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…]

Child Abuse in Germany

Jennifer Stahl has been explaining about child abuse going on in German churches on her Blog, Yeshua Hineni. In this post she writes about the Pearl’s book To Train Up A Child which, while not being sold, is available “under the table.”  She Translates and transcribes a video about the concerns one woman has for her brother’s children being raised by this method.

I would also like to mention that Jennifer has been reporting on a very serious abuse case called, The Twelve Tribes in Germany. She has put a lot of work into this, tirelessly translating and transcribing from German, for the English speaking world to read.

Here is what she has so far:  part 1part 2 part 3part 4part 5part 6, part 7part 8part 9,part 10,  part 11part 12, part 13part 14 and part 15.

 

Steph Needs Input From Parents

Steph is a graduate student working on her Master’s thesis on the topic of corporal punishment. If you are a parent, please consider helping her by taking this survey.

By taking this survey, I hereby give my consent to participate in the following research study conducted by Steph. I understand that my participation in this project will involve questions about my experiences, attitudes and feelings regarding the use of corporal punishment and other discipline techniques. I understand that completing the questionnaire will take me no longer than 20-30 minutes.

Participation is completely voluntary and I am free to not respond to any item and to withdraw my consent from the study at any time. I understand that there is no penalty for refusal to participate or withdraw from the study.

I understand my answers will be completely anonymous. My name will not be identified with any data collected in the study and responses will be considered for confidential research use only.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3C98FNH

Note: The survey has been completed, thank you for your participation.

Why Liz BR Does Not Spank

Liz Boltz Ranfeld explains why she and her husband Don’t Spank Their Kid in a well thought out post.  She has 5 main reasons which are fleshed out and explained.

1) Her child’s personality

2) Research

3) Occasional spanking so often turns into frequent spanking.

4) She’s not allowed to hit another adult; why should she be allowed to hit a child?

5) The scriptural support for corporal punishment is disturbing.

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.

A Look At The Spanking Controversy in Canada

The United Church Observer has published an article called, To Spank Or Not to Spank, by Sarah Boesveld about the spanking controversy in Canada.  While I am glad that the United Church of Canada has taken a public stand against spanking, I do not link to this as Christian arguments, but of interest as a news story.  Canadian Evangelical, C.L. Dyke of Scita Scienda, explains why in a comment  which I will reproduce here.

The greater context to this is that the UCC is a denomination which has thrown out orthodox (I use the word generically, not denominationally) Christian doctrine in favour of unbridled humanism. They actively disavow the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible–scripture is a text to be interpreted by today’s shifting social customs, and filtered for generic principles common to human decency, rather than a narrative deserving of the same respect and scholarly approach as any other ancient text.

The quote in the article about supporting the oppressed lines up to this:

–Support anti-spanking

–Support homosexual advocacy and lobbying

–Support abortion (hmm, an interesting clash of principle occurs here)

–Reject the deity of Jesus Christ and His calling upon humankind to repent of sin and accept personal, substitutionary salvation based on Christ’s atonement; eject pastors who preach it.

Meanwhile, Canadian law is already very pro-child.

In writ, it is illegal to spank under the age of 2 or over the age of 12; it is illegal to leave so much as a red mark; it is illegal to spank with an implement.

In practice, spanking of any kind has the potential to incur social services intervention.

As someone who is anti-Pearl and pro-attached/gentle parenting, but not anti-spanking across the board, I feel the scales are already sufficiently balanced against the principles of individual freedom in our country’s legal system.

While the compassion expressed for Hana Williams’ horrific death is only appropriate, the UCC’s word is pretty tainted to me as a Canadian evangelical. I’m not sure how we are to see the brokenness of humanity healed without Christ.

The UCC’s solution is moral relativism and socialism. Given the (for now) fringe push on the far left to accept pedophilia under the guise of “children’s sexual rights,” that approach doesn’t avail for me as a guarantor of children’s rights and safety in this life, all eternal considerations aside.

 

New Study Puts Spanking In The News

A new study showing that spanking damages children has put spanking back into the news.  This article in the San Francisco Chronicle about this new study mentions Michael Pearl.

Does It Really Mean What You Think It Means?

Teresa from Teresa’s Whine And Cheese takes a good look at claims that Kids Today Are Worse Then they Used To Be in Correlation, causation, and the proof in the pudding.

Pastor Tim of Way Point Church discusses discerning the Biblical view in Biblical Christianity in which he states “[The Pearls’] claim to have a biblical view on parenting is delusional.”

Samuel Martin looks how Christian Scholars and Preachers Disagree on Spanking Children and explains what the commonly used verses in Proverbs are really saying.

And here is a bonus link.  While completely off topic for this blog, I found this video interesting.  Someone took an informal poll at a college campus asking the question,  “Can Men And Women Be Just Friends?”  The answers might surprise you.

Where Did Pearl Say This?

In this interview in the National Post, Pearl is quoted as saying:

But, I have said many times, when a spanking is not working, stop doing it. There are times when children become so emotionally torn that they have ceased all cognitive activity. Spanking is then counterproductive.

Frankly, I don’t recall him every saying that.  If he has published this sentiment, I would like to know where because this quote needs much exposure.  His followers need to be aware that he says this because this could really make a difference in the life of some children and maybe even save a life.  Although, it is still rather vague, it is a step in the right direction.

Edited to add:  Apparently Pearl was referring to this article where he said

You should not spank beyond your fellowship with the child. If you feel that your spanking is excessive, it is because it is not working. If it is not working to produce happy, creative kids, then you are missing one of the other elements we discussed. You have probably forgotten how to relax and enjoy your children. Or perhaps you have failed to train. The bottom line is that if other things are equal, and you give a child a spanking every time he needs it, the time will soon come when he will not need to be spanked so often, and eventually not at all.

More doublespeak.  In the next breath he accuses them of failing to train properly and promises that if you are consistent things will get better.  He have seen him accuse people of deliberately misunderstanding his meaning, but I really feel that he is vague and expecting people to make mental leaps which not all people are able to make.

Also, if anyone knows where he got these statistics which he quotes, I’d be interested.  Was it from the research study or somewhere else?

Research has shown that the properly trained, nurtured and spanked child scores higher on all positive measures both as a child and as an adult. Spanking as part — a small part — of a comprehensive nurturing process instills self control and disciplined in a child, rendering him more emotionally stable and balanced as an adult. Every child was spanked up until Dr. Spock. Now only about 75% are spanked with no malice aforethought, and another 20% are occasionally spanked or hit by angry out of control parents that profess not to believe in it…

In his interview on AC360 Mr. Pearl mentioned the same research on spanking and Anderson Cooper delves deeper into that in another segment.  Before linking I want to warn you that it opens with the very upsetting video of Judge William Adams beating his daughter.  After that it recaps prior interviews with Michael Pearl and then moves on to Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson talking to Anderson Cooper about the science behind physically disciplining children. In The Science of Spanking, Anderson Cooper asks Dr. Drew Pinsky and Po Bronson what they think of the Pearl method and it should come as no surprise that they did not find it healthy in any way, shape or form.

The only problem with this interview is that they make a big point of discussing how spanking in anger is even more damaging.  This will probably cause Pearl and most of his followers to argue that spanking without anger will cause no damage at all.  They are so very wrong.  But then of course, Pearl and his followers tend to discount science except for when it supports their beliefs so it’s probably a moot point.

The “Ministry” of The Pearls

has an article in the  San Mateo Parenting Examiner about The “Ministry” of Michael and Debi Pearl.