We Must Speak Out.
I’ve been aware of and vocal in other internet arenas about the horror of the writings, teaching and actions by followers of Michael and Debi Pearl for years. Between them and Gary Ezzo’s Babywise series, I’ve had many conversations about these books and philosophy, both with moms online and in real life, and once even with Anne Marie Ezzo herself, and I have yet to find any value in what reads like a ‘how to’ manual for child abuse. In fact, many of the methods purported to help you raise perfect children are so completely contrary to the notion of biblical ‘grace’ that it makes me wonder how people who profess to imitate Jesus could be so blind. It literally makes me ill to hear people defend these books and even more so the people who wrote them.
I will say that I don’t think that parents intentionally pick these books up with the intent of harming their children. I do think that they love their kids, and in most cases were looking to ‘do things right’. I wholeheartedly believe that these parents are misguided and blinded by the continued assertion within those materials that these flat-out abusive practices are ‘godly’ or ‘Christian’. While numerous religious authorities have condemned these books and methods, I think that Helen E. Aardsma said it best in her article that reaches out to mothers to listen to their hearts rather than men when it comes to nurturing children.
It’s actually been a while since I’ve crossed paths with rabid Pearl/Ezzo supporters, but in reading and scanning more mommy-blogs (and special thanks to MuseMama for her post and picture that inspired this), it’s come to my attention that I’ve been remiss in letting these books and philosophies go uncondemned here, so consider this my PSA for today:
BOYCOTT Michael and Debi Pearl
and their books, including ‘To Train Up A Child’ and ‘No Greater Joy’ ministry.
THIS is ‘The Rod” that was recommended as the ideal tool for hitting children. It is no longer being sold. For a while, this, ‘The Wee Whacker‘, was an alternative or replacement. Thankfully, these companies have both discontinued making their appalling products, but parents are still using things that the Pearls recommend, like plumbing supply line, to ‘train’ their children. And then to call it ‘Biblical’?! This is insanity. This is abuse. And it MUST STOP.
BOYCOTT Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo
and the ‘Babywise’ series of books, Growing Families International (GFI) and ‘Growing Families God’s Way’ seminars and other materials.
In 2000, Christianity Today declared Gary Ezzo unfit to teach anyone anything about Christian parenting. That says a lot right there! In Parenting Book Challenges Standard Medical Practice, Eric Patterson discusses why Ezzo’s ‘parent directed feeding’ method is actually damaging, especially to breastfed babies. You can find more links at Fresno Family, including one to one of many churches that has discontinued using Ezzo’s materials. Interesting reading, that. Again, parents responded to the claims that using his methods will garner you perfect children, and instead, you have children with broken spirits … just broken.
As Kittie Franz says, a child is not an inconvenience that must be managed.
From birth, a child is a whole human being and human beings are born with basic, inherent rights. It is my sincere belief that the Pearls’/TTUAC and the Ezzo/Babywise methods violate those rights and in doing so, do irreparable damage to children. I hope that you feel similarly and will take this opportunity to speak out against them as well.
Because I hatehatehate reading those kinds of sites, both the venomous hatred towards children that they spew and the inevitable victims’ stories that come with them, I’m balancing it out with some good ones – advice and blogs – that inspire me to be a better mom. There are also several in my Blogroll in the sidebar – check those out, too.
And this gem from ‘Big Bang Theory‘
Now I need to go hug my kids (well, smooch them while they’re sleeping since bedtime was a few hours ago).