Inconsistent Hipocracy

Source

Perhaps one of you could help articulate my feelings here more eloquently.. Basically, when one reads through the majority of the material the NGJ group publishes, one gets a sense that the instructions are rather black and white, intended to be 100% of the time, consistent, and enforced regardless of the child and their response.  Additionally, this group repeatedly berates and condemns any parent that doesn’t either see the value of adherence to their doctrine, or doesn’t do it out of “weakness”.  (See below for quotes and source related to this.)

However, when actually questioned, by a supporter and follower no less, these people semi-recant, in effort to save their assumed sanity and correctness.  But they spin their words in such a way that leaves the reader with a sense of certainty, yet confusion.  It’s as if they’re instructing the child to stop spinning on the merry-go-round (or the parent) while they themselves (NGJ) is the physical force that is making the platter continue to spin.

Mike,

We recently visited a family who follow your teachings to the “T”. The children are very well behaved. But I wondered if you’ve ever had anyone overdo it?

The children didn’t have the spark of life as much as we remember our children having. We pass out your books and have been around other families with wonderful kids that are more relaxed and happy. We were troubled. Should we be?

Debi Pearl Responds

Yes, we all need to be troubled, and young couples need encouragement and help from the older couples. We have seen families who take what we and others have written and use it like the law. When older, wiser people try to help bring balance, the younger couples do not take their counsel. It grieves us. If children are not bubbling with joy and eager to be a part of life, then something is very wrong. Good training begins and ends with tying strings of fellowship and bonds of good times.

The Letter Continues

We also noted that the mother was swatting their very young children for not meeting possibly unfair expectations. One as young as 13 weeks old was being swatted to stop crying. The mother was trying to teach her one year old to put toys away, but the kid just didn’t understand and it was an intense confrontation. We tried to let them see a balance but what they understood you meant and what we understood you meant were 2 very different things.

It is true that we occasionally hear that young mothers and more seldom, fathers, take what we teach out of context and misuse their children.

The rest of this article strikes a specific chord in me because I have nursed my daughter now for 2.5 years almost.  We began this love connection moments (literally) after she was born, and will continue until she is ready to sever.  (Anyone who wishes to judge our decisions I encourage you to send me your thoughts and rants, and I will reply in turn with science and instinct.)

You see, most of what these people say is laced with useful, logical, practical information.  This is why their ministry and publications are so dangerous. Those that follow them may easily be seduced into believing their precepts and instructions are logical, reasonable, and even Godly. And for the parent who is struggling with their child’s behaviors, this group seems to be just what they’ve been looking for.  Can anyone supply me with the definition of a cult… and lend their knowledge of how the dynamics of a cult play out, and who cults prey on?

This is why I hope this site will continue to develop with parallel advice, suggestions, and instruction that encourage the parent to see the value of their children, become aware of the effects of their actions and behaviors (and thought processes), and begin to redefine “discipline” from an assumption that is means to punish, back to the original definition of “instruct, guide, teach, develop”.

First, love your child. Care that the child is well, happy, and relaxed. Training should not be tense, upsetting, hurtful, or pushed. It should be a simple exercise in showing the child what you want him to do. A tiny stimulus to direct the child when they are small is enough. For example, if a 3 month-old nursing baby bites, don’t spank. She does not know she did bad. Just gently pull a hair on her head. She will startle back in momentary discomfort and immediately start nursing again. The tiny bit of discomfort makes the baby relate the biting down with the gentle pulling of the hair. You have not made her obey, you have only conditioned her to respond differently. That is training. If you take a 13 week-old baby who is fussing, and squirming and pop her leg, it will only bring more fussing and crying. The child cannot relate those 2 events. She most likely has a tummy ache that needs some relief, not added pain. Ask God for wisdom. He promises to give to those who simply ask.Deb

Ok, to pick this apart, because that is my mood at the moment…  The words of NGJ are italic/red.

“Training should not be tense, upsetting, hurtful, or pushed.”
For “Pushed” and “Upsetting (to the child)”, See ->  Training Fleshy Flesh

For “hurtful”, See -> Just How Hard

“A tiny stimulus to direct the child when they are small is enough. For example, if a 3 month-old nursing baby bites, don’t spank. She does not know she did bad. Just gently pull a hair on her head. She will startle back in momentary discomfort and immediately start nursing again. The tiny bit of discomfort makes the baby relate the biting down with the gentle pulling of the hair. You have not made her obey, you have only conditioned her to respond differently.”

If your infant bites during nursing, bring her closer to the breast.  She will immediately let go because the mouth cannot suck properly unless it is at the right angle to the breast. The result is instantaneous, and she is not hurt in any way.  Further, because the response from her is a reflex, instead of one that requires her tiny brain make a mental connection, she will not be psychologically harmed.  Do not push the baby’s face far enough into your own flesh that you are depriving them of oxygen, even for a second.  That is not the reflex I’m talking about. This action might not physically harm them in the second or two that it continues, but it does trigger a psychological response of broken trust.  See the LLL site for demonstration and a more technical description..

The child nurses from the mother for nourishment.  But the actual act of nursing is much more complex than that.  Aside from the release of pleasure hormones from the milk (which is not evil, but something highly valuable for the development of the child), the baby and the mother are developing a bond and connection during nursing that will carry on into the rest of the child’s and mother’s lives.  This connection is highly involved with the development of the child’s confidence, self-esteem, sense of value, and the ability to love and be loved.

I will include additional resources here over the next day or two, but in the mean time, for more information on the value of nursing our children, please simply to go LLL and browse the site.

I cannot imagine intentionally causing my child to feel (pain) what her tiny brain cannot properly interpret, but knows is undesired.  Especially during a time where she is in bliss and trust, love, and security, such as experienced during breastfeeding.  It brings such sorrow to me to even contemplate hurting my child in response to her innocently causing me discomfort (especially during nursing).  And at three months old, she isn’t biting you out of mischief or defiance.  She isn’t.  She doesn’t have the mental capacity to “think” like this at such a young age.

A note to mothers who extend their nurse period into the point of life where the child has language recognition, you can tell your child that he/she is using her teeth and that it isn’t what Mama wants to feel.  I caution you with using the term, “You’re hurting Mama”.  I learned the hard way what heartache is felt when your child responds to you with the guilt of feeling as though they have done something to “hurt” their mama… I will never tell my child she is Hurting me during nursing again.

But if using words is insufficient, you can still use the same technique of bringing the face/head in closer than is appropriate for allowing the child to nurse properly.  They will stop the bite.  They will let go, and they will continue then to nurse (if you can tolerate it).  Again, you’re not hurting them, you’re not breaching their trust and security, and you’re not forcing them to make a connection mentally.  You’re triggering a reflex. Don’t bring them so close they feel as if they might suffocate, and don’t do it for more than a split second.  If they don’t let go immediately, take a moment and repeat for another split second.  Don’t deprive your child of oxygen even for a moment.  Don’t force their face into your flesh far enough that you are depriving them of oxygen.  This isn’t what is happening when this technique is used properly.

Mothers, please, please educate yourselves as to the value of breastfeeding, beyond simple nutrition, so that you fully comprehend the bond, and the results of this wonderful gift.

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Here is just one quote of warning to those who don’t comply.  More to follow –

“If you do not see the wisdom in what I have said, and you reject these concepts, you are not fit to be a parent. I pity your children. They will never experience the freedom of soul and conscience that mine do.”   -Michael Pearl    Source

Infant Manifesto (No, I’m not kidding…)

If you can stomach it, reading this will help you at least understand the extent to which this group, and primarily its leader, suffers from deranged insecurity, that masquerades as intelligent, wise, superiority.

– Just go see this -> Infant Manifesto

If, after reading this, you suddenly find yourself hating your manipulating little 14 week old.. please contact me before you begin to employ ANY tactics to rid yourself of this feeling.  I would be happy to listen and help you sort through your feelings. And I can provide you with connections to others who are highly respected that can also assist.

Training Fleshy Flesh

Source

…not to touch guns by placing an unloaded and broken gun in the living room where the children could reach it.We carefully watched them. If they touched it, we spanked their hand with a little switch. One to three switchings was sufficient to prevent the little crawlers and toddlers from ever touching a gun.

To me, this is along the same lines as taking your child’s hand and placing it on the hot burner, so that the child will learn never to do it again, unless their parent forces them to.

“You shouldn’t tempt your children,” we are told. I can understand how a wrong attitude on the part of the parent could turn this into a hostile entrapment, leaving the child feeling used. But this can only happen if the parent is hostile. If your intention is to train your child, not just seek opportunity to punish him, all will be well. Training sessions are not unordinary. All events in a child’s life are training. How many times a day do you have to tell a two-year-old “No”? That was a training session. The difference in a happenstance occurrence and one that you premeditate is that the planned “temptation” can be tailor-made and controlled so as to reap the greatest benefit in the shortest period of time with the least amount of effort, and the least stress on the child. The training session should be staged so as to be natural. The child will not know it is staged. In many cases, if the parent is sensitive, an unplanned event can be turned into a training session.

“I can understand how a wrong attitude on the part of the parent could turn this into a hostile entrapment, leaving the child feeling used. But this can only happen if the parent is hostile. If your intention is to train your child, not just seek opportunity to punish him, all will be well.”

You know, I think I may have to seek therapy myself for the trauma I experience as an aftershock of reading through these.. and the very real knowledge that this group isn’t kidding, they really have over 100,000 followers.

I firmly believe in the value of the freedom of speech, therefore I will not advocate having this group silenced.  I also believe in the value of intellect and love, and the free distribution of knowledge and education.  That is the reason I have created the blog and ask for your contributions – to share education with parents who do struggle and do experience the challenges of raising a child.  The education we can share with these parents can build an internal strength and confidence in them that translates into respect for their child, knowing how crucial consistency is with children, and an opportunity for them to see all the wonder and incredible love and good children bring to our society.

Children are not burdens to be managed, as the Peals and others of their similar mentality believe.  Our children, though they may cause us to be inconvenienced at times, are not themselves the inconvenience.

The No Greater Joy ministry continues to preach that selfishness is the root of all evil – and that children, even infants are inherently selfish.  They are right, infants are self-focused for survival reasons, and children are self-focused because they are developing themselves.

Children quickly learn to think of others when they are shown the value in doing so, by example.

On the other end of the spectrum, these people seem to have the underlying impression that children must be trained, for a number of reasons, one of which (and I’m going out on a limb here because I haven’t found a quote of theirs to back me yet – give me a couple more hours) is so that the amount of “inconvenience” time related to actually having children around, is greatly minimized.

If you teach a child to be terrified of doing anything that resembles behaving like a child they will eventually stop acting like children. Which, in all honesty, does indeed make parenting them a lot less inconvenient.  That, to me, is the epitome of selfishness: To not permit the child the opportunity to be a child (because of an inconvenience to the care-giver).

And don’t take my words to an extreme here – I’m not advocating letting children run wild, with no direction, guidance, or boundaries.  I suppose I may have to write an article on that subject soon as I can already hear the responses that I believe in lawlessness among the followers of NGJ (and the like) that have already begun targeting me.  I will have to attend to this after my little one is asleep – it will require too much of me during the time it takes to compose, which means nothing of me for her during that time, and to me that is not acceptable.

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AT LAST!!  Something NGR promotes that I can actually agree with!!

Consistency is the key. You cannot allow a child to play with one set of car keys and not pick up other sets he finds lying around. If you want to be assured that he never plays with keys, you must make all keys off limits.

ANNNND THEN.. I don’t agree anymore…  (These two quotes are sequential sentences within the same source paragraph)

This is not done by placing the keys beyond his reach, but by placing keys within his reach and then consistently denying him the pleasure of touching them.

Oh well…

As a parent I am not prepared to spend the time it would take to enforce too broad a scope of continual temptation, but there are a few things like books, keys, guns, vases, dishes, etc. that must be placed off limits by leaving a test case within physical limits. If you trained a child not to touch books, and then placed all books out of reach, in time the discipline to not tear books would be forgotten. It is having an opportunity to tear and frequently exercising the will to not do so that confirms in the child the no-tear discipline.

What of baby and toddler books that are cardboard?
And toy sets of keys… phones… dishes…

As a parent I am not prepared to spend the time it would take to enforce too broad a scope of continual temptation…

Ah, thank God, some reprieve for your poor children.

If you have a story or lesson to share about how you successfully “trained” your child, that doesn’t involve cruelty, mind games, or hitting them, please submit.

ot done by placing the keys beyond his reach, but by placing keys within his reach and then consistently denying him the pleasure of touching them.

Violence Absent

NonViolent Communication – More Than What You Might Suspect

This page will introduce the concept, give a bit of background and encouraging information, and direct you to where you can gain more understanding.

I would encourage any of you with interest to speak up, add your thoughts, and especially send your own experiences and examples for the benefit of all who find this spot on the web.

S O U R C E (Note: This link takes you to the opening page of the site, however not the exact location of this article.  For access to this article, you must create a login on the site – theirs, not this blog.  The exact address of this article is http://www.cnvc.org/en/online-learning/nvc-instruction-guide/nvc-instruction-guide but you will not gain access to it until you register with them, which is free and I highly recommend it.)

We live in a world in which violence has become more and more accepted as the norm. It’s all around us. From wars between nations to crime on the street, and even imposing on our everyday existence, violence manifests itself both explicitly and implicitly. Yet for many people, the very idea of violence seems foreign. They are not involved in physical confrontations or abuses, and thus they believe that violence is not present. But the reality is that whenever we become disconnected from our compassionate nature, whenever our hearts are not devoid of hatred in all of its forms, we have a tendency to act in ways that can cause pain for everyone in our lives, including ourselves.

Nonviolence, then, does not refer to the mere absence of physical harm. It is a way of life that takes its lead from a compassionate and connected heart, and can guide us toward a more complete and happy way of being. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.” It is a practice rooted in understanding, in living honestly, and in acting empathically with all beings. Of course this starts with the self. We must first understand and act empathically towards ourselves in order to impact the world in wonderful and compassionate ways. This means cultivating nonviolence in every action and being present to our own needs and feelings in each and every moment.

The Soul of Your Child Needs to be Punished – Did He Actually Say That?

What follows are the words of a damaged man who has chosen to continue the destruction.

 

“If you do not see the wisdom in what I have said, and you reject these concepts, you are not fit to be a parent. I pity your children. They will never experience the freedom of soul and conscience that mine do.”   -Michael Pearl    Source

The rod as punishment

If you fail to gain the child’s heart through proper training and chastisement, his self-will may carry him into acts or motives that are evil. When a child has chosen the path of corruption, like anger that results in hurting someone, he has grieved his conscience and is in a psychological state of estrangement from all authority, from God, and from his higher impulses to be good. His guilt will isolate him from the social order and put him beyond the pale of reason and rebuke. It will be the jumping off point into total rebellion. You may see this occur in a child as young as three or four, but more likely in older children.

If you have trained properly, this may never happen to your child, but if it does come to this, you are not helpless. The soul of your child needs to be punished. He feels the need to suffer for his misdeeds. What I am telling you is well understood by the most reprobate of modern psychiatrists and psychologists. They call it a “guilt complex.” Children and adults in this state of mind often do harm to themselves. Their anger is turned inward because they hate the bad person they know themselves to be. Their soul is crying out for justice to be done to the self. They don’t know what is happening, and they will not voluntarily seek punishment, but their soul needs judgment. When your child is in the first throes of this debilitating condition, be kind enough to punish him. Care enough and love enough to pay the emotional sacrifice to give him ten to fifteen licks that will satisfy his need to experience payback.

If you do not see the wisdom in what I have said, and you reject these concepts, you are not fit to be a parent. I pity your children. They will never experience the freedom of soul and conscience that mine do.

“The soul of your child needs to be punished.”

“…be kind enough to punish him. Care enough and love enough to pay the emotional sacrifice to give him ten to fifteen licks that will satisfy his need to experience payback.”

After all, your child is actually asking, nay begging, you to beat them up for their own stupidity and ignorance. Why stop at abuse, hell, if the kid’s asking for it, torture them… SET THEM FREE!

I can’t handle this..

Anyone with the ability to speak with something other than disgust, as in something constructive, have something to add?  I clearly am incapable at this point… Maybe tomorrow.

Deep Sorrow

I have never known such sorrow as is felt when I am compelled to give my thoughts over to the care of children.

I wonder what would happen if I followed Mr. and Mrs. Pearl around and every time they (or someone they’ve taught) hits a child, because the child is not pleasing the parent or the Pearls, if I did to them exactly what they did to the child.

Aside from being arrested for assault…

An Alternative Method of Training Children

It appears I am not the only person with my opinion and ideas…

In the spirit of truth and a desire to provide solid alternatives and support for those who just can’t follow through with the teachings of No Greater Joy Ministries anymore, I am linking to this blog.

–  Muse Mama

I am not yet endorsing what is said in this blog as I haven’t gotten beyond the first page, but I suspect the more I read, the more I will gladly offer my approval.

Four years ago the world lost little Sean Paddock after his mother suffocated him.  She followed the Pearls. When little Sean died, those of us who were already critical of the Pearl’s teachings, spoke out.  We joined in a boycott and tried to share the danger with anyone who would listen.

Now we’ve lost little Lydia Schatz after her parents beat her to death with the plastic tubing the Pearls recommend for child “training”. And after reading this moving blog post at Beauty For Ashes, I don’t think we can continue to believe that only those who are naturally prone to abuse could be devastated by the implementation of the teachings in To Train Up a Child.

I am asking that other parents join in another Boycott. But I think we need to go a bit further than just our blogs.  I think we need to talk to our Pastors, write letters to our Homeschool organizations, write local talk radio hosts who might discuss it, and talk to other parents. We have to get the word out that these methods don’t place the rod of discipline in parents hands, but a loaded gun.  If parents follow these instructions to the letter, it is a manual for child abuse.

Michael Pearl said, in a statement to the press,

We do not teach ‘corporal punishment’ nor ‘hitting’ children. We teach parents how to train their children, which sometimes requires the limited and controlled application of a spanking instrument to hold the child’s attention on admonition.

YES, YOU DO TEACH ‘HITTING’ CHILDREN. Unless you’re advocating that the disciplining tool, in your words Mr. Pearl, the Rod, and Mrs. Pearl, the switch, somehow moves itself against the child’s skin.  Maybe that’s it.. in these houses that practice what the Pearls teach, the tools that make contact in a whack/smack/strike/hit/connect with the skin fashion, move by themselves, it’s not the parents’ who are picking them up and swinging them at the children.