Christian Parenting Book Accused of Taking Punishment Too Far
Mamas, be careful which parenting books you follow. If the advice is over 100 pages of "beat the kid" then you might be reading To Train Up a Child, a Christian parenting book by Michael and Debi Pearl. According to their official bio, they're touting some experience in these matters:
Michael and Debi Pearl have been married since 1971. They have 5 children and 15 grandchildren. Between them they have authored 14 books and 8 booklets which combined have sold millions. Much of what they write deals with marriage, child training, and homeschooling.
Here's where things get twisted. There have been three deaths: one of hypothermia, one from repeated beatings, and one from suffocation. Different ages and different states in each case, however, the one common factor is that the parents were avid followers of the teachings in To Train Up a Child. These weren't accidents, mind you. The hypothermia victim was intentionally locked out of the house and the kid who suffocated died at the hands of his own mother.
The book, first published in 1994, frequently cites Proverbs 13:24, which teaches that "he that spareth his rod, hateth his son." Sounds harsh, right? Well, this style of parenting has gotten a love it or hate it kind of feedback from customers, some of them commending the Pearls for their sound advice while others say it's child abuse. Statistically, 95% of the reviews are either five-star or one-star, so this book doesn't really have too much of a middle-ground kind of following.
In light of these deaths, Mr. Pearl stated that his spanking methods aren't meant to cause harm, and that parents should never strike their children in anger. Critics aren't hearing it though, and they want the book off the proverbial shelves of Amazon, citing:
Such behaviour is abusive to children, and it is also 'offensive', which is contrary to Amazon's Content Guidelines.
You can check out their petition on change.org.
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