Amazing Insight, Exceptional Wisdom

This entire post is taken from here, unless otherwise noted.

Dear Mama’s and Papa’s,

I’m writing to you tonight in hopes that I will find you in a position of questioning. If you are in such a position, I don’t suppose you’re entirely comfortable at the moment, but let me suggest that you stand in the place now where good, immense good, can be born.

If you’re reading this, you either already know that the teachings of the NGJ clan (or other similar group) cause destruction, or you’re beginning to wonder if all the good is possibly over shadowed in part, or whole, by what just doesn’t sit right with you.  Perhaps you fully support this group and their teachings.  If that is you, I invite you to contact me directly and substantiate your position.  Otherwise, please, keep reading.

I would like to make an appeal to your intellect this evening. I understand that most parents take up the methods and teachings of such groups as NGJ because they believe they are responsible for raising their children the best they can, in the eyes of the world and of God. I commend you for your intention and your concern over your child’s well being.  The trouble with the teachings of this particular group is that there is a fundamental struggle at their core for an unholy power.  And by unholy, I don’t mean anti-God, I’m using this term in a broader, more general sense, not a religious one.

I would like the chance to literally show you how the messages of this group are intended to torment your children, all the while you are led to believe they are supremely effective in victory, righteousness, unwavering obedience, and love.  I would also like to appeal to your dignity and sense of sanity.  The authors and developers of the NGJ doctrine are experts at betrayal, seduction, and power.  So, in your defense, if you have managed to see this group for the good they actually do teach, and have missed the horrid that each good instruction is laced with, know that you are not alone and you are not incompetent in your parenting skills; these people are masters at capturing their prey.

Also know that there is hope, there is help and support, and there are alternatives that will produce children who respect because they are respected, children who serve because they are served, and children who wholly love because they are wholly and completely loved, not because of action or diligence, not because they have earned that love, but because they simply are.

Please, if you need someone to just talk to, who isn’t going to jump down your throat, send me a comment or message.  If I can’t help, or you wish for more assistance on a professional level, I will connect you with those who are ready and able to support you as you make the transition and emmerge out from the hole the NGJ clan has dug for you.

What follows are multiple quotes, and mostly out of order, but all from the same article.  The paragraphs have been kept in-tact, you will not find manufactured content here.  Notes and comments are found either in line with the quotations or at the end of the article.

My hope with this post is that you, the reader, will begin to see just exactly to what degree the NGJ ministry is misled.  Not misled because I say so, or a million others say so, but because they themselves cannot present a solid and consistent message.

Angry Child
Article by Michael Pearl, August 1998

… Funny thing, 1200 men will go all week without one fight. If you get angry at the wrong person in a prison, you may die with a sharpened toothbrush sticking in your throat. Angry little boys never say, “Don’t do that, it only makes me more angry.” Who cares? When no one is listening and no one is impressed, threats are useless.

I would like to note here that we are not intentionally training our children (or at least I hope we’re not) to be successful at staying alive while in prison.  And while, admittedly, that is a valuable skill if one should ever find him or herself in such a situation, I do believe that the instinct to survive will cause the prisoner to adapt rapidly enough, that we shouldn’t have to begin teaching this in childhood.

Additionally, “angry little boys” do have a lot to say, often though it comes out in a scream or silence.  If we continue to inquisition them, agitate them, or tempt them into more anger we will not gain an understanding of what lies behind the emotional response.

Children who are incapable of managing their emotions, either due to an environment that has taught them it is not safe to feel those emotions openly, or who are otherwise imbalanced chemically (often for the same reason), are not going to be helped by instilling more fear.  Mr. Pearl’s assumed victory over the child he write of here is nothing more than tormenting an already tormented child to the point where he has no spirit or resolve left, and his survival instinct has kicked in.  If you beat a child like this enough, even he/she will eventually break, for a time.  You will likely see the calm, in the eye of the storm, but I warn you, you are destroying more and more with every attempt to get his anger under control and out of him.  You have chosen to ignore the source of the problem, likely because it comes from you or others in his close circle.  It is unlikely, though not impossible, that you will see the root of the pain this child is suffering unless someone outside that circle assists you.

If you are struggling with an extremely angry child, please don’t add fuel to the flame, don’t beat it out of them.  Don’t spank it out of them either.  Don’t turn your back and reject them, and don’t rid them of your compassion.  Take a moment, little ones at first and then longer, and see the world through this child’s eyes.  Be brave enough to see yourself and your close circle of family/friends through his eyes. Learn why he is experiencing anger, why he can’t seem to rid himself of it, and what he is afraid of experiencing instead of anger… it is a defensive response.  It is also often a protective response.

See this child through a different color lens and look through his eyes at his world.  It will change your life. And his.

I am not calloused to your dilemma. But the big problem is in your own mind. You are not free to be forceful and bold. Your son needs to run smack dab into a big, high, unmoving fence of authority. You, mother, are a pushover, a sucker. Your need is a renewed mind. Now that I have plowed your fallow ground, I will plant the seeds of understanding

Mr. Pearl, how dare you assume you have any place touching any part of my mind, ground, air, or otherwise. You sir, are a pompous idiot that weaves intelligent and loving advice into your horrible torturous methods of submission, supreme power, and ultimate destruction of the soul.

Mothers, you are not weak. It is not simple. This man is an abuser.

Step back, squat down, remain silent and still, and begin to see your child’s world through his/her eyes.  The answers will come, and if they don’t, get help from a professional who is trained to spot signs of difficulty in children.  The human mind is not so complex from a scientific point of view. There is nothing new under the sun… in most cases, if your child is struggling, there is an identifiable cause, if only you are willing to accept it and change what needs to be changed so that they can again become stable and secure.

Righteous anger is anger directed at injustice, selfishness. To be righteously angry toward someone is to impute blame to them. It is to hold them in contempt for not acting as they should have. Righteous anger seeks goodness. It is the guardian of love. It is moral choice expressed in the emotions.

Mr. Pearl, where is your righteous anger then concerning the death of a child whose parents follow you?  Where is your anger at all the children who are beaten and tormented in the name of unwavering obedience and joy?

Where is your righteous anger for the parents of the child that was beaten to death, the child that was beaten almost to death, and the millions (your number, not mine) of children that are routinely destroyed in body and spirit daily because of teachings such as yours and others who are as insidious.

If I am to hold my child, or another person, in contempt for not acting as they should have, then by what measure am I to declare myself the omnipotent judge?  On this earth, we do our best to control one another in the name of peace and goodness.  I see something else happening, but that is for another blog. Perhaps, Mr. Pearl, our Big Papa, you are indeed the judge and last word that we should all be required to acknowledge and submit to.  Lord knows, THE LORD – and the rest of this planet – knows that you have forced this of your wife, your children, and their children.

Almighty Mr. Pearl, has God ordained you, and we just don’t know it yet?

Righteous anger is agreeing with the innate dictates of common law. It is taking your place on the jury to condemn and then recommend sentencing to the guilty.

What law?  The law of David?  The law of Moses?  The law of the United States, your country, which you denounce (no, not directly, you are to crafty for that, you know better too well how doing so would explode in your face)?  You decide – you’re in charge here – you know everything about every family, and every child.  (If you think I’m being a bit too harsh here, keep reading.)  You, dear sir, are above all and are capable of forcing any child into submission of your sovereignty, to use your preferred term.  But I do wonder whether I would not be able to subdue you just the same given the right circumstances and weapons.  You see sir, power is indeed an intoxicating and wondrous thing. Just ask Aladdin and his Genie, ask God, heh – ask yourself..

But anger at not getting one’s way is something else entirely. Selfish anger is manipulative and unreasonable. It assumes that ultimate good is the gratification of self. It judges all events according to how they personally gratify. To thus be angry toward others, the individual must assume that others exist to fulfill his impulses. To him, right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and everyone does evil by depriving me of what I want.

Mr. Pearl, you believe in your words.  That’s a good thing to do if you intend to sell them.  You state here that to be angry toward others, the individual must assume that others exist to fulfill his impulses.  To him, right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and every does evil by depriving me of what I want.

Well said.  You know your doctrine well.  What was it you said, about supreme sovereignty?  Here, let me find a few of your words to quote…

“On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship.”  Because he valued food and calm, and had a distinct desire to avoid hate, fear, and torture.

“On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen.”
He is in his shell… where he believes is the only place he is even slightly safe.

“On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.”  If I were you, I’d sleep with one eye open.

Like an army Sargent, state your will and accept nothing less. If he doesn’t like what is on the table and he is rude, send him away from the table and do not let him eat until the next meal. Do not feed him snacks between meals, and let him get good and hungry. He will then eat baby food spinach and love it. If you think it is appropriate and you spank him make sure that it is not a token spanking. Light, swatting spankings, done in anger without courtroom dignity will make children mad because they sense that they have been bullied by an antagonists. 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.

Your words, Mr. Pearl, demonstrate your dire addiction to power, complete and unquestioned power.  I think you have said it best, “To him (should it maybe read, to me?) right and wrong is: everyone does good by complying with my will and everyone does evil by depriving me of what I want.”

Michael,
You are, if anything, most accurate in your assessment of yourself.

Now, to those of you who need an alternative to this method, I implore you to listen to my heart and the experience that it speaks from.  It is not complicated, does not require a high level education, medicine, or other complicated tactics to regain the “happiness” in your child.  It requires you do something that some of you will be able to do and others will not. It requires a humility, a denial of pride, and a ton of courage because what you will learn will likely cause you to weep with guilt and sorrow before you are able to begin correcting what needs to be corrected.

If you are in this position, your child is constantly at odds with you, and you are ready to change, all you must do is stop yourself long enough to experience the world as your child experiences it.  But be warned, you may not like what you see because children are huge mirrors and very often reflect back what their parents demonstrate.  The younger the child, the more this is true, but it is not limited to age, but is unique to each child.

Tomorrow I will write about the latest things I have learned while experiencing our world as my two year old does.  Now, however, I’m going to lie down and just watch her, comfort her, and give her the security and sense of love that comes from being close, because today was tough for her and me, and we both just need some time to be still.

In Response to the Disrespect Michael Pearl Exhibits

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.

Source

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:

I well remember paging through my copy of To Train Up A Child as a dreamy-eyed young mother desperately seeking the very best, most godly way to raise my children.   Source ->

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.

Others Who Don’t Agree

Below are excerpts and a list from a site run by a woman who impresses me greatly.
Thank you.

It’s one thing for those of us outside the fundamentalist Christian/Christian home-schooling world to point fingers at the Pearls and voice outrage at their methods. What really matters, and what stands to have actual impact, is the outrage inside the Pearls’ world. And right now, more than ever, an anti-Pearl movement within the conservative Christian community is rising up in heated, if sometimes whispered, fury. Some say — even pray — that Lydia Schatz’s death will bring Michael and Debi Pearl exactly the kind of attention they deserve.  (Source)

Just reposting her list to this blog for the sake of wide distribution:

Those who are issuing warnings:

World Magazine Commentary: To Brainwash a Parent
Evangelical, conservative news magazine

Timberdoodle Co.: Discipline and Murder
Homeschool supply company

Bradenton SHARE: Support Homeschool Activities Reaching Everyone
Detailed e-mail to all members and friends

Home Education Magazine: Bring Back the Boycott
Homeschool magazine since 1984

Matthew Raley, Tritone Life: Is Michael Pearl Responsible For a Girl’s Death?
Senior pastor of the Evangelical Free Church in Orland, CA

Karen Campbell, ThatMom: Child Abuse in the Name of Jesus
Update on Lydia Schatz and Why It Is Not About Spanking
Pearls and Authoritarian Parenting
An Open Letter to my Brothers and Sisters in Christ Who Serve in Leadership to Homeschooling Families
Homeschool mom, grandmother, conference speaker, podcaster

Karen Ehman: Box Bashing
Homeschool mom, author, speaker

Rob Shearer: Tragedy in a Homeschooling Family
Homeschool father of 11 children, church elder, Director of the Francis Schaeffer Study Center, co-founder of Greenleaf Press homeschool materials publisher

Randy Greenwald: Hermeneutics, Life, and Death
Pastor, homeschool father of six

Samuel Martin
Religious Scholar

Barbara Curtis, MommyLife: Lydia Schatz: shame on Mike and Debi Pearl!
Michael Pearl Laughs at His Critics, No Apology for Dead Children
Growing Outrage at Michael Pearl and his Response to Child’s Death
Cult Characteristics and the Pearls
Mom of 12 (bio, adopted and special needs), grandma of 10, author and Montessori teacher

Carol, Parenting Freedom: Murder by Discipline
Murdering Children into Submission
Homeschool mom, researcher

Angel, Rutledge6: Tragic Death of Lydia Schatz
Author of “Liberian Adoption: Preparing for Your Child’s Homecoming”

Megan, SortaCrunchy: When Extremists are Taken to the Extreme
Mom, author, editor-in-chief of Simple Kids

Elizabeth Esther: How Many More Children Must Die?
Mother, Writer, grew up in abusive fundamentalist church

Kathy, Quiet Garden: When Parenting Kills – What Can We Do?
Christian Ethics in Parenting
When Parenting Kills – Update
When Parenting Kills – A Challenge to Men
More Christians Speaking Out Against the Pearls
Michael Pearl Responds
Homeschool veteran, mentor, website designer

Benediction: Michael and Debi Pearl Linked to Another Child Abuse Death
Canadian, Christian, broadcast journalist

API Speaks: Parent Support is Prevention
Attachment Parenting International official blog

Anne, Muse Mama: Bring Back the Boycott
Fighting the Pearls’ Teachings
The Value of Gentle Mothering
The Pearls are Wrong
Giving Up on To Train Up A Child
Homeschool mom, nurse, tried and rejected the Pearls’ teachings

Karen Braun, Spunky Homeschool: Senseless Deception
Homeschool mom of 6, freelance writer, homeschool advocate

Wade Burleson, When Child Training Leaves to Abuse and Murder: Pearls of Wisdom for Concerned Parents
Baptist pastor, Oklahoma

Anne, Birth in Ukraine
Missionary, Homeschool mom, birth educator

Arni, I Think I Believe: Why I Will Never Spank My Daughter
Father, theology student, musician

Paul Mathers: In Which I Talk About the Terrible Event
Quoted in Salon, knows the Schatz family

Laurie, Beauty for Ashes: In Which I Speak the Unspeakable
Knows the Schatz family

Sparrow’s Nest Academy: I’m Burning All the Books by the Pearls
Homeschool mom of seven

Debra, Random Thoughts: Another Death Attributed to the Pearls
Homeschool mom of four

Aaron, Must Follow: Christians Unite Against Child Abuse

Judy, Wanna Walk Along: Even a Child Can Recognize Injustice
Popular, Pervasive, Controversial
Abhorrence Hits Me
Grandmother, Christian

Lisa, HomeSpun Life: Fundamental Discipline
Time to Speak Up, Even if it is Hard
Homeschool mom, former Pearl supporter


Smith Soup: From Another Mamma with a Heart for Liberia

Christian, Mom to 14 adopted and bio- children

Betsy, Just Another Clay Pot: Christian Brainwashing?
The World’s Most Dangerous People
Homeschool mom

Virginia, Come, Weary Moms: Child Discipline or Child Abuse?
Adding Your Voices about Child Abuse
Mother of ten, publisher of Hope Chest Home School News

Dana, Roscommon Acres: The Pearls, Abuse, and a False Gospel
In Defense of the Pearls: Some Thoughts
Homeschool mom of five

Hillary, Quivering Daughters: How Many More Little Girls Need to Die?
Heartbroken
Author of “Quivering Daughters | When Jesus Weeps ~ True Stories of Women, Authoritarianism, and the Fundamentalist Life”

The Journey: This is the Reason Why, In Jesus Name

WaterLilly: Spanking in Anger Isn’t the Problem
WaterLilly: Michael Pearl Laughs at Critics

Myrrh, Savouring Grace: Calling All Christian Families and Those Who Minister to Them

Hippie Housewife: Disciplined to Death

MamaChesire: Without Breath to Complain

MiaZagora’s Homeschool Minutes: Michael and Debi Pearl Books and Child Abuse

Vyckie, No Longer Qivering: No Greater Joy Ministries and Child Abuse
No Laughing Matter: Michael Pearl & His Chicken Mock Critics

Luci: Hold Fast

GCM Statement: It is Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl

Dr. Momma, Peaceful Parenting:
No Greater Joy Ministries “Biblical” Parenting Couple Beats Child to Death

Monica, Attachment Mama: Why Parenting Support is So Critical

Linda, Parent at the Helm: Speaking Up

Jessica, Everyday Rebel: Woman, Uncensored

Jay Allen, The Zero Boss: Michael and Debi Pearl’s “Expert” Parenting Advice is Killing Children

Therese, Keeping Along Joyfully: Christian Homeschoolers, Please Read

Eight is NOT Enough: An Open Letter

Kimberly, Raising Olives: The Pearls and Your Child’s Heart

No Greater Joy Children
New website analyzing NGJ teachings

Speaking out in the Local Community:

1. Local Homeschool Group: Intense warning to parents about the Pearl’s parenting materials

2. Greenville Church: Women’s group leader issuing warning about Pearl’s parenting materials

3. Women’s Bible study, discussion of this issue

4. Lindsey, Lutheran – Missouri Synod, homeschooling mom, speaking out online.

5. Sarah, Christian, supervisor for a local mental health agency in Arizaon, discussing with staff, recognizing similar language in parents and foster parents, devising best ways to address it.

6. A Virginia homeschool group removing all links to the Pearls / NGJ from their website.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/cathy-harris/michael-pearl-we-are-not-laughing-and-jesus-is-not-laughing-either/346955103009

http://sharperiron.org/filings/3-5-10/14098

http://eaandfaith.blogspot.com/2010/03/lydia-child-pearls-laugh-at.html

http://bearolemodel.blogspot.com/2010/03/movement-speaking-out-against-pearls.html

http://yahoo.com/bancorporalpunishmentofchildren/?yguid=328760158

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/america39s-behind–ban-the-physical-assault-of-children

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/to-train-up-child.html

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/03/to-train-up-child-follow-up.html

No Laughing Matter: Michael Pearl’s Callous Response to Critics — No Longer Qivering:

http://www.homeedmag.com/newscomm/4364/baby-whips-bring-back-the-boycott/

http://hermanalinda.witnesstoday.org/MyArguments.htm

http://www.tulipgirl.com/index.php/2010/02/who-is-speaking-out-against-abuse/

Spank Him Again! If he keeps crying, spank him again! Rebelious 2 Year Old – BE QUIET!

I’d like to encourage you to take a moment and read a short dialogue that discusses the value of valuing others, and the value of validating children.
An Example of Validating a Child’s Feelings – “I want Mama!” – Click for article

And now, the opposing example: A bit of background.. The child in the story that follows from the NGJ site is two years old during this event.
This story describes abuse, and is horrid, so please be warned.

Blog Author’s Note: A child of this age cannot grasp fully what is happening during most of his day, especially when he’s tired, hungry, in need of comfort or security, in a strange or uncomfortable place, or otherwise simply needs the reassurance and love of those he trusts. This is the worst time a parent can betray the trust of the child by terrorizing him instead of attending to his needs. The responses and results this child produces are not due to what Mr. Pearl believes; this child is not a brat, or a manipulating little rebel, but a child with some need that he’s trying to communicate. Due to the terror this method (NGJ) produces, and the child’s loss of trust of the most precious kind (that of his parents), he cannot do anything but try to self-console and SURVIVE this trauma and horrible event, with his undeveloped brain that cannot properly comprehend any of it.

Source

Late one night we were riding back from a seminar when the little fellow noticed that he was on the other end of the seat from his mother—with other siblings between them. He was riding in a restraining seat and whined to sit in his mother’s lap. The father SUGGESTED that it would be best if he stayed strapped into his restraining seat. The mother began to sympathetically explain why she couldn’t hold him. Based on past experiences, he knew that this was just the opening round. Their rejection of his proposal was only tentative. He was just testing the waters to see if they would yield. If by continual insistence he should demonstrate how very important this issue was to him, they would eventually come around to seeing it his way. As he pleaded further, asking for water, I could see that the mother was feeling guilty for not being close to “HER BABY”. Didn’t his tears demonstrate how important this was to his emotional well-being? After six or eight rounds, it finally reached the brokenhearted crying stage.

Mother was reaching for her baby when the father turned to me and asked, “What should I do?” Again I explained the principle: by allowing the child to dictate terms through his whining and crying, you are confirming his habit of whining and consenting to his technique of control. So I told the daddy to tell the boy that he would not be allowed to sit in his mother’s lap, and that he was to stop crying. Of course, according to former protocol, he intensified his crying to express the sincerity of his desires. The mother was ready to come up with a compromise. “He was hungry. He was sleepy. He was cold.” Actually, he was a brat, molded and confirmed by parental responses. I told the father to stop the car and without recourse give him three to five licks with a switch. After doing so the child only screamed a louder protest. This is not the time to give in. After two or three minutes driving down the road listening to his background wails, I told the father to COMMAND the child to stop crying. He only cried more loudly. At my instruction, without further rebuke, the father again stopped the car, got out, and spanked the child. Still screaming (the child, not the rest of us), we continued for two minutes until the father again commanded the child to be quiet. Again, no response, so he again stopped the car and spanked the child. This was repeated for about twenty miles down a lonesome highway at 11:00 on a winter night.

When the situation began to look like a stalemate, the mother suggested that the little fellow didn’t understand. I told the father to command the boy to stop crying immediately or he would again be spanked. The boy ignored him until Father took his foot off the gas, preparatory to stopping. In the midst of his crying, he understood the issues well enough to understand that the slowing of the car was a response to his crying. The family was relieved to have him stop and the father started to resume his drive. I said “No; you told him he was to stop crying immediately or you would spank him; he waited until you began stopping. He has not obeyed; he is just beginning to show confidence in your resolve. Spank him again and tell him that you will continue to stop and continue to spank until you get instant compliance.” He did. The boy was smart. He may not have feared Mama. His respect for Daddy was growing, but that big hairy fellow in the front seat seemed to be more stubborn than he was, and with no guilt at all. This time, after the spanking, when Daddy gave his command, the boy dried it up like a paper towel. The parents had won, and the boy was the beneficiary.

Now you may wonder why I did not tell the father to tell the boy that he was going to spank him until he stopped crying, and not resume driving until he had stopped. Never put yourself in the place where you may lose the contest. What if the boy didn’t stop? Would you spank him forever, or would you stop when it bordered on abuse, in which case the child would win? Your word would fall to the ground; you gave in before he did. You would have actually hardened his resolve to rebel. Furthermore, when a child is being spanked and shortly thereafter, he may be too emotionally wrought to make responsible decisions. Our concern is not just to silence the child, but to gain voluntary submission of his will through respect for our command.

Blog Author’s Note: Silencing a two year old… the best way to do this is to assess what they need, determine their cause, and act accordingly.  Not terrorize and hurt them.  They are not out to make your life horrid, even if it feels like it sometimes. They are tiny people without the skill or ability to cope and manage in an adult world.  Why does this group seem to think that we must begin in infancy to destroy our children, so that they will not become embarrassments and inconveniences.

Father tells the boy to stop crying or he will stop the vehicle and spank. Father stops, spanks; the child cries, and the father resumes the drive. He waits three to five minutes, ignores the crying and continues to talk as if all is well. Five minutes later, the father again commands the child to stop crying. By this time there is no lingering pain and he has had time to quiet his emotions and reflect on the parental mandate: “Stop crying or get a spanking.”

Again the father commands the child to stop crying or he will receive a spanking. The child continues crying only because he assumes that the status quo continues. That is, he is not at all convinced that the father means what he says. Judging from past experiences, he is sure that he will win this contest eventually. By breaking it up into several sessions, the father is reprogramming the child—Father commands with a threat; child disobeys; Father carries out threat; child loses and suffers the consequences; it is an unpleasant experience; repeat all of above five to ten times. The child concludes: There is a new order; Father is consistent; he always means what he says; I cannot win; there is no alternative to instant obedience. Get smart, be a survivor, just say no to self-will.

Blog Author’s Note: The value of breaking the will and spirit of our children.  Please refer to this entry, which contains a story of a woman who writes of her own experiences.

I, for one, do not believe my child should have to become a survivor – that’s my job.  I will not only keep her alive and surviving in every way I possibly can,  but I will endeavor to allow her to thrive in every way I can.  In fact, I can’t even fathom having this thought of my own child. BUT if the child were an abuse victim, an orphan on the streets, or in a situation of extreme poverty, I would probably have the thought that this was an extremely strong child, a “survivor”, with an amazing self-will.  And if in my power, I would do anything to change this little person’s circumstances, love them dearly, and teach them to love.

I will seek additional material related to the all encompassing harm and destruction that occurs when a parent or care-giver, or abuser, is bent on, and accomplishes breaking  a child.  I will go one step further, step out of my character, and even find Biblical references that instruct in an opposing manner – to never destroy a child’s spirit.

The beauty of this kind of contest is that when the parents conquer, it applies across the board. The child is not just yielding to the circumstances; he is yielding to his parents. The rebel in him is dying. This submission will translate into every aspect of their relationship.

Blog Author’s Note: That isn’t all that is dying… Early Childhood Trauma

The child has learned that the parents have more resolve than he does. They are not liars. When they say stop or else, they mean it. There is no way to bend the parents; their word is final.

….There are those of you who will think that the twenty miles of spanking was cruel. Remember, this was not a daily event; it was a war to end all wars. The spankings were not wild, violent affairs. They were not greatly painful—to the child, that is. They were done in quiet calm and dignity. It is not the severity of the spanking but the certainty of it that gives it persuasive power. Our object in spanking is not to cause the child to so fear the pain that he obeys. It is to gain the child’s attention and give him respect for the parent’s word. I know that there are abusive, angry parents out there who, through their own inconsistency, find themselves in a position where they excessively spank every day. Spanking should just be the early part of a training program. It is our consistency that trains. The rod just gives credibility to our word. If your word is not credible, no amount of the rod will ever be effective. You will become abusive. If you feel abusive, you probably are. Get counsel and advice from a close friend who has a Biblical perspective on child training.

First, if you feel you are bordering on something that feels abusive with your child, do not seek the counsel of a close friend because this is not going to result in an objective review and perspective of your situation. Close friends allow sex to continue between the parent-figure and child, they allow mothers to terrorize their children by pulling their hair and flinging them around in the name of obedience; they permit abuse to continue. Close friends won’t likely tell you they disagree, at least not sternly.  Chances are, they’re close friends because of your commonalities, and this does not lend itself to any sort of objective review.

The certainty of the spanking is not what causes the child’s behavior to become modified, but instead it is the certainty of the terror and pain they know they will experience at the hands of those they are meant to trust openly and deeply, on every level that is needed by the human mind.  To treat a child in this manner is to betray them at their core.

________________________________________________________________

I do not believe in allowing a child to rule my life or run my day in its entirety (well, some days I am perfectly fine with it actually), though the priority I place with my child and her development and well being often dictates that my day be centered around her.

I believe in a parent’s instinct, and that the child is the priority. My marriage is not suffering because of this priority, nor is the rest of my life or work because all are balanced accordingly, but while my child is young and totally dependent upon me for her survival and development, she will remain my utmost priority.

She cries because she needs something. Sometimes, at 28 months, she cries when she hasn’t gotten her way, and her cries are how she expresses the feelings associated with her not getting what she wanted, just as she wanted it. These cries are not rebellious or wrong. They are her expressing her frustrations, her disappointment, and all the other emotions that she can’t understand yet, but that are there and need an outlet so that she can move on to the next thing her tiny little focus find to dwell on.

If she is prevented from expressing and experiencing her emotions, and allowing them to run their course, at this young age, she begins to turn inward and without any mechanism within her mind to accomplish this inward reflection (that adults and older children have), she experiences an inner turmoil at the deepest part of her.

As she grows, and her mind matures from year to year, with each episode of experiencing emotional response, her mind begins to understand and learns to examine and utilize these emotional responses. In time, instead of outbursts that include crying and fits/tantrums, she is capable of processing these emotions in a more subtle, internal manner. This is not the unhealthy sort of internalizing that is a result of forced coping and survival. This is the sort of internal thought and emotional process that is found in an emotionally healthy, confident and socially functioning adult. This process begins of growth begins at birth (or prior) and completes itself somewhere along the way to adulthood. The timeline for this completion is unique to each individual.

In the case where a child this young persists in crying.. there is a reason.. He is not simply being a “brat”, as Mr. Pearl would have you believe. If he’s 10 years old, he will communicate his reason, and if there is crying, it will only be brief (unless he knows this is the best technique to force his preferences) but at two, his cries are his communication method. He is not manipulating you to the point where you need to strike him, or strike fear in his heart.

If the child is perfectly provided for, you have already addressed all his concerns, he is comfortable and not tired, and is simply crying or throwing a fit in effort to get you to give in to his desires, there is a very simple, non-violent solution. Do not withdraw from the child, do not isolate him by setting him in time-out or off on his own, stuck in his room, etc.. Stay with the child, in visual or audible range, while he/she works through the emotions experienced in response to their desire being refused.

Tell the child, while the child is screaming, that you’re there. Tell them that it’s ok for them to be upset, but that their response is not going to cause you to change your mind. AND don’t let it. If you decided, for instance, to not allow your toddler to play with a certain toy, do not relent and give it to her just to stop her crying or screaming. Just remove the object from where she can see it, or where she will be reminded that she cannot have it, and allow her to be upset.

Within a few minutes, sometimes 30, (I have seen the fits go on for this long on days when the tension in the house is particularly thick, or if she is too tired) and stay with the child. That does not mean you sit there and stare at them, aggravating them further. And that also doesn’t mean you continue to plead your case to them, hoping they will grasp your reasoning; they can’t grasp your refusal of the toy in the first place, there is no way they’ll grasp the abstract thought of why you have refused, etc…

Once the episode dwindles, and they become calm, you can remind them of what they cannot have, by simply stating that you have put it away for the day (or more) and that you will bring it back for them to play when you are ready to.

Then be loving, affectionate, and change the subject/focus to something that they CAN do and will enjoy, without a bunch of restrictions. Now is not the time to engage them in some complicated task where they are doomed to fail somehow and end up in another emotional battle with you.

______________________________________________________________

What Is Childhood Trauma?

By Bob Murray, PhD

Nearly every researcher agrees that early childhood traumas (i.e. those that happen before the age of six) lie at the root of most long-term depression and anxiety, and many emotional and psychological illnesses. Severe traumas can even alter the very chemistry and physiology of the brain itself! Among mental health professionals, and even some childhood development specialists, there is sometimes a lack of understanding over exactly what constitutes childhood trauma.

In addition to physical, sexual and verbal abuse, this can include anything that causes the child to feel worthless, unlovable, insecure, and even endangered, or as if his only value lies in meeting someone else’s needs. Examples cited in the report include “belittling, degrading or ridiculing a child; making him or her feel unsafe [including threat of abandonment]; failing to express affection, caring and love; neglecting mental health, medical or educational needs.”

The AAP also includes parental divorce in the list of potentially harmful events which can traumatize a child.

Many things on the AAP’s list of factors leading to childhood trauma benefit from further definition. For example, what do “belittling” or “degrading” mean in terms of a child’s development? What actions–or inactions–on the part of parents or child carers would lead little Tommy to feel degraded? Under this category I would include criticism, and even failure to praise him (for accomplishment, for effort as well as just for being a “great kid”), listen to his opinions, and take an interest in his activities or friends. Praise and encouragement are essential to a child’s sense of competence and emotional security, and absence of positive feedback can be extremely damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

Other stressors include parental fighting, domestic violence, and bullying, including failure to curb bullying behavior by siblings or peers. An absence of consistent rules and boundaries also makes a child feel unsafe.

According to the AAP, childhood trauma can also include witnessing community and televised violence. So Tommy may also grow to feel unsafe if he is allowed to watch violent movies or traumatic news footage on TV. In fact violent TV is seen by many researchers as one of the causes of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The important point is that a traumatic event or interaction must be a “repeated pattern” to cause lasting damage. The occasional slap on the wrist probably won’t cause permanent harm; an ongoing pattern of corporeal punishment, or threat of such punishment, almost certainly will.

___________________________________________________

Effects of child abuse and neglect

All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child’s sense of self, ability to have healthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school. Some effects include:

  • Lack of trust and relationship difficulties. If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust? Abuse by a primary caregiver damages the most fundamental relationship as a child—that you will safely, reliably get your physical and emotional needs met by the person who is responsible for your care. Without this base, it is very difficult to learn to trust people or know who is trustworthy. This can lead to difficulty maintaining relationships due to fear of being controlled or abused. It can also lead to unhealthy relationships because the adult doesn’t know what a good relationship is.
  • Effects of child abuse and neglectCore feelings of being “worthless” or “damaged.” If you’ve been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good, it is very difficult to overcome these core feelings. You may experience them as reality. Adults may not strive for more education, or settle for a job that may not pay enough, because they don’t believe they can do it or are worth more. Sexual abuse survivors, with the stigma and shame surrounding the abuse, often especially struggle with a feeling of being damaged.
  • Trouble regulating emotions. Abused children cannot express emotions safely. As a result, the emotions get stuffed down, coming out in unexpected ways. Adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out the painful feelings.

A Tragedy: The Boy Who Behaves as a Child, a Silly, Silly Child.

Source ->

I found this to be an extraordinarily hateful and tragic article.

Perpetually silly boys are an embarrassment to their fathers and a shame to their mothers; moreover, they are the public proof of a father’s neglect and a mother’s indulgence.

Responsibility and fellowship are the two key words. If you see to it that your young men identify with serious people, they will be serious. If they develop a will to suffer the pain of work, they will never suffer from silliness. You can do it, mother. It won’t be any harder for you, a single mother, than it is for the lady whose husband is emotionally absent or is abusive to the children. If there is no man in the family, make one of your son by the time he is eight years old, and you will have a male presence and perspective in the home that both you and he can recognize.

Personally, I believe children are children for a reason, and often acting silly is a part of that.  There are certain places, events, environments, where such behavior is not appropriate, and during those times, the parent simply needs to explain to the child ahead of time that he (in this case, as this article only focuses on boys) must remain reverent, and not behave otherwise.

A silly boy is disgusting and repulsive, because he is the antithesis of all that is attractive in a male. There is no age at which silliness is normal. It is in all circumstances inappropriate. How many times have you heard people say it, “Don’t be silly”? All of my readers could mimic the tone at which it is always uttered—a hurried, dismissive, embarrassment, carrying a presumption that it is out of place and most unbecoming.

So, if your son is generally silly, what can you do to make a man of him?

Yes, it really says this..

The kid who sits in church during communion and gets another kid’s attention by pretending to choke on the bread is one who has no real life of any consequence.

Ok, so, this is one of the instances I referred to above.  If the parent explains to the child before hand, or has done so in the past and the child is aware of the ongoing/long standing rule that reverence is required during this sort of event, then the parent should only need to gently remind the child in a whisper or look if he forgets and gets carried away.  I suppose if it’s bad enough and the child just can’t get a hold of himself, then perhaps he and the parent should excuse themselves until he can.  He’s a child.

A hungry child is never silly. A child in pain is sober. A child who just stacked a cord of fire wood is as serious as a veteran home from the war.

That tells me that in order to have the sort of “kid” that these people are suggesting, perhaps I should use hunger and pain… and honestly, who wouldn’t want a child that carries the burden of an adult, especially one that has experienced war.

To the mothers: Your job is to harden him up and make him tough, and then to release him back to the wild to fend for himself.

Responsibility and fellowship are the two key words. If you see to it that your young men identify with serious people, they will be serious. If they develop a will to suffer the pain of work, they will never suffer from silliness. You can do it, mother. It won’t be any harder for you, a single mother, than it is for the lady whose husband is emotionally absent or is abusive to the children. If there is no man in the family, make one of your son by the time he is eight years old, and you will have a male presence and perspective in the home that both you and he can recognize.

Someone.. please.. shed some insight, some hope for these poor boys.  I’m too worn out at the moment.  I need to purge.

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.

____________________________________________________________

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.