An Insecurity: An Adult Man Tells More Than He Realizes

The primary author and dominant force behind the No Greater Joy crew is Michael Pearl.

He tells of a story of some child in his care (he is vague, but if you read this entire post, you get the feeling it’s not his own child, nor his offspring’s child) that he controls with his methods – to what he believes is in her benefit, and his.

Here’s the source article ->

A few excerpts… starting with him not only admitting that he’s a very large man (that is intimidating to young children, unless the adult compensates by bringing themselves down to the shorter level of the child), but he also goes a step farther to brag a bit about his size.

The following quote is taken in portions from the original; there is more said between some of these paragraphs, and I encourage you to read the source article yourself.

On the visit before this welcomed intrusion, Amy ran in and out of the back door about ten times. The frequency, along with the cold air, became annoying. As she started out again, I commanded, “No, Amy, do not go out again.” She continued to open the door and push by me. I applied a little resistance to the door as I repeated the command. She exerted all her force to open the door. Now at this point I could have forced the door shut. At six-foot-four and 240 pounds, all of it pure, aged muscle, I was quite capable of shutting the door. But to do so would not have taught her obedience, quite the opposite. It would have taught her that she could do anything that does not meet with overpowering physical resistance. Forced to comply, she would not have practiced self-control. For the human will to function, circumstances must permit choice. So I allowed her to choose. She forced the door against the little resistance I offered and continued into the sunroom. One more door stood between her and the judgment seat. To make sure she understood, I gave one more command, “Amy, do not go outside.” As she opened the outside door, I took off my belt and surprised my little butterfly with one swat across the calves. She shut the door and looked at me with shock and anger.  Her scream was not just of pain, but of defiance.

Now if I had shoved her into the house and left it at that, she would still have failed to learn her lesson. Her will was not yet surrendered. The defiant scream testified that she was still in a resistant state of mind. She was protesting interference with her self-will. She must be caused to recognize the supremacy of government. Her soul depends on it. So I commanded, “Amy, stop crying.” She screamed louder, so I gave her another forceful lick on the legs. She again screamed her defiance.

Here I was with a screaming, defiant two-year-old standing there testing her strength of resolve against mine. I have 53 years of resolve, and it gets calmer every day. Again I gave her one lick on the legs and commanded, “Stop crying, now.” She dried it up like an Arizona wind, then turned and voluntarily walked back into the living room. She was sniffling, but the defiance was all gone. She ran to a corner to sort out her feelings and I left her alone, as did everyone else

In less than five minutes, as I was walking through the house for some other purpose, a little curly headed, blond butterfly flitted across the room and lunged into my arms. Her smile was genuine and her greeting was spontaneous. The former confrontation had not left her feeling isolated. Her spirit was free.

Let’s discuss this article/story in a few different segments:

  1. Now at this point I could have forced the door shut. At six-foot-four and 240 pounds, all of it pure, aged muscle, I was quite capable of shutting the door.

Perhaps he has a need for his readers to think of him as superior in physique. There are pictures of him on his site, but here he seems to need to remind us that he is well built and not physically sloppy, but rather well built. This is a sign of insecurity that he needs to describe himself in such a manner.  If he had simply stated his height and weight, that would have been sufficient to get the point across, that point being that he’s intimidating to children especially, but he had to take it one step further; he had to mention that it’s all pure, aged muscle.  And further, he goes on to say that he was quite capable of shutting the door.  The child in this story is two. Most three year old children would have that same ability, when in a physical power struggle with a two year old.

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More thoughts on this particular story will be in subsequent posts.

A Child’s Poem – When Youth is Not Admired or Revered

This is a poem posted by No Greater Joy, written by Rebekah Pearl, 12 years old

The people who head this organization are the Pearls.

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Cause I’m Young

There’s a hole in my shoe,’
And my toe is coming through,#
There’s a scab on my knee%
Cause I fell so gracefully,#
There’s a patch on my eye&
Cause the ball didn’t go by.&
There’s a song on my tongue,’
But it’s stupid cause I’m young.

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I hope my child, at age 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 or older, never views something about themselves as stupid. Period. But somehow it’s even worse when the final two words of this poem are included.

There’s a song on my tongue, but it’s stupid (be)cause I’m young.

Does that strike a chord with anyone else, or is it just me?  I’m not finding it easy to articulate my thoughts on this today.

Hitting is Hitting

One day, when my daughter was about 17 months old she started whacking/batting at me while I changed her diaper. So, after telling her to stop and not getting the response I wanted, I swatted her upper thigh with my open hand – knee jerk response. I didn’t connect with enough force to even slightly notice, but none the less, in her eyes, I hit her.  In fact, she shouted at me, “Mama don’t hit me”, in the very same tone I had just told her to stop batting/hitting at me.

I had just told her to not hit me.
Then, I did to her exactly what I told her not to do to me.

 

Do you see the problem here…

Violence creates violence.

And punishment/discipline (spanking) is retaliation.

Years later, I came to realize something in addition to the obvious here (hopefully obvious). Somewhere along the way, an awareness came and I realized how it feels to “be told”. My daughter told me once, “ALL I HEAR is you TELLING TELLING TELLING.. but what you’re saying, I have no clue!”  In our home, we use the word “listen” to mean, “my heart wants to be heard, please let your heart hear”.  Listening is not compliance or expectation. 

Some time around this event, I learned how to communicate my needs and preferences, and stop the “telling”.

If we wish to be heard and treated with respect, then we must first provide respect to others and when we speak to others, speak with them, not at them.


– > Related topics: Discipline vs Punishment

Structure

From, The Art of Child Training

This opening article describes the best parts of the parent/child relationship. It is written well and contains many good pieces of information and advice. There is an undertone of annoyance, hate, and superiority (perhaps I am only aware of this because of the other publications presented by this organization) however, that tarnishes what is said here that is good.

Here are a few items to ponder from the NGJ article index (italics)

8. Structure

Doing the same thing each day at the same time is structure. Any individual, not just children, left to do as he pleases from one moment to the next will likely do nothing unless it is immediately gratifying. To determine ahead of time what needs to be done and then doing it at the allotted time enables one to do the unpleasant with regularity. A schedule prevents one from procrastination. It relieves boredom, gives a sense of security, and minimizes stress. Good habits of scheduling one’s time are best established early in life, before four years old. Without structure, the child lives as an irresponsible rogue. Structure allows children to set goals and sacrifice to reach them. It is the road to betterment.

One of the most common concerns of parents is sibling squabbles. Children that are on schedules are far less likely to gripe, complain, and fight.


Let’s discuss this in terms of positive and negative result.

Statement: Any individual, not just children, left to do as he pleases from one moment to the next will likely do nothing unless it is immediately gratifying.

From your current perspective, how many people, including yourself, do you know prove this statement to be true?
 

Is it possible that there are people on this planet that, when left to do just as they please, think of and serve other living things, in a manner that is not immediately gratifying?

Dare I say that there might even be a couple children in the billions that might be the sort that, given a chance to just do as they please, might choose to do something for another living being that does not bring immediate gratification?

Further, let’s discuss the heart of gratification.  It certainly can take on a selfish hue, but it can equally wrap itself in a hue of selflessness and servitude.

By definition, gratification is that which affords pleasure; satisfaction; enjoyment; fruition: delight.

From my perspective, gratification in and of itself is not where our concern should be focused, immediate or delayed.  Rather, choosing to gain perspective as to the motive and circumstances surrounding it.  Gratification, regardless of how rapidly its affects are felt, can be just as positive as it can be negative, and it is non-discriminatory as far as age, gender, race, or intellect.


Unbinding Foolishness

Source article ->

10. Example

Be what you want your children to be. “More is caught than taught.” Children read actions better than words. They are imitators, taking on the likeness of the ones they most admire. If you cannot walk your talk, don’t expect them to. When the older child develops bad habits, the younger children will follow his example and probably take it a step further in the wrong direction. Likewise, if you get that first child in control, you have a good example for other children who come behind.

This statement is teaching a fundamental and foundational principle that stands the test of time, society, and diversity. Children mimic what they are exposed to. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to skip over to a different section within this group’s site and set of teachings… where they talk about how to hit your children, and what to use.

The Rod
The Switch
The Belt
The Wooden Spoon
The Hand

Examples of each of these from the NGJ site is forthcoming.

If you would like to contribute, please either send material or use the comment section. This site is not intended to be the rantings of one very outspoken mother – but many, many outspoken mama’s and papa’s… and doctors, psychologists, theologians, and scientists… who value our children, and yours.

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From, Unbinding Foolishness

Children are not all necessarily rebellious, loud, selfish, mean, aggressive, bossy, whiny, or moody. But all children have foolishness bound in their hearts, and they all need to be freed from the bondage that will drag them down their entire lives. Give your children the gifts of wisdom, sobriety, and a sound mind; drive foolishness far from them. My mom always said that a slender willow switch works wonders. I say it works miracles. If you have misgivings about the proper application of the rod, read again Mike’s little booklet In Defense of Biblical Chastisement.
See also -> “
The following article is designed to be used as a resource in defending your faith on Biblical child training.”

“It is so much easier to check foolish behavior while the child is yet young. If you catch him acting silly or irresponsible, then rebuke and spank as needed to produce sobriety.

My take, if you see him acting silly… act silly with him.  Children are children for a reason – what better time in a life is there to be silly.

If you have a child behaving irresponsibly, assuming they are of an age where they can first comprehend this term, and second, the irresponsible behavior is in proper proportion to the development of the child, then how about tell the child as much, instead of hitting them.  Granted, there are a good number of children and teens out there that won’t give a rip if you tell them they’re behaving irresponsibly, but if you have raised them with a strong example of responsible choices, consistency, and your own behaviors which exhibit integrity, there should be only a handful of instances that they, as children, handle truly irresponsibly.

When one of these instances does occur, instead of inflicting physical pain, and leaving a mental scar in effort to “train” them not to do that same thing again, what about using the opportunity to discuss integrity, the value of making responsible choices, and what responsibility truly is.

“When you see him do a dumb thing and you know he knows better (or at least should know better,) communicate the seriousness of your concern with a spanking.”

I, for one, just don’t see how I could tell my child (or infer it) that anything he or she does is dumb.  That is too demeaning and belittling in my opinion.  Yes, children do strange things that don’t make sense to adults, and might even come across as rather odd or dumb/silly/frivolous, but they are children… they don’t think like adults do, they are not miniature adults.

What would be wrong with firmly telling the child that whatever he just did was in direct opposition to what he knows he should have done, and explain the consequences that will naturally follow – without hitting and without “time out” isolation.  The child, even a very young child, naturally understands cause and effect, and if this concept is presented to them in a developmentally correct manner in relation to whatever it is they did, they can learn the reason behind why what they did was not correct, and in time, they will make different choices.

This might sound way too “soft”… but the thing is, if the child is guided from the very beginning in this manner, with the exception of days/times where other influences are present, children will generally manage to make fairly decent decisions, in relation to their own level of development. Humans seem to have an ingrained desire to please… it’s not until they are damaged due to the persistent inability to succeed at gaining that approval that they turn to opposing  methods of gaining attention.

Now, there are those who will immediately respond with a favorite quote from the bible. Bring it on, comment away.

“If your child risks life or limb in a foolish stunt, as I saw my own sons do when they were little, follow their daddy’s example. I have seen Mike say to them, “OK, you want to risk getting hurt, I will show you what hurt feels like. And then he spanked them soundly. Next time they thought twice before showing off in a dangerous manner.”

First off, women… you must do exactly as the man dictates.  It’s not a mutual, equal, give/take relationship.  You’re not the nurturer for a reason.  Make sure you don’t argue or disagree with anything your husband or your child’s father says/does either because he is infallible.  Think I’m nuts? Check this out ->, it’s the Pearl’s manifesto for the subservience of women. Make sure you check out the except tab for the book.

Second.. perhaps living with the scars of intentionally inflicted pain is not as bad as a broken arm with a cast that all your friends sign, gained from a simple lesson learned during childhood, when bones mend easily.


“If you are visiting in a home and your child goes through the drawers or cabinets, communicate with a switch that it is not an acceptable practice.”

What about telling the child ahead of time what respecting others’ property is all about and then making sure they realize exactly what that means, if they don’t quite demonstrate full comprehension.

Here’s a weird idea, upon discovering your child opening doors in another person’s house, like he does in your own home without being reprimanded, try telling him that he shouldn’t do that because there is a difference between his own home and that of another person.  He is a child and does not just know this is an unacceptable practice without you explaining it to him.  And instead of hitting him when he “lapses” and behaves like a kid, prevent the behavior in the first place by reminding him (he is a child, they need to be reminded, they are not adults) that it’s not what he’s supposed to do and stop him before he does it.  If the child is young enough to want to do this, he isn’t old enough to understand why it’s ok in one house and not the other, but you can teach him this if you consistently explain and supervise.

On that note, if the child is old enough to know better, there is a reason this behavior is occurring. Step back so that you can see the bigger picture. Maybe you need to turn a switch on (yourself), the mental kind.


“If your five-year-old spills a bag of nuts out on the car seat when she could have sealed the bag shut, let your rebuke be accompanied by a couple swift swats with the rod of your choice. Good habits are made, not born.”

God have mercy on our five year old children who have better things to think about than every blessed little detail of somehow managing to do nothing that might even indicate they are children. What about the mother or father who gave the child the bag in the first place?  Did ya tell the child to close it after every bite? Have you asked if the child has shut the bag? Have you asked the child to be careful?

Let’s just say the worst happens and your five year old spills his bag of nuts all over the car seat.  Guess what?  He is a kid and he has little fingers, with which he can pick up nuts.  He will learn that if he spills something, he must clean up the mess.


“If your children gorge on junk, even to the point of stealing food and hiding, know this: it is better to set them free from bad habits now than for them to struggle all their lives with being overweight and sickly. A few licks will remind them that overeating hurts. It will help shape lifetime habits.”

How about, don’t buy the junk food.

For the source article ->


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My humble opinion…
If parents are struggling with their young children, they must take a step back to where they can see the bigger picture.  In most cases, if the parent – child relationship is built on mutual love and respect, and if the parent is honest with themselves, they will be able to see what actions and behaviors they need to change (in themselves, and that of the home), in effort to regain harmony in their children.

The Art of Child Training

Source Article

If you have found this page, chances are you are aware of No Greater Joy Ministries.

This organization has a perspective on raising and caring for children that seems to be positive and upright, and in all fairness, they teach and discuss many valid points of concern, and do indeed offer sound advice on a few items.  The problem is that in the same breath they preach love, they preach pain and abuse of children, and they’re convinced they’re right and helpful.

Parenting isn’t easy.  Being a child isn’t easy.

Our hope is you will find encouragement as well as alternative methods of working with children, that don’t include intentionally inflicting pain.
And to those who contribute, please keep in mind that simply bashing the organizations and people who follow the teachings of No Greater Joy Ministries, and others like them, is only useful in settling your own disgust.  Tools, assistance in gaining perspective, and support is what will be useful for those who do and/or have turned to groups like these, and are trying to repair the damage done, or prevent it in the first place.

Children are not born evil, as some might teach.  The baby is incapable of cognitive thought at this level. And though humans, by nature, are self focused, until they learn and develop to the point where they are self sufficient (in the beginning, this self-focus helps them survive), children are not inherently disobedient, malicious brats, nor are they hell bent on making life difficult for you while good for them.  They are in fact driven by instinct, however, to satisfy their needs emotionally and physically. This is true for the adult as much as the child. It is our job as parents to satisfy those needs before they go unmet, and it is our job to guide and lead by example, so that our children will grow up to be intelligent, thoughtful, respectful, and non-self centered but empathetic adults, capable of love and harmony.

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