Child Labor?

Child Labor? November 20, 2018
Image from Voice of America.org depicting child labor in Afghanistan.

Here’s a piece by Michael and Debi Pearl’s daughter Rebekah Pearl Anast that was published in their No Greater Joy magazine back in 2004. She’s speaking of her daddy asking kids what work they do, and how you have to give your kids many jobs to do. She approves of child labor.

Sounds sweet, not abnormal from how Rebekah is writing this. Citing the Amish, talking of chore around the house. Normal things that no one would have a problem with. Having children of various ages helping around the house for the smooth running and betterment of everyone is a good thing.

It’s important for children to learn in age appropriate ways these things because one day they will be adults. These are the very life skills they will need. Knowing basic cooking skills, how to do your own laundry, clean and sew on a button are all desirable skills.

If you do not assure that they know these things by the time they leave your home it might take them a little time to work it out on their own. I prefer to think that teaching them how to adult benefits society at large too.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. How many times has Michael Pearl written a screed braying that he has 7 and 8 or younger boys handling tasks and tools no kid should be allowed to handle. Michael believes in working the children in his sphere of influence like mules, like fully grown adults. This is what Rebekah is talking about here.

Later she mentions teaching her under three year old son how to sweep, empty garbage cans and spot clean the kitchen. Sorry. but some of the tasks she talks about assigning this poor child are not age appropriate. At that age if you can get them to pick up toys, or help set the table you’ve done well.

Children were not put on this earth to be support staff for the Pearls. Your goal in starting with tasks like setting the table before moving on to more complex tasks as the child grows is not to make your life easier, it’s to grow fully functioning adults.


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years. You can read more about the author here.

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