Bad parenting books

I have done lots of reading and research and have been wanting to do a nice long blog about some of these books, but just haven't had the time lately. Tulip Girl is amazing at compiling information on her site. But, this one really got me and I had to post some of it.

It's some books that actually recommend, or command rather, spanking, beating an infant, with a rod, on their bare skin. And they command it in the name of Christianity! Unbelievable. I think Jesus said "let the little children come to me". He did not say, "strip and beat the little children so they will be acceptable to me". If he wanted children perfect before they were allowed to come to him, he would have said so, but that isn't what he says, or wants, nor is it what Jesus is all about. We're not perfect, that's why God sent Jesus, right? So there's no way we should expect our children, especially infants to be 'perfect', or beaten into being perfect.

*This is from the nospank website (I don't completely oppose spanking, but I have very precise opinion about how and/or when spanking should be used), it's actually a sample letter to Amazon about their selling of these books: *italics and bold added by me*

Please stop selling the following books that recommend whipping infants
under 1 year of age:
1) "To Train Up a Child" by Michael & Debi Pearl
p.9 Whipping infants starting at 4 months old with sticks and pipes on their
bare skin.
A mother beat her children and killed her son after following the
Pearl's baby-whipping advice (you all may know of the Paddock case going on, where the child died and the mother was using these books) *you must be a complete moron to think a 4 month old could 'disobey'. they are just barely rolling, smiling, cooing, and reaching-or is it that you don't want them reaching and smiling? so absurd, I just cannot fathom it...

2) "Child Training Tips" by Reb Bradley p.133 Beating a baby 1 year old or
younger with a "rod".
*a one year old is just barely walking and learning a few words, they may know what 'no' means but have no concept of consequences yet, nor are they able to cognitively recognize that they want to go against your wishes. on the contrary, young children want to please their parents.

3) "What the Bible Says about Child Training" by Richard Fugate p.173-4 This book says some children "require enough strokes to receive stripes or even welts" and parents should not be concerned about bruising their child. p.177 Fugate recommends whipping babies on their bare skin as soon as they can crawl, with a "balloon stick, willow or peach tree branch, blackboard pointer, or 1/8" dowel rod." *shudder* i have no words for this, just the taste of vomit in the back of my throat

4) "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp p.154 Tripp says 8 months old
is old enough for a baby to be beaten with a "rod" on their bare skin.

*i may faint from the stress on my heart from these...

*I myself would like to add in the Gary Ezzo books. Babywise/Toddlerwise, etc. It also directs parents to slap a 7 month old for throwing/dropping food on the floor while eating. I personally believe it encourages some form of neglect for commanding parents to leave babies to cry until the parent says so.

And the titles alone make me want to vomit, because they're so far from the Bible, that I have read anyways. I look at my child who is now 11 months and I literally get sick to my stomach reading this, looking at him, thinking that there are parents out there who might really be spanking a baby younger than him. All of these previously mentioned books make children out to be animals, wild animals needing to be tamed and beaten into submission. There's no love there, it's not love to beat your child to obey. It seems it's a contest whose children can make them look like the best parent?

I know there is plenty of abuse and neglect going on in this world, be it out of anger, uneducated parents, drug addicts, whatever the case may be. What really gets me is that parents, loving parents, read these books and believe this is right?! Maybe because I have a child psychology and development background that I understand a lot more about children's needs, cognitive abilities at certain ages that it makes me that more upset, I don't know. But, somehow this is different than uneducated, lazy, drug addicted, abusive "parenting" because they're researching and choosing it, under the name of Christianity. This is one of those things that totally turns me off to "religion", not God, but "religion".

1 comment:

TulipGirl said...

Thank you for posting about this. Most of the families I know who are drawn to these ideas are loving parents who want to the best for their children--but get sidetracked by some really hurtful ideas.

Prompted by your post and some other online conversations, I've reposted On the Pearls and Parenting. I hope it encourages discussion among mothers, as we seek to minister to our children.