Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Emily to The Rescue!

Michael and Debi Pearl can sleep well at night, for there is a courageous woman named Emily who will come to their defense, whether they are being attacked or not. About a months ago, in this post, I linked to Jay at ZeroBoss. Here’s a direct quote:

Speaking of overreacting. What triggered this post was a comment left on The Zero Boss, by someone named Emily who is a great supporter of the Pearls parenting methods (I should be easy on poor Emily, seeing as Jay has already given her a hard time):

Spanking was "out." "Gentle parenting" was in. The result? Just look
at thegrocery stores, the schools, the newspapers (i.e. Columbine)...

Yep. The grocery stores and Columbine. Can you find ten differences between the two? Good for you, because Emily can’t. Apparently, if a small kid misbehaves at a grocery store, then, in all likelihood, he’ll grow up and shoot up his school. Yeah right!

Here’s the comment Emily left on this post yesterday:

Can I opine that you and Jay are bullies, threatening to call the CPS on me? I should add that most of the children I see in the grocery store are very well-behaved; I have yet to come across a serious tantrum. And I'm not peeved by a crying baby (that's their only way to communicate, after all) or an occasional fit or act of misbehaviour. For all I know, the child in question might be autistic. I was bothered rather by Jay's attack on the Pearls. Now if you'd bothered to read my whole post, I said that I didn't agree with 100% of what the Pearls said. However, it's sometimes gratifying to look at Pearl forums because the people on them, unlike much of the gentle discipline crowd, actually value good behaviour in children. They don't have a cow, to paraphrase Bart Simpson, at a single tantrum in the grocery store, but one woman, for example, admitted that some of her friends who refuse to spank have kids who are unbearable. Then again, what can I expect from someone who frequents the Gentle Christian Mothers website?

And another one, again, from Emily:

I'll end my exchange (for now) with a funny anecdote about the Pearls. A woman posted to a "Gentle Discipline" website saying that reading the Pearls had helped her become a "gentle parent." By having her children obey her, she didn't spend so much time yelling at them and could actually enjoy them. Kids are worth it? she asked. No, spankings are worth it. She was, naturally, lambasted by the website's other posters.

This is so sweet. For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to do one of those “comeback” posts, and my commenters never gave me an opportunity to do that (cuz they are very nice people). Finally, a comeback-worthy comment! Here goes.

Dear Emily,

First of all, thank you for referring to me and Jay in the same sentence. I may be a bully, but I am in good company.

Secondly, I didn’t threaten to call the CPS on you. Feel free to prove me wrong. Then again, you can certainly opine that I did. It’s a free country.

I happen to agree with most of what you're saying, but one thing bothers me. In two short comments, you have managed to personally attack Jay, myself, the Gentle Christian Mothers website (for whatever reason), and (in a back-handed way) slam the book “Kids Are Worth It!”

Let me tell you a bit about GCM. First of all, I do not, by any stretch of imagination, “frequent” it. I haven’t gone over there since New Year. I haven’t posted there in months. This has been for reasons I won’t go into in this post. But, it’s a good forum. You can get helpful information there, and good advice. The owner is a very intelligent, well-educated woman with five children of her own. She is a pastor in a messianic church, and she writes. I have one of her books on grace-based discipline and it helps greatly. For the benefit of all my readers, here is her site. Tell her Emily sent you. Here’s a link to GCM. Tell them Emily referred you.

Now, on to the book “Kids Are Worth It!” I own it as well and it is awesome. It deals mostly with parenting teens and preteens. The premise of the book is, that all families can be roughly divided into three categories: the brickwall families (over-strict), the jellyfish (over-permissive), and the backbone (golden medium). I strongly recommend this book. Thanks for the plug-ins Emily, keep ‘em coming!

On to the Pearls and “spanking is worth it”. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been known to smack my kids’ butts quite a few times when they were young. It seemed to work with the younger one, as he was a hyperactive kid that couldn’t be redirected. It didn’t work so well with the older one. After he told me, following one spanking administered by Mr. Goldie, that he hated life and wanted to kill himself, I stopped and told my husband to stop. But bottom line, in general, I don’t see spanking as absolute evil (although I do not see it as an absolute necessity, either!) What I do see as evil, though, is when spanking is elevated to the level of a fine science, with God’s name thrown into the mix. You know the routine – “here’s a list of what you should spank your kids for, here’s how you ought to spank them. Here, buy our plastic rod, they are on sale this week. Oh, and if you don’t do it right, God will smite you for being a bad parent, and your children will grow up to be monsters and serial killers. Jesus loves you, here are our books to help you along, we take all major credit cards!” Now that bothers the heck out of me. Granted, I haven’t read the Pearls. After reading four books by Gary Ezzo, I sort of didn’t feel like reading any more of that kind, ever.

And this brings me to the last part of Emily’s post. The “for now” part. Being a bully that I am, Emily, I’d like to let you know that, if you continue commenting on my posts in this manner, I will actually read “To Train Up a Child” and write a series of posts outlining what I think of it and why. Judging from the few excerpts I’ve seen online, it is going to be a fun read!


The Goldie has spoken at 3:24 PM

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