Petition to Auckland Libraries

Eileen Joy has started a petition at Change.org asking the Auckland Public Library system to remove the newly aquired book, To Train Up A Child from their system.  The library claims that to remove it would be censorship, even though the book advocates for corporal punishment which is illegal in New Zealand.

The BBC Looks At The Pearls’ Training Book

Aiden Lewis of The BBC has a well researched article about the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl as well as the controversy which surrounds it.

To Condition Up A Child?

Michael Pearl says that his teachings are Biblical.  Lee Woofenden does not agree and he explains why in his post, To Train Up A Child, or: Spare the Rod? What Rod?  This is a long article and worth the read.  He points out, among other things, that Mr. Pearl is actually teaching parents to condition their children which is not Biblical.

Debate with Pearl in The Christian Post

Back in March of 2012, Jan Heimlich debated Michael Pearl in a video which was featured in The Christian Post.  Although, I did mention the debate at the time as well as Samuel Martin’s Rebuttal to one of his statements, I never gave my own rebuttal.

I would like to respond to some of Mr. Pearl’s statements.  Rather than transcribe his comments myself, I will use the quotes given in the Christian Post article.

… In our book, To Train up a Child, we clearly point out that parents should not spank when it doesn’t work; they should not spank when they’re angry. We point out that they should spank five or ten licks, no more. And we point out that the spanking should be in accordance to the size of the child. We point out they should never leave marks.

I really don’t know where he says not to spank when it doesn’t work. I would appreciate some help with that.  All I can find is him saying that if you are consistent, it will work.  Here is an example from To Train Up A Child (TTUAC)

 Those who are MOSTLY consistent must use the switch too often. Those who are ALWAYS consistent come to almost never need the switch.

[Read more…]

The Wartburg Watch Revisits The Pearls’ Teachings

The Wartburg Watch, takes another look at the Pearls’ teachings and The Senseless Death of Hana Williams.  They link to all their previous posts and explain their problems with the teachings.

Also, Maureen has a post about Hana’s Legacy.

Challies reviews TTUAC

After his review of Created To Be His Help Meet a few days ago, Tim Challies has decided to review To Train Up A Child, which he does in 2 parts:

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 1 in which he looks at training versus discipline, and his concerns with Pearl’s training.

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 2 in which he looks at the innocent child, the redemptive rod, and gives his conclusion.

But They Look So Happy

Home Educating Family Magazine has published an opinion piece about the Duggars and the teachings they follow (Gothard, S. M. Davis and Pearl) called, They Smile, but Do They Laugh?

 

Is This Good Christian Parenting?

Ruvin, who blogs at By The Hui, has grave concerns about the Pearls’ teachings. She explains why in This is Christian Parenting?

 

It’s Not Just About Spanking Children, It’s About Breaking Children

Former Pearl follower Becky, from Created To Be His, shares a letter she wrote explaining her concerns with the Pearls and their teachings.  In this letter she also explains what these teachings have to do with the death of Lydia Schatz and includes quotes from the book.

Elizabeth Esther on Anderson

Elizabeth Esther will be appearing on Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show (on FOX) with Michael Pearl this Friday (Dec 2, 2011) and she writes about it here, My appearance on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show airs this Friday, Dec. 2nd #NoMoreDeadKids.  She includes a link to find out where and when you can watch it in your area. And here is a promo for the show.

Here is another recent post where she explains why many people follow Pearls’ teachings: Seductive promise of perfectly happy, obedient children feeds abuse.

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.”

More Thoughts About Hana Williams

Kathy Cassel of Cassel Crew explains her concerns with To Train Up A Child in (How Not) To Train Up a Child.  Note that she does believe in spanking but more as a last resort than as a first and/or only tool.

Professor Curtis Hutt of the University of Nebraska shares his view concerning the ongoing debate about violence against children on Samuel Martin’s Blog.

A Closer Look At The Pearls’ Teachings and Adoption

Christine Minich takes a look at The Pearls’ Teachings in:

The Disturbing World of The Pearls in which she looks at Doublespeak and Definitions as well as some examples of his abusive teachings.

and The Disturbing World of The Pearls Part 2 in which she takes a look at their heretical Theology.

Also, TulipGirl tries to shed some light on the underlying philosophy of the Pearls’ Teachings with On The Pearls And Parenting, Once Again.

The Toronto Sun has an article about the Pearls’ Teachings in Was child abused to death due to advice from book?

Missizzy posted a Recipe For Disaster on  the Websleuths.com message board which explains what happened to Lydia and Hanna.  You might be interested in the rest of the conversation, it is really quite interesting.  I hope it is ok for me to link to this.  If anyone objects, please email me at hermanalinda@whynottrainachild.com and I will remove this entire paragraph.

I also thought I’d mention this post from Civil Thoughts about Adoption Education because that is so important.

A Closer Look At TTUAC and How It Relates To The Deaths of 3 Children

More bloggers are analyzing the connections between the Pearls’ book, To Train Up A Child and the deaths of 3 children who were being raised by the methods therein.

Free By His Grace tells the story of Hana “Williams” in heart wrenching detail and warns against the teachings of  TTUAC in Hana Williams: “Rebellion” or Reaction to Abuse?

QuicksilverQueen  has started a detailed Book Review of To Train Up A Child and how it relates to the deaths.  In this review she freely shares how being raised by these teachings affected her and what she was really feeling when her parents thought that she was joyously submissive.

Sadie Stein, writing for Jezebel, reports briefly on the Pearls and the deaths linked to their teachings in Another Child “Chastised” To Death.

Kathy Cassel of Cassel Crew explains her concerns with To Train Up A Child in (How Not) To Train Up a Child.  Note that she does believe in spanking but more as a last resort than as a first and/or only tool.

The Disturbing World of The Pearls in which she looks at Doublespeak and Definitions as well as some examples of his abusive teachings.
and The Disturbing World of The Pearls Part 2 in which she takes a look at their heretical Theology.

 

Reactions to Hana Williams story

Here are some reactions to the “Hana Williams” story from around the internet.  All of these links consider the link between To Train Up A Child and Hanna’s death.

Note: I just found out from a friend of her’s from Ethiopia that her real name is Hanna Beck. eta: word from Ethiopia is that her real name is Hana Alemu.

The Short Life of Hana Williams by chucklestravels

Did the Disturbing Philosophy of To Train Up a Child Lead to Hana Williams’ Death? by J. Bryan Lowder on Slate.com

Hana Grace Williams, 1997 – 2011 by Tulipgirl who makes a very good case as to how the Pearls’ emphasis on “defeating totally” a “rebellious” child had a lot to do with how the Williams managed to turn the Pearls’ teachings into an instrument of death.

Controversial book part of adopted girl’s murder investigation from Religion News Blog

Extreme Discipline Book Connected to Adoptees’ Deaths from Adoption Talk

Obviously, I’ve been away for awhile
by Down To Earth Woman

Another Dead Child: Hana Grace-Rose Williams, age 13. (Parents owned book “To Train Up a Child”) and Having flashbacks/Survivor’s Guilt by Elizabeth Esther

Rally has been archiving this entire story in his How Could You? Hall of Shame. This is a clear and concise timeline of sorts with many links. It also contains some details I had not heard elsewhere.

And here is a news story which, while old news, seems to contain a few details I hadn’t yet read.

Case file: Parents starved and beat girl, locked her out in the cold from KVAL.com

TTUAC linked to Hana Williams’ Death

Fox News has connected the dots and has implicated the book, To Train Up A Child in it’s coverage of Hana Grace’s Death in its article, Book advocating extreme discipline may be connected to deaths of adopted children. (eta: this link has been removed from the Fox News website so I am linking to the Internet Archives.  To see the article, please scroll down past the video which is attempting to load.)

I would like to correct one mistake in the article, Michael Pearl is not Amish.

Now to take on this quote:

In the book, Pearl explains how to use a plumbing tool to switch children starting at age one. Pearl advocates giving cold water baths when potty training, putting children outside in cold weather and having them miss meals, all examples of abuse investigators said Hana endured.

They don’t mention that parents are instructed to use a smaller and lighter switch on children under the age of one.(see question 9)

Now, someone is bound to insist that the rest of this quote is a lie.  Here are quotes from the book, To Train Up A Child which you can read online at http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/ttuacbook.html.

So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.

Now, there are some flavors or textures that we just have an aversion for. Allow each child one or two dislikes, just don’t let their preferences be too limited. If a child doesn’t like what is on the table, let him do without until the next meal. A little fasting is good training. If you get a child who is particularly finicky and only eats a limited diet, then feed him mainly what he doesn’t like until he likes it.

I have said before that the Williams took these teachings way further than Pearl ever intended with their adopted children. Notice that Pearl said that washing the child outside 3 times should be enough. The Williams made it into a lifestyle. Also, I have never seen Pearl mention making the child stand outside without proper clothing as a punishment. However, they did follow the teachings correctly with their biological children. If the investigations mentioned in this article should show that the biological children were being abused, this will have serious implications for the Pearls’ teachings.

The Williams are due back in court on Oct 6.

The Pearls’ Book NOT Banned in New Zealand (Working on Amazon)

New Zealand’s Censorship Compliance Unit has decided not to ban nor restrict Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child, according to this article in the Marlborough Press.  While I don’t believe in book banning, it seems to me that if a country has that policy, this book should fall into that category and I am a bit confused as to how they reached their decision.

I do believe in encouraging book sellers to stop selling offensive books and so does  Milli Hill at Peaceful Parenting who explains why Amazon should stop selling books which promote Child Abuse, especially To Train Up A Child. This piece includes a long quote from Debi Pearl in which she explains how one should use the switch on a child under one year old.

Note: The petition to which she links is the same one to which I link in my side bar. If you have not signed it, please sign it and share the link. Thank you.

Why Blame The Pearls At All?

 

Many people question why anyone could possibly blame the Pearls at all for the death of Lydia Schatz. I totally understand the question. No matter what the Pearls teach, they did not actually hit the child. And they insist that the Schatz family did not follow their instructions properly.  So, did they? Well, we can’t really know for sure. I would like to explain here how I  believe that the Schatz parents could have been following the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl to the letter and still killed Lydia Schatz.

First of all, let’s look at who Lydia Schatz was. This post explains her background. She was adopted from Liberia at the age of 4. She did not learn to obey at an early age, she learned to be stoic in an orphanage where showing weakness could be fatal. She might even have had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).  It is important to note that all the children who have died at the hands of parents who were following the Pearls’ teachings have been adopted.

Now, let’s look at the Pearls’ teachings.  Pearl teaches that the parent must be 100% consistent. Here is a rather long quote from the book, To Train Up A Child to show this teaching in context: [Read more…]

TTUAC and Child Abuse

Robin of Heart of Wisdom has a nice synopsis of the Dangers of the Pearls’ teachings in Pearl’s To Train Up A Child And Child Abuse. This is a good post for sharing as it contains the Action News Report as well as quotes from TTUAC and a lot of links for further study.

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.

Deb’s Review of TTUAC – Part 2

The the Wartburg Watch is finding their discussion of  To Train Up A Child so interesting that they have already published part 2 of their book review. In this post she takes a quick look at Pearl’s credentials and then explains his training advice with many quotes from the book. She promises to look at his teaching about the rod tomorrow. Stay tuned.

For your convenience, part 1 is here.

Deb’s Review of TTUAC

Deb, from The Wartburg Watch, promised to read and review To “Train Up A Child” in Monday’s post and by Tuesday she had already purchased and read it. She has posted part one of her review, and plans to post more later this week.  She is doing a great job of exposing the Pearls’ teachings.

Positive Safety Training

The Virginia Is For Mothers blog has a nice post about Positive Safety Training.  Apparently she is also teaching her young one to cook.  She compares and contrasts her method of safety training with Pearl’s method.

Positively Feminine’s Review of TTUAC

Brenda King at Positively Feminine has posted a review of To Train Up A Child. This is an excellent review containing quotes from the book and Biblical arguments against the teachings.

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.

Lexie’s Thoughts on Child Training

Lexie Ahada from The Road Less Traveled has posted her arguments against the Pearls’ teachings, along with a long excerpt from To Train Up a Child. in her post, My Thoughts On Child Training.

Debra’s Random Thoughts

Deb at Debra’s Random Thoughts is no longer updating her blog.  Her blog is still worth visiting, as she has written some very interesting posts about the Pearls’ teachings.

Check out, for instance, her critique of the story in To Train Up A Child where Debi trades blows with 2 yr old in order to teach him not to hit.  Her link  to the book is no longer there so  here is another link so that you can check out her quotes: http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/ttuacbook.html.

This is the post she wrote when she found out about the death of Lydia Schatz.  In this post she explains how dangerous the Pearls’ teachings really are.

She explains why she doesn’t believe in First Time, Cheerful Obedience.

She also has the series about the life of the Pearls’ eldest daughter Rebekah Pearl Anast

 

 

Enduring Sound Doctrine

The pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Temecula says in a post called, Enduring Sound Doctrine:

One writer who started out with some fairly sound material on raising children but has moved subtly away from sound doctrine is Michael Pearl.  I have recently removed all of his material from my personal library and from the church library because of the misguided nature of what he’s lately been teaching.  After some research, I found a number of serious errors in his teachings.

Personally, I do not believe that Mr. Pearl’s doctrine has changed much over the years.  It’s just that the more he writes, the more his doctrine is exposed.

Here are two quotes from his first book, To Train Up A Child, which I feel show some rather questionable doctrine:

The guilt burdened soul cries out for the lashes and nails of justice. Your child cannot yet understand that the Creator has been lashed and nailed in his place. Only the rod of correction can preserve his soul until the day of moral dawning.

The parent holds in his hand (in the form of a little switch) the power to absolve the child of guilt, cleanse his soul, instruct his spirit, strengthen his resolve, and give him a fresh start through a confidence that all indebtedness is paid.

Of course, there are many other quotes from that book which show some very questionable child raising advice. For more analysis of the Pearls’ doctrine, please see these posts as well as the Parenting in the Name of God series.