Should A Christian Let A Baby “Cry It Out?”

Elrena Evans looks at Crying It Out from a Christian Point of View in Christianity Today.  This is not a new article, but I just found it.  It is a response to an article in Psychology Today called, Dangers of Crying It Out by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.

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.

The Pearls Remain In The News

Lisa Belkin of The Huffington Post asks, Can Adoption Lead to Child Abuse?

Elizabeth Esther explains why we should hold the Pearls accountable for their teachings in Are the Pearls to blame for child spanking deaths?

Clay Duda of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange takes a look at the history of corporeal punishment in Spanking at Home and in the Classroom, What’s Right and Wrong?

The story has gone international as this post in the Belfast Telegraph demonstrates.

In fact, the story is so big that even Psychology Today is writing about it.

Oh, and by the way, the NY Times Article and its spawns showed us the happy congregation and their happy children.  Read Dulce De Leche’s explanation of why they look so happy.

 

Christianity Today Looks at TTUAC

Rachel Stone of Christianity Today takes a close look at To Train Up A Child  in When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse.  I notice that she linked to my blog which I much appreciate.  She obviously read TTUAC with a critical eye and really “gets it.”

Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks

Glen E. Chatfield, of The Watchman’s Bagpipes, Analyzes Bill Gothard’s IBLP Basic Seminar Textbook which could prove very useful to many, even if they do not necessarily agree with everything Brother Glen has posted.  Here is a large excerpt from his intro:

I have to state up front that the principles taught in this text are indeed good principles.  The premises of the lessons are generally to be commended.  The problem seems to be with the method of teaching, which revolves around a lot of erroneous ideas.  In my review of the text, I found the following problem areas were manifested:

1.  Misapplication of Scripture
2.  Poor teaching (this is just my opinion)
3.  Poor hermeneutics
4.  De facto claim of extra-biblical revelation
5.  Poor doctrinal teaching
6.  Superstition/mysticism
7.  Cultish teaching
8.  Lack of credibility
9.  Faulty logic
10.  Pop psychology
11.  Unbiblical teaching
12.  Personal opinion given Biblical authority
13.  Scripture twisting
14.  Legalism

What follows is a page-by-page analysis of the problems I found.

In another post he examines Bill Gothard’s ATI Textbook. He introduces that examination by saying:

This will not be a detailed analysis, but a highlight of some of what I determined to be the more problematic areas. The entire text has much misapplication and twisting of Scripture to make false claims seem Biblical.

Although the “Operational Definitions” are in the back of the text (pp.355-358), I will address them first because I think they really show where the problems lie with Gothard’s way of thinking.

The remainder of this analysis will be in page order, with as short of commentary as possible.

Stay tuned for analyses of other Gothard textbooks some day in the future.

Edited to add:
Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks – “Character Sketches – Vol 1”

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.

Analyzing the Schatz Tragedy

Cindy, from Under Much Grace, analyzes what causes people like Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz to harm their children in a new series:
Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz)

An Introduction

Part I: Virtue In Place of Unquestioned Obedience.

Part II: How Dehumanization (and Declaring War Against Family Members) Causes Moral Disengagement

Part III: Defining Aggression as Normal, Acceptable, and Desired Behavior

An Addendum Note About Lydia Schatz and the Correction She Suffered for a Mispronounced Word: Liberian Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Part IV: The Milgram Experiment and the Pressure to Commit Evil for the Common Good

Part V: Pondering the Atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust and its Relationship to the Study of Obedience

Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect

Part VI: The Calm Before the Storm Following the Schatzes’ “Guilty” Pleas

Part VII: The Breaking the “Diabolical Will” of Infants in the IFB – Even at Hephzibah House

Part VIII: There But For Grace

Part IX: Using the Milgram Study to Understand How Pearl Becomes Appealing

Part X: The Schatz Family is Not Unique

Don’t Train Your Child to Be a Train Wreck

Mary Thatcher reacts to a story (to which I linked on Oct 13, 2010)  in Don’t Train Your Child to Be a Train Wreck.  Her argument against the Pearls’ teachings was posted in the Health and Wellness section of AssociatedContent.com from Yahoo.  These warnings are getting into the mainstream more and more often.

Boundries

Don’t miss GreenGem’s latest post where she explains boundaries. While you’re there, also check out her previous post, Nice to meet you…Einstein! where she explains how children learn to do things themselves.

Really, you should subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed, because each post is a invaluable explanation of how spanking and punitive parenting damage our children and contribute to an adversarial relationship with them. Understanding how children think and reason is the first step to cultivating a positive relationship with them. We want to raise children who will eventually think for themselves. Anger and resentment will only lead to rebellion later in life. I cannot recommend this blog highly enough.

Homemaker’s Corner Examines the Pearls

At first glance, Mary Stephens of the Homemaker’s Corner looks like a typical Pearl follower.  She is strictly King James Only and believes strongly in submissive wives who are keepers at home.  However, she uses God’s Word as her light and the Pearls’ persuasive prattle did not fare well under the searching light of Scripture. She has written an in depth examination of the Pearls. This is not limited to Michael and Debi, but also includes Rebekah and her husband as part of the Pearl Family.

This is quite an undertaking she has started.  She apparently has not had time to finish her study, having only answered 3 out of the 8 questions she presents.  However, she already has quite a lot up there and I find it quite interesting on a few levels.

For one thing, this is the first time that I have noticed someone who feels strongly that the King James Bible is the only real Bible speaking out against the Pearls. While Michael Pearl does, indeed, use KJV only; she determines that he does not always use it correctly.  She also brings up the very valid concern that Pearl appears to believe that the KJV more than the original Greek. (!)

She exposes the fact that the Pearls use very little scripture to back up their conclusions.  She actually counts the scriptures they use.  The has done a very thorough investigation here. Her conclusion is:

From reading their material it appears that the Pearls are basically offering their own homebrewed child psychology. A little psychology, a little Bible and a lot of the Pearls’ philosophy and ideas go into the mix.

Another good  observation is how Pearl seems to have undue influence over his followers and how dangerous that is.  Here is another quote from the link in the above paragraph:

Please notice how the Pearls’ speaking, leadership and words have become so important in these people’s home. This is pathetic. Where is God’s word? Why is it that she feels they would benefit so much more from having the Pearls right there to help them? They have the God of the universe, the Almighty, the Great I AM, the Creator of the human race and the Institutor of the family indwelling them if they are saved! And, if they possess the King James Bible, they have His very words and instructions for mankind in their own hands and language. Isn’t that enough?! Apparently the Pearls’ teachings have conveyed to them that God and His word are not enough! This is horrifying.

She also has posted a critique on Debi Pearl’s study of the book of Esther.

I have not found her saying anything anti-spanking so I’m going to assume that I have found another pro-spanker speaking out against the Pearls teachings and tag it according.  I also base this assumption on what she said about discipline in her ABC’s of Raising Children (under D for Discipline).

Edited to add: Mary has clarified her position on spanking in a comment to this post.

A Challenge

I generally do not link to non-Christian arguments for the reason that they are rarely of any use to us. They will rarely convince a Christian and I have yet to see a non-Christian which needs convincing.

I am linking to the article below because what I see here is a challenge to Christians to speak out against this teaching. We have been doing just that and I am saddened to see that she has been forced to close her article to comments. I can only image what kind of response she received to cause her to take such a drastic step within 24 hours. I am hoping that she will find this site, as well as TulipGirl’s list of those who are speaking out and the follow up here.

I am also linking to this because I do track mentions of this issue in the Mainstream media.

Child Death by a Thousand Cuts in California by Jean Mercer of Psychology Today

This has also been posted at ChildMyths.


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