"To Train Up a Child"... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A well meaning person just gave me this book...her sister actually sent it to her from Arkansas because she told her that her new boyfriend (my dad) has a granddaughter and I guess she thought I should read it since her sisters kids behave PERFECTLY...they dont even have tantrums...only when there parents tell them too!!

With in the first few pages I felt like I was going to throw up or cry or both...has anyone else heard of this book...I believe he says this is an Amish way of training children...when he wrote about teaching the 10-12 month old to come when his/her name is called by hitting them on the leg with the switch, I just about cried! He talks about children as if they are little monsters that need there wills broken so they will obey and submit...sick!

I'm going to finish reading this book (if I can get through it) and tell the people that gave it to me exactly what I think of it!


blessings

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#2 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 03:31 PM
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There is no way to exaggerate the damage this book can do in the wrong hands. This book is the exat opposite to the gentle parenting methods advocated here at Mothering.

There is no Biblical justification for the abuse advocated in TTUAC.

Oh, by the way, the *reason* these kids are "so well behaved" is because they're so afraid of their parents they behave or the consequences for even minor misbehavior is too much to bear.

Yes, this book is as bad as you imagine.

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#3 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 04:10 PM
 
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I really need to stop reading these threads about child abuse-encouraging books. Especially since I'm trying to clean up my language.

What, oh what is the future of this country? People are talking child-rearing advice from sadists who have such a loose grasp of the english language that they can't even name a book correctly.

I suddenly feel the need to head out and do a little book burning.
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#4 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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someone gave you this book : there was a thread about it in activism a while ago and i read the first chapter online. it's amazing that it's legal to publish such a book, let alon to hit a baby. whatever you do with it, don't give it away to a used bookstore or thrift shop. just destroy it.
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#5 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 06:27 PM
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There is a wonderful quote by Thomas Jefferson that I think applies here:

"I tremble for my species when I reflect that God is just."
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#6 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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BURN IT!!!!!
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#7 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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BURN IT!!!!!


Definatly! and don't give it back to those people!! : that is horrible!!
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#8 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 06:47 PM
 
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I've read that too. That book is horrible, absolutely horrible. Note that they have a section on their website about dealing with Child Protective Services. I wonder why?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#9 of 207 Old 02-01-2005, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My df gf was telling me about the way her sister's children behave so wonderfully and they are so happy, this was the second or third time I met her she also told me about the switch and how they only gently tapped them with it...sure...something sounded wrong to me about all that right when she started to tell me about it...in fact, something has been telling me ever since I got to know her a bit that my Dad has no idea what he has gotten himself into...but thats a whole other issue...at first I thought I would return the book out of respect but after reading what I did, that book is going to BURN!!!!

thx mamas

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#10 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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For those who haven't encountered this before... This is the Pearls at their worst. They have a whole website of this ... garbage... and it is utterly poisen. You are right, their premise is that children are, at birth, utterly displeasing to God and must be broken to obey parents and God with unquestioning and instant obediance. They base their arguements on some very twisted readings of scriptures and claim their way is the only way to raise children and be Christian. For those of us in the GD world, this is about as sickening as it gets.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY ALL CHRISTIANS THINK!!!! Please, this stuff always starts a backlash against all of us who call ourselves Christians. Really, these people are not the norm and the vast majority of Christians do not believe or act this way.
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#11 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I still have the book...I'm actually not sure whether she is just loaning me the book or if she actually gave it to me...she didnt really say. My dad has asked me not to burn it because of this...he also said he is Done with the woman!

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#12 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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I would ask your df to read the book and then read one by Dr. Sears.
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#13 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom

THIS IS NOT THE WAY ALL CHRISTIANS THINK!!!! Please, this stuff always starts a backlash against all of us who call ourselves Christians. Really, these people are not the norm and the vast majority of Christians do not believe or act this way.
I think we all know it's not.

I've been known to go off on "Christians" when I hear about extremists, and when "releigious groups" attack things that are important to me.

I know that most religious people are not like this, though.

A good friend of mine knows a lot about sociology and told me, when we were discussing issues such as this book, that the USA experiences a puritan revival/backlash every 50 years or so. (Placing the last one in the early 1950's.) He beleives we're at the tip of the iceberg. The horror!

I was a kid in the Free-to-be-You-and-Me seventies and came of age during the Clinton era. Sometimes I wonder what the heck country I've found myself living in!
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#14 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 04:40 PM
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If we feel this bad about that book just imagine how Jesus feels
With all that done in HIs Name. If I was the Pearls I'd want to : and : Because I and can find no place where it says we're to hit our kids in the But Jesus told us to our children and He is called the Prince of and I can only imagine He's and perhaps even :Puke

I will : : and verbally : these people at every opportunity.

DB
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#15 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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This infuriates me too. Especially that some parents may read it and actually think God wants them to do this.......

I once was given copies of the Ezzo books, anmd we had fun burning them.
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#16 of 207 Old 02-02-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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#17 of 207 Old 02-03-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
their premise is that children are, at birth, utterly displeasing to God and must be broken to obey parents and God with unquestioning and instant obediance. They base their arguements on some very twisted readings of scriptures and claim their way is the only way to raise children and be Christian.
Since "Christians" are so named because we try to be like Christ, I believe Jesus's own words are sufficient to show how wrong and un-Christian the Pearls' ideas are:

"Permit the children to come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truely I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all." --Jesus (Luke 18:17)

Doesn't sound like they were "utterly displeasing" to him. Quite the opposite. I'm sure the Pearls twist this verse and many others to justify their sick and abusive methods. It makes me ill and sad and angry all at the same time. I imagine they must have pretty low opinions of themselves as well, if they see their relationship to God as analagous to the parent-child relationship they espouse. Sorry -- getting off into theology a bit. Can't help myself when it comes to stuff like this.

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#18 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 06:49 AM
 
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I know you'll probably kill me for this...

My parents LOVE the Pearls, and are raising my sisters (unborn to 10 yrs) using these methods. I've read the book, and while I agree that it could be very dangerous in some hands, as a PP said, I think that I've seen only good things come of it with my sisters. I can say this only b/c I see my parents' methods, and know that they are loving and never discipline in anger.

Also, I like the creative parenting ideas in there for the actual training (as opposed to disciplining), such as having quarreling siblings stand nose-to-nose for 5 minutes, b/c by the end they are giggling and enjoying each other. Or, to teach a kid to close the door when coming inside, have him do it 10 times in a row, as a game, so he'll never forget it. Make it fun.

Anyways, I know that it's been ok for my family, and that my sisters adore my parents, are not afraid of them at all, and the whole family is really joyful. I can also say that I thoroughly enjoyed bringing all 5 girls to the zoo by myself. They were easier and more fun than the 1 girl I nanny for. Oh, and also, they rarely, if ever, need to be disciplined. I think they are disciplined maybe once a year, if that.

Anyways, sorry about going off. While I understand where everyone here is coming from, and I know this forum is for GD, I just wanted to put in my experience with TTUAC/Pearls. And to let you know that you are right, not all Christians believe this stuff, but also that not all that do subscribe to the Pearls' theology are abusers.

Just to clarify: I am not, by any means, trying to convince anyone to change their GD methods.
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#19 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 07:03 AM
 
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please destroy it after you are done.

It is pure crap :Puke

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#20 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 07:05 AM
 
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Kateana,

No disrepect but maybe you could offer other suggestions to them. I cannot believe people actually follow it.


And as for making learning fun, why not read "Playful Parenting" or some other great book. No one needs to reasd a book by the baby whipping Pearls to learn this stuff.

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#21 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 07:13 AM
 
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Oh! Shoot! I forgot to even address the theology thing. I feel like a jerk even going into this here, b/c it's not the place for it, but since I didn't bring it up, maybe it's ok?

I believe what the Pearls were saying was not that children are inherently bad, or displeasing to God. Mankind was created in perfect communion with God, but Adam and Eve disobeyed, and now we are all in need of reconciliation. (I don't pretend to know or understand the whole explanation for how sin was transfered from Adam to us, but that's what the Bible says, and therefore the Pearls.) They say that until a child is able to make that reconciliation themselves, parents are responsible for being their conscience. It seems logical enough: we can't expect kids to do what is right naturally, on their own, until they have been taught how and why. (If you really need an example: candy.)

One last thing, and this is more my opinion than me trying to rephrase the Pearls for you: I think that for me, as a Christian, it would be best to parent in a way that mirrors God's relationship to us, so that one day my child will desire a relationship with his heavenly Father. What I have experienced in life so far is that sometimes the consequences for my actions (disobedience to God) are painful. I wouldn't want a toddler to have to learn this by getting hit by a car b/c he won't listen to "NO", but rather by a flick (thumb and middle finger) on the hand in the living room while learning not to use the phone, for example. I just think it's important for kids to learn that there are rules that we sometimes don't understand, but they are there for a reason. And that's just me, and thank you again for listening.
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#22 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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I come from a perspective of science, but I think the reason children need "guidance" is because children's first and most important need is to learn.

I think G-d made children so inquisitive so that the human race would survive, rather than be eaten by animals. For those who haven't noticed, the ONLY thing we have going for us from an evolutionary standpoint is that we are really, really, really smart compared to other animals. (And by smart, I mean able to solve new problems.)

So the reason I object to flicking a child's wrist to stop them from touching the phone (not dangerous by the way) is that studies have shown that kids who have their hands slapped gentle to teach them to stay away from objects decrease their reaching for and touching ALL objects. Well, touching things is how we learn- so you're basically discouraging learning so that you don't have to put the phone higher up away from the kids.

My child has never been hit by a car and has a healthy fear of the road even though I've never hit her. This is a big issue for me because I've seen a toddler run over.

I think it's quite possible to teach and guide a child without hitting them. Maybe not if your goal is unquestioning obedience, but I wouldn't want my child to be unquestioningly obedient to authority figures anyway. As for her obedience to G-d? I beleive G-d is in her heart and if she follows her heart she'll make the right decisions.

Maybe this is why I can't be part of this conversation usually. I don't beleive in the idea of stewardship- that those with power and control need to expect unblinking obedience from the powerless. I don't beleive that those with power have the right to hit those without it.

But that's just me. I'm not terribly religious, if the pope himself tried to slap my child, I'd kick his butt.
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#23 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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By the way- I think hitting people is wrong, heck even hitting animals is wrong. Just becauise children have no rights does not make it OK for me to hit them.
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#24 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5
I've read that too. That book is horrible, absolutely horrible. Note that they have a section on their website about dealing with Child Protective Services. I wonder why?

This might be a trivial point but there is a whole association dedicated to dealing with the defence of homeschoolers...so the fact that they give you tools for dealing with CPS doesn't automatically make them bad (IMO they are still monsters). It seems that any way of thinking, good OR bad, off the beaten track has the potential to get you in trouble with government agencies.
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#25 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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I just read part of the first chapter of this book online--I couldn't get through the whole thing. Hitting a TEN-MONTH-OLD with a switch for not coming when called (umm...can these 10-month-olds even walk)? Pulling a baby's hair if it accidentally bites while nursing? Calling infants problematically "self-centered"?!?

*shudder*
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#26 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 01:39 PM
 
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Why oh why do people think this is okay? It makes me sick.

Now, I'm not a christian but it seems to me that Adam and Eve committed sin as ADULTS. So why should innocent children suffer for it? That's sort of like visiting the sins of the father on the son. Rather pointless.

The poster who is advocating this method of parenting really bugs me. I just had to have the conversation with my MIL that "flicking" is not okay, since she just suggested that I do this to my son, who is biting a lot right now. How in the H-E-double hockey sticks is flicking my 9 mo old's cheek going to teach him not to bite? It's just going to teach him that mommy hurts him.

Hitting, HAIR PULLING (that just makes me ill), flicking, etc, is NOT OKAY.

I wish I had the link to an article I read by a Christian mother who followed Ezzo's "Growing Children God's Way" or what ever the heck it's called, with her first child and then came to realize that she had created a fearful, vengeful child who thought hurting his baby sister was okay. It was a great article and really highlighted the problems "flicking" as discipline created in her home.

Thank God some of us are raising children non-violently. It gives me hope for the world.
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#27 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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nak

Free To Be...is available on amazon, btw---perhaps everyone should buy it to prepare for the worst of this backlash (ita about that too).
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#28 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kateana
I wouldn't want a toddler to have to learn this by getting hit by a car b/c he won't listen to "NO", but rather by a flick (thumb and middle finger) on the hand in the living room while learning not to use the phone, for example. I just think it's important for kids to learn that there are rules that we sometimes don't understand, but they are there for a reason. And that's just me, and thank you again for listening.
With all respect, I am not interested to hear that you think flicking a child in punishment is okay. Really, I'm not!
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#29 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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Original Sin- it's been used to justify so much cruelty throughout the ages. I think my child is born innocent and why should I be so arrogant as to think I understand G-d better than she does?

My dad is a lawyer and for the past few years has been developing expertise in biblical law and it's interpretation in modern business law- so I hear all about passages and what various professors he works withthink about them. It's really amazing how easy it is to misinterpret the bible if you don't know the historical context. At the very least, it may be said that learning the historical context lends itself to a more complex and different interpretation than we might take if we read it today.

That said, I am always suprised people even try to justify their actions using biblical passages. The bible also mentions having several wives, keeping slaves, and lots of rules that can only be truly understood by looking at the various translations, their meaning, the historical context, etc.

Maybe I'll pick my dad's brain somtimes about some of the passages that talk about children.
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#30 of 207 Old 02-13-2005, 03:35 PM
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If my siblings were being subjected to the Pearls' teaching I would be actively working on getting them removed from their home and into my protective care.

There is nothing you can say in defense of this teaching.

I don't give a rat's ass whether the children are turning out ok. How do you measure ok? They are pleasent? Do they have a choice???

In fact the first thing I noticed about this teaching is they advocate you *provoke* an altercation of wills between the parent and toddler if no event takes place during the course of the day. They actually teach parents to set up an event that will end up with the child ignoring the voice of the parent, be beaten, and finally pass the artificially induced test of wills (if you read the book it is in there!!!!)

This defies the Scriptural injunction against parents provoking their children.

In other words, they disobey Scripture to acheive their ung-dly ends.

If someone is following the advice found in the Pearls' books they are violating civil law and could have their children removed from their homes. I am no fan of cps but this is one case where they are needed. If my sisters or brothers (or even grandchildren) were being treated to the abuse the Pearls advocate I would be in sin if I didn't intervene.

Sorry for the strong words but I sincerely believe they are warrented.

Debra Baker
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