The Quiverfull movement believes in nonstop procreation as long as the married Christian couple can make it happen (e.g. The Duggars). They also believe in a patriarchy, very formal courtship,
Vyckie Garrison birthed seven children before leaving the movement for good. She now writes at the blog No Longer Quivering.
Julie Mullen and the folks at the Parenting Within Reason podcast interviewed Vyckie about her current and former life — it’s a really eye-opening (ear-popping?) interview that’s worth a listen.
You can read more of Julie’s thoughts on the interview here. The most striking part concerns the Quiverfull idea that it’s ok to basically cause physical harm to your child if they don’t follow your commands:
The idea here is that by teaching your child to obey you rather than follow his own natural inclinations, you will instill enough obedience for the child to forego his sinful nature. Obedience is the most important trait according to this thought process. If you can’t obey your parents, you won’t obey God, and you’ll end up in Hell.
Vyckie says she did not practice this particular form of discipline with her kids, but she did emphasize obedience as the highest virtue, and she tells us in the interview how it drained the spirit right out of her children. Once liberated from this dogma, the kids began to flourish and grow as individuals.
Sounds to me like the worst possible way to raise a child… kids need to be taught when and how to rebel properly. Easier said than done, I’m sure, but to tell them they must never question what you say? What a horrible lesson to teach a child.
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