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...]

Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse Gets in the Way, Says WORLD Magazine’s Andrée Seu Peterson

Andre Seu

Evangelicals have a child sexual abuse problem, but some of them don't seem to want to admit that---or to take the necessary steps to fix the problem. Take Andrée Seu Peterson, for instance, a columnist for WORLD magazine. She recently wrote a column titled "Protecting the Children in the Church---from Us." It seems that Andrée is more concerned about herself---and her ability to walk into the bathroom with the children when she walks them for a potty break during Sunday school---than she is ab … [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...]

Be Still My Heart: Crushes and Guy-Girl Friendships

crush

By some quirk, the families we spent the most time with all had girls my age, and no boys my age whatsoever. I don't know why this was the case, because it wasn't like my mom was intentionally avoiding befriending people who had sons my age. Yes, there were a few families with boys my age in our homeschool community, and occasionally we were in the same co-ops with them. But in my family, it was difficult to form friendships with kids if their parents weren't friends of my parents, so I never … [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...]

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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