“Would you like me to hold you while you cry?”

Mother comforting her crying little girl

I knew the moment I saw Sally's face that there was going to be a problem. Her face was crumpling, and I knew tears wouldn't be far behind. Sally had just finished her dance class. Her teacher had just given her and her classmates each a certificate of participation, but one girl, who had fulfilled all the requirements and was ready to move up to the next class, got a ribbon. And Sally didn't. And in Sally's four-year-old mind, this was a disaster.The tears flowed freely as we walked out to … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Debi Pearl

Debi

Dear Debi,I was very excited when I read your article of this past August, titled "The Roland Study." In that article, you began with this opening paragraph: My grandson Roland, who just turned one, has taught me more about the development of babies and toddlers than I learned my first sixty-plus years of life. It is not that he is such a fine teacher; it’s just that, now that I’m a grandmother, not responsible for meeting the daily needs of my children, I can seriously focus on what makes h … [Read more...]

Michael and Debi Pearl’s Life Story on Video

mike and debi

I just found a video of Michael and Debi telling their life story earlier this fall. I haven't watched the whole thing yet, and don't have time to parse through it at the moment. If anyone here wants to post in the comments what is said, or important insights, please do. For some reason, I can't embed it (something about privacy settings), so you'll have to click through to Vimeo to view it.Michael & Debi Pearl: Our Life StoryI do want to make a caveat. No mocking, please. I'm not … [Read more...]

Could Debi Pearl Be Changing Her Mind on Child Training?

listen

I recently came upon an article by Debi on the No Greater Joy website. It was posted this past August, so it's relatively recent. I must say, when I first saw it yesterday I was quite surprised by it. Here's how it begins: My grandson Roland, who just turned one, has taught me more about the development of babies and toddlers than I learned my first sixty-plus years of life. It is not that he is such a fine teacher; it’s just that, now that I’m a grandmother, not responsible for meeting the dai … [Read more...]

“Breeders,” “Spawn,” and the Childfree

childfree

Last week I wrote about prejudice against children (which some scholars have termed "childism"). Many commenters focused on conservatives who believe in spanking children and see teenage rebellion as something to be eradicated, and I was indeed talking about this group. This wasn't the only group I was talking about, though. In response to commenters' focus on conservatives, reader Monala had this to say. To be fair, though, some of the worst childist comments I've heard have come from people … [Read more...]

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...]


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