Four years ago the world lost little Sean Paddock after his mother suffocated him. She followed the Pearls. When little Sean died, those of us who were already critical of the Pearl's teachings, spoke out. We joined in a boycott and tried to share the danger with anyone who would listen.
Now we've lost little Lydia Schatz after her parents beat her to death with the plastic tubing the Pearls recommend for child "training". And after reading this moving blog post at Beauty For Ashes, I don't think we can continue to believe that only those who are naturally prone to abuse could be devastated by the implementation of the teachings in To Train Up a Child.
I am asking that other parents join in another Boycott. But I think we need to go a bit further than just our blogs. I think we need to talk to our Pastors, write letters to our Homeschool organizations, write local talk radio hosts who might discuss it, and talk to other parents. We have to get the word out that these methods don't place the rod of discipline in parents hands, but a loaded gun. If parents follow these instructions to the letter, it is a manual for child abuse.
Michael Pearl said, in a statement to the press,
We do not teach 'corporal punishment' nor 'hitting' children. We teach parents how to train their children, which sometimes requires the limited and controlled application of a spanking instrument to hold the child's attention on admonition.This is a semantics game, Mr. Pearl. Using a spanking instrument during admonition is corporal punishment. And the instructions that parents should:
“…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.”
From To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi PearlChapter 6: Applying the RodAs a community, our desire to be good parents has allowed in a style of parenting that turns our children into the enemy and beats them for their imperfection. It promises the perfect obedience that even our faith has not given us as adults. And it pushes us to take these methods as far as necessary until our children submit. At least two children have paid for their parents mistakes with their lives. So now, can we stop it?
Other Pearl's Posts to read:
Muse Mama: Giving Up On To Train Up A Child
Muse Mama: The Pearl's Are Wrong
White Washed Feminists: To Train Up A Child Review
Water Lily: Spanking In Anger Isn't the Problem
Holy Experience: Perfectionism
Tulip Girl: Vulnerable To Abuse
That Mom: Child Abuse In The Name of Jesus
Quivering Daughters: How Many More Little Girls Need To Die?
No Longer Quivering: Disciplining to Death: No Greater Joy Ministries and Child Abuse
Contending With The Cultrue: Tragedy In A Homeschooling Family
The Home Spun Life: Time To Speak Out, Even If It's Hard