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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Child rearing practices, including corporal punishment

Turner recalls her mother's method for toughening up her children: if two of them were squabbling and refused to stop, she would push them outside to fight it out, telling them that the first one that cried would get a whipping. Then she would force them to make up.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. 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

KAREN SINDELAR:
Did you get along well?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Oh yes, yes. Well, as kids we all fought teeth and tongue, and fall out sometimes. We'd fight like the rest of them, you know, but we always stayed close. We never had a fight where we couldn't make it up. And we didn't speak maybe a day or two; we'd get together before the week was up. In fact, our mother and grandmother had a policy: if she couldn't stop us from fighting she'd put us outdoors and make us fight. And she said that the first one that cried, that's the one that got the whupping. And when we got through she'd make us kiss and make up, irregardless of how.
KAREN SINDELAR:
Wait a second. The first one who cried would be the one who got a whupping? To teach you to be tough, eh?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Right, yes, because she wanted us to stop fighting. And we would keep nitpicking, you know, and hitting. So she said, "OK, if you've got to fight, come on." She'd make us get outdoors in the backyard, and she'd make us fight. And she said, "Now the first one that cries, that's the one that gets the whupping." So naturally we wouldn't cry; you know, the water would be running, but we wouldn't cry out.
KAREN SINDELAR:
[laughter] Who won those fights? Did you win many of them?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Oh, sometimes it was a toss-up [laughter] . Then when we got through they'd make us kiss and make up. Like I tell my kids sometimes now, I say, "OK, I'll make you kiss and make up." And one would say, "All right." They'd say, "Oh no." I said, "Oh yes you will." [laughter]
KAREN SINDELAR:
That's amazing. But overall, though, you got along pretty well?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Oh yes, oh yes. We never had any controversy.