“Be a Good Obeying Girl”

follow the instructions

When I was a child and my mother would leave me at a friend's house or with a sitter, there was one thing she always said right before she left."Be a good obeying girl." Of every virtue a child could have, the one my mother prized above all else was obedience. My mother was influenced by Michael Pearl's book, To Train Up a Child, which stipulated that obedience should be immediate and without question---and with a smile. Partly I think my mother was attracted to the Pearls' childrearing … [Read more...]

“Little Bundles of Sin”: Evangelical Child Rearing

little bundle of sin

I recently ran across a truly excellent article on the politics of the conservative family (seriously, go read the whole thing). I found the section on children and child rearing especially pertinent to my own experiences and a helpful overview of a lot of the particularities of evangelical and fundamentalist views toward children and child rearing. I'm going to quote from this section, pausing every couple of paragraphs for some commentary. ...Drawing in part on their belief in original sin … [Read more...]

Kids need rules! Right?

rules

I am constantly surprised by how much I was taught as common sense child rearing growing up is completely turned on its head by positive parenting. For example, one huge emphasis growing up is that children need rules, limits, and boundaries. Having boundaries, I was taught, makes children happy and secure. This from James Dobson of Focus on the Family: You have discussed the need for establishing boundaries within the home. Do children really want limits set on their behavior?Most … [Read more...]

Spanking, Fear, and Privileging Obedience

This is part of a series in which I am re-posting a number of posts I've written in the past on issues involving parenting and Michael and Debi Pearl. I think these posts may be of interest to new readers, and if you're a reader who has been around with me since the beginning, they may be worth a re-read. This post was originally published here.   Growing up on Michael Pearl’s discipline teachings, James Dobson always seemed mild in comparison. My impression was always that Pearl was about ab … [Read more...]

Spanking, Fear, and Privileging Obedience

Growing up on Michael Pearl's discipline teachings, James Dobson always seemed mild in comparison. My impression was always that Pearl was about absolute immediate obedience while Dobson tempered his advice to spank with an emphasis on understanding child psychology. I just came upon a quote from one of Dobson's books that is making me rethink that - and has emphasized to me once more that the whole point of spanking a child is to make him or her afraid of disobeying."The day I learned the … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Girlhood Doll, p. 7: Submission and Obedience

girl with father

The Godly Woman recognizes that "the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man..." She willingly and joyfully submits to him in everything as she would unto Christ. What other women view as a burden and degradation, she views as an honor and a blessing.My parents believed in male headship and the umbrella of authority. They believed that the husband is the head of the wife and that the wife must submit to the husband even as the husband must love the wife.My … [Read more...]


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