Michael Pearl Is Not Original

susanna wesley

Michael Pearl's To Train Up a Child is not original, not in the least. It's actually a rehashing of ideas that had been floating around in evangelicalism and fundamentalism for literally hundreds of years. Let me offer a few excerpts from various evangelical or fundamentalist sources to illustrate what I'm talking about.First, have a look at what Susanna Wesley wrote in 1732: When turned a year old (and some before), they were taught to fear the rod, and to cry softly; by which means they … [Read more...]

Freaking Out over Adolescent Rebellion . . . during WWII

rebels

I grew up hearing that young people today were especially sinful, rebellious, and hedonistic. I grew up hearing that young people were rejecting faith in God and turning to juvenile delinquency in larger numbers than in the past. I grew up hearing that as a result of parents turning away from corporal punishment, adolescents were wayward, drug addicted, and suicidal like never before. Then I learned in college about the 1960s and the Baby Boomers. I realized that this idea that adolescent … [Read more...]

Christian Charm Course: How Feminine Are You?

How Feminine Are You

Last week I promised you to dig up a Christian Charm Course book and share some of what it teaches. My mother taught my sister and I from the book when we were probably 12 or 13, and it is an excellent example of both purity culture and evangelicalism's frequent insistence that women should strive to be traditionally "feminine." I've heard of this book being used both in homeschool settings and in Christian schools, to give an example of its influence.Anyway, I recently found that another … [Read more...]

The Radical Notion That Children Are People

childism

I saw this image recently when it flew around facebook like wildfire in response to recent gentle parenting memes. And yes, one of my relatives posted it approvingly.And so I have to wonder, what is it with this idea that violence against children is something to be treated so lightly, like a joke, or even directly embraced? What is this?! We wouldn't let people get away with saying "back in the day, when we could beat our wives without being sent to jail, women knew to keep their … [Read more...]

The Botkins: Don’t Let Children Roll Their Eyes

child hand over mouth

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. … [Read more...]

The Twisted Evil

twisted

I write a lot here on the blog about Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Help Meet and Michael Pearl's To Train Up A Child. I think it's important to remember that there are people who wholeheartedly believe and follow both books. This isn't some abstract thing. For these individuals and families, this is real life. And the things the Pearls say---things that are, I might add, actually quite widespread in fundamentalist Christian circles far beyond the Pearls themselves---shape the directions of p … [Read more...]

A Sibling Tussle: Empathy and Problem Solving

4029R-101517

So. I've given you all an intense couple of days. Today we take a break for something more fun. I want to share a humorous exchange that recently took place between my children Sally (age 4) and Bobby (age 1). It involved a tussle over a package of princess gummies and two children who really do care about each other---but aren't about to give up their property without a fuss.First, a moment of background. Every time we go to the grocery I let Sally pick out something for herself. The … [Read more...]


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