Repenting of Christian Spanking

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.

A Father Of Four’s Journey To Gentle Discipline

Samuel Martin has shared a lovely letter from a father of four boys who decided to give up spanking after reading his book.  Here is a short excerpt.

…What mattered was that the Bible told us to spank. I figured we would talk it through and I would defend the biblical position. In my mind, if God said it, it was true (“Romans 3:4 “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar”). I wasn’t expecting what she hit me with. Every biblical argument I offered, she countered…

Bill Gothard In The Spotlight After Abuse Allegations

World Mag Reports that Bill Gothard has been placed on administrative leave while they research recent  allegations of abuse.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey has an investigative report on this story on ReligionNews.com and here is the story from the Christian Post.

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.

 

Why Heather Schopp Stopped Spanking

Heather Schopp explains how she came to give up spanking in this testimony shared on Samuel Martin’s blog. This blog post is part of a Facebook discussion found here.

Dara Stoltzfus has this and other testimonies here.

Elizabeth Esther’s Story of Healing

Elizabeth Esther shares a “deleted scene” from her new book, Girl at The End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future” (available March 18, 2014). She explains,

It is the story of my two-week stay at a retreat center specializing in emotional healing and codependency issues. I am sharing this story in the hopes that those who have suffered similarly will know they are not alone and those in positions of religious authority will understand the devastating, long-term impact of spiritual abuse.

Turning Loving Parents Into Monsters Since 1994

Forgedimagination explains exactly how the Pearls’ teachings turn  loving parents into monsters in Raised To Be A Monster.

To Break Down A Child – Stories Of Life Under Pearl’s Teachings

Last Week, I mentioned that Homeschoolers Anonymous was collecting stories and testimonies from those who were affected by Pearl’s teachings.   Well, their “Pearl-Style Discipline Week” is over, so I thought I would link to their collection of tragic stories.  This series is not for the sensitive and/or easily triggered. 

I especially want to highlight ExPearlSwine’s testimony in which a former Pearl follower  explains how she followed Pearl’s teachings to the letter  and exactly how and why those teachings are dangerous.

The Pearls’ defenders will say, “Oh, they took it to an extreme and should have known better.” If anyone knows better than to keep inflicting more severe discipline on an intractable child, they can only apply that knowledge by scuttling the Pearls’ sadistic teaching and being more reasonable.

 

A Survivor Speaks

M. Dolon Hickmon shares about the abuse he endured while growing up and how being spanked “The Right Way” almost destroyed him in this (*triggering*) letter he wrote to Michael Pearl.  This post serves to introduce his Opus (a work of fiction)  which apparently needs backers. However, it does seem like it could be of interest to my audience, especially since works of fiction have been known to be the catalyst for social reform in many cases.  Some notable examples would be Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ramona and The Grapes of Wrath.

Here is the author’s response to the question of why he doesn’t just get a publisher.

Update:  The book has been published and got a favorable Kirkus Review.

Calulu has a book review of M. Dolon Hickmon’s book 13:24.

Dulce’s Testimony: From Pro-Spanker to Gentle Parent

Dulce shares how she made a complete turn around from insisting that the Bible commands spanking to gentle parent in My Deeper Story.

Sylvia’s Thoughts On Spanking

Sylvia shares her testimony and Her Thoughts On Spanking in this post.

Bringing Out The Best In Our Children

Sara Mae shares how spanking was affecting her 2 1/2 year old’s self esteem and why she and her husband decided to stop in How Gentleness Makes Our Children Great.

Dara Stoltzfus also has noticed the importance of  a child’s self-worth and explains how we can encourage their inner beauty in Princes and Princesses on the Inside.

 

 

Fear

Dara Stoltzfus shares her testimony of growing up being spanked for every infraction in “I was spanked and I’m OK!” FEAR..

More Reasons Not to Spank

Joy explains Why She Doesn’t Spank Her Children Anymore.

Rejecting The Pearls

Calulu reflects on how and why she rejected the teachings of “To Train Up A Child,” in Parenting & the Super Religious.

Reb Bradley

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.

Conclusion

Sarah Presswood’s Testimony and a Comment from Kysyra

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.

Leaving The Patriarchy Movement

Becky at Created To Be His shares her testimony of how she fell into the false teachings of the patriarchy movement and the Pearls’ and the lessons she has learned since then.

10 Commandments for Parents and 52 Tool Cards

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.

Showing Compassion To The Deceived

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…]

Testimony: Why Pearl’s Methods Are Dangerous

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.

Another Anonymous Spanking Story

Dulce de Leche has posted Another Anonymous Post on Spanking in which the anonymous poster shares about how the spankings her younger brother received affected her.

Looking Back on Being Spanked

Samuel Martin’s newest post reaches out to the Spanked and seeks ideas on how to help them convey their viewpoints to their parents.

Meanwhile, Libby Anne has shared 2 posts sharing her testimony of how her parents’ adherence to the Pearls’ teachings affected her:

Giving the Child the Rod, in which she shares about how she ruined her relationship with her siblings by wielding the rod on them and,

Casting the Pearls back to the Swine, in which she shares about how she decided not to follow those teachings with her own daughter.

The Right Way to Spank?

Dulce de Leche questions the common idea that spanking is not harmful when done without anger in Spanking In Anger — What Does It Matter?

Another Letter To A Pastor About Spanking

Dulce de Leche shares a letter someone wrote to her pastor about her experiences with spanking and why she does not believe it should be preached from the pulpit.  She shares her testimony of what it was like to be spanked and how it effected her.  She also looks at the blurred distinction between spanking and abuse.  This letter may be triggering so it is not for the faint of heart.

On a similar note is this post on The Journey about The Sexual Effects of Spanking.

National Spank Out Day

In honor of National Spank Out Day, Dulce de Leche asks what kind of Fruit does spanking produce in our lives.  Her answer is Rotten Fruit.

Also, check out Jen from A Path Less Taken’s post about Not Crying Over Spilled Milk .  You will also want to check out her follow up post, Gentle Discipline, So What Do You Do?

 

Claire’s Testimony

Claire  has been doing some more Myth Busting at Dare to Disciple in Myth Busting 4: My Story.  Here are the myths she busts in this installment:

  • ‘Punish’ and ‘discipline’ are synonyms.  (note:  Sally Clarkson mentioned this in a recent post)
  • All Christians spank.
  • Spanking is the best way to make a point to a young child.
  • Spanking works.
  • God mandates – or at least strongly recommends – corporal punishment.
  • Children are lesser citizens than adults.
  • People have to feel bad to act better.

Brandy Explains How She Disciplines

Brandy of Brandy’s Brood tried the Pearls’ method and found it to have a very negative impact on  their toddler so they gave up spanking and moved towards more gentle discipline.  She tells her story in her post, Ask Brandy: Discipline.  While still using non-corporal punishments, they strive to be gentle and are still on their learning journey. <3

I do feel compelled to mention that she highly recommends Lisa Whelchel’s Creative Corrections.  I do not.  While I’m sure it contains some very good ideas, it also contains some bad ones, including putting a drop of hot sauce on a child’s tongue for lying.

For more information about Creative Corrections, please see psychological torture as ‘creative correction’

Note: Brandy has apparently lost her domain and her entire blog. I am leaving this post up because of the information about Lisa Whelchel.

Who is God?

Molly asks, “Who is God?”  as she shares her testimony of how she learned to see God as a Gentle Parent, rather than a Vengeful Judge.

You Always Hurt The One You Love?

Molly remembers the messages she got as a child that parents must hurt their children because they love them.    What kind of damage does that do to a child?

And speaking of damage.  What kind of damage is done to a child who is given a Roy Lessin spanking for every infraction? Especially when not being happy enough (even after a spanking) is a punishable offense.   Read Beth Fenimore’s testimony (on Peaceful Parenting) in her open letter to Roy Lessin but first brace yourself as it really is a heart wrenching story.

Instant Obedience or Compliance

Molly explains the dangers of training children for Instant Obedience or Compliance in this testimony about a young lady and the abuse of authority outside the home.