Many of you have probably heard about the little girl who was killed by her parents this month as a result of them following the Pearls’ advice in “To Train Up a Child.”
I wrote about it here if you’re not familiar with it.
People have been silent about the Pearls for years, even though they have been linked with a child’s death in the past and they advocate practices that many of us feel are heartless and abusive. A few bloggers have spoken out against them and some (like me and many mothers I know) have boycotted some sites who were affiliated with them.
Too many of us have stayed quiet, though. Some people think parents have a right to use this sort of “discipline” even if they don’t agree with it while others are just uncomfortable with the thought of speaking out against it. People are finally starting to vocally call this system what it is, though — abuse — and are standing up to it.
I listed quite a few of them and quoted them here.
The book is online and I read parts of it to see if it was being misinterpreted, as some people are claiming. People have said it contains “good things” too, but I didn’t see a speck of anything good. It gave me a stomach ache and made me hurt for all of the children being raised in these methods.
There are triumphant stories of beating the author’s 4 month old baby with a willow branch until she learned not to try to crawl up the stairs, proud stories of the author’s daughters telling a neighbor mother that she needed to “switch” her 7 month old baby for crying because “if he’s old enough to pitch a fit, he’s old enough to be switched.”
Michael Pearl tells parents not not even wait until their children do anything wrong before hurting them because then they won’t be properly trained. He teaches that his methods (whipping with plumbing line, branches, rulers and other instruments) should be used until parents have “100% compliance.” He has advised parents they should continue until children are “too breathless to protest” and has said “if she can cry out for you it’s not hard enough.”
People online have said that they respect other parents’ rights to use these methods. It should not be okay to respect a parent’s “right” to terrorize and abuse children.
I’d like to challenge everyone who has a blog or writes a column to add your voice on behalf of children against these cruel teachings. If you don’t have a blog, speak out about it on online parenting groups, post against the Pearls on Facebook, bring it up in playgroups and churches.
Let’s flood the internet and our communities with people speaking out and calling a spade a spade. It’s not a different discipline method, it’s child abuse. It’s not Christian. It’s evil.
<a href=”http://musemama.blogspot.com/2010/02/bring-back-boycott.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/AnneBasso/Blog%20Tools/ttuac7.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Muse Mama” /></a><br />
Thanks for listening, speaking up and being the kind of parents who give me back some faith in the world.