Understanding Toddler Meltdowns

What is the right response to a toddler’s meltdown? Would understanding them help? You bet it would! For that reason, I am sharing this very helpful and insightful post from Stephanie Cox, The Brain Overload During Meltdowns Is Real!

Edited to add, here is the follow up to this post.

There’s More To This Than Meets The Eye

Perhaps you have heard of Rachel Dolezal, she has been in the media a lot lately. She recently resigned from her posistion as NAACP leader after her parents informed the media that she was white. I had a feeling that there was something behind this all that we didn’t know, so I was not very surprised to find out that her parents trained her using the book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. Here is the article from Homeschoolers Anonymous:


Speaking of “more than meets the eye,” I have not been posting much and I missed sharing a blog post which discusses a study about the damange corporal punishment does to a child’s brain.

And while I’m sharing things which went out through my Facebook Feed, but not here, some of you might be interested in these Tips for getting toddlers to cooperate while shopping from Purple Puzzle Place.

New Gentle Parenting Blog

There is a brand new blog called, Grace For My Sheep. Her latest post looks at a human’s inherent need for Jesus and how that relates to gentle parenting. Lovely!

While we’re on the subject of Gentle Parenting, here is a very helpful post from Hippie Housewife called, Ten alternatives To Time Outs.  The more tools we have in our toolbox, the better.

Last Resort?

Claire reconsiders her plan to use spanking as a Last Resort.

Another Look at Voddie Baucham’s Prescription for Spanking

Spiritual Sounding Board looks at Parenting “Experts” who promote what they call, “Biblical Parenting” in Voddie Baucham: Prescription for Spanking and the Shy Child.  Remember, the discussion  is in the comments so don’t miss them.

Effects of Punitive Parenting

Dara Stoltzfus reflects on how punitive parenting has affected her inner being in I was spanked and I’m NOT OK: Why and what I do.

And just for fun, the Honest Toddler explains why it is futile to force your toddler to apologize. I know that this is meant to be funny, but there is an underlying element of truth to this and something to consider.   Here is more of the Toddler’s Eye View on life.

Is Defiance Real?

I have been thinking a lot about defiance lately.  Is it real when it comes to young children?  Most parents would emphatically answer, “Yes” to this question.  I am not so sure though.  According to dictionary.com, defiance is defined as “A daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.”  To me, this means being able to stand up for what we believe is right.  This is usually a good thing.  Yet, when people discuss children as being “defiant,” it is always viewed as a very negative thing.  In fact, most Christian pro-spankers tell parents to spank/hit children mainly for “defiance.”

Are young children truly being “defiant” when they refuse to do something we want or say, “No!” to us?  I tend not to think so.  Why?  Because defiance is very subjective.  What one person views as “defiance,” another person views as developmentally appropriate behavior or an indicator that something much deeper is going on within the child.  See, to judge whether or not children are being “defiant,” we must look into their hearts.  Only God can do this.  [Read more…]

Defiant Toddlers?

Carissa Robinson has started a new series called, Paideia, in which she looks “at the true meaning of discipline, and how it has been warped by both Christian and secular philosophies and misconceptions about childhood.”

She opens with a look at a toddler”s defiance, (or is it defiance?) in Paideia Part 1

When a Toddler Won’t Obey

The Hippie Housewife shares 3 Ways to Respond to a Toddler Who Won’t Listen.

It’s Not Always Easy

Carissa Robinson shares that Gentle Parenting is not always a bed of roses and how to get through the hard times in Bumbling Along.

Choices in Discipline

JaniceM explains her Choices in disciplining her toddler on our2crazyboys.

Sally Clarkson Looks At Obedience

Veteran Mother and writer, Sally Clarkson, looks at first time obedience in Obedience is a pathway of Maturity and Faith.

More about Teaching

The Hippie Housewife explains the Basics of Gentle Discipline, focusing on Teaching Skills which makes a great follow up to yesterday’s post on Teaching Babies. She offers skills to prepare babies and children for the future.  As she explains:

These future-oriented solutions provide the child with skills that will be used throughout and beyond childhood. The focus is on developing the child’s own internal control rather than on managing behaviour through external control, thereby assisting the child in navigating life in a way that keeps their dignity intact.

She also links to some very helpful posts to provide background which I also recommend and have linked to in the past.

Note that this post is part of the 2012 Carnival of Gentle Discipline which you can find at the bottom of the post.

Your Attitude Towards Your Children

Rach at the Incorrigible Gingers discusses how labeling children can be harmful in My Toddler Is Not Bad.

On a similar note Aubry, of My Offerings, discusses healthy and unhealthy attitudes towards children in Why Potty Training Changed My Life.

And Dulce de Leche continues with her 10 Commandments for Parents series with Honor Your Father and Your Mother in which she also discusses the difference between obedience and compliance.

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.

Watch Thy Tongue

Dulce de Leche shares a post about our words and the power they hold over our children.

Understanding Our Little Ones

MamaPsalmist discusses a post from Positive Parenting which explains why Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting in Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond: Nonpunitive Discipline ≠ Lazy Parenting.

On a similar note, Elizabeth (from Virginia Is For Mothers) shares some very helpful insight about giving grace and understanding to Child Size Problems.

And Pearl In Oyster (PIO) shares about validating and working through a three year old’s nighttime fears in Dealing with Tears & Fears at Bedtime.

Original Sin

Lisa Bennet (Broken Daughters), who was raised by Pearl followers, looks at the concept of Original Sin and how it corresponds to the Pearls’ Teachings. In this post, she links to a very upsetting post by Libby Anne which contains an 1831 quote from Francis Wayland which sounds very much like Michael Pearl.

You might also be interested in this post in which Lisa looks at the concept of Purity.

Too Scared To Sleep

Pearl in Oyster (PIO) shares how her young daughter was Scared Sleepless and why considering the reasons can help us to be patient when our children can’t sleep.

Gentle Discipline for Toddlers

The Hippie Housewife shares some great tips on Gentle Discipline for Toddlers.  This is a must read for anyone who is looking for the nitty gritty on how to deal with toddlers and keep their sanity at the same time.  😉

Understanding The Nature of Children

Discipleship Parenting writes about Understanding the Nature of Children in which she looks at what the Bible says about the nature of infants and children and what our response to them should be.

Dulce de Leche also writes about the sin nature of babies in Sons of Adam Daughters of Eve.

Gentle Parenting of Toddlers

Pearl In Oyster from An Apprenticeship in the Art of Gentle Discipline blog shares about how she gently disciplines her 2 and a half year old in Rubber Meets the Road.

Meanwhile, Carissa Robinson explains how she gently deals with Blatant Disobedience in her toddler.

Close Encounters of the Pearl Kind

Someone finally noticed that I have a discussion board on my Facebook Page.  So far, there is only one discussion there, so far and I found it so interesting, I thought I’d share for those who have not joined Facebook.

This is Stephanie’s story of her close encounter with Pearl’s followers:

With my second pregnancy (1st baby) I got dropped by my midwife. I searched the internet for another and there are not many where I live, I was 35 weeks I think. I met with one and I hired her because ” none of the other midwives like because she is so hands off”. Well, that what she said and that what I wanted. She hosted Centering Pregnancy and Parenting and was a La Leche League leader and also a Bradley childbirth instructor. Anyways after my Daughter was born I went the Centering Parenting group every 2 weeks or so and LLL. She also hosted a bunch of different classes and such and I became friends with some of the people who attended. I noticed that she was ultra conservative, but I don’t like to judge one’s character on political or religious bases. I like to think of myself as open minded and make friends with people from all walks of life and different interests. She said some peculiar things that I just brushed off. Example: when talking to a mother with a newborn that was having trouble nursing “just tell him no and not to do that. I think babies understand right and wrong, whats expected of them.” She asked which church we went to and she said ” I have my own church at my house”

I was becoming friends with a lady that lived down the street from me, we met at the LLL meeting. We had a lot in common, I think, and hit it off. The second time I visited her she showed me this book called Help Meet. She raved about how wonderful this book was and showed me her favorite chapter called “Mommy why am I so dumb?” Really, that’s what it’s called. She said she was starting up a club for this book and would have all her friends over and I was invited. I went. There were a lot of kids at the Help Meet club.

At this club they discussed the book and had extras to pass out. It was defiantly disturbing the things some of the women said. About how the wife is supposed to never, ever turn down sex from her husband. That if a woman is beaten by her husband then it’s her fault and quote “Too bad for her” with a very smug attitude. That it is a sin to wear pants and to ask your husband’s permission to buy anything, including toothpaste or any necessities. I left early and asked to borrow the book out of curiosity and because I didn’t want them to think I was being rude for leaving early. Just because I didn’t agree with it or like some of the women there didn’t mean I didn’t want to be friends with her.

Anyways the woman I was becoming friends with, lets call her Sarah, invited me to her baby shower. I didn’t think I would make it because it was being held at someones house about 30 miles away. But I did. I met lots of other moms and kids. You know I thought that since the women I was hanging out with were Attachment Parenters or similar, because they exclusively breastfed, used slings and the like and bedshared. Anyways halfway through the party a women handed her baby off and grabbed her son by the arm and dragged him off to the stairwell. Three rooms away I could hear WHACK, WHACK WHACK! and then the crying. He was crying so hard. and after he stopped again WHACK, WHACK WHACK! and then the crying. Three times this happened while I was there. I wanted to stop it, I wanted to do something. But everybody around me was acting like nothing was happening. Like this happened all the time. I left. And I felt horrible for leaving that little boy there to be beaten. Something inside me just snapped. I don’t know I just had to get my daughter out of there. I cried on the way home and told my daughter that I would never, ever hurt her. For about three days I dwelled on this, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t stopped it. Finally I emailed one of the ladies that was at the party about it and asked if anybody stopped it and such. The lady I emailed was one of the midwives at my birth. That day I got and call from my midwife, the head midwife the one that owned the business. She told me she was to explain what happened at the baby shower, because the other midwife didn’t know what to say. She talked down to me like How dare I even think about stopping the beating. She said it was the mothers right to her her child and that she knows how hard and how long to hit for that child. And quote she said “I have to practically beat my kid with a bat to get him to listen”. Then she tried to get me to buy her book “To train up a child” I just sat there and listened in stunned silence and finally I said I’m going now and she kept saying I love you and I hung up. I was thinking you don’t know what love is. That night I researched the book, I was horrified. I just don’t get why anyone would ever want to hurt their baby. I kept thinking this goes against very thing the Bible teaches. The phone call was on Wednesday I called CPS on friday just to talk to someone about what happened, but they didn’t want to talk they just wanted info. Apparently CPS and Metro showed up on Saturday at the midwife’s house. I don’t know what happened, nor do I want to know. I do feel horrible about CPS showing up.

As for the kids that I met. The two that struck me the hardest were two of the teenagers I met. One was the 1st born she always had this nervous anxious smile on her face and if she wasn’t doing something she was very antsy. Depressed eyes and a nervous smile. I only saw the boy once, he was sitting at the table doing school work I asked him if there were any trashbags around. Without saying a word he sighed got up and got me one. No eye contact. He definitely seemed depressed to me. Run down, broken spirit. That was my impression of those two way before I even knew what their moms did to them. The kids that I met never really seemed like they were playing like it was a fake play because their moms told them too.

I think the people the buy into these kind of teachings have a serious lack of faith. They lack the faith to believe Jesus can and has touched many lives since his time here. They don’t have enough faith to believe that God is all powerful, more powerful than the devil, so powerful that many, many people believe in him, so powerful that the devil does not rule the earth, so powerful that even I and my brother whom were both raised in the most unGodly home now and have always believed and are both saved. They lack the faith that God is forgiving and compassionate and loves ever single person unconditionally. The most powerfull phrase in the Bible in my opinion, is when Jesus was on the cross, he said “forgive them, for they know not what they do”. He forgave the Jews, the people that beat him and then murdered him. He forgave them with compassion, love and understanding. He didn’t punish them but forgave. These people teach punishment over forgiveness and understanding. God gave us free will, the pearls take it away.

If you have a story to share, please join in the discussion. If you prefer to share anonymously, you may email your story to me or register here under a pseudonym and submit it.

Thankfull for Gentle Discipline

Carissa Robinson has a lovely blog post about how Thankfull she is that they are using gentle discipline, complete with an example of how it works.  She also links to Sally Clarkson’s blog post about First Time Obedience.  Sally Clarkson writes as the mother of adult children and reflects back on how her children were raised and how dangerous it is to try to use a formula for child raising, especially one which involves training.

Gentle Discipline 102

So, if we should not spank our children, how then should we discipline them?  We have started looking at gentle discipline.

Purple Kangaroo has a long post explaining her methods of Handling Hitting and Hurtful Words.

So, what about time outs?  Are they a good tool?  The Peaceful Housewife looks at that in To The Time Out Corner .

The Peaceful Housewife recommends that you take a look at this post from Adventures in Mommyhood called What Is Gentle Discipline Anyways? It is part testimony and part What Gentle Discipline is NOT.  We will be watching for a follow up post of What Gentle Discipline IS in the near future.

I would also like to mention Dulce de Leche’s post about showing grace instead of punishments called, Wha’cha Gonna Do About It? in which she looks at the question of whether we should “let them get away with it.”  She shares a very touching example in this post.

Parenting 101

Carissa Robinson has posted some fundamentals of gentle parenting.  Just think of it as Parenting 101.

(Note that I also updated the post below this one with one new link)

Brandy Explains How She Disciplines

Brandy of Brandy’s Brood tried the Pearls’ method and found it to have a very negative impact on  their toddler so they gave up spanking and moved towards more gentle discipline.  She tells her story in her post, Ask Brandy: Discipline.  While still using non-corporal punishments, they strive to be gentle and are still on their learning journey. <3

I do feel compelled to mention that she highly recommends Lisa Whelchel’s Creative Corrections.  I do not.  While I’m sure it contains some very good ideas, it also contains some bad ones, including putting a drop of hot sauce on a child’s tongue for lying.

For more information about Creative Corrections, please see psychological torture as ‘creative correction’

Note: Brandy has apparently lost her domain and her entire blog. I am leaving this post up because of the information about Lisa Whelchel.

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 3

( Part 1 ) ( Part 2 )

I finished Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me today.  Here’s more of what I have learned about God’s Word.

Many Christian advocates of spanking children quote the following Proverb in order to support their philosophy that spanking children will save their souls from Hell.  It says: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.   14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” Proverbs 23:13-14 (KJV). Now, the Hebrew word for Hell is Sh’ol.  However, throughout the Hebrew Bible sh’ol doesn’t always mean the eternal, fiery Hell that we immediately conjure up in our minds.  Look at Jonah 2:1-2 where Jonah is talking about being stuck in the whale’s belly:

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry” (NIV).

Obviously, Jonah wasn’t in eternal Hell or permanently dead.  In Job 17:13-16, Job speaks of his only hope in following his family to the grave, sh’ol is translated as grave and corruption.  Sh’ol is also translated as pit as in falling into a pit.  It is clear that the Hebrew word sh’ol does not always mean the eternal Hell and it’s not used in this way any place in the book of Proverbs.  The new NIV translation shows a bit more accurate translation of Proverbs 23:13-14: [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 2

(Part 1)

After reading and studying more today in this wonderful book by Samuel Martin and doing my own Bible study, here are some things that God has revealed to me.

First, the book of Proverbs is the oldest book in the Holy Bible.  While King Solomon and King Hezekiah wrote most of Proverbs, according to Martin’s book, some of it was also written by authors of ancient Egypt hundreds of years prior to King Solomon and King Hezekiah.  In the Hebrew Bible, The Wisdom Literature which are Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are arranged in a different order than they appear in our modern day Bibles.  Instead of Job,  Psalms, Proverbs; it’s Psalms, Proverbs, Job.  These Holy books were inspired by God to be written primarily for young men.

The Hebrew language breaks up each stage of childhood in the Bible into specific names from birth to adulthood.   I will not list them here at the moment, but what is key to point out here is the Book of Proverbs was written for young men (Hebrew: Na’ar).  Na’ar is the teenage years, 12 years to roughly 19.  During this stage of life during biblical times, young men were considered ready to learn the Law, looking to marry, and able to understand abstract concepts.  This makes sense as reknown psychologist Jean Piaget recognized that people 12 and up were in the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development.  Young children cannot think abstractly.  That is why a young child will run to the window if you say it’s raining cats and dogs.  The young child truly expects to see cats and dogs falling from the sky.  The young takes everything at its literal meaning.  [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 1

I am reading a wonderful book by theologian, Samuel Martin, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me. It’s clear from historic, contextual, Hebrew info on the book of Proverbs that we are NOT to spank (hit) children. The book of Proverbs was not meant for verses to be taken out of context. Even Jewish scholars believe that spankings are for boys 12 years & up and only as an absolute LAST resort. Proverbs was written under the Law of Moses. Christians are under the Law of Christ.  What is the Law of Christ?  Grace, peace, mercy and love.  ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”  Galatians 5:22-23.

Jesus freed us from the Law.  “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”  Galatians 5:18. When we spank, we are parenting under the Law.   We are not accepting the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.  Jesus died for us.  He was beaten to a bloody pulp for us.  Why do we feel we must beat, spank, and hit our young children who do not understand sin nor physical punishment.  “In regard to evil be infants” 1 Corinthians 14:20b.

Even Jewish scholars forbid the use of physical punishment for children under 6.  The very age Christian advocates of spanking say it’s best for.  Every time you hit a child, even “lovingly,” you create confusion, anger, fear, and resentment which breed sin later on. [Read more…]