Hammers and Rebellion: Michael Pearl’s Dubious Parenting Tales

Hammers and Rebellion: Michael Pearl’s Dubious Parenting Tales July 6, 2020

A pile of broken hammers. Screen cap from YouTube

We are back with Michael Pearl and his child training advice. It’s the usual stuff, blaming parents a hundred percent if the kids rebel in any way. Guess he thinks they aren’t beating them joyously enough. Michael tries to make this about wielding a hammer, but then forgets all about it after the first sentence. Either we’re seeing him fade away with these pieces of his that seem to be missing something, or Debi is writing them. I cannot tell.

“The bedrock of child training is interaction and example. It is as simple as doing life with your kid. Just today an old gentleman whose children are long since grown told me with a voice full of regret, acting out his words with a raised voice and pointed finger, “I always told my kids, ‘Don’t do what I do; you do what I say.’” He spent a great deal of his life training his children to work hard. He also had them memorize lots of Scriptures, but all his children went down a dark path in their late teens. His example of anger and his wife’s example of not honoring her husband taught the children to be rebels. He thought correctional training could counteract his example.”

This is about four or five paragraphs into this piece and not one mention of the role of a mother, yet Michael decides to throw shade at her for ‘not honoring her husband’.  He has a point about do as I say, not as I do. It’s a terrible way to parent, but it does not always lead to rebellion children, just kids that roll their eyes and understand what sort of craven hypocrite their father is.

“We have a 15-year-old friend whom I will call Kurt to save him from the embarrassment of fame. He has taken his high school placement test, and his scores reflected very high college equivalence. Yet Kurt does not sit at a table doing homeschooling lessons—EVER. He has spent most of his days working with his dad in construction. He can do a man’s job in every area of construction, including electrical wiring. His dad is always training his son to be not only a good boy, but a smart man. I feel sorry for boys who are being trained to be good school boys, because they will soon be expected to be men but will not possess any of the skills. Kurt’s way is as clear as light. He loves the Lord, walks in truth, and enjoys working hard. He has spent his life interacting and following the direction of his mom and dad’s example.”

Here we have the mythical boy of Michael Pearl’s fetid imagination. Never sat down and book learned Calculus, but somehow knows it. This is a kid that does not exist anywhere. You cannot just pick up or absorb the higher maths and science skills you need for advanced college placement at that age without having actually sat down and studied the subject. That’s not how Physics or Chemistry work, not by osmosis from Jesus, or wielding a hammer for daddy. This is just more of Michael’s denial of education, something he does not have the first real idea what it entails.

“There must have been times when his dad had to take a rod to Kurt for irritating his sisters or not coming in when he was told to do so. Yet, even though I have watched Kurt grow up, seeing him at least four times a week, I never saw him getting spanked. Correctional training was there, but it was such a small part of his life that I was never aware of it. Children between the ages of 2 and about 5 need to be trained to respect authority. An occasional spanking is essential to maintaining their respect for your commands.”

Straight back to physically abusing children. This is the only thing Mike knows to do, whale the heck out of them until their spirits are broken.

” Some people think they can train a child without the rod, but the text is clear.”

You know none of the scriptures he keeps citing in this piece say ‘hit your child to make him or her mind.’ The only one that does is Proverbs  22 and it’s mention of the Rod of correction. It still does not say to take that rod and beat the kid.

“Children must be taught to answer to authority. The rod gets their attention when all else fails”

So does smashing someone’s hand with that abandoned hammer, or pulling out their fingernails. They’ll get your attention and hurt like the dickens, but we know that inflicting pain on another human being is simply too cruel. This is someone you supposedly love you’re inflicting pain upon.

An interesting aside. Steven Anderson, in that sneakily recorded Wednesday night service where he called people out for talking about his sons inappropriate behavior with girls said sometime similar. He said that he had corrected his sons, punished them, implying that they all got beaten for their behavior.

“Most of Kurt’s training has been working side by side with his dad, and he has come to be a conscientious and highly disciplined worker. Through Dad’s example, he learned to be courteous to his sisters and other females. Through observing his mother’s honor for his father, he learned to honor those to whom honor is due. He learned to be a strong, confident man, a gentleman, a hard worker, a kind helper, a skilled craftsman, and an energetic ball player—all by example and relaxed instruction.”

Michael – book learning is bad, education is evil, but working for free for Daddy is righteous. Beating kids is righteous. If curtailing every opportunity of your child until their only option is to hang on your coat tails and agree so you’ll support you’re a terrible hateful father who has done their children a great disservice.

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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 34 years You can read more about the author here.
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