Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Train Up A (Terrified) Child

There are a lot of differing opinions out there about the best way to discipline children. While I personally subscribe to the principles set out by Attachment Parenting, others prefer the Pearls. The Pearls represent the worst kind of Fundamentalist Christians. I ran across the books when my daughter was still quite young. I never actually read their infamous book, To Train Up a Child, but the information I received via online forum was more than enough to keep me away, far away. A few references, thanks to
1) The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe whipping their own 4 month old daughter (p.9). They recommend whipping the bare skin of "every child" (p.2) for "Christians and non-Christians" (p.5) and for "every transgression" (p.1). Parents who don't whip their babies into complete submission are portrayed as indifferent, lazy, careless and neglectful (p.19) and are "creating a Nazi" (p.45).  
2) On p.60 they recommend whipping babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them "to get up." On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.79 they recommend whipping a 7 month old for screaming.
3) On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with. On p.56 Debi Pearl hits a 2 year old so hard "a karate chop like wheeze came from somewhere deep inside."
4) On p.44 they say not to let the child's crying while being hit to "cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking." On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is "totally broken."
5) On p.55 the Pearls say a mother should hit her child if he cries for her.
6) On p.46 the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being whipped, whip them anyway. And "if you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher." "Defeat him totally." On p.80 they recommend giving a child having a tantrum "a forceful spanking." On the same page they say to whip small children on their bare skin until they stop screaming. "Don't be bullied. Give him more of the same." They say to continue whipping until their crying turns into a "wounded, submissive whimper."
7) On p.47 they recommend their various whips, including "a belt or larger tree branch" to hit children.
8) The Pearls recommend pulling a nursing infant's hair (p.7), and describe tripping their non-swimming toddler so she falls into deep water (p.67). They recommend ignoring an infant's bumped head when he falls to the floor, and ignoring skinned knees (p.86). They also say "if your child is roughed-up by peers, rejoice." (p.81) And on p.103 the Pearls say if children lose their shoes, "let them go without until they (the children) can make the money to buy more."
Don't they sound like lovely people? *Barf.* The book is almost sold out on which terrifies me. While most of the reviews are either one star or five, the majority are the former. Many of the reviews that rated the book with a compelling five stars complain that people read the book too literally, focusing on the most aggressive parts and somehow suggest that this is not what the authors really meant. Apparently some Pearl followers missed the memo.
The Schatzes were arrested Saturday morning after their adopted daughter, Lydia, age 7, stopped breathing. She was subsequently pronounced dead. Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah Schatz, remains in critical condition at a Sacramento children's hospital, though she is showing some signs of recovery. The two were adopted at the same time with an infant girl, now 3, from the same African orphanage about three years ago.

"All I can say is the family is shocked; they are grieving the loss of their daughter and (ask) that people of faith will pray for everybody involved," the defense attorney stated outside of court Thursday.

Wow. Torture your children, murder one of them, and then ask for prayers in your favor...
I know prayer doesn't do shit but the audacity of these people strikes me in the most unfavorable way.
Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to "hours" of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents' bedroom. Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mispronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died. The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple "whip-like" marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Ramsey.
Beating your child for mispronouncing a word...sounds like another news story that made headlines recently.
 He said investigators are researching a possible connection to an Internet website set up by "fundamentalist Christian people" that recommends use of the same whip-like implement "as an appropriate tool for biblical chastisement ... to train a child from infancy to make them a happier child and more obedient to God because they are obedient to the will of their parents," said Ramsey.
*Cough.* Pearls! *Cough.*
The other children in the home said the same rubber or plastic tube was used on all of them "as a standard method of discipline, but certainly not to the extent of these two girls," Ramsey added.
Hmm. I guess that the Schatzes weren't really following the Pearls' advice when it came to their biological children. ("On p.44 they say not to let the child's crying while being hit to 'cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking.'") It must have been easier to ignore the cries of their adopted children...sickening.

This isn't the first child murder case linked to the Pearls either, just Google Sean Paddock.

For the record, I am completely and utterly against spanking of any kind. A hit is a hit and spanking only teaches children that it is okay for adults to hit them.