Quoting Quiverfull: Part 4 – Michael Pearl’s Parenting Methods In Action?

Quoting Quiverfull: Part 4 – Michael Pearl’s Parenting Methods In Action? August 15, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Child Training Marathon Revisited and Updated

Editor’s note: The family ride from hell continues, with continued spanking of a toddler who’s up late, tired, over-excited and out of control with his emotions. Why does it not occur to anyone in this family that stopping once to hold, comfort and meet the immediate needs of this toddler might be enough to turn off the tears and end the situation in a peaceful and loving manner? Why keep beating and keeping the child stirred up and in a state of high anxiety?

Father tells the boy to stop crying or he will stop the vehicle and spank. Father stops, spanks; the child cries, and the father resumes the drive. He waits three to five minutes, ignores the crying and continues to talk as if all is well. Five minutes later, the father again commands the child to stop crying. By this time there is no lingering pain and he has had time to quiet his emotions and reflect on the parental mandate: “Stop crying or get a spanking.”

Again the father commands the child to stop crying or he will receive a spanking. The child continues crying only because he assumes that the status quo continues. That is, he is not at all convinced that the father means what he says. Judging from past experiences, he is sure that he will win this contest eventually. By breaking it up into several sessions, the father is reprogramming the child—Father commands with a threat; child disobeys; Father carries out threat; child loses and suffers the consequences; it is an unpleasant experience; repeat all of above five to ten times. The child concludes: There is a new order; Father is consistent; he always means what he says; I cannot win; there is no alternative to instant obedience. Get smart, be a survivor, just say no to self-will.

The beauty of this kind of contest is that, when the parents conquer, it applies across the board. The child is not just yielding to the circumstances; he is yielding to his parents. The rebel in him is dying. This submission will translate into every aspect of their relationship.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • KarenH

    “… This submission will translate into every aspect of their relationship. …”

    It sure the fuck will. I only hope it lasts long enough for that child to pick out Daddy’s and Mummy’s nursing home.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    I can’t begin to fathom the level of utter contempt that Michael Pearl has for children, seeing him ascribe character traits to a toddler that are more in line with an adult (projection at its most loathsome).

    I just have no words. If there is indeed a Hell, Michael and Debi Pearl have a special place in its depths. The sad thing is, they’ve done their worst to make their family into a Hell on earth.

  • KarenH

    And his only crime was that, being exhausted, he wanted his Mommy and because of the carseat, couldn’t have her. But there’s absolutely no reason in the world, they couldn’t have pulled over and instead of beating the child for the situation THEY created, just moved Mommy into the center of the row so that she could be NEXT to the child.

  • Saraquill

    Pearl, if we were to judge your penis size by the joy you take in hurting children, we’d need a microscope to find it. Your posturing isn’t fooling anyone.

  • Nea

    Notice how a two-year old is assumed to have the wiles and intellect of a battle commander. Mikey wants the world to think that he’s picked a worthy foe, not picking on a toddler.

  • KarenH

    Reminds me of when my dickhead ex-BIL was crowing loudly over winning a game of horseshoes with my son who was 5 at the time. My brother commented rather loudly about the skill set needed to defeat at 5 year old at a game that requires strength and throwing accuracy.

  • Gypsy Rose B

    ‘Five minutes later, the father again commands the child to stop crying. By this time there is no lingering pain and he has had time to quiet his emotions and reflect on the parental mandate: “Stop crying or get a spanking.”’

    Mikey, you don’t understand how pain works. Have you never experienced pain? What if you stub your toe. It throbs for a couple of minutes and then it’s not so bad. After 5 minutes you stub it again, the pain lasts longer because the nerves are on high alert and bruising has probably started. Imagine if you kept stubbing your toe every few minutes. Eventually you’d barely be able to stand on it, even after it had been several minutes. Now what if you didn’t understand why you kept doing it, the table leg was someone you trusted and who took care of your needs, and it kept barking out an order that you may not fully be able to understand because either it didn’t make full sense or you were too agitated to pay attention or both. Wouldn’t that keep you in pain, frightened, and unsure how to respond to your environment? And getting back to the beginning of of my point: Pain doesn’t just disappear, even if it is a single injury or spanking. Everyone has different thresholds.

  • Jenny Islander

    Our eldest child decided at one point that her rear-facing infant car seat was so awful that NOTHING would comfort her, not even stuff that had worked previously. She screamed with surprising volume every second she was in the car. We couldn’t talk. We couldn’t think. We couldn’t make it stop. She was not at the age that understands words, and what the hell would hitting a baby have done? Anyway, one afternoon, my husband, who was driving, realized that he had two choices: stop the car in mid-lane and run away very fast, or scream along with her. So he screamed too–and she stopped.

    Aghast that he had perhaps terrified our child into thinking there was a T. rex about to eat her, he stopped the car so that I could get into the back seat and watch her face. The car began to move, the baby began to scream, and when her dad screamed back, she stopped and placidly looked around. Apparently somebody had to express her frustration at being stuck in that thing, but it didn’t have to be her.

    So for the next month we went down the road with a contented baby riding in the back seat and Dad screeching like a monkey in the front.

    I supposed Michael Pearl would dismiss this story as the evil machinations of a super-intelligent freak baby (in his opinion they’re all super-intelligent freak babies) plotting to overthrow my husband’s AUTHORITAH. I say that you have to meet children where they are, and where a baby is is, “I have a brain the size of a rutabaga, I cannot word, and future gratification is meaningless to me; also my logic is not necessarily Earth Logic.”

  • The Student

    When was the last time Mikey was actually injured or in pain? When was the last time he was hit hard and multiple times by someone else? Because what he’s telling this father to do is to hit his small child multiple times on the same spot. Getting hit hurts. It especially hurts when it happens over and over on the same spot. And getting hurt by someone who you trusted can be scary. Especially for a child. What Mikey is doing is torture.

    And no child should have to “survive” their childhood. They should enjoy it and grow and learn through it. But survival shouldn’t be a struggle!

  • pl1224

    I’d be tempted to conclude that the parents of this poor child have been totally brainwashed by the Pearls’ cult indoctrination, but I doubt that these people ever had much in the way of brains to wash.

  • B.A.

    They already have a room reserved in Hotel Hell. “[They] can check in anytime they like,but [they] can never leave…”
    Showing my age,but so what? :p

  • B.A.

    They couldn’t have had brains to fall for his crap.

  • Julia Childress

    This is just disgusting. I think of the torment endured by those children who died at the hands of parents practicing extreme Pearlism. Yet the madness continues.

  • Anonyme

    This abusive way of “parenting” will have bad enough an affect on neurotypical children; I don’t want to imagine the damage it can afflict on a child with a mental and/or sensory disorder. At a very small age, I could be extremely fussy and belligerent (things as simple as removing a Band-aid, for example, could be highly stressful and painful to me). My parents didn’t know WHY I was that way, but they did the best they could and they didn’t beat the living daylights out of me. Years later, when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, they realized those behaviors were consistent with many of the ‘symptoms’ of Asperger’s in early childhood.

  • Nea

    In one of Mikey’s columns he answers a letter from a parent whose daughter keeps taking her shoes off. The description is classic sensory issues. The answer is classic Mikey: the child knows exactly what she is doing, the only interpretation is that she chooses to defy you, whip her feet until she puts the shoes back on.

    Note that in another column, where Mikey just can’t IMAGINE why people interpret his advice as abuse, he claims that he never says to whip kids on the feet. Or to whip without ceasing.

  • Nea

    It reminds me of Dobson crowing about his violent victory over the nasty teeny-weeny wiener dog, because you just can’t give yourself macho points if you admit to anyone — especially yourself — that your opponent can be physically tucked under one arm and moved where ever you want them to be.

  • ShinyZubat

    “Get smart, be a survivor, just say no to self-will.”

    That is the saddest thing I’ve read in a while…

  • We recently found out that the reason for many of our sensitivities is, in fact, Aspergers, not that our parents would ever have been willing to consider it as a diagnosis. They didn’t read Pearl, but they were huge Dobson fans and definitely subscribed to the ‘break the child’s will through spanking until they break’ thing, and it was a pretty hell for us. One of the reasons we ended up with multiple personalities, at any rate. One of our sensitivities is to heightened emotion, both our own and other’s, and we literally burned out at the age of four, the first time we split because of my dad’s rage blasted at us combined with ‘discipline’. Empathic with no shields, it was like getting drowned in boiling oil.

  • zizania

    If I had ever contemplated adopting a Pearl-style method of child rearing, an incident when my son was about six would have convinced me otherwise. To make a long story short, I accused him of eating a bowl of little chocolate Easter eggs off the kitchen table. When he denied it, I told him not to lie to me and sent him to his room. (We were the only ones in the house at the time.) Later, when I was cleaning, I found little foil-wrapped Easter eggs under the couch and chairs in the living room, each one covered with cat tooth-marks. Of course I appologized to my son and was never as quick to condemn him on shaky evidence afterward. But what if I had been in the habit of beating him until he “confessed”? How can you appologize for that sort of injustice? I can’t imagine the sort of psychological damage that would do to a child.

  • Astrin Ymris

    ROTFLMAO! Your husband is made of win– Michael Pearl looks like the cruel, vindictive bully he is beside him.

    Even babies want to be heard. Studies have shown that children whose parents heed their cries in infancy cry LESS at a year old than parents who take the “let them cry it out” approach.

  • BondGurl7

    I think what the Pearls either do not grasp, or refuse to address, is the difference between “punishment” and “discipline.” Punishment is used as a form of control, by creating fear of another person. Discipline is any method used to genuinely teach skills for life, where a person learns to control him/herself.A young child does not have the ability to express himself as adults do. He could feel tired, hungry, scared, thirsty, or maybe his sock is rubbing his toes and causing pain. The way they deal with these problems is to cry and whine. And kids at the age of 2 or 3 are generally very clingy to their mothers, and go through alot of separation anxiety when they can’t be right next to them. Spanking a child in this instance does not help him learn to express his emotions correctly, or to deal with what is truly bothering him.
    Second, young children do not have the reasoning capabilities an adult has. Children live in the moment, and do not understand the relationship between actions and consequences. Proper discipline is a tool used to TEACH a child this relationship, so they don’t grow up to be out-of-control, spoiled, self-entitled, bratty adults. Constantly issuing a “COMMAND” to stop crying, then spanking the child for not obeying does nothing to teach a child to think about actions/consequences in a healthy, mature manner. It only teaches him that he should be afraid to speak up around his dad, for fear of retribution.
    Third, it really pisses me off how Michael Pearl spoke about the little boy’s mother, making her out to be weak and stupid because she was actually trying to find the cause of her son’s neediness. This not only reinforces her subservient position with her husband, but it may also cause her son to lose all respect for her – and other women -as he grows older.

  • BondGurl7

    LMAO 😀
    Of course being in a rear-facing car seat is hell on earth to a baby. After being face-to-face with everyone, and being able to look around and be a part of what’s going on, I would think facing backwards, knowing I’m missing out on what must be a party, would be incredibly frustrating. Your husband absolutely did the right thing; he let her know she wasn’t alone and deserted. And by him wailing back at her, she knew someone understood how she was feeling.
    Besides, I think kids need to know that adults are not all stoic and in complete control at all times. lol

  • BondGurl7

    If the child sticks around long enough to be there in their old age. He may just grow up and be done with the emotional, physical, and mental abuse and want nothing to do with them.

  • Tyrone Jones

    Did not know that. Thnx.

  • Tyrone Jones

    Maybe put a photo or a t-shirt with your face on it on the seat for the baby to look at?

  • Tyrone Jones

    Maybe put a photo or a t-shirt with your face on it on the seat for the baby to look at? What are your thoughts on this option?

  • Tyrone Jones

    Excellently said.

  • Tyrone Jones

    I didn’t know until recently that my upbringing was so like all of this twisted stuff. Cult like, rigid, this hateful view towards children & onto children. At 52 I still was thinking it was more ME. Then, also recently, I learned that like you, I was Asperger’s. I have also been dx’ed as a survivor of SRA & DID, what used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder. I suspect my Mom was a survivor as well and also DID. My Dad was married because he was clueless and safe. However, both my parents had a dysfunction marriage and family dynamics. I think they had it worse then I & my siblings did. Still, Damn, our childhood was hell and life has been horrendous as a result. It makes me happy that your Parents were much kinder to you.

  • Tyrone Jones

    I am in tears again, reading your story. So hurting to find out that others have suffered the same as I have. Have you ever read books by Alice Miller? One is on the Hidden Cruelty in Childrearing Practices throughout history. One of your comments that resonated with me is empathic WITH NO shields, (filters/protective coverings).

  • Tyrone Jones

    If Dobson is a supporter of this kind of child rearing, he deserves a special place in hell.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I don’t think a flat image would do much for a lonely, bored, baby. A mirror would be more comforting– or go high-tech with Skype if possible.

    That would have more than one benefit. Did you know the number of babies dying in hot cars skyrocketed after laws required rear-facing carseats in the back seat? Out-of-sight is often literally out-of-mind, especially for a stressed adult trying to remember multiple items on a to-do list.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

  • Jenny Islander

    Believe me, we tried everything. Everything. Screeching like a monkey was not originally a solution, but it turned out to be one.

    She is now a well-balanced tween, BTW.

  • Jenny Islander

    Experimentation showed us that it was Dad, not Mom, who had the correct screech frequency, and that 5 seconds of talking or actual silence was as much as he could expect to get before he had to do it again. Baby logic!

  • Tyrone Jones

    It was just a spur of the moment thought. I like the mirror I deal But, in an hard stop, or full accident, it could shatter, or, get unattached to what it is attached to and either way slice & dice the baby up.

    As to the increase of babies dying in a hot car? I did not know this. Horrifying. Simply horrifying.

  • Tyrone Jones

    lolol, I assumed she did. No reason for her not to be. Never in a car but I’ve used that screaming technique with kids 4 or older. asking or telling them: “THAT’S your Best???” I can do better. You probably have helped many other parents.

  • One of the things that multiple personalities did for us – not well, but to an extent – was gave us layers and filters between the extreme emotion sensing core and the world. We didn’t learn to build proper shields until just a few months ago.

  • Astrin Ymris

    It is possible to get unbreakable acrylic mirrors– they’re used by daycares and in baby toys.

    But I still like the Skype idea better. All a mirror would do is let the baby see his parents’ backs, unless you could figure out a sightline to allow him to see a mirror reflecting a parent’s face which WOULDN’T block access to needed controls. I somehow can’t quite see how this could be done.

  • Tyrone Jones

    This is all good info. I do not have children, don’t want to pass on ineffective advice. I didn’t know they have unbreakable plastic mirrors. BUT my suggestion for a mirror at all was for the baby to see at least it’s own face and any reflections of anything. I didn’t think my suggestion was that stupid.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Er… I didn’t mean to imply that your idea was stupid. I thought we were just brainstorming possible solutions. Sorry.