Is Raising Children The Same As Raising Animals?

            Many Christian pro-spankers such as James Dobson and Michael Pearl equate animal training with child rearing.  Pearl claims that training children is much like training “stubborn mules.”  Dobson uses an example of whipping his tiny dog into submission to taming a toddler.  They believe that training children and animals require fear and pain with “love” in order to achieve absolute obedience.  Is this true?  Is animal training similar to child rearing?  What does God have to say about this?

            I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately due to a recent incident with our cat Patches.  Patches is a calico cat.  She has always been a very oral kitty.  She chews cardboard boxes and lightly bites us whenever she’s happy, playful, or loving.  She never bites aggressively.  Recently, my husband got up in the morning and went into his home office to turn on the computer and his ham radio equipment before getting dressed, making coffee, and feeding our two cats their breakfast.  There is a fan in his office door as the cats are not allowed in there due to all of his electronics.  It can get quite warm in there, so the fan keeps the air flowing.  As usual that morning, the cats greeted my husband in the hallway then eagerly waited for him outside his office door.

All of a sudden there were two loud bangs outside his door then the loud sound of our wooden TV dinner table crashing over.  All the noise alarmed my husband and woke me up.  My husband found Patches in our utility room on top of our water heater very freaked out.  [Read more…]

Benefits of Gentle Parenting

Jesse Hoover writes about how being gentle allowed him to correct without losing his son’s heart in When An Iron Fist Turns Soft.

Dara Stoltzfus shares about how gentle parenting saved her life as she discusses blind obedience.

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

Parallels Between Training Children and Training Dogs?

Dara Stoltzfus has 2 recent posts of interest.

In Michael Pearl is right about training kids like dogs! she discusses pain and it’s usefulness in training children and dogs.

In Crying over a Spanish Soap Opera!!! she discusses how raising children by learned traditions instead of by science and truth can damage them.

Obedience and Fear

Do your children fear getting in trouble?  Dara Stoltzfus shows us how dangerous it can be for children to fear their parents in a *very* sensitive post. Honestly, I wish I had never read this post.  It is so disturbing that I will just summarize it for the sensitive.  A 9 year old girl put herself into the worse situation imaginable because she was more afraid of getting in trouble than she was of a stranger. Horrific.  Why would a child who had done nothing wrong be afraid to go home and instead seek refuge with a stranger?  Please don’t allow your children to be afraid of you.  Even a child who has done something wrong should not be afraid of their parents.  Perfect love casts out all fear.

So, how should we get our children to obey?  Please see what MamaPsalmist has to say about  Obedience.

Sarah’s Arguments Against Spanking

Sarah, of Under the Olive Branch, explains why she does not believe in spanking in a well researched and chatty post entitled, A person’s a person no matter how small.  She also answers some common arguments for spanking with counter arguments, which many will find helpful.

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…]

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.

The Hows of Gentle Discipline

The Hippie Housewife explains The Hows of Gentle Discipline in a very helpful post.  This post is invaluable for anyone who wishes to give up spanking and needs help figuring out what to do instead.

The Danger Dilemma

Many parents reserve spankings for life or death situations.  Is there really any value in that?  Will spanking really protect children from danger?  GreeneGem answers that question in The Danger Dilemma.