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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Louise Riggsbee Jones, September 20, 1976. Interview H-0085-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Discipline in a single mother household

Jones describes the nature of discipline in her family when she was growing up. After her father's death, Jones's mother was solely responsible for discipline. According to Jones, she and her siblings were all "right good" and her mother never had to "whip" them, in contrast to the "whippings" her next door neighbor and friend received. Her comments are revealing of the ways in which one southern women operated in a single parent household and offers a comparison of tactics of family discipline in a mill town.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Louise Riggsbee Jones, September 20, 1976. Interview H-0085-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

But she was proud; she was proud of all of her children. We all did right good. I mean, she had right good children. And I never did get a whipping. (Laughs)
MARY FREDERICKSON:
(Laughs)
LOUISE RIGSBEE JONES:
And she never did whip me. She didn't believe in whipping children, punishing them like that. She'd talk to them, you know, and they all minded her pretty good. I think the (Laughs) nearest that she ever come to whipping me was about a little boy. We thought so much of him when we lived out yonder; he lived in the house next to us. His name was Arthur Clark. And we loved him, and he loved us just the same as if he was our own little brother. And he called my mother "Ma." And I heard him one day. He was at home, when we were out there, and I heard him crying. His mother had punished him for something. Well, I was so mad I didn't know what to do, and I was just talking to my Mama, you know, about it, about his mother a-whipping him. And I remember her saying, `Louise, if you don't hush I'm going to whip you now." She says, "You mustn't talk thataway." She knew that she'd hear me. But I was so wrong with his mother because she had punished him, you know, . (Laughs)
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did any of your older brothers and sisters, do you remember them ever being punished for anything?
LOUISE RIGSBEE JONES:
No, I don't.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
I mean, your mother carried that policy out with all her children, right?
LOUISE RIGSBEE JONES:
Mm-hm, yes, she did.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Not just you, because you were the youngest. (Laughs)
LOUISE RIGSBEE JONES:
No, with all of them. They obeyed her very good. She lived with her family after my father died, and they obeyed her pretty well. I had right good sisters and brothers; I'm proud of them.