If you think God calls us to train our children like mules, there are some serious issues at hand. Michael Pearl's book TTUAC is nothing other than how to abuse your child 101. Calling himself a Christian is the biggest lie I have ever heard as this book is the farthest from how Christ calls us to treat children.
PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, and SEXUAL ABUSE IN MARRIAGE
On their website, Debi Pearl quotes a number of things which I find to be extremely damaging and not at all supportive of a true Christian relationship in a desire to serve God. For instance, in on section a woman writes that her husband is verbally and emotionally abusive, has had numerous affairs, and is hurting her daughter, yet Debi Pearl states that the woman needs to stay with her husband because God hates all divorce. Yes, God hates divorce, but he also addresses infidelity and divorce in the bible (Matthew 5, Matthew 19) as well as saying that if anyone harms His children, they are better off to hang a millstone around their neck. Debi manipulates scripture to say that God will not save the woman's child if she leaves her husband.... how audacious to declare that God, who created the earth, will not save a CHILD if her mother leaves her abusive husband! Many times in an abusive home, the abuse turns from the spouse over time to the children as well, which I am sure is not to God's pleasure. In addition, it says that the husband is an unbeliever. While Debi declares that the woman must stay with her husband because it is God's will, God in scripture says that he wishes for believers to not be yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6), but if they are, they should remain only if the unbeliever is willing. If the unbeliever is abusive and having extramarital affairs, what show of desire is there to remain yoked with the believer? (1 Corinthians 7:15-16) She goes on to say that if you get divorced and remarry, God will not be in your marriage or your life. How ignorant is she to proclaim that God will no longer love the woman and bless her life because she has left an abusive home? (Romans 8- Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ)
PHYSICAL ABUSE OF WIFE AND CHILD
Later in the answer to the letter, Michael Pearl chimes in saying that it is only abuse if the husband hits his child and a red mark remains for at least two hours. TWO HOURS. Let's say it only remains for an hour and a half... oops! not abuse? I honestly think not. The emotional effects of abuse last long beyond the physical implications. He then says to send your husband to jail (something that is not likely to happen... physical abuse of a spouse or child rarely resorts to imprisonment), and to spend the time he is in jail writing love letters and having steamy phone calls. Honestly, if you have had need to send your husband to jail for beating you and your child, how does one think that God would desire you to stay with that person? He also says "If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets" which is exactly the opposite... those who have been convicted of abuse in the past are the most often repeat offenders!
SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD
One of the most horrifying recommendations the Pearls make I believe is this:
"But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested. Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution. Will this glorify God? Forever. You ask, "What if he doesn't repent even then?" Then you will be rewarded in heaven equal to the martyrs, and God will have something to rub in the Devil's face. God hates divorce'"always, forever, regardless, without exception."
First off, the average stay of a person who has raped a child in jail is THREE YEARS. That's it. THREE YEARS. Pedophiles are also extremely highly likely to be repeat offenders. My best friend in high school's younger sister (grade school) was sexually abused by her stepfather, who had also raped his two grown daughters from a previous marriage. I also know of another Christian woman whose grandmother welcomed her husband back into her life after he had sexually abused his children, and in repeat, he sexually molested her (his granddaughter). Even if you would be lucky enough to keep the man out of your life while your children grew up, welcoming him back would open up your grandchildren to the abuse! And how would accepting that man back into your life benefit you or your children? How would you ever trust your husband? How would forcing your child to face their rapist daily be good for them? I think it would be the exact opposite... The Lord says he HATES those who commit offenses such as rape, so why do the Pearls know "better" than the Lord? (Galatians 5 says those who commit acts such as rape will not inherit the kingdom of God)
It also disturbs me that repeatedly Debi refers to her husband as righteous when in the bible, God is who is referred to as righteous, not people. No person is righteous without sin in this world, especially her husband. God's righteousness covers us through His gift of grace as we follow Him, but that does not make us without sin or Righteous in God's eyes by our own actions. (Romans 3:10-12, 6:23)
PHYSICAL ABUSE OF A CHILD
When it comes to children, there are many things about their idea of "training" children (which is biblically unsound and distorts scripture from it's original text meaning). They continually use Proverbs 22:6 justifying the idea of training a child like training a dog, when the original Hebrew word translated to English as "train" means teach or guide." They also repeatedly misuse verses in Proverbs relating to a "rod", which in the original Hebrew context refers to guidance and correction, not beating with a literal rod. In addition, there is not a single incident of a young child being hit for correction in the bible using the translation of the original text. One of their comments on their site makes me physically ill:
"Please give me a description of the switch or rod of which you so often speak. I wish you could send me one so I could see it.
The rod we speak of is a plumbing supply line that can be bought at any hardware store or large department store. It is a slim, flexible, plastic tubing that supplies water to sinks, and toilets. Ask for "Â¼ inch supply line." They cost less than one dollar. I always give myself one swat before I swat the child to remind myself how much force to exert. It stings the skin without bruising or damaging tissue. It's a real attention-getter. Michael demonstrates its use in our new Seminar videos."
This information is found under BABIES on their website. Hitting your BABY or CHILD with SUPPLY LINE is abuse. Cut and dry abuse. In another article regarding children, he goes on to say that if you don't "discipline" your child the way that he states, not only will you have unruly whiny children who hate you, but they will not love God or be saved. I assure you, no where in God's plan of salvation does it say you must have been hit as a child in order to become a saint in His kingdom and experience his salvation. Rather God says to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10) and whatever we do to the least of these we do also to Him (Matthew 25). Puts things into perspective... lead our child in grace and love to the Lord showing them forgiveness and gentle guidance to what they can do right, or whipping them mirroring as our Lord was crucified and despised. I doubt any adult would wish to be whipped if they did something displeasing to another person, nor do I doubt any God-honoring Christian would seek to whip our Lord.
While spanking your child and she cries and is upset about it (very obviously if you are hitting your child with supply line, they are going to be in pain and not happy about it), Michael Pearl says this:
"When she screams or flees, calmly follow through by physically subduing her. Sit on her, if you have to, and slowly explain that you will not tolerate this resistance. Explain in a normal tone (She will eventually stop screaming and listen) that you are going to give her, say, five licks for the original offense and an additional two licks for the fit. Slowly apply the five licks, counting out loud. When I say slowly, I mean with a thirty second gap between each lick and a calm explanation to the screaming child that you are not the least impressed except that you are going to spank harder and she still gets the additional two licks plus one more for her ongoing screaming. When you have finally arrived at five well- anticipated and carefully counted licks, say, âOK, your spanking is over; that is the five licks you got for hitting your brother, but now I must give you two more for trying to run away.â Give her one lick and say, âNow, that is one of the licks for running away; you have one more coming.â Give the second lick, and then calmly and slowly explain that all her licks are over now, except for the one additional lick she incurred for continuing to scream during the spanking. After you have finished, tell her that you are going to let her up now, if she stops screaming, otherwise you are going to give her one additional lick. If she stops, or at least makes a great effort to, then you have won. You may never have to go through this horrible time again. But, if she is continuing to scream in defiance, you have the option of continuing to warn and spank, or of ceasing here with a parting warning: âNext time you better not run and throw a fit; for if you do, you will only get more licks and harder ones.â "
So now it goes beyond their idea of "discipline" to punishing your child for not liking being punished! Abuse compounding abuse does not make any child happier or more willing to receive the abuse, it just further breaks their will given to them by God. (Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.) I assure you, no child likes being beaten and most will resist it to the best of their abilities. It does not make a childlove their parents or God more, it physically and emotionally scars them.
The Pearls advocate beating of an infant in numerous places throughout their book "To Train Up a Child". which in no way is biblical or even humane.
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). On p.60 of the book, 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. 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).
The overall character of the Pearls is abhorrent and dishonest. They have no child development credentials, no religious credentials or training, and they ignore Christ's instructions to forgive seventy times seven and be merciful. Recently they have been investigated by the Department of Human Services and goverment of Tennessee for abuse.
I would not recommend this book. The author advocates an very authoritarian style of parenting, or ruling with an iron fist. This style does not allow the child to make any decisions or mistakes of their own. Honestly, I threw the book away after I was about half-way through it!
Even though I don't agree a 100% with the ideas expressed in this book, after adapting it to my family I've seen a drastic change in my children's attitude (for the best). If you're planning on getting this book I suggest you also get their follow up books: No Greater Joy 1-3. They answer many questions that "Train up a Child" might not answer completely (or satisfactorily) and it really balances the picture out of what they are trying to accomplish with their children and how they go about it (even if not the best written books).
Lindsey G. is right-on in her review of this book. If you must read this book, then you must also read the opposite parenting book, by Dr. Ross Campbell, "How To Really Love Your Child" or his newer book, "Relational Parenting." Compare and contrast the two books and then make your decision about how to relate to your child.
Just because an author uses religious language and is a Christian does not make the content of the book Christian. Beware!
Also, ask yourself what your end goal in raising your child is. Is it just behavior control? If so, "To Train Up A Child" will be a good answer until your child is no longer a child... You can certaily control his behvior this way. If your end goal is something deeper and more important that mere behavior control, then "To Train Up A Child" will not get you very far. Read books by Dr. Campbell. He co-wrote "The Five Love Languages of Children" which you have undoubtedly heard of as a respected book in every parenting circle.
This book disturbs me. I couldn't even get through it. It likens the training of a child to the Amish training of a stubborn mule. It advocates inflicting pain on children and I don't care who you are, that is WRONG! Pass this one up unless you enjoy beating and abusing children to frighten them into submission. Sickening.
Horrible, awful book, it made me cry just thinking of innocent little children being subjected to this brand of punishment. I am not a bleeding heart, and do strongly believe in teaching children proper respect and behavior, but this is much better accomplished by Godly, loving examples than corporal punishment. I cannot possibly imagine a compassionate God, whatever your creed, approving of this book.
These people have a deranged idea of God's word!! You do NOT treat a child the way that they explain in this book. It was so full of abuse in the first few pages that I couldn't even read the rest of it..I can't imagine spanking a crawling child across the hands with a "rod" just because they were trying to go somewhere they shouldn't. That's what babies do. They explore..
I have this book and I am NOT in favor of this way at all. There is a huge difference between abuse and discipline. This book in my opinion crosses the line. In fact I am not gonna offer it up on PBS I am gonna put it where it belongs, in the trash.
Very EXTREME book about parenting techniques. Some of the stuff does seem like borderline abuse but you better believe that you will never see an Amish child out of line. There was a lot of stuff in the book that I didn't necessarily agree with but I did find a bunch of stuff that I will use with my own kids. I think if nothing else, it is an interesting read to think about other people's views. It is a fast read so I think it is worth reading once.
Well, I've read this book several times and recommend the book. I think the ideas he conveys are true and will yield good fruit in the long run. I do not think he ever advocates child abuse. (despite the bleeding heart reviewers here who say otherwise) I grew up alongside many Amish and Mennonite children and consider many of them friends today. They, like me, were all spanked, and given treatment addressed in the book. The Amish are some of the happiest, hardest working, most generous, community minded, and caring people I've ever met. To slander this book is to slander the Amish community and the Mennonite community. You don't see the Amish or Mennonites shooting others EVER! (and if it starts it'll be the result of a change in parenting to modern methods prescribed by psychologizers.) But you do see children and adults from homes where they were spoiled, never or not spanked enough, never told "no" but to "stop", grow up to shoot their own parents and siblings and others.
The longest negative review of this book twists what M. Pearl seeks for children considering the alternatives. I would rather have this man as a father than about 99% of other fathers out there who abort their child, neglect their child, sexually abuse their child, divorce their child's mother, gamble away the family money, spend the family money on a shopping spree, fail to work, fail to supply, sleep around on their child's mother, and other true forms of abuse and worse. It take a lot of work to bring out the best and take out the worst in a young one.
A loving parent training a child to not rebel, to put away hatred and slander, and other wrongs is never abuse. In fact it is wrong to allow a child to do these things in the name of "care".
One must read the book with deep wisdom and understanding to look beyond the short sighted views of most 'pychologizers' and parents who follow them who sooth children without truly looking and dealing with the root issues. There have always been and will always be people who do not like what the Bible teaches about life. If one follows modern day preachers like Carl Rogers, Sig. Freud, Joel Olsteen and Robert Schuller who are written about in the book of Jude and other Bible books as false prophets then one will not have an accurate view of God, man, woman, or children.
I work in a prison for males ages 10-21. I also have a BS in Special Education, and a masters degree in psychology which I have rejected outright as the fallacy of modern man, his attempts to solve his own problems, which always have and always will end in continued failure. Modern man's ego (yes I'm an equal opportunity blamer: women TOO!), his arrogance, his false view of self, his failures, his boastful tongue, his blindness to reality, are the very summation of modern psychology and modern counseling.
Indeed there is parental abuse and terrible, grievous manifestations of it. Trust me I deal with the results of parental abuse each day of my life at my workplace. However some of you reviewers with your overdone sensitivities to the plight of everyone's child must be balanced with a concern for what is right and true. There is a balance to life and the pendulum has swung too far the other way with the lack of disciplining children. Dr. Spock's child rearing advice brought us the rebellious 60's, and what we've got now: school knifings and shootings, parent's drugging their children with meds, the state drugging children with meds, massive and rapidly increasing amounts sexual abuse of children by children, addictions to drugs and porn, and on and on. We've even got to the point where our leaders can't control themselves. Take a look at Congress; nothing more than the manifestations of the same out of control desires that exist in little children gone to pot.
*I state this is because too many parent's have neglected and abused their children by allowing them to do whatever they want, when they want and however they want.*
I've traveled all over the world and I've seen abuse first hand. (Cambodia for example) I've seen its results in the bodies of little boys and girls. What M. Pearl advocates is not even close to abuse. You are naive and cut off from reality if you think otherwise. Jesus commands us to love and he commands us to train up our children in the way they should go. Jesus even says he disciplines those he loves, while he lets those who want to go their own way do so. Do we love our children? (then we must discipline them with wisdom, with love, and with consistency)
King James Bible
"All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits." Certainly what these other reviewers have written are right in their own eyes. However, it makes no difference to a believer in God's Word what anyone says except God himself. Judge for yourself, should I listen to God or to some of the 100,000,000 opinions out there. Should I listen to you if you get mad, slander, threaten, tantrum, and scream aloud? Should I listen to you if you become extremely judgmental? The answer is no. I will listen to you when you align yourself with Him who is the Truth! Jesus Christ the Lord.
A few of many more verses in the Bible about discipline:
*The Bible is the very definition of Christianity not what some modern day preacher says it is.*
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Can I give negative stars? Its only getting half a star because it wont let me sumbit a review without it. I am disgusted. I ordered this book only because I had credits to burn and was ordering something else from the member. Yeah, I burned the credit. Guess what... the book is burning in the woodstove as I type. I refuse to even list it for any other member to swap. I am ashamed that I ordered this book and wont let anyone else even view this copy. Disgusting. Disturbing. Inhumane.
This book advocates child abuse. I can't believe books like this are still available in this day and age! Anyone who follows this way of parenting has some major issues. Switching a baby is NEVER appropriate! Violence is never an answer to the problem. This book should be burned!!!!!
I think this was a very good book on training styles. The Pearls have an authoritarian style, but balance this parenting style with lots of laughs and good times.
There is a lot of focus on the negative in the book, and at the end Michael clarifies that the reason for this is that it is so important. As he said, in planting a flower garden it's easy to talk about all the positives of color and lines, but when learning how to do brain surgery there are a lot of things to be careful of. In the same way, child training is just too important to mess up.
A big focus in the books (particularly of the controversy about it) is on the use of the rod. Yes, the pearls do talk a lot about that. HOWEVER they do so with liberal handfulls of cautions--don't spank hard, only spank when needed, train the child properly so the spanking won't be necessary, never, never NEVER spank a child in anger. MULTIPLE places in the book Michael pauses the whole discussion to point out dangers of abuse and how to avoid them.
Overall, I think it is a very good book and worth reading, provided you haven't prejudged the contents.
Who the hell are these people, and why aren't they in a mental institution? At the very least, they don't have the right to promote what can only be described as deplorable child abuse as a good way of raising children. I'm sure Jesus smiles every time a child is whipped senseless or starved just because they won't sit on a blanket. How dare they? These crazy people have no right to have their own children, let alone be child-rearing advisers. Neither of them have degrees in anything, let alone child psychology. But people with half a brain don't have to have an MD in Child Psychology to know that kicking the crap out of your eight-month old is both ineffective discipline and abusive.
Children have DIED due to these practices being implemented. Think about that.
I found this book to be very balanced in ideas of training a child up to be obedient, aware of right and wrong, and loving towards others. I understand that there is are a number of people who believe that spanking is child abuse, and this review is not written for those who consider themselves in that camp- as no one person is likely to cause them to reconsider their position. This review is meant for parents, particularly Christian parents, who believe that spanking is a valid and helpful means of teaching a child.
While I have seen many reviews of this book that say that the Pearls advocate child abuse, I found nothing in this book that I believe support these claims. To the contrary, I found NUMEROUS calls for parents to always be joyful, spend much time and energy on their children, always discipline calmly without anger, and to always speak true words of praise - never belittling or yelling. Again and again, it is stressed that if parents carefully and consistently train their children and give them the time and attention that they need, then spanking is a very rare occurance. The main focus of the book is on building relationships, sharing the examples and calls to discipline using "the rod" that are in the Bible, how parents can train their children to obedience, and examples of how to calmly discipline using the rod when the situation warrants.
For any who might be interested in these topics, my advice is to read the book first- and then form an opinion. I had read many, many reviews on this book before I ever read it. To some extent, I believe that it colored my ideas of what I would find in this book, and improperly so. It seems far wiser to withhold judgement until the book has read, and then it gives parents the opportunity to reason together on a very controversial topic. :o )
The author is very unclear in most places in the book as to which age of child he is talking about. So you are left wondering if you are supposed to apply the method to an infant, toddler or older child. Much is to be desired in the cookie cutter application as well. According the author child training via swats and spankings are THE only biblical and reasonable way to avoid raising self centered brats. I first purchased this book twelve years ago. I will admit to only half heartedly attempting to follow the methodology laid out in the book. Unless you are a very peaceful person with the patience of a saint it is impossible to follow the confusing instructions without losing your temper and doing what the author cautions about train/swat/spank in anger.
Attempted to follow? Due to my quick temper and my inability to be that hyper perfectly consistent I never could apply the method in the way it is written out in this book. That should have been a red flag for me but I naively thought that the bible actually taught this in the "rod" verses. No truly biblical method will put a normal, high strung yes but normal, parent at risk for inflicting abuse upon their children. The method in this book is not infrequent spankings given for serious misdeeds but daily if not hourly training "swats" that redden the skin and must cause tears of repentance from a child to be "effective".
We are not to provoke our children to anger but that is what this method does unless you push on to a broken and submissive spirit in your child. I do not want broken children. I do not even want submissive children. I want to raise people with healthy inter-personal boundaries who are exactly who God created them to be.
I thought the book was thought provoking and enlightening.
People can take anything out of context and twist it to say what they want it to say. It happens all the time. The best way to find out about this author and his writing it to read his book yourself.
I do not agree with everything in the book- there are few authors I do agree completely with. However, I do believe when training and disipline are done in love the benefits to the child and the family as a whole are vast.
I also think it is quite low that one reviewer has the same review for many of the Pearl's books. Come on. I bet she hasn't even read ONE of them.
Although it is not well writen, the things said in it are very important for parents to hear. Learn how to train your children the right way and learn how to enjoy it.
Wonderful book, every parent should read this.
Ignore the rants! Read the book and decide for yourself. All these reviews were coordinated by a group of like-minded friends and not the work of unrelated individuals. These authors are very popular and their adult children ADORE them! Who would know better than they?
Awesome book. Very Biblical. Agree with them 100%. This book is for those that believe the Bible is God's love letter to His children, teaching us how we should live our daily lives and bring up our dear children. Please do not create your opinion based on others opinion. Read it and make your own decision.
Many people will think that this book is too harsh and demeaning. He likens training your children with training animals, such as mules or dogs. I have been to one of his seminars and read other books written by him and also receive the No Greater Joy newsletter. My husband and I hold him in very high regard and thoughts and advice on child raising have been invaluable. Give him a chance. You'll be glad you did.
I did not find this book to be child abusive in anyways. We have used it as a guide with our five children and have recieved many compliments from strangers when we are out in public as to how well behaved our children are. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Absolutely wonderful!!! Michael and Debi Pearl are great teachers of discipline and writer's to show others how they do it. We followed most principles in this book and like many things, altered some aspects to fit our beliefs.