Benefits of Gentle Parenting

Jesse Hoover writes about how being gentle allowed him to correct without losing his son’s heart in When An Iron Fist Turns Soft.

Dara Stoltzfus shares about how gentle parenting saved her life as she discusses blind obedience.

Counter Arguments 2

I’ve been mulling over a follow up to my Counter Arguments post for almost a month now.  Recently Crystal was kind enough to leave me a comment, letting me know her disagreement with this site.  This was very helpful because it allows me to address her concerns.

I will quote her and respond to her concerns point by point.

This is utterly ridiculous. For those of you who are jumping on the bandwagon without reading the whole book you are really missing out on what God has intended for you and the joy you and your children can have.

First of all, I should explain that this website is not a bandwagon. This is a clearing house of information. I mainly link to arguments. As I said in my reply comment, I have read the whole book To Train Up A Child and as far as I know, so have most of those who whom I link. I am a bit mystified as to how you can know that we are missing out on what God has intended for us. We have read a book and found much of the content to be problematic (to put it mildly). We studied it and wrote well thought out arguments explaining our points of view. How is that missing out on what God intended for us? I assume you mean that by refusing to follow Pearl’s advice you feel that we are missing out. I maintain that I would never want the “joy” of training my children in that way. Nor do I believe that the Bible calls me to do that. I do not study the Bible in only English, I study the Hebrew and Greek words and try to get the real meaning.

The bible clearly states, “he that spares the rod, spoils the child” If you do not spank your children then what exacltly is working for you?

Now, when you say, “rod,” what exactly do you mean? Did you use the dictionary to get the English definition or did you study the Hebrew meaning of the word? Here is a word study on the rod so that you can really understand what the Bible says.

Edited to add: It has been pointed out in a comment below that “he that spares the rod, spoils the child” is not even in the Bible. Thank you, C.L. Dyck

Now, not everyone to whom I link is arguing against spanking. Here is a list of people who do believe in spanking but still have concerns about Pearl’s teachings.

Do you have sweet children? Do they obey you the first time?

Children are people. They are sometimes sweet and sometimes not, just as are adults. I can’t speak for everyone else, but my goal is not to have sweet children who obey me the first time. My goal is to raise healthy, thinking adults who love God. And I can’t make them that way, only God can. I can certainly do my best to guide (or train up, if you will) them onto the right road. I explain and lead by example. I allow them to question me and explain themselves. I do enforce obedience, I just don’t expect them to obey me without thinking first. And lest you think that my children will turn out badly, just know that they are already 19 and 17 years old and I get many complements on their behavior.

Or do you have to count to ten and call them 10 times before exploding and yelling at them, those are the kind of people who end up “spanking” but really its abuse because they got so mad and really end up despising their children because they hate to be around them.

You are not describing non-spankers, you are describing the permissive. I do not recommend permissive parenting. I recommend gentle discipline. You can learn more about that at Arms of Love Family Fellowship and in these posts.

People who spank there children in a calm manner and who are absolutely consistant 100 % of the time will have tremendous success.

If you define success as children who are always sweet and obey the first time, yes, they will usually have success. Unless their child is a special needs child. Some children will continue to defy and refuse to submit. Now most parents will figure this out and try something else. It is very tragic when parents continue to apply the rod to children who will not submit because it has been proven that if switching goes on too much and for too long the child will die.

However you will not have success with any approach unless you yourself have true joy. Children know if you are faking it. Joy is the byproduct of thankfulness and love. Your joy radiates to your children.

Okay. So, are you saying that any approach will work if the parents have true joy or just the Pearl’s method?

Michael Pearl also recomends spending so much time with your children, they are your first and foremost responsibility, they must know that you delight in there presence, get on there level, do what they enjoy, do somthing that makes them smile every 5 minutes. But does anyone say that on this website?

Many of the arguments I have linked to have mentioned that Pearl teaches many good things. But no matter how many good things he says, even one wrong or dangerous teaching means that one has to use extreme caution in following him. A little leaven leaventh the whole lump.

Also, his doctrine is full of heresy, as explained in the Parenting in the Name of God series. If you don’t want to read through the entire series, you can look at An Examination of the Pearl Method.

There are many more things I could go on and say but those who really want to know more know where they can get the information. I would love to compare a houseful of “Michael Pearl” children who love and reverence him and are a great addition to society to the “non spanked” let them do what they want group, who is probably still working at jack in the box with numerous tattoos and peircings, pregnant at 15 and has no relationship with their parents.

Okaaay. I believe that this is what is known as a “strawman argument.” It makes no sense.

Wait. Love and reverence who? I don’t want my children to revere anyone except for God.

What is wrong with a 15 yr old working at Jack in the Box? I think that would be a good thing, as long as s/he is also still in school. I know many teenagers who were not spanked and none of them were pregnant at 15. They don’t have piercings or tattoos either, although I fail to see what that has to do with anything.

It’s funny that you should mention not having anything to do with their parents because I know many who were raised by Pearl and Gothard methods who fall into that camp and none who were not spanked. I have noted that children who were raised by attachment parenting have great relationships with their parents. That is one reason I decided to use that method.

Edited to add: C.L. Dyck left an excellent response to Crystal’s comment here.