There has been much controversy lately regarding a series of books listed in this petition. I signed the petition and urged my facebook friends to do the same. I’m not gonna lie; I thought it was a no brainer. I assumed everyone would agree with me, especially after this heart wrenching story of Hana Williams. The petition, as I stated lists 3 books: Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Don’t Make Me Count to Three, and To Train Up a Child. I received a message from a dear friend asking for me to consider reading the full text of specifically To Train Up a Child, and on my wall and another friend’s I saw many in a frenzy in defense of these books. Today, I spent a good chunk of my time reading To Train Up a Child, much to my displeasure. I do not have opinions regarding Shepherding a Child’s Heart or Don’t Make Me Count to Three, because I have not read these books. I will not read these books because 1. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 2. I do not believe in fear based parenting 3. I’m so OVER reading books to tell me how to raise my baby. I strongly believe that parenting is more about my transformation than my forcing transformation on my child. I accept the challenge to be continually transformed, to discipline him with grace (not to be confused with leniency), and to be the best example of Christ that I can.
There are so many disgusting, atrocious quotes from this book. Too many to quote here, but I will give you a few to chew on.
“When the time comes to apply the rod, take a deep breath, relax, and pray, “Lord, make this a valuable learning session. Cleanse my child of ill-temper and rebellion. May I properly represent your cause in this matter.” No jerking around. No raised voice. The child should be able to anticipate the coming rod by your utterly calm and controlled spirit.
At this point, in utter panic, he will rush to demonstrate obedience. Never reward delayed obedience by reversing the sentence. And, unless all else fails, don’t drag him to the place of cleansing. Part of his training is to come submissively. However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child, who runs from discipline and is too incoherent to listen, then use whatever force is necessary to bring him to bay. If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.
Otherwise, tell him to bend over on the bed or couch; and while he is in this position give some choice admonition. You have his undivided attention. Slowly begin to spank. If you go too fast, you may not allow time enough for the inner transformation to occur.
For the under one year old, a little, ten- to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (striped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective.”
Am I in the freaking Twilight Zone?! If we are teaching our children about our God through our discipline…I mean… there is so much to say.
“So, my suggestion was that the father explain to the boy that, now that he was a man, he would no longer be washed in the house. He was too big and too stinky to be cleaned by the babywipes. From now on, he would be washed outside with a garden hose. The child was not to be blamed. This was to be understood as just a progressive change in methods. The next dump, the father took him out and merrily, and might I say, carelessly, washed him off. What with the autumn chill and the cold well water, I don’t remember if it took a second washing or not, but, a week later, the father told me his son was now taking himself to the pot. The child weighed the alternatives and opted to change his lifestyle. Since then, several others have been the recipients of my meddling, and it usually takes no more than three cheerful washings.” -Training Up a Child on Potty Training
More helpful advice for the parent who is super enthusiastic about winning the “Most Unqualified, Inhumane Egg/Sperm Donor on the Planet” include:
-pulling infant’s hair to curb biting while nursing (as opposed to helping baby relieve teething pain through other means)
-spanking infants if they refuse to nap (…if you’ve read half of my blog or talked to any parent, you know that babies don’t freaking sleep. They are not being rebellious. Their brains are developing. )
-linking baby-led breastfeeding to obesity, nicotine and other addictions.
“It is not going to harm your child for him to be falsely accused a few times (that’s life). He will have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. When accused, if you have doubts about his guilt, patiently search out the matter. If you determine that he is falsely accused, tell him and then quietly drop the matter. Don’t let him see your defensiveness on his behalf.
If he is roughed-up by his peers, rejoice; he is learning early about the real world. Don’t make a sissy out of him. If you jump to his defense every time another child takes away a toy, pushes your child down, or even pops him in the nose, you will rear a social crybaby.”
I can’t make this stuff up. This book is hellish. I will not change my opinion of it. I understand that we, as Christians are convicted in different ways by the Spirit, but I CAN NOT believe that the Spirit of our God, who calls us to be good stewards of our children, our neighbors, would call us to this type of “leadership”.
In my parenting of Chi, the Lord often brings me to somber thought and grace by asking “How did Mary raise Jesus?” Although my little monster is far from a parallel to Christ, I believe that God gave the best mother to Himself. And I believe that Mary raised Jesus with unmatched tenderness, grace, wisdom, patience, honor and Spirit led discipline. Can you really imagine Mary hosing off Jesus’ behind in the cold? Or turning her head away from his pain? Being emotionally unavailable to a feisty, seemingly super imaginative Jesus, for fear of raising a “cry baby”? There is a certain honor that we are called to bestow upon and within our children. We are called to fill them with dignity and humility. Humility meaning having a right view of oneself. Not a lowly, self deprecating view, but a Godly understanding of who we are in relation to God Almighty.
Really, Mary spanking Jesus because he refused to take a nap?
This is some bull.
Seriously. If anyone can really support this book, I’d really like to have dialogue. There are about 5 more pages that I could type. There is so much research based evidence that proves that these types of parenting techniques will produce emotionally messed up children/adults. Children/Adults that I will spend my life defending and treating. And I take that call and responsibility very seriously. The Lord has made it my passion, so you must understand the gravity of this issue for me.
My child is worthy of honor. Although he is born in sin, he is covered by grace. Although the consequences of his sin is death, we will “train” him to be thankful for life, which is a beautiful phoenix, paid for for all eternity. We will raise him to trust our words, and to trust that the wisdom that we lay as his foundation is for his good, just as he can always trust the words of his perfect Father. We will create an environment that is safe. A place where he knows there need not be any trepidation in drawing near to his parents, because we want him to have the healthiest, clearest, and most Biblically based understanding of who he is and whose he is.
Parenting is so hard in this day and age. There are so many of us that are ill prepared. Who am I kidding? All of us are ill prepared. I pray that we would learn more and more to trust the the God who lives in us and is willing to lead us and speak to us. That his word is beautiful, and the brightest light for our path. I thank God for the community that I have, and I pray that we would learn to lean more and more on the community and voices of people who are near us (especially in this internet age). But because we often live in isolation, we often feel forced to parent and live in extreme measures. We see our children, our spouses as against us. We create wars in our homes and ultimately in our hearts. Parents, you are not called to defeat your children, as this book instructs. You are called to submit to Jesus.
If you feel led, I ask that you would please sign this petition, asking Amazon to ban books advocating child abuse as parenting techniques. If you feel that not all of these books are along that line, create your own petition.