Train Up Your Child
June 6, 2010 · 53 Comments
To Train Up a Child
Submitter: I actually remember my mother having this book at some point (I don’t think she ascribed to it). Two children have died as a result of the author’s child care advice and one other was in critical condition. At some point some books aren’t even funny to joke about and just need to be removed because they endanger society. This is why I weed – to get stuff like this that might hurt others off the self.
Here is what Amazon Reviewer R. Craig “Mother” said and I couldn’t have built a case better myself. Currently World Cat has 56 libraries still holding this material.
Here are some details:
1) The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe whipping their own 4 month old daughter (p.9). They recommend whipping the bare skin of “every child” (p.2) for “Christians and non-Christians” (p.5) and for “every transgression” (p.1). Parents who don’t whip their babies into complete submission are portrayed as indifferent, lazy, careless and neglectful (p.19) and are “creating a Nazi” (p.45).
2) On p.60 they recommend whipping babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them “to get up.” On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.79 they recommend whipping a 7 month old for screaming.
3) On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with. On p.56 Debi Pearl hits a 2 year old so hard “a karate chop like wheeze came from somewhere deep inside.”
4) On p.44 they say not to let the child’s crying while being hit to “cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking.” On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is “totally broken.”
5) On p.55 the Pearls say a mother should hit her child if he cries for her.
6) On p.46 the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being whipped, whip them anyway. And “if you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher.” “Defeat him totally.” On p.80 they recommend giving a child having a tantrum “a swift *forceful* spanking.” On the same page they say to whip small children on their bare skin until they stop screaming. “Don’t be bullied. Give him more of the same.” They say to continue whipping until their crying turns into a “wounded, submissive whimper.”
7) On p.47 they recommend their various whips, including “a belt or larger tree branch” to hit children.
The Pearls recommend pulling a nursing infant’s hair (p.7), and describe tripping their non-swimming toddler so she falls into deep water (p.67). They recommend ignoring an infant’s bumped head when he falls to the floor, and ignoring skinned knees (p.86). They also say “if your child is roughed-up by peers, rejoice.” (p.81) And on p.103 the Pearls say if children lose their shoes, “let them go without until they (the children) can make the money to buy more.”
9) The Pearls claim their “training” methods are Godly, yet they have *no religious training or credentials* They never mention Jesus’ injunctions to forgive “seventy times seven” and be merciful, and they decry the “extraordinary ingnorance of modern psychology.”
The Pearls’ methods have resulted in parents being investigated by Child Protective Services, children being taken away from parents, a restraining order against a father, and even a babysitter going to jail on felony charges!
choose to see the world through your toddler’s eyes. Empathetically experience her world as she experiences it, and you will know harmony instead of struggle.
There seem to be a lot of discussions on how to keep toddlers in line lately, and the conversations in general result in my confusion and sadness. I have a two year old. She is a very complex, spirited, little person. She is communicative, emotional, thoughtful, and intelligent. And she has an opinion on just about everything. Keeping up with her is sometimes quite challenging, but it is a challenge I thoroughly enjoy meeting.
Consistency is an extremely valuable commodity and something that the toddler, especially, desperately needs. Through consistency from her care giver, she can learn to establish herself in her world, discover her own thoughtfulness and desire to think of others, and develop her autonomy. Security, self confidence, and the ability to thrive come from her knowing she is valued and worthy of being responded to, as well as being able to rely upon her environment and care givers.
Today was a difficult day because I was too impatient. I still am. My daughter knew it. And as if my own mood wasn’t enough to just end all today, she decided she was going to launch an all out protest, by returning it. Every impatient action or outburst I shot her way, she reflected right back at me. And can I fault her in any way? Nope.
At some point during my day, I began to really get to the point of just wanting to scream. My little one was just being little, but I wasn’t handling it well. I have a habit of purposefully falling silent and staring off in the distance in effort to gain the attention of my little bug, or regain my own, or both. Trying to gain the full picture, I will often do this while sitting on the floor, which makes my head about level to hers.
Today when I decided to attempt to gain control over my own impatience and try to regain control of the rapid downward spiral that would lead to my daughter losing it in a fit of emotion that she doesn’t know what to do with, I discovered something. My little girl was afraid. She was afraid of me, afraid of what she was doing or not doing, afraid to just be in her own little world (where she is usually very comfortable). She was on edge.
I realized in that moment what I was putting my little one through, and what I didn’t want to continue. I decided we needed a breather, so we put on a movie and just sat together on the couch. Before long, I became impatient again (a result of a hormonal imbalance that I am still trying to get a handle on after the pregnancy) and I picked up my laptop. This is a signal to my daughter that she is no longer my focus. And some days she tolerates this for a while, and others she hurt by my diverted attention. So, in response, she sulked. Then I sulked. Then she rejected my attempts at cuddling. So I put the computer away. But by then, she knew I was annoyed and not wanting to really watch the movie with her, remember she’s 28 months old and perceives well. She in turn became fully annoyed with me and told me as much.
I allowed myself to see through her eyes, and I felt her hurt. She was disappointed, felt like she wasn’t as valuable as my stupid laptop, and just didn’t understand why her mama was being so unpredictable today. I did (understand), and there was nothing I could do about it, but keep trying to remain calm. Eventually, we decided together that it was time for snuggle/sling time that would lead to a nap. She knew I needed a break, and so did she (from me).
She fell asleep very quickly, snuggled into my chest. I consciously made the decision to just hold her this time instead of reading something on my phone while waiting for her to fall asleep. Sometimes I get away with that, but often she lies in my arms, in the sling, and stares right at my face (the same face/eyes that are looking at something other than her own), waiting. She waits for me very quietly. When I realize I’m being stared at, I direct my gaze into her eyes and usually see relief and comfort, and a sense of security in her. Today, I saw apprehension and a guarded little girl. It broke me apart, again.
Just imagine if, instead of realizing her behavior today was in direct response to my own, I assumed the position of authoritarian power-demanding, righteously angry parent. How damaging to my little person I could have been. I’m so thankful I didn’t resort to forcing my way or punishing, I would have crushed her spirit severely.
I am convinced that my child generally wishes to be in harmony with her environment. She can be self focused at times, some of which are very useful and necessary, others are just whims. I can become frustrated with her too, but as soon as I stop thinking and seeing through only my own eyes and start seeing through hers as well, I can again appreciate her. When I relate to the world as this little does, I no longer struggle.
I have an amazing little bug, who perceives things at a level way beyond the depth of what we expected at this age. Early on, even during her first few weeks, others shared that when they looked into her eyes, they felt connected and that she sensed them fully.
“She has an old soul”, some said, and I have to agree – she often seems to have an awareness that eludes me.
I felt her strength, and her desire for harmony and peace well before she was born. And after her birth, her general demeanor gave me such a sense of peace and awe that my respect and admiration of her existence came without force or even conscious thought. I am on this earth for her. Her papa and I are committed to joining in her explorations, sharing tools as she discovers her world.
She impresses me every moment I am in her presence. She impresses me even when I’m not in her presence, because these times allow me to reflect on experiences with her, and I invariably gain an understanding and perspective that gives me even more to admire in her.
She knows we won’t hit her, or come after her. She seeks the boundaries and we help her see them, and we explain why in terms she can comprehend. She is tiny and has little experience to draw upon to formulate her own conclusions; if your thoughts are communicated, connection will result. She is highly intelligent, but explain yourself as if she is also brand new. Respect her. Remember what it is like to be a two year old? Take a moment to stop what you’re doing, get down on their level, and ask them what it’s like being them, and listen to their response (whether in word, expression, or body language).
See the world through your toddler’s eyes and experiences. Once you have chosen to do that regularly, you will find that you approach your child differently and they will respond in turn. Grow their trust and deepen your connection.
If all else fails and your toddler is just driving you nuts,
go take a look in the mirror.
Then, take responsibility for your own behaviors,
and realize that your toddler is the world’s greatest mimic.
Eye to eye, cheek to cheek,give them a moment of yours that is just for them.
Something that has hit me like a wrecking ball in all this research I’ve conducted in the last few weeks is an awareness of how what I do, EVERYTHING I DO, as far as my child is involved, literally molds and shapes her very existence. Mentally, physically, psychologically, emotionally.. every single aspect of her being is vulnerable to outside experiences, and will be throughout her entire life, but never more so than these early years when her brain is actually physically still developing the foundation it will function from until her final breath.
For example, previously, when my husband would depart for the office and my daughter would be upset and ask for him to come back, I would tell her she was ok, Mama was with her, and that Papa would return shortly.
One day, while saying these very words, I actually focused on her face, and her body’s response to what I was saying. She was angry. With me! She knew Papa would eventually return, but she was NOT ok! She was upset. She was sad, and she was experiencing the anxiety and discomfort of having her Papa leave her presence. She did not need me to point out the obvious, nor did she need me to invalidate her feelings by trying to reverse or counter them. She needed my empathy and comforting.
Now, when my little one expresses a feeling or emotional response to something, I will ask her for more details and talk to her about it as if I were also a two year old that is not capable of understanding what an adult does. I will hold her, tell her I miss her Papa (or whatever) too, and ask her what I can do to help how she feels. Notice here, I do not ask her how I can help her feel better, because it’s likely she doesn’t need to feel better, but needs to feel the impact of the emotion that she is experiencing, and work through it as her mind dictates.
This goes back to experiencing life through the eyes of the child. Now, I have even more reason to do so, not only to prevent my little one from feeling dis-valued or simply “humored”, but now I am aware of what chemicals are released upon stress (especially in forming brains) and how these chemicals affect the mind and its development. This is a HUGE responsibility, if you ask me. We’re not only talking about this person’s childhood, nor just her future as a functioning adult, but we’re talking about her in her entirety. ALL that she is.. I have the responsibility to guarantee that nothing I do to or with, or around her, is going to cause her mind to be affected negatively or to force it to function in a diminished capacity.
Do you feel the impact and weight of that? I’m still on the floor… it’s been about 10 days.
When I shout because I loose my temper, my daughter’s brain responds and floods certain areas with certain chemicals, and after time, if this keeps happening, these areas of the brain will not develop as they should. (If you want the science behind this, ask me.)
When my husband and I argue – same principle, only even worse, because her logic places her in-between as a peacemaker.
I cannot fathom intentionally subjecting my child to any form of trauma.
Let’s define trauma – Take a look at the dictionary’s definition, and read this article
a. a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident.
b. the condition produced by this; traumatism.
a.an experience that produces psychological injury or pain.
b. the psychological injury so caused.
c. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
Below is an excerpt from an article that discusses, in relatively simple English, what happens when children are experienced to situations they perceive as threatening.
Many of the articles and stories presented on the NGJ website (examples to follow, but just glance at the topics on the right and you’ll find plenty) are very descriptive and explain how their method causes the child to experience fear, survival responses, and dread. They also discuss what to do when your child attempts to evade you coming after him to spank him – track him down and do it harder – they will learn to not try to escape. If logic were being used instead of terror and power tactics, though the child might not like the natural consequences to their actions, they’re not going to have the same responses as they might to the knowledge that they’re about to be struck, and humiliated, and that they have no choice but to submit because if they don’t, they know their “punishment” will just become that much worse.
When a child is threatened, various neurophysiological and neuroendocrine responses are initiated. If they persist, there will be ‘use-dependent’ alterations in the key neural systems involved in the stress response. These include the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In animal models, chronic activation of the HPA system in response to stress has negative consequences. Chronic activation may “wear out” parts of the body including the hippocampus, a key area involved in memory, cognition and arousal. This may be occurring in traumatized children as well. Dr. Martin Teicher and colleagues have demonstrated hippocampal/limbic abnormalities in a sample of abused children.
Another set of neural systems that become sensitized by repetitive stressful experiences are the catecholamine systems including the dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems. These key neurochemical systems become altered following traumatic stress. The result is a cascade of associated changes in attention, impulse control, sleep, fine motor control and other functions mediated by the catecholamines. As these catecholamines and their target regions (e.g., amygdaloid nuclei) also mediate a variety of other emotional, cognitive and motor functions, sensitization of these systems by repetitive re-experiencing of the trauma leads to dysregulation in many functions. A traumatized child may, therefore, exhibit motor hyperactivity, anxiety, behavioral impulsivity, sleep problems, tachycardia and hypertension. In preliminary studies by our group, we have seen altered cardiovascular regulation (e.g., increased resting heartrate) suggesting altered autonomic regulation at the level of the brainstem. In other studies, clonidine, an alpha2 adrenergic receptor partial agonist has been demonstrated to be an effective pharmacotherapeutic agent, presumably by altering the sensitivity of the noradrenergic systems. Studies by Dr. Michael DeBellis and colleagues have demonstrated other catecholamine and neuroendocrine alterations in a sample of sexually abused girls. These indirect studies all support the hypotheses of a use-dependent alteration in the brainstem catecholamine systems following childhood trauma.
Implications of Trauma-related Alterations in Brain Development
All experiences change the brain – yet not all experiences have equal ‘impact’ on the brain. Because the brain is organizing at such an explosive rate in the first years of life, experiences during this period have more potential to influence the brain – in positive and negative ways. Traumatic experiences and therapeutic experiences impact the same brain and are limited by the same principles of neurophysiology. Traumatic events impact the multiple areas of the brain that respond to the threat. Use-dependent changes in these areas create altered neural systems that influence future functioning. In order to heal (i.e., alter or modify trauma), therapeutic interventions must activate those portions of the brain that have been altered by the trauma. Understanding the persistence of fear-related emotional, behavioral, cognitive and physiological patterns can lead to focused therapeutic experiences that modify those parts of the brain impacted by trauma.
Our evolving understanding of neurodevelopment suggests directions for assessment, intervention and policy. Primary among these is a clear rationale for early identification and aggressive, pro-active interventions that will improve our ability to help traumatized and neglected children. The earlier we intervene, the more likely we will be to preserve and express a child’s potential.
I wholeheartedly agree with this commenter, and the actual article, if you can believe it!
I will reread the article, but I honestly can’t really find anything here that I detect as something harmful for a child.
I don’t really like how Mr. Pearl states that a child isn’t fit to go somewhere with such a “nice looking family”, because I think that is inconsiderate and disrespectfully stated, but otherwise, I can’t find fault. Personally, I would simply state to the child that wherever the family is headed requires a certain type of clothing, and since the child did not have the proper type of clothing because he/she had not completed his/her task of whatever laundry they were responsible for, then accompanying the family would have to wait until the next opportunity.
ari, 20-01-10 15:41:
There are literally thousands of articles and studies that speak about the brain’s responses to stress, especially in children.
Our scientists and doctors know that certain repeated behaviors and actions with children cause damage and dysfunction in the brain. They can show how the brain becomes altered, and they can identify what parts of the mind are affected and when.
Here’s an article describing how we can do more than simply “treat” the emotional and psychological responses to abuse and similar repeated ill-treatment of children.
Child abuse experts said the findings reinforce the importance of interventions to prevent abuse.
If children are abused early, they are flooded with stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, said Louise Newman, a professor of perinatal and infant psychiatry at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
“This impacts directly on how the brain develops and the stress regulation mechanism. It becomes highly stressed so it’s like setting the thermostat on high, setting up a system which regulates stress less efficiently,” Newman said.
“Also it impacts on the area which controls feelings, so they’re more likely to be highly stressed, have difficulties with anger and emotions, and be prone to self-harm, anxiety, suicide and depression.”
It’s not clear why some people overcome their past while others succumb to it.
Source: Maltreatment at an early age can have enduring negative effects on a child’s brain development and function
It is hardly surprising to us that research reveals a strong link between physical, sexual and emotional mistreatment of children and the development of psychiatric problems. But in the early 1990s mental health professionals believed that emotional and social difficulties occurred mainly through psychological means. Childhood maltreatment was understood either to foster the development of intrapsychic defense mechanisms that proved to be self-defeating in adulthood or to arrest psychosocial development, leaving a “wounded child” within. Researchers thought of the damage as basically a software problem amenable to reprogramming via therapy or simply erasable through the exhortation “Get over it.”
New investigations into the consequences of early maltreatment, including work my colleagues and I have done at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and at Harvard Medical School, appear to tell a different story. Because childhood abuse occurs during the critical formative time when the brain is being physically sculpted by experience, the impact of severe stress can leave an indelible imprint on its structure and function. Such abuse, it seems, induces a cascade of molecular and neurobiological effects that irreversibly alter neural development.
To test this hypothesis, Fred Schiffer worked in my laboratory at McLean in 1995 to measure hemispheric activity in adults during recall of a neutral memory and then during recall of an upsetting early memory. Those with a history of abuse appeared to use predominantly their left hemispheres when thinking about neutral memories and their right when recalling an early disturbing memory. Subjects in the control group used both hemispheres to a comparable degree for either task, suggesting that their responses were more integrated between the two hemispheres.
Because Schiffer’s research indicated that childhood trauma was associated with diminished right-left hemisphere integration, we decided to look for some deficiency in the primary pathway for information exchange between the two hemispheres, the corpus callosum.In 1997 Andersen and I collaborated with Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health to search for the posited effect. Togetherwe found that in boys who had been abused or neglected, the middleparts of the corpus callosum were significantly smaller than in the control groups. Furthermore, in boys, neglect exerted a far greater effect than any other kind of maltreatment. In girls, however, sexual abuse was a more powerful factor, associated with a major reduction in size of the middle parts of the corpus callosum. These results were replicated and extended in 1999 by De Bellis. Likewise, the effects of early experience on the development of the corpus callosum have been confirmed by research in primates by Mara M. Sanchez of Emory.
This to teach the child who’s in control and not to be questioned. The Pearls recommend keeping a plumbing line in every room and even one around the neck to remind the child of that message.
Please take a moment to review the dictionary and thesaurus as they define and discuss the word spank (verb). Note the antonyms as well. (The complete listing is found at the end of this post.)
|Part of Speech:||verb|
|Definition:||penalize for wrongdoing|
|Synonyms:||abuse, attend to, batter, beat, beat up, blacklist, castigate, chasten, chastise, correct, crack down on, cuff, debar, defrock, discipline, dismiss, do in, execute, exile, expel, fine, flog, give a going over, give the works, harm, hurt, immure, incarcerate, injure, knock about, lash, lecture, maltreat, misuse, oppress, paddle, rap knuckles, reprove, rough up, scourge, sentence, slap wrist, spank, switch, teach a lesson, throw the book at, train, whip|
|Antonyms:||award, exonerate, let go, praise, protect, reward|
Mike’s Response (to the Schatz case)
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. Over 1,000,000 parents have applied these Biblical principles with joyful results.
The courts have never charged NGJ Ministries with teaching abuse; quite the contrary. In a former case where a woman owned one copy of To Train Up A Child, the prosecuting attorney used that very book as testimony against her out of control methods. Likewise Ramsey, the prosecutor in the Schatz case, is quick to point out that No Greater Joy does not advocate spanking to the point of serious injury.
If indeed these parents were abusive, and that has not yet been proven by the courts, it is regretful that our teachings were not able to turn them from their predisposition to abusive habits. Those of us who deal with substance abuse, psychological impairment, and family issues, try to make positive changes in every person, but sometimes our best efforts are too little or too late. But for the sake of our precious children, we must double our efforts and move forward.
Michael Pearl, CEO
No Greater Joy Ministries, Inc
Mr. Pearl, you are incorrigible. And you are digging your own grave, and those that follow you.
|Part of Speech:||adjective|
|Synonyms:||abandoned, beastly, hardened, incurable, intractable, inveterate, irredeemable, irreparable, loser, recidivous, uncorrectable, unreformed, useless, wicked|
|Antonyms:||good, manageable, nice, obedient, reformable|
|Part of Speech:||adjective|
|Definition:||free from moral restraint; uninhibited|
|Synonyms:||corrupt, depraved, dissolute, immoral, incontinent, incorrigible, licentious, profligate, shameless, sinful, uncontrolled, unprincipled, unrestrained, wanton, wicked, wild|
|Antonyms:||chaste, innocent, moral, pure, restrained, virtuous|
|Part of Speech:||adjective|
|Synonyms:||biased, bigoted, bugged, burning*, contumacious, credulous, devoted, dogmatic, domineering, enthusiastic, erratic, extreme, fervent, feverish, fiery, frenzied, headstrong, high on, immoderate, impassioned, impulsive, incorrigible, infatuated, mad, monomaniacal, narrow-minded, nuts for, obsessed, obsessive, obstinate, opinionated, partial, partisan, passionate, possessed, prejudiced, rabid, radical, raving, single-minded, stubborn, turned on, unruly, violent, visionary, wild, willful, zealous|
|Antonyms:||disinterested, dispassionate, impartial, unenthusiastic|
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.
Cite This Source
Cite This Source
// // spank
v. spanked, spank·ing, spanks
To slap on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand, as for punishment.
To move briskly or spiritedly.
n. A slap on the buttocks.
– 10 of 19 thesaurus results
* = informal/non-formal usage
* = informal/non-formal usage
* = informal/non-formal usage
* = informal/non-formal usage
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.
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.”
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.
Please take a moment to review this blog and associated sites. Once again, it seems I am not alone in my quest to give people an alternative to this group’s tormenting methods of child raising.
I’m not really sure what other response is expected from Mr. Pearl, honestly. Yes, he is arrogant, but read one paragraph of one single article he’s written and you’ll know that. Yes, he believes he is also righteous and correct, all the time. What other persona could he project? Humility and sincerity are incongruous with the core of his teachings, or any extended tentacle. It’s not like he’s suggesting ideas on child raising… He states –
A proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain. If he should tell you that the spanking makes him madder, spank him again. If he is still mad…. He desperately needs an unswayable authority, a cold rock of justice. Keep in mind that if you are angry you are wasting your time trying to spank his anger away.I could break his anger in two days. He would be too scared to get angry. On the third day he would draw into a quiet shell and obey. On the fourth day I would treat him with respect and he would respond in kind. On the fifth day the fear would go away and he would relax because he would have judged that as long as he responds correctly there is nothing to fear. On the sixth day he would like himself better and enjoy his new relationship to authority. On the seventh day I would fellowship with him in some activity that he enjoyed. On the eight day he would love me and would make a commitment to always please me because he valued my approval and fellowship. On the ninth day someone would comment that I had the most cheerful and obedient boy that they had ever seen. On the tenth day we would be the best of buddies.
Now, if you ask me, that is some serious blind audacity. Not exactly what I would have in mind as a babysitter… but still –
This woman has a lot of perspective to lend:
In his book, Michael Pearl suggests tempting a child with a bite of their favorite food ~ placing a morsel within the child’s reach ~ and when said child instinctively reaches out for the food ~ Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, ‘No.’ Repeat as many times as necessary until the child is trained not to automatically grab for whatever he or she wants ~ but rather, to automatically look to the parent for permission before reaching out to take the desired food.
Even in my Quiverfull-induced stupor ~ I recognized the cruelty of such parenting advice ~ to deliberately tempt your child and then smack them when they take the bait?!! I remember thinking, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray “lead us not into temptation”? If it’s not okay for our Heavenly Father to lead us into temptation ~ how can it be right for earthly parents to do this to their children? I did not bother to finish reading the book.
Thankfully, I joined the local Le Leche League group for breastfeeding support and was introduced to Dr. William Sear’s “attachment” approach to parenting which jived with my natural inclination for gentle mothering. Admittedly, I still did occasionally spank my children ~ but thankfully, I stopped short of purchasing the quarter-inch plumbing supply line in my quest to have happily obedient children.