreo

    One should open a store selling PPPs- Pioneer Parenting Paddles.

  • Bethany Ramos

    This is the funniest post of all time. Henceforth, I will always paddle roundly.

    • Guest

      Agree!! I love it. I can’t believe more people haven’t commented, it’s hilarious! I’ve read it a few times and it just gets funnier.

    • Eve Vawter

      No lie, I read this again at like 10:30 last night and I was crying I was laughing so hard.

    • whiteroses

      “Paddling roundly”= awesomeness

  • Elisa Probert

    I would rather paddle them SQUARELY! I know, I’m just a badass.

    • Theresa Edwards

      that’s a paddlin, elisa

    • Elisa Probert

      Bring it! I’m pretty sure my booty is padded enough to stand it. *shakes rump*

  • Ieishah


  • Greta Young

    Oh man, so glad this is a humor piece… I was half-expecting to see an article about the survivalist/homesteading movement and parents doing things like making their own hand-stuffed mattresses to avoid toxic poisonous chemicals or weird religous types sewing pioneer-era girls’ playclothes because nothing is modest enough these days.

    • Ellie

      I’m always so confused by “homesteaders”. I feel like they’ve been reading too much “Little House on the Prairie”. Actual pioneers had insanely hard, short lives that was filled mostly with work. I worked at a pioneer village as a “pioneer” and it was one of the most physically intense jobs I’ve had. And that was just keeping up one house with one of two people in it for a work day. Then I was able to get in my air conditioned car and go home.

    • Greta Young

      As am I. Most of the people I know who claim to be really into the movement are suburban moms whose husbands have lucrative careers, affording them the luxury of staying at home to tout the benefits of cast iron cookware, backyard gardening, chicken-raising, and canning/food preservation on facebook all day. (Just like the pioneers did right?!!!!) I have yet to meet an actual “homesteader” who is out there farming, raising livestock, and building themselves a cabin with their bare hands. Maybe because those people already exist, and they’re called farmers, ranchers, and carpenters? I dunno. PBS did a reality show several years ago, called Frontier House, where they dropped a few families into a pioneer lifestyle to see if they could cut it, and it was pretty eye-opening.

    • 2Well

      My mom loves her one cast iron skillet. Canning was always a family affair for us. How many summers I spent stringing green beans all day, or chopping tomatoes and cucumbers.

      Now I just steal cans from her when I visit.

  • Williwaw

    “Sickly bison” is exactly the sound my kid makes when he doesn’t get what he wants!

    • Allyson_et_al

      What a coincidence– it’s also the sound I made while in labor!

  • Dixie

    I’m sensing a trend here…..

  • LadyClodia×216/legacy/clip/p00f4f37.jpg?nodefault=true

    Can we go even further back in time and make them sit on spikes?

  • scooby23

    But which kind of paddle shouldth I use for these situations? Shouldth I use the wooden paddle for more petty crimes, like not fetching a pail of goat’s milk for supper? But what shouldth I use for despicable crimes, such as becoming the village harlot? Shouldth I forgo the paddle for my husband’s horse whip? Or is there a more painful paddle than one of wooden body?

  • Frances “Librle” Locke

    Wait, so I shouldn’t paddle them roundly?

    Also, look at that little hussy in the last photo, wearing red like a little pioneer Jezebel!

  • Kay_Sue

    So when can I expect your book? I’m going to need a hardcopy to read around the hearth, you know. No internet in the sod house.

    • tSubh Dearg

      The best thing about the book version is that you can then use it as toilet paper when you’ve finished reading it.

    • Kay_Sue

      Most useful parenting book ever.

  • CW

    My grandma used to tell stories about her grandparents moving via covered wagon in what was then Mexico and now is southern Arizona. One time, her aunt Sadie (one of the youngest of 8 or 9 kids) accidentally got left behind when the wagons moved on, and it took her grandparents THREE DAYS to get back to where they had left her. When they found aunt Sadie, she was sitting there happily munching on ants. Another time, Geronimo attacked the wagon train and her family was able to hide but some of the other travelers got massacred.

    • Eve Vawter

      This is AMAZING.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Pioneer kids are way cooler than modern kids. No way is a modern kid going to be able to survive, alone, for three days. Munching on ants! That is pretty amazing (and I totally would have died of exposure or something).

    • CrimsonWife

      The wagon train was following some sort of river or creek so there was water for her to drink (probably the biggest concern in the Southwest in terms of surviving for 3 days alone). But they are very lucky that she didn’t drown in the creek or get eaten by a coyote or bitten by a rattlesnake or something.

  • SarahJesness

    This is so lame. I say start basing parenting styles on what animals do, like that chick who kept the placenta because she thought that’s what chimps do. Not that I recommend choosing chimps, unless you’re a fan of violent warfare. Choose a species base on what you value. Toughness and independence? The tiger! Clear and established social hierarchy? The lion! If you’re into long-term survival of your bloodline, there are many great sharks to choose from. Sharks have been around since like, before dinosaur times.

    Personally I recommend the majestic orca for anyone. They have some of the strongest family bonds in the animal kingdom, and what’s more, different orca groups have different lifestyles, so there is some variation to choose from. You can choose to hunt and live off salmon, or sharks, or stingrays or large whales, and so much more! You can choose to be resident and stick to a smaller area, or be transient and travel a large area. Or you can be offshore and keep yourselves away from other people, for more family bonding and shark-eating.

    • Ingrid

      I think shark is a good animal to emulate re: parenting. Whoever survives the murder-fest in my belly gets born!

    • Eve Vawter

      I demand you email this to me in feature format post haste for our next parenting style article. NOW. (No, but really, this is hilarious and please do)

    • SarahJesness

      … I’ll totally get right on that tonight!

    • Elizabeth Licata

      There should be a book on Guinea Pig Parenting. It’s based on when my guinea pig had six babies even though guinea pigs only have two nipples, so they would all crowd under her at once to get to them, lifting her up off her tiny guinea pig legs, and then she would just body surf around her enclosure all day on top of her babies like a little mosh pit.

    • Allyson_et_al

      I want to see a video of this so badly.

  • Cruelty Cupcake

    Someone should change their name to The Red Whore of Babylon

  • TomokoHowse

    Parent are making a try to adopt a new parenting style.

  • Effervescent Pheasant

    Don’t they know, “paddlin” is for grown ups? Geezh… Fifty shades of trail dirt…

  • DeliciousIrony

    I won’t lie. I’m sitting here cross stitching that sampler. It’s a favorite quote in my house and I’m amazed I didn’t think of it before :D

  • Julia Sonenshein

    I think I might be The Red Whore of Babylon

    • Julia Sonenshein

      Also I spit take’d at least twice.

  • Caitlin Burrows

    To make sure your daughters have the correct skills as housewives, make her needlepoint number nine. If it’s a mess, paddle her roundly and make her do it over again.

  • Caitlin Burrows

    I remember the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel try to live like pioneers. My favorite part was the scene where she takes bread out of the oven.

  • Psych Student

    I have a filthy mind, so when it started out that the husband should get a paddling, I just thought that sounded like delightful good times.

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