by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy Magazine – More Than Controlling Their Behavior
Editor’s note: Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Pearl is secretly saying and doing these things as a parody of religion or if he has the attention span/recall of a mosquito and simply doesn’t remember the stuff he said before. He’s always contridicting himself in his child training advice. This is a really good example of it. He’s claimed before you have to control every itty bitty bit of behavior until the will of the child is broken. Now he’s claiming you can only raise great kids in a home with ‘joy’ and ‘purpose’. And I think we can all agree that his definition of those words are likely to be vastly different than our own.
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.
Though it is not the norm, I have observed several cases where parents were diligent to control the behavior of their children, especially in public, but their children all turned out to be foolish, undisciplined losers. Generally speaking, when children are caused to render consistent obedience, they grow up to be self-disciplined and diligent in life’s duties. But some homes lack joy and purpose, and no amount of constrained obedience will produce self-control and respect for authority in the hearts of their children.
I don’t know how many times I have said it, but it needs to be said over and over again: “More is caught than taught.” Sometimes our attitudes scream so loudly that our children cannot hear our words. Children are the best psychologists in the world. A parent can say “Good job!” for the umpteenth time, and the astute child hears, “I am too distracted with my own concerns to be engaged by what you are doing, so please grow up to be emotionally stable even though you will seldom receive any serious involvement from me.” The positive affirmation “good job” in response to a lousy job done divests the words of their meaning in the mind of the child. When I was in high school and the art teachers critiqued a work with the words “That’s interesting,” every student knew they were on the lowest rung of performance.
I have observed some really inept parents—broken people who are generally irresponsible—raise stable, secure, disciplined, moral children and not lose a single one to slothfulness or sin. Looking at it closely, I observe that though they lack any of the psychologically approved rules of effective child training (like saying “good job” at every turn) they did one thing right: they loved their children with their time and their best energies, engaging with them in every aspect of life. They never left their children alone to be idle. There was no TV or electronic media to compete with family. Or if there was some form of electronic entertainment, it was shared as a family event. Life was a constant corporate chaos of cooking, building, playing together, planning a big event that usually failed to get beyond the dream stage, and sometimes fighting over one thing or another. But they were together and fiercely loyal to family. By the time the children were grown they felt they had become overcomers with their parents and siblings. They had a history that would forever bind them together. And they knew there was a group of people (family) that would love them always, just like they are.
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