Eileen Joy and her petition have made the mainstream news in New Zealand after reaching 100,000 signatures.
Here is an article from Auckland Now. (Sunday Star Times)
There is also debate about this on Facebook. I found a couple on these pages:
“Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol” (Proverbs 23:13-14, NASB).
So many Christians believe this verse and the other “Rod” verses are to be taken literally. Some very watered down versions of the Bible even say to spank. But, if we were to take this literally, wouldn’t that make God a liar? Let’s think about this. [Read more…]
In a recent post, I shared discussion of an addition to To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. There is an exerpt from the chapter on the No Greater Joy website. In this article, Michael Pearl refutes studies which have shown spanking children to be harmful and shares the results of some other studies which he claims show the opposite. Of course, there are flaws in his logic. Here is an example. He states:
Child psychologist Elizabeth Owens, scientist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study. She concluded, “If you look at the causally relevant evidence, it’s not scientifically defensible to say that spanking is always a horrible thing. I don’t think mild, occasional spankings in an otherwise supportive, loving family will do any long-term harm.”
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has an update on the Barbour Case which focuses on the children involved and their new life and healing. It’s so wonderful to post some good news for a change!
In case you missed them, here are my previous posts about the Barbour case.
Sarah has graciously allowed me to host this most excellent post.
Aha. Welcome to my long winded “Why I don’t believe in spanking” post.
You will soon find that spanking isn’t the whole issue with me. I don’t believe in punishment at all (GASP!).
‘Course permissiveness can be unhealthy as well, so I am setting out on this parenting journey to tread not somewhere in between those two evils, but outside the whole paradigm altogether. Onward, fellow travelers! To the land of gentle discipline! (I’m cheesy and I know it… beeeooouuup beeouup beoup beoup beoup beoup beoup. Girl, look at that baby. He drinks milk! Okay, yes. Too much coffee. I’m out of control.)
Now that you know what you’re getting yourself into (should you choose to read on), allow me to indulge in a disclaimer. [Read more…]
Markiece Palmer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the beating death of Roderick “RJ” Arrington. This was another case of parents abusing their child in the name of religion. The part I found intersting about this case was that the judge condemned him for his attempt to break the child’s will. Here is the quote from the story in The Las Vegas Review Journal. (Warning, upsetting story; not for the faint of heart)
“You used your faith as a basis to justify that,” District Judge David Barker said at Palmer’s sentencing hearing. “It sounds to me like you were trying to break him, this little boy, to break his spirit, to break his will.”
ETA: There was some question about the report to CPS on my Facebook wall, which led me to share this (very disturbing) news story.
C.L. Dyck has graciously allowed me to host her free e-book. Her summary text is as follows:
Is the child-training method of homeschool business No Greater Joy Ministries a factor in child deaths? Sean Paddock (2006) and Lydia Schatz (2010) both died at the hands of parents who allegedly followed Michael Pearl’s child training method. But what influence, if any, might Pearl’s teachings have had on the parents’ thinking?
In the wake of intense online debate and controversy in 2010, this project undertook an in-depth review of No Greater Joy Ministries’ doctrinal ideas. It was assembled with the assistance of a 10-member review team who provided theological and editorial guidance for the project.
The e-book is 76 pages, and is available as a free download for the information of the Christian homeschooling community and other interested parties.
Creative Commons License: Parenting in the Name of God by David J. Dyck and C.L. Dyck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
To download, please click here.
Another testimony from someone who was “lovingly” spanked/hit by her well meaning Christian parents, and yet, was harmed. Pro-spankers, please do not dismiss these real stories. After all, if spanking is so “godly,” why do you call people harmed by spankings “spoiled brats? Here is Donia’s story:
“This was how I was raised. Spanked ‘biblically’ by loving parents and I turned out fine…..except I didn’t. I lied, I cheated (in our Christian school, no less), I stole, I had sex, even trying [Read more…]
JoEllen from CuppaCocoa explains how to teach children A Better Way To Say Sorry. This method is phenomenal as are the results of teaching it. As Dara Stoltzfus said on the Facebook page for this site.
I’ve used this approach with my kids and it’s really the best way to go. Just forcing the “I’m sorry” thing doesn’t help anyone or teach kids “why” they should be sorry. I find too that when you talk to them about what they did wrong, once they’re used to this way of apologizing, they do it on their own. They will spontaneously offer an apology and ask forgiveness without being prompted to do so once they understand “why” what they did was wrong.
And, the funny thing is…once my oldest…did something and then she came to me and asked me to forgive her and I realized at that moment that here…I’d been wanting to wallow in my anger. I wanted to stay mad at her. I wanted to somehow “make her suffer” for what she’d done (the effects of having been spanked showing thru in me) and when she asked me that I had to deal with that IN ME.
Thoughtful parenting really changes US in such amazing ways.
This post is part of a larger series on How To Shape Children’s Behavior.
She also has some good marriage advice.
Richard was kind enough to share his concerns with me here. Dara responded to him with such a powerful testimony that I did not want to leave her words hidden in my comment section. That is why I am reproducing her comment here.
“How interesting, Hermana Linda, that you have determined that there are better ways to guide than those supplied by God’s Word.”
I agree with you that it would be disturbing if someone felt this way. But, I do not see Hermana Linda as doing that. I see that she agrees that the best way to guide children is to do so by God’s Word. The real conflict is among Christians over what God’s Word actually says and should be of utmost importance to all of us.
I was raised being hit with [Read more…]
Michael Ferris, on behalf of HSLDA, speaks out against Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips and the teachings of Patriarchy in A Line In The Sand. It’s a shame they still recommend abusive books, such as those by Dr. James Dobson and John Rosemond.
I was recently asked why gentle Christian parents and advocates don’t talk about sin when it comes to children much. The answer is because what most Christians believe is sin in children usually isn’t. A toddler saying, “no!” when asked to do something isn’t sin, it’s the child exploring independence and boundaries. A preschooler crying over not having something they really wanted is the child just having a hard time. Even biting, hitting, kicking, and cussing in young children is NOT sin. Young children needing food, love, comfort, room to play is not sin. Sin is when we truly understand something is wrong and goes against God and we have total control over ourselves and can tap into God’s strength to resist, yet choose wholeheartedly to go against God, THAT is sin!! Every child is different. Every child will sin like us. But, before 12-years-old, I don’t believe children truly sin. We slowly teach children about sin by discipline without punishment. By providing them with appropriate behaviors. And, by teaching them about God.
Also, when we look for sin in children, it makes us hypersensitive to all “inappropriate behavior.” It makes us want to punish for perceived sinfulness. We look at children as “little sinners” rather than blessings as the Bible says they are. Jesus loves children and told us to be like them. When sin is the focus, we become proud. We become judges. We think more highly of ourselves than we should so we can “beat that sin right out of that child.”
In reality, we are WORSE sinners than older children. Jesus said to get the plank out of our own eyes before removing the speck out of our brother’s eye. This applies to children too! Sin is sooooooooo much more than a child having a meltdown. Childish behavior is NOT sin. Rejecting God is! Hurting children is! Let’s focus on teaching and guiding children instead of worrying what childish behavior is sin. Give children the tools to choose good over bad so when real sin comes their way, they can tap into God and make more righteous decisions over sinful ones.
UPDATE: Because of cash donations not included in the total, the goal has been met! Thank you to everyone who participated in this labor of love. <3
Here is an article which explains why many of us are uncomfortable with the Duggars.
I just found out about a new abuse trial, that of Army Maj. John E. Jackson and his wife, Carolyn. The North Jersey Record writes about the case here. It involves 3 adopted children, one of whom died some time ago (which they are now investigating due to the findings of abuse of the other 2.) I normally would not post about a case when religion has not been mentioned, but according to this story, when the oldest biological son confronted his father about the abuse, he was told that children were being trained. This article is giving me flashbacks of the Williams case.
Jennifer McGrail has posted a very favorable book review of Gentle Firmness by Stephanie Cox. Here is an excerpt from her review:
Gentle Firmness, by Stephanie Cox, is one of the most important new books to join the gentle parenting movement, particularly for Christians. Thorough and well-researched, it takes an unflinching look at the history of spanking within the Christian faith; why the Bible doesn’t actually say what so many well-intentioned pro-spankers think it says; the harmful and often long-term effects of spanking; and finally, practical suggestions on what peaceful parents can do instead.
It is an excellent review, so I’m sure you’re going to want to read the rest.
I was wrong. You heard it here first.
That time. At the mall. You hit your kid and I told you it wouldn’t help anything and asked you to stop.
That was really dumb.
Not because I’ve changed my mind and decided we should hit kids, but because I know better. That approach I took almost never works. After all, you were quite young when we had that conversation. I remember when I was young, whenever someone told me to stop doing something, it motivated me all the more to keep doing it. And I could spout off 37 reasons why I was right and they were wrong. I’m sure you did that in your head that day.
What do I wish I had done? [Read more…]
Maureen shares an update of the Barbour case, in which Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6-12 months for pleading no contest to the felony charge of endangering her 2 adopted Ethiopian children. What I find most surprising is that she will be allowed to go home and take care of her children for 40 hours per week. This is all explained in this article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Update: More about the Barbour case in this article: Franklin Park child abuse case draws protest, counter-protest.
She then goes on to tell us about Carri Williams and the 59 page appeal brief she has filed, which she has on her site for us to read. This is a lot to read, but I’ll try to summarize what I can understand. They argue that it was not proven that Hana was under 16 nor that Immanuel’s scars were caused by Carri, that the terms “torture” and “extreme indifference to human life” were unconstitutionally vague and that she was deprived of a necessary witness. They bring up the witness who claimed to be Hana’s uncle and testified to her age being 13 and then fled instead of returning to Ethiopia. It later came out that the State had paid him for his testimony. His testimony was stricken from the case, but the jury had heard it. They also show where the prosecuting atty gave opinions and was instructed by the judge to stop more than once. For these reasons, they believe that it should have been ruled a mistrial.
For more on the Williams case, please see my Hana Alemu “Williams” tag.
Homeschoolers Anonymous has a new article about Homeschool Leaders covering up sexual abuse. (*trigger warning*) They focus on Paul and Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, who I have mentioned before. They are assisted in this story by Eric Novak who used to work for The Old Schoolhouse and was close to the family.
The reason I am interested in this piece is that Paul and Gena Suarez are staunch defenders of the Pearls. This article details some of their abuses and is not for the sensitive.
This piece also exposes that many respected homeschool leaders are aware of this situation yet chose to ignore it and continue to support and promote The Old Schoolhouse. It is a very disturbing document, indeed.
For more info about this, please see these posts by Eric Novak
Why I Care about the Homeschool & Christian Community
An Open Letter to Heidi St. John
HSLDA & Heidi St. John Refuse to Support Victims of Abuse
M. Dolon Hickman shares his testimony and background of how he came to write his book, “13:24“ as well as how his father repented of his abuse in, My Father Repented of “Christian Spanking” Too Late.
Maureen, at Light Of Day Stories, remembers the verdict one year ago today.