The Botkins: Don’t Let Children Roll Their Eyes

Ahab of the Republic of Gilead has begun reviewing the Botkins’ Ready for Life webinar. I suggest you read his first installment in its entirety. Ahab’s analysis is really quite good, and he includes numerous direct quotes. I wanted to highlight this quote, and add a little commentary:

Discipline is not an option in your home. You have to bring discipline and order to your home. Disobedience is not an option in your home. Children cannot disobey parents, ever, either outwardly or passively. They can’t roll their eyes … We have to be very quick to rebuke them and reprove them in a way that we want. The rod and reprove give wisdom … Did we spank our children? Yes, we did spank our children. And there were times that there were children who were easy to spank, and children that were literally impossible and difficult to spank. And did we want to give up on that? Sure we did. And there were many times when I would come home and I would need to encourage Victoria and say, ‘Honey, were you faithful in obeying the Lord in this? Because when you discipline your children, they will delight your soul, and they haven’t delighted your soul today.’

And there it is. For the Botkins, it’s not just actual obedience that matters, it’s also attitude. I grew up with this idea, and it is absolutely smothering. Here in the U.S., the government requires citizens to pay taxes and obey the laws, but it does not also require them to endorse government policies either verbally or internally. It doesn’t punish its citizens for rolling their eyes. To do so would be mind control, dictatorship, and tyranny. And yet, people like the Botkins advocate doing just this to children.

I also find it interesting that the measure of whether proper discipline has been applied is whether or not children “delight” their parents “souls.” Because parenting is totes about making the parents happy, not about raising healthy and independent children. Except, not. It’s like the Pearls—they make parenting about making children convenient for the parents rather than on preparing children for adulthood.

In case you’re wondering, the Botkins are fundamentalist Christian homeschool leaders with close ties to Doug Philips and Vision Forum. Geoff and Victoria Botkins’ daughters, Anna Sophia and Elizabeth, wrote the stay at home daughter manual, So Much More. Anyway, read the rest of Ahab’s post!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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