Michael Pearl – Beat Your Kids While Being Gentle Part 1

Michael Pearl – Beat Your Kids While Being Gentle Part 1 November 1, 2019

I’ve been avoiding talking about this series of pieces up on the No Greater Joy Magazine website. They are about Gentle Parenting, and are supposed to be by Michael Pearl. The only problem is that the syntax, yet again, does not sound like either Michael or Debi, but some not so clever forgerer that knows Mike well. This is more of that “pay no mind to the man behind the curtain” nonsense they seem to be promoting to pretend Michael is well and it’s business as usual. Not quite. Michael Pearl allegedly thinks you should beat your kids while being gentle.

Faux Michael goes way out of his way to claim that their avocation of parenting is mostly the same as Gentle Parenting. He starts by pointing out he’s seen it all and it all fails. Verbal vomit that is meaningless except for setting for Michael’s own views on beating the bejesus out of your children, just like it is alleged his grandmother did to him according to family members.

The reasons that child abuse ‘skyrocketed’ in Sweden is that they OUTLAWED CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, making all forms of physical violence against the law. People were not hitting more, they were facing the natural consequences of breaking the law!

What Michael misses about the ‘no punishment’ is that most gentle parenting involves allowing natural consequences, like those Swedish parents getting arrested for beating their children. Gentle parenting is more about being mindful in the moment, understanding and empathizing with the needs of the child. We’ve talked about that so often here, why it’s counter productive to beat a toddler who is crying from hunger or tiredness. You meet the need and do not punish.

Michael is trying to claim in many paragraphs here that 95% of what Gentle Parenting stands for he and his ministry believe too.

Too bad there is copious evidence he’s lying here. He has a daughter that had a meltdown when asked to pick a restaurant, a daughter that did the same when asked to pick out a new set of clothing, an angry divorced son without custody of his children, and none of them can possibly be described as financially successful or holding some great career. The proof, as they say, is in the eating of the pudding, and that’s some pretty weak nasty pudding.

Anderson Cooper is a broadcaster with compassion, common sense and is not a sadist. If you have to cite normal folks as evil it’s likely time for self-reflection. Michael’s brand of parenting is so not Gentle Parenting and beating children has no part in decent parenting, only abusive people. It’s been shown time and time again to produce lower IQ scores, produce bullies and those that will deliberately harm others, low self esteem, and so many other things.

Are Michael’s pants on fire, or his stroked out brain misfiring? Again, none of his children can be considered even remotely successful in any way, shape or form.

Again, see above. Beating children produces broken and troubled adults with difficulties navigating the real world. There are no greater examples of this truth than how poorly all of the Pearl children have turned out. Proof in the pudding indeed! This garbage is all followed by a lot of hand wringing about how Gentle Parenting has taken a hold in Christian communities and will warp the kids for all time and eternity.

Next time: Part 2. No better. This is all just truly nauseating and abusive.

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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 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Iain Lovejoy
  • Knitting Cat Lady

    Corporal punishment and a strict catholic upbringing had my mum contemplating suicide. WHEN SHE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD!!

    My mum made something of herself despite her parents, not because of them.

    My parents slapped me once each. From which they learned to never threaten anything they weren’t prepared to actually do.

    They also never said no just because. They always explained their reasoning. Apparently I was an excessively reasonable child, so I actually could be reasoned with from a young age. According to my parents I was fully verbal by the age of two and able to hold a conversation.

    In Germany and Austria all forms of corporal punishment are illegal.

    And if you’re not capable of handle your child without hurting them? Don’t ever have children!

    Plenty of people say ‘I was spanked as a kid and turned out fine!’.

    You didn’t. You turned into a person who thinks hitting children is fine.

  • frostysnowman

    How do you spank forcefully with a gentle attitude?

  • Desperate Ambrose

    By all means, hit the kid all you want! Just make sure you have a “gentle attitude” about it.

    Jesus wept.

  • Friend

    Lazy1 arguments1 all over the place. Of course the piece distorts1 and mischaracterizes everything, seeking to define all the terms and kn0ck them aside in one easy kick1.

    Hmm, when I think of who and what represents Christianity in America, Anderson Cooper and MSNBC do not come to mind. They make no claim to represent Christianity in America. And besides, Anderson works over at CNN, not MSNBC. What the everlasting?

  • Raging Bee

    ‘”Bad days” were unknown?’ Who the AF does he think he’s fooling?

  • Raging Bee

    It’s certainly more effective than spanking gently with a forceful attitude. Maybe…

  • Nea

    I know the “unable to pick a restaurant” story, but not the clothing one. Can someone give me the outline, or is it the usual “If daddy doesn’t tell me what to do I go into meltdown for fear of punishment” – which is an inevitable product of an abusive upbringing.

    (Also I note that the only “success” Debi Mikey can positively point to is “they stayed in our c u l t” not proof of any other creativity or endeavor.)

  • Nea

    The same way you redefine caning as spanking; crying as deliberate rebellion; and telling people that God hates them respectfully, of course!

  • Nea

    If I recall correctly, Cooper did a negative report about the Pearls that they’ve never forgotten or forgiven. Also, he’s not in the closet.

  • Tawreos

    I am surprised that any cjhristian would call themselves the absolute authority. For a christian that position should reside with god, and god alone.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Yep. Just like I thought

  • Nea

    Anyone else remembering the time Mikey wrote so approvingly of Debi g u t – p u n c h i n g a toddler so hard he made a “k a r a t e – like wheeze”?

  • SAO

    So, let’s understand this: kids need corporal punishment, but you have to do it with a ‘gentle spirit.’ Parents: spank forcefully, but with a ‘gentle attitude.’ And don’t listen to people talking about ‘gentle parenting’ as they don’t really mean being a gentle parent, they mean no punishment for wrongdoing (unlike the gentle-attitudes of the forcefully spanking parents). And if you aren’t tied up in enough knots trying to parse that, let me give you some more rope.

  • Friend

    …we continue trying to perfect the art of child rearing. The high failure1 rate keeps bringing us back to the drawing board.

    In a pot2 of cr@zy soup, this is maybe the w0rst statement. Who says that there is a “high failure1 rate” of child rearing? Are kids no longer growing up? Last I checked, there’s 3.6% unemployment in the US, so somehow kids continue to find their way.

    Also, “Helicopter” was never a parenting method. It’s a disparaging1 description of contr0lling behavior.

    Speaking as a member of Generation Helicopter, I hereby declare that most parents don’t systematically follow parenting methods. Sure, we might read a book or follow a blog, or even consult with a family therapist. Day by day and night by night, though, we are on our own, figuring it out, loving our way through and learning from our mistakes.

  • It… doesn’t work that way, Mikey.

  • Brian Davis

    It’s convenient when god’s will and your own are in complete agreement.

  • AFo

    What’s this drivel about bad parents breaking their kids’ wills? Mike has been pretty clear that not only is breaking their wills an essential part of parenting, but also that he greatly enjoyed it.

  • Friend

    Also, he’s not in the closet.

    I’m loving the logic: he’s out of the closet and therefore represents Christianity in America today to all non-Pearl parents.

  • B.A.

    It sounds like an oxymoron.

  • persephone

    All those people saying they turned out fine after being spanked have short tempers and become abusive in half a second if you disagree with them. They aren’t taught self-control, just fear of being caught.

  • persephone

    Missed that one. Thankfully.

  • persephone

    Mikey’s idea of a failure rate is anyone that doesn’t kiss his a$$ and follow his rules to be a true Christian, which means about 320,000,000 people.

  • Jennifer

    Oh dear God..

  • Jennifer

    I was going to ask about the clothes thing too! Sad thing is, the Pearl kids are not stupid or without skills. Rebekah did a gutsy missionary trip that inspired a journal and CD, Shoshanna designed her own wedding to be beautifully creative and seems to enjoy natural medicine, and Nathan seemed to be doing some missionary work too. Sadly, Rebekah ended up with a financially useless jerk2, Gabriel became abusive, Shoshanna had to accept being married to a guy who valued her feedback and Shalom married a hairy jerky oaf, now giving horribly faulty parenting advice. Anyone know anything more about Nathan?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I do not remember which of the daughters it was, but the story was that her husband wanted to buy her a special outfit, just to bless her, took her to the clothing store, and she could not decide. Not because she wants more than one outfit, but because it was expensive and new. He had to finally pick out the clothes because she could not wrap her brain around spending that type of money, and couldn’t figure out what one she wanted. Pretty sad.

  • Mimc

    Pretty sure gentle parenting doesn’t involve a supreme authority. Fake-mike can’t send to decide if his parenting method of just like gentle parenting or completely different. Nothing about “to train up a child” is gentle be any means.

  • Cynthia

    I do know some religious parents who also advocate and practice gentle parenting – I took a parenting course from one of them.

    She was horrified when I mentioned the Pearl’s advice. Gentle parenting does not involve whipping babies and children with plumbing line.

  • Mimc

    I want meaning that gentle parents couldn’t be religious just that gentle parents don’t see themselves as supreme authorities to thier children. I think most gentle parents consider themselves teachers and protectors of their kids. After all the point is to raise competent adults that don’t need to be told what to do.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Plumbing line?!!

  • Yeah, it’s that bad.

  • Cynthia

    Ok, that makes sense.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    “Corporal punishment and a strict catholic upbringing had my mum contemplating suicide. WHEN SHE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD!!”

    Profoundly sad. No corporal punishment and a LOVING strict Catholic upbringing produced the warm, affectionate, gently iron-willed woman I married.

    Blame corporal punishment, not Catholicism.

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    Catholic theology was used as a weapon of psychological abuse on my mother. By various clergy, nuns, and her parents.

    So yes, I will blame catholicism because it is actually culpable.

    Also, the catholic church is the biggest 69abuse ring in the world. They have committed so many crimes against humanity.

    I’m putting the blame where it’s warranted. And you should just stop defending that bunch of criminals.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    1) I am terribly sorry to hear about your mother’s torment.
    2) your anger is certainly understandable.
    3) HOWEVER, neither my wife’s story nor mine tracks your mother’s. Yes, widespread abuse has been either mishandled or not handled at all by Rome, but your use of the term “ring” implies a deliberate conspiracy; and I am aware of no evidence that such a conspiracy exists. I sincerely hope that Rome takes serious, effective measures against this horror in our midst; and, while I wish there were some measure of redress that could undo what’s already been done, I don’t see any such thing happening.