William Sears, M.D. looks at Christian Parenting and Baby Training in a parable called, The Journey of Michael and Susan.
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.
Cindy of Under Much Grace has posted part 5 of her series about First Time Obedience: Revisiting First Time Obedience: Finding New Alternatives
For your convenience I will paste here the links to the rest of the series along with her descriptions:
- A review of the submission required under multigenerational faithfulness as Vision Forum’s carryover from Bill Gothard’s submission teachings with various examples of this demand for unquestioned obedience without credulity. First post specifically examining “First Time Obedience” in young children.
- A review of the principle of sacerdotalism and parental convenience (as a control issue in dysfunctional families) as rationales for requiring “First Time Obedience” and “leaps of faith” required under multigenerational faithfulness.
- Review of the tendency to make every banal daily activity one of great eternal spiritual significance as a consequence of works-based salvation. Includes a discussion of viewing personality traits that do not fit the belief system’s paradigm as sinful as well as the building up of all gender related activities as sacramental for the impartation of inward sanctification.
Addendum to Part II (Spiritualizing All Activities)
- Blog host’s personal experience with inherent personality traits treated by parents as sin, the idolatry of seeking parental approval, and the consequences of requiring unquestioned submission with the use of guilt and shame that predisposes one to easy brainwashing and compliance with thought reform. Includes a section from Biderman’s Chart of Coercion addressing the powerful effects of devaluing individuals in religious settings.
Part III: Poor Development of Analytical Thought and Problem Solving Skills
- Discussion of the development of how perfectionism, works-based salvation and First Time Obedience squelch problem-solving skill and prevent the development of critical thinking under the guise of multigenerational faithfulness.
A specific review of the theological problems in Voddie Baucham’s defense of First Time Obedience as well as the refutation of the practice from Scripture. Echos concerns noted in this previous blog post concerning Baucham’s “Family Driven Faith” book.
I just found out about the group known as the Assembly under the ministry of George and Betty Geftakys. I had not heard of them before this, but as they were using the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl (as well as Fugate and Ezzo,) they are of interest. Apparently, they are another cultic and spiritually abusive group. In fact, Betty Geftakys had her own pamphet about child training which almost makes the Pearl’s training methods look mild by comparison.
The post I want to highlight today is from Meg, a former member of that group, and is entitled, Does Discipline Really Produce Godly Character…?
Thriller Author has written a blog post at HubPages called Why Churches Are Failing.
This is a rather harsh wake up call for all Christians to consider and I believe that it is warranted. The Pearls’ teachings are mentioned in passing along with Ezzo’s.
I don’t know exactly what these HubPages are but I notice that they also have a positive review of To Train Up A Child. Needless to say, I do not agree with her conclusions of this book. It looks like members of this Hub can vote for the pages and affect their ratings. Hmmmm . . .
For more realistic reviews of To Train Up A Child, please see my list of reviews.