With the recent scrutiny of the controversial parenting book, "To Train Up a Child," some followers of No Greater Joy ministries have claimed that Michael and Debi Pearl do not advocate abuse in their books or on their web sites.
For those who have not read the book themselves and for those who are looking for direct quotes from the book for talking points, Why Not Train a Child? offers a list of direct quotes from the book and from Pearl's web site. Page numbers and direct links are provided.
Site owner Hermana Linda says:
When quoting from To Train Up A Child (written and published by Michael and Debi Pearl), we should be careful about paraphrasing. We are being accused of misquoting. Here are some quotes from the first edition of the book, which is found online here. I got the page numbers from quotes which are in circulation (originating from stoptherod.net) but I painstakingly checked each quote in the book to make sure that I am using direct quotes.
Examples on the page include:
On "switching" babies who are crying and not sleeping (page 60):
But what of the grouch who would rather complain than sleep? Get tough. Be firm with him. Never put him down and then allow him to get up. If, after putting him down, you remember he just woke up, do not reward his complaining by allowing him to get up.For the sake of consistency in training, you must follow through. He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.
On the Pearls' nine year-old daughter directing a neighbor to whip her 7 month old baby for crying (page 79):
A seven-month-old boy had, upon failing to get his way, stiffened clenched his fists, bared his toothless gums and called down damnation on the whole place. At a time like that, the angry expression on a baby’s face can resemble that of one instigating a riot. The young mother, wanting to do the right thing, stood there in helpless consternation, apologetically shrugged her shoulders and said, “What can I do?” My incredulous nine-year-old whipped back, “Switch him.” The mother responded, “I can’t, he’s too little.” With the wisdom of a veteran who had been on the little end of the switch, my daughter answered, “If he is old enough to pitch a fit, he is old enough to be spanked.”
On whipping a three year-old until he is "totally broken" (page 59):
She then administers about ten slow, patient licks on his bare legs. He cries in pain. If he continues to show defiance by jerking around and defending himself, or by expressing anger, then she will wait a moment and again lecture him and again spank him. When it is obvious he is totally broken, she will hand him the rag and very calmly say, “Johnny, clean up your mess.” He should very contritely wipe up the water.
On using "whatever force is necessary" on a rebellious child until you "defeat him totally" (page 46):
Never reward delayed obedience by reversing the sentence. And, unless all else fails, don’t drag him to the place of cleansing. Part of his training is to come submissively. However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child, who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.
On not stopping the beating until a child's crying is "a true, wounded, submissive whimper" (page 80):
On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again.
There are more quotes on the page, and much more information about the book elsewhere on the website.
You can also read one mother's story of following the advice of "To Train Up a Child" at Corpses Don’t Rebel: A former follower of Michael Pearl’s "To Train Up A Child" reacts to the death of Hana Williams. Note that the post cautions: Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of infant and child abuse.
- Child's death leads Christians to speak out against Michael and Debi Pearl
- Another couple found guilty of murder for parenting by "To Train Up a Child"
- Petition against "To Train Up a Child" nears 90,000 signatures
- Another child's death linked to Pearls and "To Train Up a Child"
- Michael Pearl writes that he is laughing at his critics after child's death
- 26 Ways to help children
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