The “Secret” To Well-behaved Amish Children

If you’ve spent a little time in an Amish home or around Amish families, you may have noticed the children and their behavior. Many people comment that Amish children are – generally – especially well-behaved (at least in public or in the presence of non-Amish). I’d say that is generally the case as well.

I’ve seen it from two angles. First, as someone visiting Amish families for brief periods in their homes (while selling books), I would time and again notice how quietly and calmly the children sat, typically staring at me from the table or other vantage points around the room, as I showed their parents a set of Bible story books. I’d feel a half-dozen sets of little eyes on me for the whole time I was there. With maybe only the toddler or younger child disrupting the calm.

I’ve also stayed with Amish families for longer periods (even living in Amish home for many weeks), showing me how the children act on an everyday basis rather than for brief periods of time. I would say that children are children and like to play, be rambunctious, and sometimes get in trouble, whether Amish or English. But on the whole I’d agree with the assessment that Amish children are on balance better-behaved than non-Amish American children. Maybe even a lot better.

Why is that the case? I talk about that in this new video. Some of what outsiders are observing may be due to the novelty of having an English visitor for a brief time in the home, for instance. But, I’d also say a lot of it has to do with the way Amish raise their children. In this case, that means physical discipline (spanking). I talk about why and how the Amish do this in the video, including when it is not okay to discipline a child, as explained in one Amish guide.

There can certainly be dysfunctional or abusive situations in Amish homes as well. But the general idea is that discipline should come from a place of love for the child and his or her well-being. In the video I look at two areas where physical discipline is seen in Amish society – the home, and in schools. Runtime: 6:04


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    1. Margaret


      Years ago, I was doing the touristy thing in Pennsylvania. I stopped at one home, a little boy came out and we chatted. He was about 6 I think at the time. Knew English fluently! His dad or grandfather called to him in Dutch, he was being reminded about chores I think. Anyway he showed me a big blister he had on his foot. And he wanted to know the Englisch world was like. I tried to convey that his life was better…ours is to hurry, be rude and where he was just peaceful calmer.

    2. Samantha

      Spanking help

      I am the mother of two boys, one 2 and one is 3. They for the longest time where naturally well behaved children. I could take them anywhere with ease. As they get into this new stage of testing the boundaries I find that they do not fear my discipline. Spankings, timeouts, raising my voice do not seem to make them see there actions of not acceptable. So I am just wondering what do you do when the spankings don’t work if that is ur go to punishment. Am I going about it wrong? Why is it when an amish mother spanks her child they seem to understand but mine and I feel many American moms agree, when we do it they just don’t care. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, thank you!