Monday, March 20, 2006

Boycott for Children's Rights #2

Every quiet moment I have been mulling (obsessing) about this Michael and Debi Pearl Boycott. Actually, I haven't been worried about the boycott, but about these books. I haven't read them and, of course, I am curious. Not curious in the sense that I believe these might be effective discipline, but curious in the just how sick are these people sense. If you, too, have this desire and don't wish to be seen with the book and certainly would never put money in their pocket by buying the books go to Stop the Rod. They have some excerpts.

Now that I have read excerpts I am even more horrified. These tips for training are indeed torture. I live in an area that still uses corporeal punishment frequently. In fact, I am in the minority by not spanking my children. People think I am ruining them. Corporeal punishment is still used in the public school (one more reason to homeschool). What these books suggest, especially in the Bible thumping/Spare the rod - Spoil the Child South, is a confirmation of the archaic use of the rod and an appeal to take it one step further by reducing the age of accountability. The problem, as I see it is this. If you allow yourself to spank your children you are giving in to a more base instinct of brute force (I would have said primal, but most healthy animals naturally nurture their young, especially primates).
  • The biggest, strongest wins. You are teaching your children that once they get bigger they can wield their power and get their way, thereby creating the bully effect.
  • Anger and rage many times rule, rather than reason. Parenting is frustrating. Sleep deprivation is costly in logic. Sometimes you just have a bad day. During these times having a stick(or a supply line) around would lead to abuse and not discipline. I, personally, have had days that I have lost my temper and yelled and ranted at my children. No, yelling at your children is not great, but if I used supply lines for discipline and they were readily available in every room of the house would I have grabbed one of them and called it training. Yelling is easier to forgive than bruises, fear and lack of trust. If you made a decision before your children are born to "Spare the Rod" you are more likely to exercise control in these frustrating times.
  • The spirit of the child is broken or irreparably damaged.
When you lose the rod:
  • Children learn respect of people (not fear of pain).
  • Children are validated as humans.
  • Children feel like important members of the family because their opinions count. They are not dominated by over bearing parents with switches.
  • Children are not scared and they can bloom and grow into something beautiful.
  • You might learn something about yourself.


griffin said...

beautifully said, I have been following this story with great sadness, bolstered slightly by the number of sites calling for a boycotte, but you did a lovely job of articulating the alternative to the Pearl's horrific vision.

Anonymous said...

I am NOT a Pearl fan by anymeans but I would like to insert a thought...there is a MAJOR difference between discipling with a spanking for outright disobedience in a calm, loving manner....and spanking out of anger and frustration for the smallest infractions and without explanation. For a more well-rounded, biblical approach, may I suggest "Sherpherding Your Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.

wisteria said...

I grew up where corporeal punishment was and still is used the way you describe and in the swatting without reason way. I know that you can beat compliance into children, but my question is, Is that what you want to do? I don't want my children to unquestioningly follow adults(even me) or the strongest person. I want my children to think, reason, and make decisions about working with our family. True, teaching without a stick takes more time from a parent's day, but I believe it is worth it.

A good resource is the book Positive Discipline by Dr. Jane Nelson. I have used this method in my own home and in many classrooms of 25 high school age children who society would describe as juvenile delinquents. I have seen the power of trust, consistency, and logical consequences - none of which involve a hand, switch, or paddle.

As a side note, I don't train our horses, dog, or other animals with violence either. In fact, I don't want to buy or own a horse or dog that has been hit. When taken out of routine situations they are unpredictable at best.

Maggs said...

Pearls a gift of love which she will adore and pass down the generations. Give her pearls for Christmas!