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Pearls' To Train Up A Child and Child Abuse

Most of us know about the deaths of two children at the hands of their parents—seven year-old Lydia Schatz and four year-old Sean Paddock.

Both families used the discipline techniques described in books by Michael and Debi Pearl, To Train Up a Child.

The Pearls’ teachings are still huge in the homeschool movement and we must speak out. We need to stop people from following the Pearls before any more children are killed.

Direct Quotes from the Pearls’ book To Train Up a Child:

On pulling the hair of a breastfeeding baby (p.7).

“One particularly painful experience of nursing mothers is the biting baby. My wife did not waste time finding a cure. When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for bald-headed babies).”

On switching their own four-month-old daughter (p.9).

At four months she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of “No” with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree.

On p.60 they recommend switching babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them “to get up.”

But what of the grouch who would rather complain than sleep? Get tough. Be firm with him. Never put him down and then allow him to get up. If, after putting him down, you remember he just woke up, do not reward his complaining by allowing him to get up.For the sake of consistency in training, you must follow through. He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.

On p.79 they recommend whipping a seven-month-old for screaming:

A seven-month-old boy had, upon failing to get his way, stiffened clenched his fists, bared his toothless gums and called down damnation on the whole place. At a time like that, the angry expression on a baby’s face can resemble that of one instigating a riot. The young mother, wanting to do the right thing, stood there in helpless consternation, apologetically shrugged her shoulders and said, “What can I do?” My incredulous nine-year-old whipped back, “Switch him.” The mother responded, “I can’t, he’s too little.” With the wisdom of a veteran who had been on the little end of the switch, my daughter answered, “If he is old enough to pitch a fit, he is old enough to be spanked.”

On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a fifteen-month-old she is babysitting, ten separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with.

After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself. In rolling the wheel, he did what every accountable human being must do–he humbled himself before the “highest” and admitted that his interests are not paramount. After one begrudged roll, my wife turned to other chores.

On p.56 Debi Pearl trades blows with a two-year-old:

This time, her bottom came off the couch as she drew back to return the blow; and I heard a little karate like wheeze come from somewhere deep inside.

On p.59 they recommend whipping a three-year-old until he is “totally broken”:

She then administers about ten slow, patient licks on his bare legs. He cries in pain. If he continues to show defiance by jerking around and defending himself, or by expressing anger, then she will wait a moment and again lecture him and again spank him. When it is obvious he is totally broken, she will hand him the rag and very calmly say, “Johnny, clean up your mess.” He should very contritely wipe up the water.

On p.55 the Pearls say a mother should hit her child if he cries for her:

If a father is attempting to make a child eat his oats, and the child cries for his mother, then the mother should respond by spanking him for whining for her and for not eating his oats. He will then be glad to be dealing only with the father.

See more at Quotes from To Train Up A Child | Why Not Train A Child?

Links to Other Pearl Warnings

Disclaimer: Just because I list a link to an article does not mean I agree with that site or their links.

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  1. michelle

    I had to repent of following after man in bringing up my children. I cried out to God and prayed a lot. God spoke to my heart the scripture that says older women are to teach younger woman. God showed me that Mike Pearl is out of line. He is in the wrong position. He can teach younger men, but he crosses over to teach other men’s wives. God showed me how this is unbiblical. If I had relied on my gut and relied on hearing God in my quiet times of prayer, I wouldn’t have hurt my children and my own mother’s heart. I plead with anyone who tries to read this material. Please don’t go down the road of regret as I have. God is sufficient to teach you all you need to know in training your children. Enjoy the encouragements of older women that help teach you to LOVE your children and husband.

  2. I have to question if you have prayerfully read the entire book “To Train Up a Child”. The Pearls (NOT the ultimate authority on child training – only the God’s Word) focus on FELLOWSHIP with your children as the most important element of our relationship with them. You are NEVER to hit a child in anger, they abhor raising your voice and yelling at children, and only promote biblical use of the rod.

    You should read some of the testimonies of their now adult children – both inspiring and convicting! They were raised in a loving home (and don’t remember their parents EVER fighting OR raising their voices!) Can you say that you have provided the same for your children?

    How can you ignore the following scriptures?

    Prov 13:24: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).”

    Prov 19:18: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

    Prov 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

    Prov 23:13: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

    Prov 23:14: “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel).”

    Prov 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

    Biblical use of the rod equips our children to tame their flesh at a young age. If only I had learned those spiritual disciplines much younger!

    Ultimately NO author, other than God, should direct our hearts and actions towards our children.

    I will tell you this – ALL (I searched to think of 1 exception and found none) of the families that I am familiar with that are “against” the use of the rod, are the exact families that no one wants to spend time with – their children are typically obnoxious and fleshly.

    God knows what is best for our little ones. I read through the TTUAC site – directly contradicts scripture. The heart is deceitful above all things….

  3. Tammie

    This is basically a published account of the child abuse they have personally afflicted. Wow! How very sad, I don’t understand how we can treat children in a way that we wouldn’t even treat animals!

  4. As a home schooling parent who loves HOW and loves the Pearls I felt I must respond. For years I believed in a very democratic form of parenting in which the parent focuses on showing respect to their children in a way that taught never to discipline physically for anything as this was abuse. I had experienced physical abuse at the hand of one of my parents as a child and I intended to never cross that I line. For the first five years or so with our first two children we disciplined in this “respectful” way with our girls with mixed results. I found myself more and more frustrated as I exhibited what I thought was extreme patience with the girls. I would let the kids push me and push me until I would explode with them; never physically but I would have an outburst and then feel terrible for “losing it”. At some point a friend gave me “To Train Up A Child”. I read the book from cover to cover spending a great deal of time contemplating their techniques and discussing them with friends. I began to slowly utilize their ideas and began to see great results. I also read the books written in part by their adult children. The quotes listed above along with the story of someone misusing their advice and killing their children can make it sound as though they are advocating abuse. I as a well educated, formally abused child never once drew from their readings that you would ever act out of anger and physically harm your child in any way. Rather you get their attention & let them know you are the one in authority before you ever become frustrated or angry. Most importantly you focus on training them beforehand to avoid situations that may lead you become so angry you lash out at them, or for some parents, do even worse things such as physically abuse their children. Their advice has been wonderful for our entire family, it has helped me to train my children ahead of time so that physical discipline has hardly ever been necessary. We now have a third child who is two and I am happy to share that our parenting with her is much less frustrating for us as we use the Pearls’ techniques. She is a delightfully happy and well adjusted child and certainly not abused in any manner but loved for and well aware that she is to obey and respect her parents as the Bible teaches. I believe that you would have to read the whole book as well as their other publications in order to have an accurate opinion. It just goes to show how two different people can read the same thing and have two very different outcomes or interpretations. I have come to know many other families with thriving, happy and well behaved children who use the Pearls techniques and have personally run across none who physically abuse their children.

  5. I know many people who were raised this way. After reading many links about this, I noticed that the authors talk about how their method brings out the best in children and that they will be the therapists that other children go to. I know that in truth, they will be the patients and the others will be the therapists! The children raised in this way may put on a face of compliance, but in reality, they brew resentment and MANY (not all) grow to be violent offenders in one form or another (some as early as 9 or 10 already have criminal records because they have begun their violent rebellion). I feel sorry for these children. In our area, when we see people using these methods excessively it is often homeschoolers who don’t use this method who turn them in for child abuse! If enough cases are traced to the authors, they will eventually be charged as they ought!

  6. Amy R.

    Thank you so much for joining the ranks of homeschoolers speaking out. These young mommies and babies really need us older moms to teach them how to love their husbands, love their children, and be keepers at home. Maybe if we work harder to fill that role there won’t be a gap for horrible teachings to take root. God bless you.

  7. I was given this book when I first started homeschooling. I was shocked. I actually wanted to cry.

    My friend said that is what God said we must do, but it just did not sit well with me. I must admit I have not found “the” perfect book on discipline and child training. I think it is because God is actually writing this story as we walk a daily relationship of love and discipline with each child,so in a way we each are writing a book about it.

    I think if we have a relationship with the Lord and follow His close and gentle nudging, we can read books, but depend on Him for the final answer. If there is not peace, like I felt with Pearl’s book, don’t follow that! One of my children have required spanking, which has been hard for me, I’m a gentle person, but nothing like described in Pearl’s book! The other 2 children need a reprimand and will change their heart attitude. I found the books by Scott and Turansky good, corporal punishment is not emphasized, but honor within the family is.

    Later I was given a book by Richard Fugate, I think it is called What the Bible says about child training. I think there was one statement I disagreed with in his book, but what I did like was the Biblical explanation of why we need to get a child to submit to us and the need for discipline. I feel desperately for parents who are trying to do the right thing, what the word says, train up a child, and then end up abusing and breaking a precious relationship (not to mention physical scars or death) with a blessing that God send them to care for, nurture and love. God surely does discipline us, but He has a heart of love and forgiveness and boundless Grace, this is a pattern for us. May God help us train up his children.

  8. I am not against spanking. I am against the attitude of the Pearls. Mike and Debi Pearl have 3 deaths being attributed to the use of their methods.I know SEVERAL families thank spank against the Pearls.

  9. One main problem is much of discipline teaching is good (compared to the world lack of discipline) so the dangerous abuse seems OK.

  10. Theresa Johnson Lindamood

    There is NO 4 month old who ever needs to be hit with a switch. Sitting on a child while you beat them – is that really necessary? You could actually kill a child doing this if you were not careful.

    They directly say the goal is to break the child. This method can be effective I’m sure. But are they learning to obey because that is the right thing to do, or are they learning to obey to avoid being beaten? (which is no different than training an animal)

    When they punish a baby for crying in the crib or a toddler for wanting Mom – aren’t they just telling the child that their voice doesn’t matter, so don’t even bother? What they feel does not matter and they have no right to seek comfort – this can lead to dangerous things for a child. You don’t sound like this kind of Mom but their books do.

    Their method is based on some good points. Discipline should be consistent and children do need to obey and listen to what their parents teach them. But when the Proverbs say not to spare the rod, it is not talking about beating your child into submission. Most of the word studies I’ve read on this seem to indicate that the rod was not even used for beating, but for guiding and teachign with a purposeful direction, just as the rod is not used to beat the sheep but to guide them back onto the right path.

    Their methods are extreme and lead to abuse.

  11. Elizabeth Darby Bass

    you don’t even want me to start on this one — haveing taught Nurturing Parenting for 4 years I gotta tell ya, childern CAN learn obiedience by LOVE not FEAR!!

    if any of the parents in the classes I taught used these techniques – the childern would be REMOVED!!! infants do not know right from wrong – punishment is NEVER OK for an infant!

  12. I remember reading those books and taking very little away with what I wanted to be as a parent, directly from that book. I did learn things I never wanted to be, though.
    {shudders} I believe in using spanking – sparingly. But to use a small plastic pipe? What the crap. Some of that, frankly, is straight evil. Heartbreaking how many want to follow it, earnestly trying to be good, godly parents.

    I have several issues with “Pearlology,” including wives being treated like doormats.
    Getting off this soapbox….

  13. I agree! see Submission NOT Doormat http://ow.ly/5n02T

  14. children trained by Pearl’s methods will have extraordinary self-control and self-discipline ~ anyone whose ever survived the terrorism of physical and emotional abuse as a child will testify to their ingrained ability to tow the line ~ to jump when the abuser yells, Jump! and to never dare let go and just be a carefree, happy, inquisitive child uninhibited by the abusive parent’s seemingly-omniscient watchfulness and omnipotent control.

    In his book, Michael Pearl suggests tempting a child with a bite of their favorite food ~ placing a morsel within the child’s reach ~ and when said child instinctively reaches out for the food ~ Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, ‘No.’ Repeat as many times as necessary until the child is trained not to automatically grab for whatever he or she wants ~ but rather, to automatically look to the parent for permission before reaching out to take the desired food.

    Even in my Quiverfull-induced stupor ~ I recognized the cruelty of such parenting advice ~ to deliberately tempt your child and then smack them when they take the bait?!! I remember thinking, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray “lead us not into temptation”? If it’s not okay for our Heavenly Father to lead us into temptation ~ how can it be right for earthly parents to do this to their children? I did not bother to finish reading the book.

  15. Beth Penna

    I couldn;t finish reading these excerpts. I felt Ill. Literally physically nauseated that people would do this to precious little children and call it God’s way of discipline. I am totally sickened by this!

  16. There are other concerns with No Greater Joy Ministries, such as their KJV-onlyism, which is stated in their statement of faith and referred to often in Michael Pearl’s messages.

    Along with this there are numerous statements by Michael Pearl in which he essentially says he is the only person giving the correct teaching and biblical exposition of basic doctrine.

    For example, here are just some of his statements during his Romans messages: “99.9% of churches don’t teach this”, “out of 25-30 commentaries on this they were all incorrect – their basic approach was in error”, “probably anything you’ve been taught on Romans 7 is wrong”, “I don’t know any preachers other than myself that teach this correctly”, “here’s how R.C. Sproul manifests his unbelief (before reading from Sproul’s commentary), “these guys (25-30 commentary authors) don’t believe like we do”.

    When some-one claims to have the truth that no-one else within orthodox Christianity has, I get a warning bell. Particularly so when the teaching is a combination of historical errors and false doctrine. While churches differ on some doctrine, there are basic truths upon which we agree. And there is a good reason why, across all our different denominations, we are not being taught certain things. It is my assessment that the Pearls are teaching error on essential basic doctrine.

  17. These books and online guides are nothing more or less than a guide to religiously motivated child abuse–as even the state of Tennessee and numerous child welfare agencies have testified.

  18. The arrogance of Pearl on his site is enough to turn my stomach. He really believes he is the ONLY one with truth. His KJV Olnylism cult is evidence he is ignorant about the history of the Bible. He even talks of training children like dogs– wake up fundamentalist–this is sick stuff.

  19. The Pearls claim that people who have criticized them for their extreme methods of childrearing are literally demon-possessed (sadly, a common form of “dead agenting”/”character assassination” in the dominionist community and one reason why it is at times next to impossible to debate dominionists heavily into “spiritual warfare”)

    The Pearls tell parents to use a PVC “chastening rods” on a seven-month-old BABY just because it won’t get to sleep or on a 2 year old for sucking his thumb!

    Pearls literally tell a woman not to leave their abusive husband and even claim she’s being abused because she’s not submitting enough. Recipe for more injuries and death.

  20. Barnes and Noble no longer carries the Pearls’ child torture manual. Amazon needs to be petitioned to do the same — along with a nice big media blitz announcing their decision.

    Get the Pearls where they’ll care — their income.

    These creeps make money teaching people to go to the hardware store to buy piping to beat children from infancy on up.

    High time they were stopped.

    Write to Amazon, write to any and all booksellers, refuse to tolerate this filthy material for sale anywhere.

  21. Elizabeth

    I gave the Pearls the benefit of the doubt for a looong time. Even defended them at times, or at least asked their critics to use honest arguments rather than high-emotion words.

    A good bit of my attraction was indeed their apparently happy, thriving children, who also wrote for them but without their father’s arrogance.

    But no more when the Pearls wrote they were laughing about the dead children!

  22. I received multiple facebook messages and emails from friends who had read the book, and maybe even recommended it to others. Why? Because there are some truths. Because it starts off all folksy and common sense. You find yourself nodding about little things. The Pearls mix a few Truths with a lot of extremes. Which causes some people to swallow hook, line, and sinker. They don’t intend to, but they are caught. I’m glad– SO GLAD– that many of them are rereading, seeing, analyzing, questioning now.

    Test everything against Scripture.

  23. I do believe in using spanking as a discipline tool; I just don’t believe in using it as the Pearls advocate.

    I am not against the practice of spanking; yet I am appalled in the ways that so many parents use it.

    I agree that spankings can be beneficial; but don’t have any grasp as to how parents (such as Lydia’s) could beat a child so severely that it could lead to the death of the child.

  24. Danell

    I agree… there are some really good things taught by the Pearl’s but they really make it necessary to understand scripture and Jesus’ nature. People have to be discerning. I have dealt with Michael Pearl’s no-nonsense, crack down and don’t give an inch attitude and I think it can be downright ungodly. At the same time he doesn’t make people do what they do and we need to be careful about bashing. Using words like whipping vs. switching… they are two totally different things.

  25. melody morris

    Only a twisted mind could read ANY of the Pearls material and get anything but wisdom and true love from it. Myself and anyone of my friends read it and for the first time really learned how important it is to enjoy our children. I learned to Never discipline in anger. To tie strings of fellowship with my children by looking in their eyes and smiling at them. by finding out what they enjoy and learning to enjoy that too.
    I am so dissapointed in you Robin! I would never have pegged you to attack another Christian family. Have you read the whole book or just those pulled out of context highlighted examples you gave?

  26. Yes, I did read the whole book. And read much of the web site– Pearl is arrogant, and smug. Did you read his response to children being killed? He laughed and made chicken jokes. What LOVE is that? Arrogance is not a fruit of the spirit. I am grieved that so many can be fooled by some common sense twisted with abuse. Pray about it, reread it yourself. Read his website after asking God to remove blinders.

  27. melody morris

    I’ve not only reread it I’ve practiced it and lived it. I’m truly sorry for you and the twisted filter you must have in your heart/mind to get what you and the ones killing their children got from this book. My prayer for you is that you would open your eyes to the Word of God and let that book be your guide in not only how you raise your children but also in how you treat others in the Body of Christ.

  28. Crystal C

    The Pearls are false teachers with false doctrine to offer parents who truly care about training up their children. The books and articles written by them are teaching behavior modification in its truest form. Unfortunately, they use Scripture to validate their techniques. The Scriptures are sound, valid, and true. But the Pearls are NOT rightly dividing this truth. Their definitions, explanations, and examples do not line up with the whole counsel of God. You are being deceived by the words of man if you follow them. Even in Debi’s book, Created to be his Helpmeet, she claims to love and submit to her husband by her behavior, yet her heart is revealed in the very next sentence as she continues to ridicule and mock him. Outward behavior does NOT change the heart. Beware of wanting obedient children at the cost of their soul. God does not want ‘good’ people. He has called us to be holy. This is not attained by right behavior, but by a miraculous working of His Spirit in us, daily changing our hearts to follow after Him. Discernment is needed here. Some are easily led astray by references of Scripture and may completely believe the false doctrine presented. These books are not describing the love of God, nor can they when written with such a haughty spirit. Having read through 4 of the Pearls’ books and several articles, their hearts are revealed the same in each as unchanged, bitter, resentful, angry, and still full pride. Not the attributes anyone would like to have in their precious children.

  29. Joyfulheart

    Renee–Have you read Michael Pearl’s comments on the children who died? (“Michael Pearl Laughs at Critics” http://pearlchildtraining.blogspot.com/2010/03/michael-pearl-laughs-at-critics.html )
    I too was a huge Pearl fan—until I read his very own comments, which to this day he has not retracted and are published on his facebook and website. I do not agree he promotes child abuse, however, his cold, cynical and unbelievably arrogant comments in the wake of a child’s death were horrifying and clearly unbiblical. I can now see how people could misunderstand him and abuse their dearly loved children, and therefore, his books cannot be recommended to anyone, for any reason. I had repent–and then call many people and apologize after reading Michael’s very own words. Please, please take the time and research for yourself–I am certain that you will see what I did.

  30. Anonymous

    After studying the scriptures from a Hebraic perspective and learning that scripturily speaking “rod” is a Hebrew idiom for the Torah, this change my whole perspective of the verses in Proverbs.

  31. Cindy Thomas

    Spanking is not the issue. HITTING a child 4 months over and over and over and over– COME ON!!! Pulling the hair of a new born!!! Anyone with half a brain can see this is abuse.

  32. melody

    I used the Pearl methods and attended Fundamental , KJV only, Patriarchal church for over 10 years. Our children rebelled. Not only was the punishment abusive so was the church. The spiritual abuse in the “obey the pastor” mentality was devastating. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. 2 of my children swear they will never set foot inside a church. We are all still are still very wounded. Its taking years of reading books like Twisted Scriptures, and Churches that Abuse, lots of prayer and Bible study to get off man’s path and onto God’s path. DEEP pain!

  33. Thank you for exposing this cult. So sad well-intention people fall for the KJV Onlism and other legalistic teachings. Saddest part is they completely miss the love of God.

  34. I meant the above post for Robin….

  35. Maria C.

    I bought this book by the Pearl’s and read it from cover to cover. After reading it, I was uneasy about their child rearing.So I put it aside but when I was going thru a struggling moment with my child, I tried one of their techniques and I must say it got worse and I remembered a scripture where it says not to provoke your child to anger. After this I repented to my child and NEVER used any of the Pearl’s suggestions. The following questions kept coming to my head when I asked God for help that I want to share in regards to training up a child; I am to represent God’s love and attributes here on earth, does God inflict pain to me while he is training/shaping me? and the other is that my children are my mirror. If they are disobedient, How am I or my husband being disobedient to God and His Word? If they are frustrated, what am I or my husband frustrated about? If my child is scared, what am I or my husband fearing?
    I have found that I or my husband are inhereting issues to my children and what I see are expressions of those issues. So I have learned to look into my life, deal with it by reading in the bible how God thinks about the issue and then repenting to God and praying for my child. I have found this to work, instead of inflicting pain. Books that have helped me understand child rearing are A More Excellent Way and other teachings in their site http://www.beinhealth.com and the other book is Enjoying Your Children, Practicing Biblical Parenting by David and Betty Weinberger. Thank God for those who are teaching us to love and nurture our children.

  36. Anonymous



    THE BOOK IS SICK AND THE AUTHOR BEHIND IT!! And parents who follow it are SICK!!! The Pearls beliefs and God’s are in no correlation…and I don’t have to read their book to believe it. If you follow his beliefs then all you’re saying is that you abuse your children just like him….that’s NOT discipline it’s ABUSE!!!


    Beth…I feel the same exact way…it’s got my stomach in knots just knowing this is going on behind closed doors and not knowing if it’s your own neighbor…SICKENING!!!! 🙁


    To Living: And that’s exactly how cults get started too!!!!


    SICK!!!!! You’re the one that needs to open your eyes and quit being brainwashed by this occult family…not Christian!!!! Read GOD’S word (the Bible) for yourself and raise your children not from some man-opinionated who tries to give God credit for his abusing ways/mind-set…Don’t you know in the Bible that it says that even demons know what the Bible says…yes, man can take scripture and make it say what they want and say they are a “man of God”…yeah right!!! Use your own brain and rely on the holy spirit for true spiritual discernment in this world around you!!!

  41. melody morris

    To the unknown replier:

    My point exactly. If you already have an angry spirit ANYTHING can be used as a weapon or an excuse to take out your anger on those around you. It’s like those sick people who bomb abortion clinics or kill the doctors who perform them and say they are doing it in the name of the Lord. Abortion is awful because it’s murder but that same spirit abides in those who do such things.
    I wonder if any of you have seen the videos of how Micheal demonstrates the “switching” he’s referring to? It is not hard or abusive. It is tiny little movements that cause a slight sting just to back up the word no they are apparently ignoring. My friend and I practiced once on each other before we ever tried it on our kids( she swore me to secrecy;). After the initial first few times we never had to do it to one or two of them again. They were believers that I was no longer a liar when I told them “No” I meant it. They were happy and secure knowing they could trust me to carry through now. Those kids are now adults and call me for advice with their children,,My grand babies whom I love dearly and want the best for them too. I have 6 of the most spicy grandchildren you’ll ever meet. Amazing coming from their beat-down parents and their brainwashed Grandparents 🙂

  42. melody morris

    As for the obeying the pastor thing..I come away with the total opposite mind set from the Pearls.I began turning to my husband and away
    from the preacher, esp. after reading Created to be His Helpmeet. I am sorry about your bad experience though. I do pray your adult kids come back around to trusting spiritual authority(balanced )but am glad you guys are still serving the Lord. I still say none of us start out in our parenting thinking…”I want to be a bad parent”. Yet we still miss the mark too.

  43. Yes, God does sometime inflict pain to get your attention. He uses life’s lessons that are often times painful, but we are to thank Him because we know that He has our bests interests at heart!

    Did not Joseph suffer while he was a slave in Egypt? How about Job? There are so many examples of how God allows pain in our lives to mold/shape us. He also sees the bigger picture that we cannot.

    I’ve read the Pearl’s book from cover to cover and I never once thought they were promoting child abuse.

  44. I have read all of the Pearl’s child training books, tapes, and watched their seminars. Often, I have wanted to share their training principles with other families, but knew that they would have a hard time accepting them in the context of the Pearl’s style of writing. Our modern society has gotten so ultra-sensitive to our “rights” that we have begun to filter Biblical teaching by them. So I have found a few other books that offer Biblical parenting, but with a more systematic style of teaching.

    What the Bible Says About Child Training, and Shepherding A Child’s Heart are both excellent resources, which focus on our relationship with our children, our position of authority as given by God for our children’s protection and blessing, yet they do not shy away from using the rod as biblically instructed.

    If you are universally opposed to any spanking at all, these will also offend you. But if taken in the context intended by the authors, you will find that discipline is another example of mercy and love.


    And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children:
    My son, don’t despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by him, for the Lord loves those he chastens, and scourges every son that he receives.
    If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he that the father does not chasten?…
    Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we give them reverence: should we not even more be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?
    …Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are trained.

    Lastly, in reference to the children who died, I am grieved and sorry for the families.

    My own experience was that I was an angry, yelling, frustrated mother. When I was given the Pearl’s resources, I began to see the joy that we can experience with our children. Anger and frustration does not lead to healthy children, but learning to lovingly use instruction, correction, and the rod in proper balance gave me the tools I needed to love my children and train them up God’s way.

    Study the Word, in context, pray, and the Lord will lead you into a path of fruitfulness for you family!

  45. Renee, my husband and I knew nothing of the Pearls when we first heard about the Schatz case. Because there were so many divergent opinions about methods that entered the discussion, and because so many parents get such different results from various methods, we felt it would be best to study the doctrine underlying the Pearls’ methods.

    What we found was very disheartening and surprising in its unbiblical basis. We compiled our year-long study into a comprehensive review which is now posted as a free PDF download at:


    The Pearls do not teach *methodologically* that parents should beat and abuse their children. They teach *theologically* that sin arises from the physical flesh (gnostic heresy) and must be subdued at all costs to avoid eternal peril.

    Thus the apparent conflict between quotes such as in the post above, and Pearl’s words of methodological moderation in other instances. The problem is his teaching that the body as the source of sin must be controlled and subdued at all costs.

    Those who follow the false theology run a huge risk of acting abusively toward their children, spouse and selves.

    In people’s anecdotes, we see evidence that those who moderate Pearl’s methods with biblical (non-NGJ) theology have different results along a spectrum reflecting their balance of Scripture against the false doctrine…yet there’s still the issue of 1% arsenic poisoning the 99% good food.

    Not worth the spiritual conflict it will produce, in my opinion. We also see a lot of postings from very biblical parents whose obedience to Scripture was subtly and thoroughly undermined as they absorbed Pearl’s doctrine without realizing it at the time.

  46. I too was helped by the Pearls’ “Helpmeet” book. I have also been sorry to hear some of the lines they hold to even when it isn’t working. Perhaps it was more helpful to me because I was struggling against a matriarchal upbringing, where the women were the disciplinarians and the men took a back seat. I was being told by the woman who controlled my mother for years that I should basically lay down the law to my husband if I ever wanted to raise a godly family. So at the time that book was just what I needed.
    Still, I think God often brings us what we need at the moment we need it, even using mistakes to help us along; so the fact that it helped me doesn’t make it all peachy keen. I don’t hold the same opinions I read in it today; I am finding a balance. They were one of the pendulum swings that helped to bring me here.
    I guess I just mean to say that because something helps you doesn’t mean it’s the magic cure.

  47. melody morris

    I agree with you on that, there is no magic cure. Obedience to the Word(Bible) is the only way to lasting victory in any area. With all other sources we must use the good and spit out the bad. But to throw out the baby with the bath water(and I hope peopke don’t use that phrase to justify more goofiness;)is not wise either.

  48. Exactly Renee, I agree with you…and I have read the book and many others by the Pearls…I think it’s a sad day when people, blame a book or group of others to justify their own mistakes…Scripture says each man will pay for his own sin, if I could blame all of my past errors and mistakes then I would never be accountable…further more I think it’s pathetic to blame the book, or the Pearls when the issue is obviously a matter of the heart and carrying it too far…

    The techniques used in bringing up a four year old verses a fourteen year old are very different…

    I hope I see the day when people stop blaming some one else for their sin/actions….{yeah they made me do it} – it’s called being responsible, which is something our society doesn’t remember….

  49. I am not saying yeah or nay, I am saying blaming the Pearls for child abuse is wrong, it doesn’t matter if they have the book or not, or even use their methods or not…to blame them for a death caused by the parents is wrong. We are accountable for our OWN choices… I can’t blame the judge if I kill some one….give me a break.

    The same thought pattern is used by many to excuse their chosen behavior…so and so did this and so I am going to do this….

    I am really disappointed in this post, I have used Hebraic parenting/schooling for years and have used this blog a ton of time…and honestly slander or the appearance of slander is a sin. I would urge all of us caution…

    Clearly I am not saying beat your children, nor support beating a four month old child… – I am saying stop blaming the Pearls for bad parenting choices.

  50. You are an older mom, a Titus 2 woman, a homeschool mother with experience. Thank you, thank you for warning so many about the false and faulty teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl. They have harmed so many families.

    The encouragement to “tie heartstrings” does not undo the consistent teachings that lead to antagonistic parent vs. child actions. I know these teachings have harmed many children and parents — not just the deaths that we hear about.

    Again, thank you.

    CL Dyck linked to her book reviewing the doctrine taught by the Pearls. I would truly encourage anyone who believes that what the Pearls teach is Biblical, to set aside an afternoon and read their (free!) book.

  51. Jonny Fredricks

    New case of child death at the hands of a homeschooling christian couple using the same method of child rearing..Skagit County 2011
    Hana Williams

  52. friend

    Once again, it shows loud and clear that not every person who uses the Word of God or conservatism is born-again.

  53. After many recommendations to read Created to be His Helpmeet I started reading it last year. While I agree that the BIBLE teaches submission I felt the Pearls were way off in their understanding of what that means. I was very bothered by some of the things I read. I felt the book encouraged women to stay in an abusive relationship and even put blame on the woman for the abuse from her husband.

    Somehow I have missed all of this information about their child rearing books and the deaths of those precious children. Now it is all becoming clear to me as to why I felt something was wrong with the teaching of the Pearls. I have never read their child training books but after reading some of the excerpts I am just heartbroken. First, who could advocate such abuse and then attach the name of our loving God to it?? And second, who could read that and think that it is okay to treat their precious children that way??

    Thank you so much for bringing this to the attention of the public. I will be sharing this with my homeschool friends.

  54. Kristi

    I can not believe anyone is defending this man or his wretched book. It’s a thoughtful guide on how to systematically abuse children. He is instructing parents to use a switch on an infant and to pull a breast-feeding baby’s hair. Are you kidding me? The man and his wife are at best delusional and at worst co-conspirators to the murder of two children.

  55. LibertyFreedomPatriot

    What a horrifying twisting of Biblical teachings! The Pearls are not only delusional, they are dangerous. I’m all for free speech, but they seriously should be prosecuted for encouraging child abuse. If this is what modern Christianity has become, then maybe Satan is already in control.

  56. frondeur

    you have to be kidding me…..the worst elements in society are the losers who had NO discipline as children because their parents were absent. liberal EPIC FAIL. and it’s hilarious to me how the people who are most against spanking always have personal lives that are complete trainwrecks. if you want to raise a child to be a burden on society in one form or another and dependent upon the nanny state, by all means, don’t spank..

  57. There is a middle ground between what the Pearl’s reccomend (spanking with implements and instilling fear in the children) and no discipline.

    I did not say that children don’t need discipline! However, there is no need to abuse children! You can discipline a child WITHOUT spanking and not have them turn to crime!

    Most of the adults that I know who were raised with discipline, but NOT SPANKING, are working as therapists, teachers, councelors, etc… They are the people helping children (and adults) who were spanked to ABUSE and are now needing assistance.

    God wants us to teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord. He does not want us tormenting them, abusing them, or turning them away from church, family and God which happens to many people who are raised with excessive spanking (as reccomended by the Pearl’s book).

  58. Debbie

    This isn’t discipline, it’s abuse. No one should be hitting their child, period, but especially a defenseless infant of only 4 or 7 months. I don’t undertand what a child that young can do anyway to be punished? With just reading these quotes from I guess this one book, I can say this woman who wrote this is a monster and shouldn’t be giving advice on raising children.

  59. Anonymous

    What you were doing before Renee was teaching your children to be people, to think and act and feel as themselves. You became frustrated, as so many parents do, then you took the easy way out. Of course a beating shows instant results, and even lasting ones, but it’s the cowards way out. These are children, defenseless creatures, it’s very easy to “break their will” they’re, physically weak mentally, undeveloped, and have no method of retaliation. So I suppose I’m saying The Pearl Method works in that regard. The point however is that the idea at the heart of it is flawed. To create a humble child constantly giving over their will to the “highest” is little more then a well trained pet. Then that pet grows up, and you’re gone, and the former child is without imagination, without what we know to be free will. At best you’ve created a dull and pious person who will go on to beat their children and create another generation of dull pious people. At worst you’ve created an unstable, inhuman thing which can’t properly exist in society.

  60. Anonymous

    I hope you are not insinuating that I have beat my children, I never have and never will. What the Pearls advocate is training your child to obey beforehand so you don’t have to become frustrated. If you use their methods correctly you don’t need to spank, your children have already been taught and trained to behave and they are happy, well adjusted and a joy to be around! That is what they are all about and what I am all about. I also have to say my children are, as a neighbor commented, full of imagination, unhindered curiosity & joy.

  61. thank you Vyckie and all other for speaking out against the evil doers-pearl and his ilk.
    These child abusers are not following Jesus–but Calvin who taught parents an evil thing–how to break the will of a child. This is completely unnatural, therefore evil. Nature gives us a will–to survive! All our emotions are hard-wired into us for our survival.
    These evil-doers are teaching people to de-nature their children. Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the LaLeche League to learn a truly natural way to raise a baby.
    True followers of Jesus should mount a campaign to expose the cult practices of the followers of calvin–NOW!!

  62. Homeschool Mom

    Instead of the Pearls’ book, try reading “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk.”


    Many families raise polite, well behaved, respectful children without resorting to the dangerous approach the Pearls recommend.

    God never said we should harm our children or break them down, break their spirits. Children are precious, and they want to learn from us. They want to meet our expectations. The Pearls may be well meaning but are dangerous. The deaths of several children, and PTSD in hundreds of others, testify that their methods are very harmful. Beware false prophets.

  63. I have two kids. The younger has special needs. I do not spank my children. Even with our hard situation,they are happy children. My husband and I consider inadequate behaviors as an opportunity to teach our children. Our home is peaceful and safe where children feel loved and respected.
    My parents, in the other hand, believed in spanking. I was beaten and beaten hard. Belts, spoons, spatulas, rods, all tools they used to break me. Did not work. I grew up resentful, hating them for what I thought and still think was abuse. My parents were following their church and faith doctrines. They meant well but they were wrong. I love them but I will not do what they did to me.
    My older son is an amazing child. He adapts to our challenges with responsibility and with a smile. He loves his brother even when he takes a lot of our time and energy. I know he is going to change the world and will be because he knows without any doubt that we love them. I am glad his childhood memories will be different than mine.

  64. , I have one son whom I disciplined the worlds way…with patient sweet verbal rebuke. He has been in so much trouble…it is heart breaking
    In fact, the more I purposed to be patient and loving the more of a problem this child became.

    Now, later in my life I have two smaller children that I used a “mild” form of train up a child with and they are a blessing to my heart. Indeed, they are much happier kids than the child who had worldly upbringing.

    I think the problem lies within the heart of the parent. My heart is for my kids so I could never abuse them…but there are abusive people out there that need therapy and perhaps medication before having kids…and they will look for any excuse and someone to blame for their problems. They are already abusive at their core and are using this as an excuse to abuse. If they didn’t have TUAC then they would have just beat the heck out of a kid with a belt anyway…that is what these abusive creeps do.

    And as for Michael Pearl…I agree that perhaps he is a religious nut. And even that his book goes too far…However, the bible is right even if MP is a nut.

    We cannot throw the baby out with the bath water.

  65. I hit send too soon:)…I think The problem is with a religious heart. It is hard. It does not have the love of God in it. The law is the ministry of death. All discipline MUST be completely done with the LOVE OF CHRIST in your heart. So, again, it goes back to the heart of the parent…not just the book written by the Pearls.

  66. Anonymous

    Surely they treat animals even worse — their “comic book” version of the Old Testament depicts vegetarianism as a sin! People of this mindset see others over whom they have any measure of authority as chattels, objects to do with (and dispose of) as they please. The quote above is very telling: “After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself…. he did what every accountable human being must do–he humbled himself before the ‘highest’ and admitted that his interests are not paramount.” Calling herself the “highest” — equating herself with God!! Wow.

  67. You can whip — or “switch” anyone into submission. All you are talking about is using violence to coerce the child into behaving one particular way over another. The idea is that doing all this will help the child grow up to be a better, more successful, healthier, happier person, right? But every serial killer on death row has exactly this kind of violent, coercive “discipline” in their personal history — yet how often does the philanthropist stand up at the dedication of the new hospital and say, “I attribute it all to the sick, naked beatings inflicted on me by my stepfather”? And don’t kid yourself. Forcing the child to disrobe, to bare their buttocks or whatever else in order to be “switched,” is sick, naked, and a beating, no matter how you may wish to justify it. “It didn’t hurt me, so it won’t hurt you” is one thing these folks often say to justify it — but the fact is, it DID hurt you — it turned you into a child abuser!

  68. There’s a problem with the whole “personal anecdote” method of discussion going on here. I will bet you anything I own that the child who turned out troubled would be much worse off if you had inflicted violence on him growing up. The two who are “blessings to your heart” may well be greater blessings if you hadn’t. For every person who points to a success story for the violence method, I can find you a dozen children among my friends and relatives who have grown up to be healthy, vibrant, intelligent, successful adults without a single incidence of verbal or physical violence being used in their upbringing. Again, whatever you say to justify it, that your two that you whipped are “happier” than the one you didn’t, etc., it is violence and it is totally unnecessary.

    Ancient Middle Eastern religions have been a bane to our society in many ways — from the people who used the Koran to justify blowing up the World Trade Center to the “Christians” who read “spare the rod, spoil the child” and think it means God wants them to whip their children to death. Get a grip. Ancient goat herders have no particular claim to better parenting methods than modern Americans.

  69. Human Being


    If you read the bible, had a personal relationship with God and Jesus, you would understand that you’re thinking is severely flawed. The “rod” is a stick of guidance used by the physically blind. It is used to keep them from falling into dangerous traps. It protects them from getting hurt. Like many scriptures in the bible that use metaphors, the word “rod” in those scriptures is used to refer to a mental stick of guidance. It’s just easier to say the word “rod” than to say “mental stick of guidance” over and over again. The mental stick of guidance is for everyone. It’s for those who are mentally blind. Yes children are mentally blind, because they are new to this world. If you teach them the scriptures in the bible and teach them by example, they will naturally learn wisdom. Your whips, switches, and sticks aren’t necessary. Have faith in God’s word, not the pearls. Let the children go to school, let them go outside to play, take them to church. Before you know it, they will be grown up – truly happy and healthy.

    I am so saddened by people like you who take the scriptures in the bible, and use them to justify your cruel behaviors. In history, so many people used the scriptures in the bible to justify racism. You and the pearls, and all their followers are ignorant because you choose to be. You are following a sadist cult, and you haven’t figured it out yet. You will all be judged for it when the time comes. For now, I pray that their horrible books get banned. I will make sure of it.

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason why the children give such good testimonies is because they also make money from the disturbed people who buy their books and listen to their shows? Why do you assume that their children are giving real testimonies? …Oh, because they’re smiling? Please think outside the box, people. Read your bibles, and think for yourselves instead of letting the demons (the pearls) tell you what to think. Whose advice do you really think you’re following when you listen to them? The devil lies and manipulates. The more gullible you are, the more vulnerable you are. Would Jesus say the things that they say? Read in the scriptures what Jesus says about children.

  70. Anonymous

    You’re lying. Their book makes it so that your only solution is to abuse. You get addicted to the abuse as a solution because it gives an immediate relief. Their entire book is based on the temptation to be violent. Violence can occur in many forms, not just physical abuse. They are infact teaching parents to be impatient. That is the opposite of what God teaches. Your children will be more likely to abuse others because they have learned that abuse is the answer. Love is the only real answer.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

    God is Love.

    You have taught your children hate.

  71. Anonymous

    Isn’t it strange how many people aren’t using their logic and reasoning to realize that the pearls are teaching abuse? This is disturbing to me. It’s common sense. I think that their followers gave up on reading the bible for themselves and decided that the pearls books are their bibles. How can their followers teach children to be discerning when they aren’t discerning themselves. So on their website, they have some fake testimonials from their children who are probably being compensated. Wow, you’re adults. You’re supposed to know better.

    I honestly think that the people who follow the pearls’ advice had a strong desire to be violent and just wanted permission. They got it from the pearls. God’s law still prevails, whether they like it or not. The pearls do not teach love, patience, or kindness. They teach abuse and the twisting around of God’s word.

    Use your brains people.

  72. Anonymous

    He laughs because he is a demon. It’s end times, people. Be discerning.

  73. Anonymous

    You are being a pawn to encourage people to read their books. yes, a pawn. You’re being used by the enemy. Their books smell of manipulation and deceit from the enemy. Do you not read anything about who the real God is? Are you in denial of the devil? He’s real you know, and he uses people to hurt others. Did you know that? My goodness, you and the rest of the pearl followers must be lacking in intelligence. How can you read the Holy Bible and not know that the devil uses people to hurt others. Never in my life have I seen so much pain that leads back to the pearls. So many people have suffered emotionally because of the pearls’ teachings. Don’t you know that when a child dies, everyone who knows about it (and isn’t a sadist like you) suffers too. Everything you said in your post is what the enemy wants you to say. THINK.

  74. Anonymous


    Parents like you is the reason why some boys grow up into men that beat up their wives, and why some girls grow up into women that choose abusive husbands and accept abuse from their husbands. You are an abuser. The worst elements of society are adults who as children were abused by parents like you. Most prison inmates will testify to that. Get your facts straight. Violence begets violence.

  75. Anonymous

    The pearls are pawns of the enemy. That’s why they know exactly what to say. Bait and hook. The enemy knows how to lie and manipulate. He twists the truth with evil. Eventually, it only leads to evil.

  76. Anonymous

    You were wrong in abusing the other children. You enabled your son. That’s why he was a problem child. You are supposed to teach your children wisdom from the bible. That is sweet verbal rebuke. Criticism will lead them to anger and hatred. Your other children are abusive, you just don’t know it yet.

  77. Anonymous

    You are in denial. Don’t you know that your kids will adapt to the “spanking”, then you’ll have to beat them? A plastic plumbing line used for spanking is a beating. Spanking is beating, except you use your hand. If you use spanking as an option, you’ll fall into a trap. Love, wisdom, intelligence is the answer. Be smart enough to be patient enough so you can use the humble, kind methods of raising children. Ask God for guidance. The pearls are demons.

  78. http://kgwtv.mlnwap.com/News/Latest%20News

    Another child died this past May because of this book…

  79. This book is useless. For simple reasons. Children will imitate their parents. They repeat what they hear, they repeat what they see, and will continue on with what they have learned as a child into adulthood. (Minus teen years when all is forgotten for about 6 years.)
    If you want your child to be patient, you be patient. If you want your child to love God, you love God.

    For example (of the uselessness of these types of books), I have found there are instances when my kids can get out of control. I express my authority IMMEDIATELY. I am firm and corporal if neccessary. However I have found if the extreme reaction is followed up with a nice calm explination after all is calm(even if they don’t understand what you are saying fully), it shows them that you only care for them and thier safety. USUALLY they straighten out and do not act out like that again. However this approach does nothing for a friend of mine and his children.

    But to each Parent their own. I don’t know what I am talking about. That is what works for me. So it doesn’t matter if the book says kiss away their attitude, or beat it out of them, there is not a manual for these crazy things we have called children. There is no How To book that will show you how to be a good and successful parent. That is all on you. Seek guidance with family first, church second, teachers third, and then go talk to a professional if all else fails. Even then pay very close attention to your therapists and change quickly if the sessions seem to not help.

    Keep God and Christ in your life and all will work out according to His plan. That I do know.

    Good luck all you parents, we all need it!!!!
    Do your best, that is all that is needed from you.

    God Bless

  80. Shame on you who use this filth on your children.

  81. You’re all brainwashed. Why let a thousands years old religious book in how to raise your kids? You know what spanking children does? IT MAKES THEM RESENT YOU. They either become a dependent shell of a drone or they just end up hating you. By beating children when they misbehave, you are teaching them that violence is how we solve our problems. And to those that hit babies, you should be in jail or worse.

  82. as achild who was abused by these same belifs that beating is not only ok, but needed in disciplining,i am asking rather, pleading that you please STOP beating your children!! it doesnt make them love you,god,or anyone else! i have grown up havingto decide what is real. i let pplwalk all over me because im afraid that they will hurt me if i dont i am tryingto learn to be strong.
    as a result of being raised scarred, i learned to harbor my feelings inside and became a very depressed teen who just wanted out…i left my mom (who beat me with anything she could find) at 15 just to move into another abusive household (verbal abuse this time) i was not allowedto have a mind of my own or else i would be yelled at untill i broke down crying and repenting my sins. i left at the age of 20 and within two years i was pregnant, married and in a bad realtionship with my husband who makes me walk on eggshells blaming me for all my faults. i am stuck, unhappy, and confused…..still married, trying to learn how to stand up for myself.
    if you dont want this to be your child, PLEASE!! IM BEGGING YOU! DO NOT BEAT YOUR CHILDREN AND DO NOT VERBALLY ABUSE THEM!!!!

  83. Wow. Those excerpts read like pornography. With that many examples of domination and beating children, I suspect that the Pearls are perverted sado-masochistic pederasts. What else could explain their apparent delight in bragging about ‘breaking’ and beating children? Creepy.

  84. I am really sick of the people who are so extreme in their treatment of children. I was abused in EVERY form possible as a child. Sexually abused by my mother’s boyfriend, and physically beaten with shoes by a babysitter, But the thing that hurt me the most and did the most damage was the verbal abuse by people that remind me VERY much of the Pearls, who believe in Obedience for conformity’s sake… I was torn down mentally and told I was NOTHING, I was not good at anything, and that having a sense of self-esteem or an independent OPINION for that matter, was wrong… I was taught that being proud of yourself or thinking you were good at anything was evil, and that always seeing the negative was “humility”… I would get ‘in trouble’ ie: spanking, sitting in the corner, not being allowed to speak for months at a time… for EVERY little thing I did “wrong”. These things were not Biblically wrong, but just did not line up with the “rules” at this Supposedly Christian establishment.

    My question to you and to all who like this book and advocate for this book, is this: “Do we want our children to simply conform or obey out of fear, or do we want them to grow up to Actually BE decent people…Not just ACT like it? Do we want empty obedience, or God honoring submission? I know that this way of discipline made me personally hate and Fear God and Church and Christians. I rebelled majorly, and I didn’t want anything to do with the people who made me feel this way, and then God showed me thru a book, thru counseling, and thru a new and very different Church the TRUE meaning of LOVE, submission, and humility.

    I think any parent who approaches parenting from a negative perspective really should study psychology and learn about how the brain forms connections. You can teach your children positive things from a positive perspective by enforcing positive behaviors. This will make them WANT to do what is right, instead of making them AFRAID to do wrong… You can either beat them for doing wrong, or reward them for doing right. It produces the same results.

    I have 3 children of my own, and I will be honest. I DO believe in spanking. I DO believe in discipline, but beating your child who is too young to understand WHY they are getting hit? It is just ridiculous. Some people may think I did this too early, but my eldest at 9 months old was very strong willed and would deliberately and defiantly disobey. She kept trying to play with the laptop when her daddy was doing his schoolwork. He actually lost information from her doing this, so it was something that needed to be corrected. When I asked her nicely to stop, she would look at me and do it again. I could see the open defiance. We would TELL her FIRST that if she did it again, she would get a spank on her hand. If she did it again, we would lightly “spank” (literally, I patted her harder to burp her than I did to “spank”) her hand each time she did it and lead her to the little play computer that was Hers and EXPLAINED why she couldn’t play with the laptop and that she needed to play with hers… The “spanking” did not hurt her, but she eventually learned not to do that anymore.

    I do believe you need to be consistent with your discipline. And while I do believe that spanking is sometimes necessary, I firmly believe that a spank should never ACTUALLY hurt. You should never leave a bruise. It should be used to get their attention, NOT to harm them in any way! There is a way to do it out of love that actually teaches your children right from wrong instead of BLIND obedience… My little girl LOVES me, and respects me and is in NO way afraid of me, but she does know that she needs to listen to what I say, because I am her mom, I love her, and God put me in charge of her to keep her safe and teach her how to be a good person.

    Both of my older kids (my youngest is only 4 months old)SEEK to do good things because they want to make me happy. They are very independent and strong willed individuals, and I do try to let them be. I let them have an opinion. They are allowed to be angry or sad or happy or excited or whatever emotion they are feeling. I let them express themselves, but they know that ultimately, I am in charge, and when Daddy is home, WE BOTH are in charge, and we are in charge because God put us in charge of them. AND YES, We have explained all of this to our kids.

    I am in no way claiming to be the perfect parent. I have lost my temper and yelled, and my kids are definitely not perfect, but I will not raise them in the suppressive and controlling environment that I was raised in.

    I think of how God as our Heavenly Father parents us. He lets us make our own choices, even when sometimes the outcome of those choices are painful. But he is always there for us to run to. He does not hold resentment for past offenses that he has already forgiven us for. He does not SEEK to punish or hurt us. He Does not tempt us to anger. He is not sitting up in Heaven, waiting for us to mess up… He does not react to our actions impulsively… If the Pearls were using God as their example of how to Parent, they would not be doing or teaching these things.

  85. I felt literally ill, when reading this.
    To proponents of this book, how do you justify the death of precious lives, as the direct result of parents following the disciplinary methods endorsed by this book. Hitting a four month old, a seven month old. That is abuse… How do follow the advice of people who openly admit to abusing children? I little girl was starved, locked in a closet and put outside, naked to spend the night in the cold. On which planet is that acceptable???
    It just makes me want to scream. Prayerful reading of this book, does not change the facts.

  86. crystal arellano

    you need to learn what the law says about child abuse your crazy and so are they u guys remind me of a cult!

  87. Only a twisted mind could think that hitting an infant is sick? Infants and toddlers are just learning what the world is about, whether it’s a place where they’re loved and comforted, or a place where they can expect pain for expressing their needs.

    This is the first time I’d read excerpts from these books. I don’t doubt that there could be good advice elsewhere in them, but I couldn’t accept any advice from people who would say the things printed up there in ANY context. Beating a child into submission is NEVER acceptable, even if you’re building a good relationship in other ways. There is no way to make the words up there OK in any circumstances.

    These people being/saying they’re christians should not keep others from speaking against it. What kids of Christians see evil and say nothing about it just because it’s “attacking” other Christians?

  88. Sick sick sick! This is overboard child abuse! Hitting a 4 month old??? My god you people who follow this book do NOT deserve children!!!!

  89. these people are evil, really evil…they beat children until they give in and wont cry, like the children in orphanages who no longer cry for comfort because they know there is none…these are children that can then be abused and will not complain or tell anyone, just what these sadists want

  90. Children who listen or obey after this type of upbringing and abuse are not obedient and respectful… they suffer from something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Dissipline means to teach and to guide, not to beat the living daylights out of a person.
    Many people also take the Bible literally, the “rod” can also mean the staff that a shepherd uses to guide an errant lamb back into the safety of the flock. I’m an ex Christian, but not an atheist… not quite sure where I’m at on that front, but the reason I no longer follow any of the secterian systems is because of the double standards so often portrayed by the “devout”.
    Then these same people will complain about “the youth of today”… well how are they supposed to turn out? half of them are beaten to within an inch of their lives and a good portion receive no dissipline at all and are left without any loving guidance. It’s time for our generation, the parents of the young now, to parent with love and compassion, leading by example that you can teach without the need for violence and raise a generation that actually has empathy (cause if you love your neighbour you will not murder, steal or speak ill of him).

  91. galadriel

    IF I read a book about home remedies, and it said that drinking battery acid would cure a belly ache, it would be pretty apparent that the writer has no idea what they are talking about, and full of crap. Whoever decides to drink battery acid just because they read it in a book is just as much a dumbass as the person who wrote it. They didn’t hold a gun to the readers heads and tell them to raise their kids this way. ANyone who kills a child is obviously a monster, and not because they read it in a book. Ya’ll need to start talking about who the REAL criminals here. THey didn’t kill those kids, their PARENTS did YO!

  92. Daniella

    The Pearls are not to blame for the death of innocent children, grown adults decided to become parents and ignore their one responsibility to love and protect their child. There is no moral human being that can justify hitting a baby, the most innocent thing that could enter the world. The role of a parent is not to “train” or make a child completely obedient, they are not a pet. You are not raising children to be children who are dependent on your every demand, you are raising children to be fully functioning and self sufficient adults. Psychologically infants can simply not understand punishment,they have not developed the brain capacity for ’cause and effect’, they don’t even have object permanence. What sort of parent can justify “switching” a child who can’t even sit up, who is dependent on you for absolutely everything in their life.The trauma that these children are being put through is heart breaking, any person no matter what religion should be thoroughly disgusted with the extremism the Pearl’s represent.
    The Pearls justify their views under the cover of scripture passages. What God can you imagine looking down on your innocent child who cries in the middle of the night and raising a tube to beat him? Children are a gift from God, to be cherished, loved and guided.

  93. Annoyed reader.

    This is absolutely disqusting… I got my ass spanked as a child, but only when I REALLY deserved it and it was naver more than 5-7 swats on my little butt. Let’s start small, child “training” is screwed up. They are children, not dogs. Parents are there to teach and support the development of children, not to break them and train them to fear their wrath. Secondly, every quote here is from the OLD testament. We are told that the old ways are no longer needed after Christ died. I work in special education and believe me, there is no need for anything more drastic than a stern tone and sticking to small concequenses (losing the privilege of a favorite book or snack even) for all but violent behavior, in which case they are restrained until calm.

  94. Jim Winston

    If you are so Lost that you can’t immediately see that these people are sick perverted sadistic power-mad fanatics then God have mercy on you.

    If you ever do anything like this to a defenseless child or animal & I see it — you better pray fast because I will beat you to death you sick insane pervert!

    50 shades of sexual stimulation through abusing those too weak to defend themselves? Pick on someone your own size & get your sick jollies some other way you powerless disease.

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  96. I am going to call Bull on this one. it is not Child abuse because some choose to go over board on what the Bible says!

    it is easy to blame someone else for people who choose to follow a ridiculous path and get stupid!

  97. My wife and are Christians–we believe in the infallibility of the bible, and trust the Gospel message. I know that in a world where everyone wants empirical data and scientific evidence to substantiate claims, the message of Christ (and furthermore of OT stories–i.e Noah’s ark and the flood) is laughable. I get it, as I haven’t been a Christian very long. I will say in the relatively short time as a believer, that I am embarrassed by the fact that these two amish-cult people write books that are filed under Christian reading. I am embarrassed that there are church groups that promote this crap. Because it’s crap. If you want to discipline your child, you are free to do so and I personally believe that physical discipline can be a good thing but only according to their age and cognitive level. Having said, someone who stood up these clowns said something to the effect of “they don’t tell you to discipline out of anger..” So, people hit their kid with a pvc pipe when their happy? They hose them down if they peed the bed because they are feeling joyful in the Lord? Wake up. Think. Use reason and logic in this.

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