As I have tried to show in this and my other articles and stories about St. Nicholas, he never condones evil actions but he is always ready to forgive when people atone and repent of their evil deeds. The tale if Pere Fouettard offers parents the opportunity to tell their children that St. Nicholas will reward good behavior but unrepentant bad behavior will result in unpleasant consequences. Rewards are an incentive for good behavior while the threat of punishment is an incentive to change and cease bad behavior. While not popular today corporal punishment or the threat of it was a common child-rearing practice in the past. While the American Santa Claus tradition has never included a Pere Fouettard type assistant there used to be the threat that bad behavior would result in a lump of coal (this was when coal was the main form of home heating in America) in place of a present from Santa. Today we still have Santa's "naughty and nice" list which tells children that having "naughty" next to their name will result in no gift from Santa and this threat is an incentive to be good especially in the week leading up to Christmas Eve.