Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why the teaching of Michael Pearl regarding child raising (and other things too) is grossly in error and dangerous

A number of years ago, I heard about this wonderful parenting book and that  should read it.  I had heard a few things about it online but wanted to read it for myself because I hate when people form an opinion without actually checking into it themselves.  I was fortunate to know someone who was willing to give me the book and so I read To Train Up a Child.  I cried.  I was in shock.  I was angry.  How could a man have such a twisted view of God as to write a book that parents will raise their children with?  Tempting and beating children because they fell to the temptation all because God did the same thing?  I guess he never really read Scripture.   My copy of the book is filled with notes, underlines, arguments from me as if Mr. Pearl could hear through the pages.

Since then, I have spoken to people of how bad their parenting advice is and tat there are much better materials out there to listen to, starting with Scripture.  This morning, I came across an article  that someone posted on Facebook about a family who murdered their 7 year old adopted daughter and seriously injured their 11 year old adopted daughter - all while disciplining their children following teachings of a "Fundamentalist group based in Tennessee".  I knew who it was even before I looked further into it.  Apparently this little girl had such a beating that she died of "muscle tissue breakdown" after a lengthy beating in her parent's bedroom.  What was her offense?  She misspelled a word in her schooling. 

I know there are those who take things to the extreme when following someone's advice but to beat a child to death for misspelling a word?  Unbelievable.  So there is now an uproar about Mr. Pearl's teaching and he has given a response to this uproar.  I'd like for ANYONE to say that this is a godly man responding to a terrible death and explaining the stand that they take.  There is NEVER an excuse to have that sort of response to ANYTHING.  Humble?  Gracious?  Mourning the death of a child?  No.  Instead his pompous, arrogant style flies in the face of that small child who suffered untold pain in the moments (and months) before her death.

If there is any reason to say that the teachings of Michael Pearl are grossly dangerous, I'd say this is it.


letthismindbeinyou said...

Wow! If that blog post was in response to that story, I'm completely floored.

I think I missed the part where the family is connected to the Pearl's disciplinary style, but perhaps that is because it's 6:53am and I haven't finished my first cup of coffee!

Gah, Ann---I agree with you. Mr. Pearl's response was truly arrogant even if the blog post was not in response to that story. I can't believe that someone could think that only children disciplined in the manner he describes are the only ones who will be able to fix our "loser children" who won't amount to anything. Duh.

Hermana Linda said...

Yes, that was his response. He has another response on his site as well. Notice how he twists the truth in this one, saying that he does not teach corporal punishment. He teaches parents to train babies and toddlers by switching them, and to spank children for every offense. I have to wonder what his definition of corporal punishment is.

I hope you don't mind if I link to this post at Why Not Train a Child? :-)

Hermana Linda said...

By the way, just for the record, she was not being punished for misspelling the word, she was being punished for mispronouncing the word.

Carrie said...