Lisa’s Response to Debi Pearl’s Prayer for the destruction of her enemies

Lisa has said very well what I have had neither the time nor energy to write so I am going to give her comments the exposure they deserve.

In response to my post regarding Debi Pearl’s public prayer asking God to destroy her enemies, Lisa said:

I read the article, also, and I was appalled. A prayer should not ever need excuses for why it sounds like a prayer for another human being’s death.

What if they had asked God to open their eyes and hearts and show them ‘if there is any hurtful way in them, and lead them in the everlasting way’? What if they had asked God if they had a log in their eyes that they needed to remove in order to see more clearly? What if they had asked God to bless these people?

When Jesus said to pray for our enemies, I think he meant to pray for their good and their welfare. I think that if someone attacks you, the very first thing you should do is examine whether there is any merit to their complaint. After that, humble oneself and depend on God.

I think that to compare any human beings to attacking dogs is a mistake. The Psalms may contain references like this but these are preshadowings of Christ’s affliction. We are not Christ, and we are now in the New Testament and Christ has taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who would despitefully use us. None of the apostles, nor Steven, prayed for the death of their enemies.

Finally, if I had ever written a book that led 1 other person (much less 3) to abuse their child to the point of killing them, I would be devastated beyond description. I would take that book off the market and burn every copy and repent on my face before God. Wouldn’t you?

I replied and she then went on to say:
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Sparing The Rod And Parental Discipleship

This article,“Sparing the Rod: Biblical Discipline and Parental Discipleship,” by Anne Eggebroten was published in the newsletter,  The Other Side in 1987.  In this long article, she not only explains why she gave up spanking and examines the link between discipline and discipleship, but she looks at the history of attitudes towards children.

Babies, Children and Sin Nature

Stephanie just started a new blog called The Shepherd’s Apprentice.

In her first post, she explains about the sin nature of babies and children and how we should respond to it.

She then posts about Selfish Babies or rather, if there is such a thing.

She ties it up with a look at Sin, How To Get What You Want.

Not bad for her first day.  😉

Is Defiance Real?

I have been thinking a lot about defiance lately.  Is it real when it comes to young children?  Most parents would emphatically answer, “Yes” to this question.  I am not so sure though.  According to dictionary.com, defiance is defined as “A daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.”  To me, this means being able to stand up for what we believe is right.  This is usually a good thing.  Yet, when people discuss children as being “defiant,” it is always viewed as a very negative thing.  In fact, most Christian pro-spankers tell parents to spank/hit children mainly for “defiance.”

Are young children truly being “defiant” when they refuse to do something we want or say, “No!” to us?  I tend not to think so.  Why?  Because defiance is very subjective.  What one person views as “defiance,” another person views as developmentally appropriate behavior or an indicator that something much deeper is going on within the child.  See, to judge whether or not children are being “defiant,” we must look into their hearts.  Only God can do this.  [Read more…]

Children as Sinners?

Samuel Martin has the following to say about his essay, O Wretched Child that I am.

This text may be the most important New Testament scripture for those parents who have small children – I Corinthians 2:11. “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?” – Why? Read why here!

He also said this about the same post:

“At one year of age, man is a king, fondled and doted upon by all. At two and three he is a pig, groping in the garbage. At ten he prances around like a kid. At twenty he is a horse, preening himself in search of a wife.” – This post covers a lot of ground surrounding Paul’s view of himself and how we can especially relate that issue to how we view our children.

He also has an interesting look at child rearing in Biblical times:
One day we won’t have to keep them so close, but until then: Hang on tight – Part One
One day we won’t have to keep them so close, but until then: Hang on tight – Part Two

When a Toddler Won’t Obey

The Hippie Housewife shares 3 Ways to Respond to a Toddler Who Won’t Listen.

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

Teach Your Babies Well

The following was originally posted in thread on Gentle Christian Mothers called, “…And I’m the Strict One!“and is a follow up to my previous post, Teach Your Children Well.

At 4 months, what you want to be doing is starting the phase of ‘discipline’ that I call “show and tell” — it’s not a phase where you expect the baby to *do* anything at all. I mean that! And I know it doesn’t make sense to say “start discipline” and “the baby doesn’t do anything” when you are coming from a punitive mindset.

What “show and tell” means is that you are building the vocabulary for whatever you want him/her to be able to do without thinking twice once s/he is a toddler. You build vocabulary by saying a word and simultaneously doing that thing to the baby.

For example, when you say “Up” as you pick a baby up, that’s ‘show and tell’ — but of course, “Up” is not an instruction you want your toddler to follow later, so it’s not a good example of how ‘show and tell’ is a good start to good discipline. It’s just an example of the way that people naturally know that ‘show and tell’ is how you teach stuff to babies. It’s how they learn. That’s why it’s the method you choose when you teach everything, including when you teach the vocabulary you want them to grasp for following instructions. It’s a game. It’s no big deal.

At this stage you have TONS of time. Start by thinking and trying out what words you plan to use as your primary ‘words of instruction’. Once you’ve got them figured out, you need to *stop* using them as ordinary parts of chit-chat and *only* use them when you are going to be ‘show and tell’-ing. Your instruction words should be short and sweet. When possible, they should say what ‘is happening / what to do’ instead of ‘what not to do’. Try not to start with more than 6 to 10 instruction words. Select them carefully and always use them identically. (Many of these instruction words are going to sound like [Read more…]

Thou Shalt Not Kill The Spirit of Thy Children

Dulce de Leche continues her 10 Commandments for Parents series with Thou Shalt Not Kill. In this post she discusses how parents often kill pieces of their children’s individuality.

Also, take note of this post by Sara Mae which looks at The Nature of A Child and why we should respond to their tantrums with grace.

Delayed or grudging obedience is disobedience?

Claire continues her Myth Busting series with Myth Busting 9: Right Away, All the Way, With a Happy Heart – or it’s Rebellion!

Part I: Delayed or grudging obedience is disobedience?

Part II: Is Disobedience to Parents Rebellion?

Discipline without Harm Part 1

In this series we will be looking at how to biblically discipline our children without inflicting pain on them or harming them in any way.  Some of the discipline strategies that we will be discussing throughout this series are modeling, child-proofing, validating feelings, fulfilling the child’s physical and emotional needs, setting realistic limits and boundaries, helping children comply, giving choices, and using natural and logical consequences with children.  The Bible says that we are to encourage each other (2 Corinthians 13:11).  All of the discipline strategies in this series do exactly that with our children.  In this first piece, we will be discussing authoritative parenting versus permissive parenting.  We will also discuss how to child-proof, modeling, and introducing God to our children.

Authoritative versus Permissive Parenting—Not Spanking does NOT Mean Wild, Rebellious Children

Pro-spankers often accuse or claim that parents who do not spank or use any type of punishment with their children of having wild and rebellious children.  This simply is not the case for parents that use the authoritative parenting style.  There seems to be much confusion over the three types of parenting styles.  We discussed the authoritarian parenting style in great detail in Part 6 of my series, “The Effects of Spanking,” which you will find in my new book, “Gentle Firmness.” As we begin to focus on how to gently but firmly discipline children, we need to examine the other two parenting styles: authoritative parenting and permissive parenting. [Read more…]

A Psychology Professor Critiques the Pearls’ Teachings

Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas has uploaded a video from FOX News in which “SMU Psychology Professor George Holden, who specializes in child-parent relationships and positive child rearing, talks critically about Michael and Debi Pearl’s book “To Train Up A Child,” which advocates spanking.”  More information about Professor Holden here.

Fox News Continues Their Pearl Coverage

Fox 13 News Salt Lake City reports on the Pearls with a repeat of the Fox Video I shared on Feb 22, but with a new video which I will embed here.  This video features Child Psychologist, Douglas Goldsmith PH.D., who refutes the Pearls’ teachings and recommends instead that parents follow How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

Should Obedience Be The Goal of Parenting?

The Hippie Housewife asks if our goal for our children should be Obedience or something else.

On a similar note, Created To Be His muses on the idea that Sons of Hell Can Be Rather Impressive.

Meanwhile, Pearl in Oyster (PIO) continues her 52 Tool Cards series with 52 Tool Cards Double Feature: Act Without Words and One Word.

More from Under Much Grace

I would like to draw your attention to some more interesting posts from Under Much Grace.

What It’s Like to Experience Only the Right Side of the Brain in the Way that Children Do (A Neuroscientist Experiences a Stroke on the Left, Analytical Side of the Brain) which debunks the Pearls’ claim that very young children exercise their diabolical wills to dominate their parents.

More from Janet Heimlich on Problematic and Abusive Corporal Punishment within Evangelical Christianity which debunks the common belief that spanking is non-optional for Christians.

And speaking of the science of children’s brains, you might be interested in How Stress Affects Your Child’s Brain.

The Science Behind Happy And Compliant Children

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains the scientific evidence that shows the damage done to children who suffer harsh punishment from a young age.  Parents who follow Pearls’ advice to punish toddlers for age appropriate behaviors may end up with seemingly happy and compliant children, but at what price?

Understanding Brainwashing and How Children Are Primed for Victimization

Cindy of Under Much Grace takes informative and very technical looks at abusive behavior, analyzing both the victims and the abusers.

She has a new series about brainwashing.  I want to make special note of part 7  in which she ties the information to the Pearls’ teachings. Here is a short summary which she wrote for me:

I think of it in terms of developmental milestones and such, and most all learning is experiential for a child for the first 36 months and is primarily all on the right side of the brain, entirely self-centered and oriented toward felt sense.

Children under the age of two only make Delta waves on EEG, the same brainwave that an adult makes while they sleep. From two to six, they make only theta waves which is what an adult generates just before falling asleep, basically. The plotting that Pearl talks about is a fast brainwave that doesn’t manifest in a child until they approach age twelve.

I would also like to draw your attention to the posts after part X which are about how the mindset of many families prime children for victimization.

Now, on the the entire series:

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part I

A Sychophant for a Sociopath Does Damage Control: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part II

Another Example of Transformed Memory in Response to Psychological Stress and Interpersonal Pressure in a POW Camp: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part III

Lifton on Reaffirming the Myth and How Adults and Children Respond: Understanding Doctrine Over Person Part IV

Steven Martin on the Heresy of Mind Control in Christian Churches: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part V

Steven Martin on the Role of Denial in the Altering of Memory: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VI

Altered States of Consciousness Resulting from Trauma and Environmental Factors and Brainwave States Associated with Childhood Growth and Development: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VII

Post Traumatic Stress as a Physical Process and the Inadequacies of Some Types of Biblical Counseling: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part VIII

Additional Factors Contributing to Doctrine Over Person Pressures at Hephzibah House: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part IX of X (Summary and Review)

The Effects of Trauma and Abuse at Hephzibah House: Understanding Doctrine Over Person, Part X of X

She follows up this series with a related series about Understanding the Role of Childhood Emotional Development in Spiritual Abuse.

 

Where Did Pearl Say This?

In this interview in the National Post, Pearl is quoted as saying:

But, I have said many times, when a spanking is not working, stop doing it. There are times when children become so emotionally torn that they have ceased all cognitive activity. Spanking is then counterproductive.

Frankly, I don’t recall him every saying that.  If he has published this sentiment, I would like to know where because this quote needs much exposure.  His followers need to be aware that he says this because this could really make a difference in the life of some children and maybe even save a life.  Although, it is still rather vague, it is a step in the right direction.

Edited to add:  Apparently Pearl was referring to this article where he said

You should not spank beyond your fellowship with the child. If you feel that your spanking is excessive, it is because it is not working. If it is not working to produce happy, creative kids, then you are missing one of the other elements we discussed. You have probably forgotten how to relax and enjoy your children. Or perhaps you have failed to train. The bottom line is that if other things are equal, and you give a child a spanking every time he needs it, the time will soon come when he will not need to be spanked so often, and eventually not at all.

More doublespeak.  In the next breath he accuses them of failing to train properly and promises that if you are consistent things will get better.  He have seen him accuse people of deliberately misunderstanding his meaning, but I really feel that he is vague and expecting people to make mental leaps which not all people are able to make.

Also, if anyone knows where he got these statistics which he quotes, I’d be interested.  Was it from the research study or somewhere else?

Research has shown that the properly trained, nurtured and spanked child scores higher on all positive measures both as a child and as an adult. Spanking as part — a small part — of a comprehensive nurturing process instills self control and disciplined in a child, rendering him more emotionally stable and balanced as an adult. Every child was spanked up until Dr. Spock. Now only about 75% are spanked with no malice aforethought, and another 20% are occasionally spanked or hit by angry out of control parents that profess not to believe in it…

In his interview on AC360 Mr. Pearl mentioned the same research on spanking and Anderson Cooper delves deeper into that in another segment.  Before linking I want to warn you that it opens with the very upsetting video of Judge William Adams beating his daughter.  After that it recaps prior interviews with Michael Pearl and then moves on to Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson talking to Anderson Cooper about the science behind physically disciplining children. In The Science of Spanking, Anderson Cooper asks Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson what they think of the Pearl method and it should come as no surprise that they did not find it healthy in any way, shape or form.

The only problem with this interview is that they make a big point of discussing how spanking in anger is even more damaging.  This will probably cause Pearl and most of his followers to argue that spanking without anger will cause no damage at all.  They are so very wrong.  But then of course, Pearl and his followers tend to discount science except for when it supports their beliefs so it’s probably a moot point.

Understanding Our Little Ones

MamaPsalmist discusses a post from Positive Parenting which explains why Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting in Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond: Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting.

On a similar note, Elizabeth (from Virginia Is For Mothers) shares some very helpful insight about giving grace and understanding to Child Size Problems.

And Pearl In Oyster (PIO) shares about validating and working through a three year old’s nighttime fears in Dealing with Tears & Fears at Bedtime.

Disequilibrium

Carissa Robinson explains the concept of Disequilibrium and what it looks like for her 3 yr old who is Swiftly Approaching Disequilibrium.  This concept is from a series of books by Louise Bates Ames & Frances L. Ilg about what age appropriate behavior you can expect from children at each age.  Learning about this is very valuable as it allows her to make a game plan which she helpfully shares with us.

How to Avoid Frustration

Pearl in Oyster (PIO) shares some really helpful advice which is sure to help avoid frustration in your household.  This post is from her 52 Tool Cards series and is called, Eye to Eye.

She mentions a child’s brain development in her post which brings me to an excerpt from Samuel Martin’s newest book in which he shares why it does not make sense to punish young children for sins before they are even old enough to understand sinning.

 

Reflecting the Character of God

The Hippie Housewife discusses how we should reflect the character of God for our children.  She looks at how attachment parenting looks a lot like how God cares for us and warns us about 3 heresies which are cropping up in many Christian teachings.

Along the same lines, Pearl In Oyster (PIO) explains that we should imitate how God disciplines His children.  She uses her testimony of how God treated her when she was out of His will as an example.

 

 

Understanding Consequences

Greenegem at Dare to Disciple looks at Understanding Consequences as a developmental ability in “Inconceivable.”

Responses to Our Critics

pFamilyGal considers the question of whether it is right for Christians to condemn the Pearls’ teachings in Called to Judge.

Pearl In Oyster (PIO) responds to her critics in More Thoughts on Biblical Parenting where she discusses Divine Punishment vs. Grace, Spanking for Danger Situations and the Rod Verses.

Book Review: Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me, Part II

Dulce de Leche has finally posted part 2 of her book review of Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me where she discusses the content of the book chapter by chapter.