Extreme parenting fails: Using PVC pipes to discipline your child

I'm not one of those parents who think children should never be spanked. As I've confessed before, I was spanked on occasion as a child and I'm perfectly fine. I truly believe children today are given free reign to do whatever they want, including talking back, hitting and disrespecting anybody and everybody. So, yes, I think light spanking can be a useful when disciplining. But by spanking I don't mean abusing, which seems to be what the authors of To Train Up a Child are advocating.

According to the authors, Michael and Debi Pearl, children can be trained to obey using a PVC pipe or any other spanking instrument chosen according to the child's size. WTH? Another extreme parenting fail!


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"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 in diameter is sufficient… For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective," says Michael Pearl, who has written several books on marriage, child training and homeschooling.

Can you imagine spanking your baby with a branch?

Wait, there's more, the Pearls suggest using between five to ten licks to train your children when they misbehave, but they say that if older children are still rebellious after that, it's probably because you haven't used enough strength. And so, you should continue hitting your child until he surrenders.

This is apparently a popular way of raising children; the authors claim they've sold over half a million copies. Although the book is not new, there have even been several recent cases of child abuse in which it was somehow brought up. What I want to know is why is this book even sold?

"The rod is the parents' main tangible aid to bring the child to understand the judgment of God—and eventually the grace of God," the Pearls say in their book.

Somehow I'm not surprised this book is supposedly based on the teachings of the Bible. I always find it so sad that so many people make God sound like a mean entity. I always thought God was all about love.

What do you think about this way of disciplining children?

Image via Pink Sherbet Photography/flickr

Topics: child rearing  parental control