Please take a moment to review this blog and associated sites. Once again, it seems I am not alone in my quest to give people an alternative to this group’s tormenting methods of child raising.
I’m not really sure what other response is expected from Mr. Pearl, honestly. Yes, he is arrogant, but read one paragraph of one single article he’s written and you’ll know that. Yes, he believes he is also righteous and correct, all the time. What other persona could he project? Humility and sincerity are incongruous with the core of his teachings, or any extended tentacle. It’s not like he’s suggesting ideas on child raising… He states -
A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain. If he should tell you that the spanking makes him madder, spank him again. If he is still mad…. He desperately needs an unswayable authority, a cold rock of justice. Keep in mind that if you are angry you are wasting your time trying to spank his anger away.I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey. On the fourth day I would treat him with respect and he would respond in kind. On the fifth day the fear would go away and he would relax because he would have judged that as long as he responds correctly there is nothing to fear. On the sixth day he would like himself better and enjoy his new relationship to authority. On the seventh day I would fellowship with him in some activity that he enjoyed. On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship. On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen. On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.
Now, if you ask me, that is some serious blind audacity. Not exactly what I would have in mind as a babysitter… but still -
This woman has a lot of perspective to lend:
In his book, Michael Pearl suggests tempting a child with a bite of their favorite food ~ placing a morsel within the child’s reach ~ and when said child instinctively reaches out for the food ~ Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, ‘No.’ Repeat as many times as necessary until the child is trained not to automatically grab for whatever he or she wants ~ but rather, to automatically look to the parent for permission before reaching out to take the desired food.
Even in my Quiverfull-induced stupor ~ I recognized the cruelty of such parenting advice ~ to deliberately tempt your child and then smack them when they take the bait?!! I remember thinking, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray “lead us not into temptation”? If it’s not okay for our Heavenly Father to lead us into temptation ~ how can it be right for earthly parents to do this to their children? I did not bother to finish reading the book.
Thankfully, I joined the local Le Leche League group for breastfeeding support and was introduced to Dr. William Sear’s “attachment” approach to parenting which jived with my natural inclination for gentle mothering. Admittedly, I still did occasionally spank my children ~ but thankfully, I stopped short of purchasing the quarter-inch plumbing supply line in my quest to have happily obedient children.