by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – It’s The Book’s Fault!
Editor’s note: Found this strange gem a few weeks ago on the Pearl’s site. It starts with a letter from parents (real or Pearl-written no one knows) blaming Michael’s child training via spanking manual ‘To Train Up A Child’ for the new misbehavior in their children. Believe this is likely a fake letter cobbled together to allow Mr. Pearl to pontificate on why his child discipline ideas are the best thing ever in his mind. Surely this has to be fake? It reeks of fakery. Also it’s so strange, the writer is accusing the book of making her not enjoy her children and stressing her out? Time in Quiverfull-land can make you crazy if this letter is anything to go by.
Dear Michael and Debi,
Our children are now 3 ½ , 22 months, and 3 months. When our first child was 19 months old and I was pregnant with our second, we moved and made new friends with a family that had well balanced, happy, and obedient children. After much pleading that they tell us their secret, they gave us your book.
To cut a long story short, we now have two relatively well-balanced kids. My husband and I are still riding a roller-coaster of stress and anxiety with occasional loops of wonderful joy and contentment with our children. That is not what the book said it would be like!! In a way, I feel worse with my pretty-well-balanced kids than I did with the unruly first one. Sure, she threw an occasional tantrum, which raised my blood pressure, but on the whole, I found that I just loved her so much that I put up with those times as being “normal.” and thoroughly enjoyed her for just who she was the rest of the time (and even the tantrums I could generally laugh about later).
Firstly, I would like to talk with you about attitudes, mine mainly. I know that a lot of the sulking and whining that goes on with the girls is a reflection of my attitude towards them. As I said before, when I had no expectations or standards for the behavior of toddlers, I was extremely patient with my daughter and her ways and I just enjoyed being with her. Since reading your book I have set certain standards as norm for my children, and I find that I tend to look at the kids and judge their every word and action, by the standards I have mentally set. I don’t enjoy being with our kids any more (unless they are having one of their super well behaved days. I am very saddened and irritated. To see how insecure L. has become, rather than the secure, at peace child I envisaged at the outset of re-training her the “right” way.
I can see that I need to step outside of our little world here for a while, get a proper focus on things and perspective. The more disappointed I become with our training non-results, the more introspective I become, which gets me more irritated and disappointed, making the snowball bigger and bigger—I don’t want it to explode and shatter us all.
I guess my question to you is how do I get off of this roller coaster before it is too late and I’ve done damage to the children along the way?? I just want to enjoy the kids and nurture them with love and patience and understanding, but I find myself at a point where I cannot deal with the conflicts while maintaining the Christ-like attitude God asks us to have with our children. I am at the point where the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when a child disobeys, or displays a bad attitude, I can feel the tension and stress level in my body rise. Though I try to maintain my outward composure, and though I try to speak calmly to the girls when rebuking them and switching them, I think deep down I feel irritated more than anything, because I can’t see the training working.
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men 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.