Quoting Quiverfull: Shy Children Must Be Trained Out Of It?

Quoting Quiverfull: Shy Children Must Be Trained Out Of It? April 18, 2014

from No Greater Joy magazine by Shalom Pearl Brand – Three Types of Children, Part 3: Building Confidence (Steady/Servant Type)

Don’t let your children be shy; help them overcome their fears and reach out to others. Observe your children and determine what is causing them to be shy. Is it only when someone talks to them, or is it all the time? Then, create an environment where you are in control and can train them to be confident. Do not push them to the point that they are afraid. Remember, you are training them, guiding them, and directing them. Talk to them about how to respond when someone speaks to them, how to stand, and what to say. Praise them for their accomplishment and let them practice in front of Daddy or Grandma; then arrange for them to practice with a friend, still in your own home in a safe environment. Then, when you feel they are ready, have them go to a friend’s house to practice their boldness. When they are ready, bring them out to confront strangers in stores or at church. This is especially for very shy children, but is good for any child.

To read the rest of Michael and Debi Pearl’s daughter Shalom’s child training tips click here.

What do you think? Is it right to help a child overcome a natural part of their own personality or is it a bit much?

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The method doesn’t sound bad, but the mindset makes me cringe. My 5 yo is extremely social, but some situations make him nervous. I feel like it’s a balancing act between affirming his emotions, helping him feel safe, and encouraging him to take risks so that he can get the most out of life.

    He’s at a play date today. The first time he went to this friend’s house I stayed the whole time because he was uncomfortable. I got to know his friend’s parents that way. But today he’s there without me. He was fine with this, but uncomfortable with having his friend’s dad pick him up. I pushed him to do it anyway because it would have taken me much longer to get ready and take him over. He was fine. Well maybe I’ll hear about it when he gets home.

    But my concern is not with “fixing” his temperament. I wouldn’t engineer situations for him to practice his skills – our life presents plenty of those (although if I was homeschooling and we associated only with a set group or church friends that might not be the case). In general I think of my job as nurturing and supporting my children rather than “training” them.

  • Lynn

    I would do this, and have a little bit because one of my kids’ standoffishness comes off as very rude. I would never force or even encourage her to touch anyone she didn’t want to, but I did insist she make the briefest of eye contact and squeak out a hello to my friends. I think practicing is smart, as long as it is not connected to punishment, but more like learning a skill, with a lot of gentleness and explanation.

  • Nightshade

    I almost chucked the whole thing into the nearest garbage pail on the first line: ‘Don’t let your children be shy.’ Don’t LET them??! What’s so terrible about being shy? Not everyone warms up to new people, situations, etc at the same rate as adults, much less children. To kids the whole world is a new, sometimes scary place, and there’s nothing wrong with being cautious when you don’t know what you’re getting into, whatever your age.

    That being said, I did go ahead and read the rest, which actually doesn’t sound bad at all. When a person is so shy that s/he can’t face anyone it is going to interfere with enjoying life, and if a parent can assist it’s a good thing. Don’t push and make the kid more fearful, work with the child gently until s/he is ready for each new step along the way, and do your best to understand and guide in what may be a slow process.

  • Independent Thinker

    My main disagreement with Shalom is the advice that this is good for any child. I have to disagree especially when the child has autism or a sensory processing disorder. Forcing those children to socialize can be disastrous. Also, forcing those children to be with people that make them uncomfortable can result in a serious meltdown. My son has an autistic friend and a great since of humor. The mom of the autistic child noticed for some reason my son thinks it’s humorous when her son says or does things that may turn other people off. Her son thinks it’s totally cool that my son thinks he is really funny. However, that same child will completely shut down in some situations just because of the way the people around him react.

  • Nea

    Just remember kids: if you do anything wrong, including show the wrong emotion, you’ll be beaten. If this scares you into not wanting to interact with others for fear of punishment… you’ll be punished.

  • Nea

    You forget that when a Pearl says “train,” they mean “beat.” Once again, the kid is being caused pain for having the wrong emotion. The grandparents this kid practices on wrote the manual on spanking, literally. There is no way this is good advice because it’s not about guidance at all.

  • Astrin Ymris

    It seems to me that a lot of CPM parenting is based on the premise that parents can mold their children into whatever they decide to make them. You wouldn’t think that John B. Watson’s discredited theories were still alive and kicking a century later.

  • Nea

    Well, those theories work, at least on the surface – IF you’re terrified of failure, can’t think of alternatives, and are willing to cause infinite pain to get what you want out of a kid.

  • Saraquill

    I don’t know much about Shalom Pearl, but I find it a bit rich that she’d call home “safe.”

  • Allison the Great

    That’s some quality brain washing right there. Thinking that the house of terror where she grew up is “safe” is called Stockholm Syndrome

  • Family legend has it that my mother was extremely shy, painfully shy. I say ‘legend’ because she is the most outspoken, in your face, positive, individual I have ever known. I was the extravert as a child. Today, I’d rather just sit back and watch the world, observe it. You can’t tell what a child is going to grow up to be, just because they are shy or extraverted as children. I would love to be the one collecting therapist fees when the Pearl children finally come to their senses.

  • Christie

    What? This makes not one iota of sense. You cannot change a child’s personality without damaging them. If a child is a bit shy, the best thing one can do is simply permit that natural desire for privacy to be fulfilled. If you try to train out shyness you will damage the person. If you love them through it they will find their own balance.

    Heaven help us. Can we not accept the children as they are? Does not Christ accept us as we are and loves us into betterment.

  • Harmony

    From personal experience, even though it seems like a good idea to socialize children by exposing them to new people, the reality is it’s not as easy. My dad was always telling me, “just go up and talk to them!” or talking about what he’d do, instead of trying to understand what was holding me back (turns out 10 years of homeschooling on a boat and in a trailer holds you back a lot.)
    And knowing what I do about the Pearls, shyness is just one more manifestation of “not-brimming-over-with-joy-that-you’re-on-God’s-perfect-earth” that they feel must be stamped out. Well, at least in men, we want them to be bold, brash, and forward! The girls can be as shy as they want.