I Was Wrong to Tell You to Stop Spanking Your Kid: An Open Letter of Apology…

I was wrong. You heard it here first.

That time. At the mall. You hit your kid and I told you it wouldn’t help anything and asked you to stop.

That was really dumb.

Not because I’ve changed my mind and decided we should hit kids, but because I know better. That approach I took almost never works. After all, you were quite young when we had that conversation. I remember when I was young, whenever someone told me to stop doing something, it motivated me all the more to keep doing it. And I could spout off 37 reasons why I was right and they were wrong. I’m sure you did that in your head that day.

What do I wish I had done? [Read more…]

What doesn’t kill you…

Dara Stoltzfus questions the common saying, “What doesn’t kill me makes me….”

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…]

Discipline VS Neglect

Note from Hermana Linda: We appreciate getting comments and read every one.  This comment from Pam is so long that Steph decided to respond in a post, so here it is.

Hi Steph,
Though I don’t consider myself to be “pro” spanking, I am pro-discipline, and I do believe that infrequent spanking can be part of an over-all discipline plan, when done properly and with love. I have raised two boys and I have two grandsons. I’ve also, taught children and volunteered to work with children in many circumstances. I care about kids and child abuse is a deep concern of mine. I was an abused child, in the forms of medical neglect, emotional neglect, emotional abuse, emotional incest, and sexual abuse by a predator. I also, found myself in several abusive situations as an adult and I agree that children are born with natural ways of standing up for themselves that shouldn’t be taken from them. We all need to be able to protect ourselves. I also, believe that children can be defiant and they need help in learning to use defiance as a way to protect themselves and not as a means of ending up in prison. Part of the neglect I experienced as a child had to do with discipline. I don’t remember any spankings but I was allowed to eat only candy to the point of having fillings in all of my teeth by the time I was six (I also, had abscesses) and all of my teeth falling out by the third grade. My parents excuse this by blaming it on me and my refusal to eat so, they let me eat what I wanted and all I wanted was candy. I was also, sick a lot and they gave me alcohol as medication, I think it put me to sleep and I was less of a bother. The first time they gave me too much and made me drunk was when I was cutting my first teeth. They’ve always told this as a such a funny story… [Read more…]

Reasons Not To Spank

Dara Stoltzfus has been thinking about Euphemisms as she gives us 20 Reasons not to Spank.

And for more food for thought from Dara, check out her thoughts on Abortion: A private matter?

Punishment Works?

Claire, over at Dare To Disciple, continues with her Myth Busting series with Punishment Works.

Pain and Punishment

Dara Stoltzfus looks at pain and whether or not is is useful for teaching.

Behaviorism at the Root of Child Training

Carissa Robinson explains that “If you observe most recommended Christian parenting practices today, you might be surprised to discover a secular influence: behavioral psychology” in Awaken Their Hearts.

Meanwhile, Greenegem explains the error in thinking that we have to DO anything more than believe in order to be saved in No Assembly Required.

More Investigation from CNN

CNN continues its investigative report of abuse among fundamental Christians and how it relates to the Pearls’ teachings.  Jocelyn Zichterman, who was raised in this culture and started Freedomfromabuse.net, explains the concept of Breaking The Will and how spankings must continue until the child submits even if it takes several hours. This video seems to cut suddenly, I’m wondering if this series will continue.

What John Piper Says About Spanking

Rachel had an in depth look at what John Piper says about Spanking but she has since closed her blog to the public.  Please check out my John Piper tag.

Also, check out what Barefoot Betsy says here.

Deb’s Review of TTUAC – Part 3

Deb has posted the 3rd and final part of her review of Michael Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child. In this post she looks at how Pearl prevented “sissies” and trained his children to always be happy. She also looks at what he teaches about the rod. She says that what Pearl teaches about persistence bothered her the most. I totally understand that. It is exactly this emphasis on persistence which I suspect killed Lydia Schatz.

For your convenience, here are Part 1 and Part 2 and here is the Intro.

TTUAC: The Good, The Bad and The Shocking

Elizabeth, at Virginia Is For Mothers, reviews To Train Up A Child. In part 1 she shares her overall reaction which is mixed, and then what she found Good and Helpful about the book. I agree that there are some good and helpful messages in that book. To say otherwise is to put up a wall between us and those who are so taken by the good that they downplay the bad or don’t see it at all. There is a lot of good and that is what makes the book so dangerous. Nobody would eat a bitter tasting poison, it needs to be mixed with honey if anyone is going to eat it. And yes, this is is a very good honey.

But Elizabeth is not fooled. She says:

Here’s what I think about To Train Up A Child: SIGH….these people are such a mixed bag of normalcy and wisdom with a whole lot of weird thrown in. It takes a lot of concentration to weed through the information and advice to find pieces that I think are reasonable and biblical. Once again, I did glean some encouragement and reminders to do what I already believe in doing. So, I’m going to start with that and later write about the (many) parts of the book that had me raising my eyebrows, cringing and picking my jaw up off the floor.

Which brings us to Part 2 in which she reminds people not to fall into the error of relying to heavily on one parenting method and then shares what she found Weird, Harsh and Downright Shocking.  She includes plenty of quotes to back up her conclusions.  I’m glad that she is participating in warning people about this book.

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.