Raising Children to Grow in Grace, not Through Fear

Most parents really want to turn out good kids. We want our children to grow up to be successful people. But at what price?

Have the days of an old fashioned swat turned into justification for brutality that takes the lives of small children?

Why are so many parents quick to jump on this path of violence? Are their children THAT “evil” that they feel that whipping them with plumbing supply line from Home Depot the ONLY way to correct their behavior?

Many parents rush to the defense of the authors of such teachings, but why are we allowing ourselves to be told that whipping a child with plumbing supply line won’t cause internal damage? Really? Has anyone read about the internal damage that took the life of Lydia Schatz? Have they seen the photos of her sister’s body…who managed to live through it? Have they read about the lost life of precious Hana Grace-Rose? Have they ever spoken to someone who was raised with this kind of teaching?

Oh these are just isolated cases, maybe? At what point do we, as parents, re-evaluate our parenting methods? It’s not easy to question the ‘authority’ of people you admire, love, or who you have publicly defended many times over…it’s not easy to be humble about something we have had so much pride in.

Will you listen to a mother who had a change of heart and stopped supporting their books? I used to read their books. They were given to me by a mother in a former church. We were both young mothers at the time and she said this to me, “You may not agree with everything in this book, so use your own best judgement.” I honestly tried to follow the advice in their books. It didn’t work.

The so called discipline and training methods they write about only created more fear in my children and it caused a wall to go up between us. My relationship with my children was withering away. Was this the price for turning out “obedient” children? Is it really true obedience when it’s done by threat of violence? If you follow the Pearl’s advice, have a heart to heart talk with your children. Ask them what they fear will happen if they disobey? If they say they’re afraid to be spanked, that is a RED FLAG for a parent that there is a problem. The children aren’t the problem, the parents are.

My dear friends, we need to use our God given brains and think for ourselves. Children aren’t cut from the same cookie cutters. Not all children respond to identical methods that other people have used.  It wasn’t too long ago that parents all over the world spoke out about Amazon selling a book on their site that caused harm to children by teaching how to get away with molesting them. Amazon is selling this book that teaches how to whip your children…the book claims it will not cause internal damage. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and buy the book..USED. There’s no reason to keep lining the pockets of the Pearl’s with money that further spreads such twisted teachings.

We hold tobacco companies accountable for cancer. They have to put a warning on their packages now. We have organizations that educate us on the consequences of smoking, but what do we do about a book that teaches child abuse? Just because they have some Bible verses thrown in there (out of context) doesn’t make it right teaching.

There are plenty of other grace filled parenting books to read for inspiration in raising our children to be compassionate and responsible people.  To name a few:

Boundaries with Kids

The 5 Love Languages for Children

Books by Sally Clarkson

How many more children need to die in order for us to open our eyes? How much longer before we collectively speak out against twisted scriptures that take the name of God in vain to justify whipping children?

I assure you, that my heart in this matter is not simply based on a few articles on the Internet. I live in the same county where Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz pleaded guilty. I know their oldest daughter. I have seen how their entire family was torn apart, how deeply wounded their circles of friends have been. I know the damage in Elizabeth’s own heart through the letters she has written to me.

In addition to this, I know the view of ‘Christianity’ that the Pearl’s teach. I came out of a church where the type of ‘biblical’ literalism is taught. I know how it messes with our ability to think clearly. Do we really think that God ‘needs’ us fallible, human parents to keep our kids on the straight and narrow? Can he not guide our children much better than we can? I’m not advocating leaving our children to learn every lesson in life on their own. We do have a part in raising our children, but not when the methods used are with threats, manipulation, and fear. That is no way to raise a child.

Do we really want to raise our kids to be afraid of us? Being afraid is not the same as respect. Sowing fear into our children will not reap trust. Sowing control will not reap spiritual growth. We need to wake up and realize that grace and love does not involve fear.


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