Shannon Evans pleas for an end to Obedience-Based Christian Parenting, especially for adopted children, in a very well written post. This is a good post to share with pro-spankers because she explains the danger of the mindset without condemning spankers. I realize that many of my followers are disappointed in this post and claiming that it does not go far enough. We have to understand that there is a time and place for baby steps. People rarely jump from pro-spanker to anti-spanker in moment of epiphany. Such a change is usually a long, arduous journey. Information taken in at each step of the way will either push them further along on the way or push them backwards. A blog post which condemns all spanking is often rejected and may even push them right back to their starting spot. It is clear from this post that the author has come a long way and is in danger of alienating many people she loves by posting this. I applaud her courage and passionate plea.
Coleen G. was nice enough to share her testimony here on my blog. I’m reposting it below so it won’t be missed.
I have seen the fruits of the Pearl’s methods in my own children and at another family that we know.
My friend tried to switch her toddler son until he was crying submissively and brokenly. She was horrified at how many times this needed to be done and each event required welting, bruises because he would not be broken until he no longer could stand the agony. She never switched like that again and never used their methods again. She had been following the techniques as described including the correct “tool”.
I too tried to follow their methods but I could not bring myself to hit that hard. I did not know of my friend’s sessions with her son at the time. That story came out to me years later. I have a temper problem and very strong willed children as well(I know now that is a blessing not a sin issue). While I tried very hard to not let my temper rule me it came out when I had to go through multiple sessions over many days about the same issues with the same child. Their “rebellion” was taken personally and fed my sinful anger problem. I was not seeing results with my young children they mostly just grew out of whatever development stage and corresponding behaviors that I had been taught vis the Pearl’s was disobedience.
God got a hold of me healing the sin-anger and showing me that my parenting methods were causing me to sin against my children even when I was not angry. The switch was chaotic and it took almost two years for relational healing. Yes I was/am a sinner who had a problem but the Pearl’s methods aggravated and intensified that sin issue compounding the damage I was doing. Yes I had the book, all the connected books. I had videos and the magazine subscription so I was well steeped in their methodology.
Having now stepped away from it all and truly studied both the bible and child development I can see that much of what they teach is toxic even for mild even tempered parent of equally tempered children. While bible-y in terminology it is not Christ-like and denies what is normal development as sin that must be punished out of a child for the convenience of the parents and the child’s future salvation.
I have lived with the fruit and it is a sour hellish thing fit only for those who like the Pharisees care more for control and rules than Love and sacrificial living towards the weaker.
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…]
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…]
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.
World Mag Reports that Bill Gothard has been placed on administrative leave while they research recent allegations of abuse.
Naturally this story has impacted many people. Here is a testimony from Micah Murray which reflects on this news as he looks at Growing Up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult.
Dara Stoltzfus shares her testimony of growing up being spanked for every infraction in “I was spanked and I’m OK!” FEAR..
Latebloomer was raised in Reb Bradley’s church, Hope Chapel, and is one of the Sheltered, Controlled Homeschoolers who “didn’t ‘turn out right,’ yet another disappointment to the former parents and leadership of Hope Chapel.” She shares some important insights about this in “Biblical” Parenting, Introduction. (By the way, I was surprised to see Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz mentioned in this post.)
This post is the introduction to series of posts reviewing Reb Bradley’s book “Child Training Tips”. In this series of posts she looks at how this kind of parenting is “damaging to individuals and relationships because it sacrifices all other virtues for the sake of authority and submission.”
Each Post in her series focuses on one criticism.
Criticism #1: A Parent Who Assumes The Worst in which we see the concept of adversarial relationships taken to new levels.
Criticism #2: Parents are urged to exercise an extreme level of control of their child’s mind and body, which prevents the child from preparing for adulthood in which we learn how his teaching grooms perfect victims for child predators by breaking the child’s will, removing their sense of bodily ownership and teaching them that they must respect and obey anyone older than themselves.
Criticism #3: A Parent Who Tries to Change Minds and Hearts through Spanking in which we learn about his teachings on spanking which take abuse to new levels as well as his “severe misunderstanding of the Bible and serious scholarly negligence.”
Criticism #4: A Parent Who Isolates In Order to Control in which we learn that he teaches parents to isolate their children from the world and the results of such isolation.
I got a nice message on the Facebook Page from Sarah Presswood which she graciously gave me permission to share.
I am so grateful that I found your site. My parents used To Train Up A Child by the Pearls and taught/utilized Growing Kids Gods Way as their parenting guides my entire childhood and adolescence. I grew up fearing them, never trusting them, and gradually distancing myself the older I became. The emotional abuse that I was subjected to has been something that I continually struggle with. When I became pregnant with my son, I was immediately gifted with the Pearl’s book and pressured to use it exclusively. My son is now 14 months old and I announced publicly my opposition to spanking (for many reasons, but the recent study citing mental health problems was my platform). I immediately received vicious messages from family members telling me how stupid I was for believing those lies. My dad told me that not spanking my son is going against God and that my decision will have serious spiritual consequences. Google brought me to your site and I feel so validated. I never knew that their were Christians who were against spanking and this site has helped me so so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Along a similar line, I just got a comment from kysyra saying,
Thank you for this whole website. I read the book and once tried to write a comment akin to yours, but I just can’t do it.
What I think is worst about the whole thing, is that throughout the text he writes about love and respect so much and so sincerely. There is even a long section explaining how important respect towards the child and his needs are!
There are whole sections I could copy out to any AP-parents and they would sign them.
I can see how this book can make basically good people believe that complete surrender and physical pain would be necessary to raise “good” kids.
My older one is not a “good” kid in his sense at all.
But she is a sweet, empathic, social, generous kid, even when she is disobedient…
the little one, I have no idea how she will turn out yet. Except, that at 11 months she (and I with her of course) was hospitalized for a week, sharing the room with another small boy. One day he had to be alone for some hours. As his mother and I had agreed upon, I took as much care of him as I could, putting him on my bed, between my girl and me. He cried for his mother and cried and cried.
And my little, very sick, baby? she looked at him sadly, shook her head, and stroked his head and back until he was calmer…
Just imagine she had been raised believing that beatings were in order!
I like my kids the way they are, even if they are not “good” in the Pearls’ sense!
I thank God for using me and this site to help Sarah, kysyra and others like them.
Dulce de Leche continues her 10 Commandments For Parents series with The 10 Commandments for Parents: Taking His Name in Vain.
Pearl in Oyster (PIO) continues her 52 Tool Cards series with 52 Tool Cards Double Feature: Focus on Solutions and Problem Solving.
While we’re on the subject of gentle parenting, here is a Post from Momma on a Mission: Journey to Gentle Discipline.
This blog has always tried to argue against false teachings without making those using those teachings feel condemned. That is a delicate balance and not always possible to achieve. It is not at all pleasant to find out that the choices one has prayerfully made are considered to be abuse by many people. And upon discovering that one has in fact made a terrible mistake and has fallen into an abusive lifestyle is gut wrenching. Not only does one have to come to grips with the fact that one has been deceived and spiritually abused, but one must face the fact that one has been abusing his or her own children. Often, by the time this discovery is made serious or even irreparable damage has been done to the parent/child relationship. Someone posted to my Facebook wall the following:
I just wanted to share my status update with you. Since learning the dangers of TTUAC a year ago, I have had the hardest year of my life. Right now things are getting a lot worse. I have had a response from another mother who is in the midst of the same pain right now.
TTUAC is not just abusing children. It is also abusing [Read more…]
An anonymous writer explains how she used to follow Pearls teachings to the letter and exactly how and why they are dangerous in Corpses Don’t Rebel: A former follower of Michael Pearl’s “To Train Up A Child” reacts to the death of Hana Williams.
Deb of The Wartburg Watch posts about exposing Pearl’s teachings as well as the Judge who was recently exposed for his child abuse 7 years ago in “Judge” Not Lest Ye Be Judged.
Note: I do not have much to say about the Hillary Adams case, as abuse is beyond the scope of this blog unless it is being justified as Biblical, (in other words, unless God is dragged into it.) So far I have yet to see that in this case.