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To Train Up a Child: Turning the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children Paperback – Mar 1 1994

1.8 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: No Greater Joy Ministries (March 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892112000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892112002
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


I can't believe I almost let all the negative reviews keep me from reading this book! I was horrified after reading the reviews, only to find they were completely exaggerated, and many false. Seriously, some people just added things that aren't even in the book to discourage you from buying. They continuously stress the importance of being sensitive to your child, but firm also, as to not need to "discipline" them often. They are very loving people, and the advice they give comes straight from The Lord. As my parents told me, convincing me to buy the book, the people with negative reviews are probably those who like to sit their kid in the corner for punishments. If that's the case, this book is not for you, and have fun with your child raising you!

Book Description

Debi Pearl was raised in Memphis, TN, in good homes, by parents who were faithful to point her to God. As a teen Debi was involved in witnessing, ministering to the sick and wounded veterans, and serving in hospitals. Debi along with her husband Michael, write on child training and family relationships. Independently, Debi has written a “Help Meet” series of books for both single and married women along with the Yell and Tell books which are a warning for children against sexual predators.

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1.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
"Spare the rod and hate your child" are the words of Mr. Pearl. I have two university degrees in theology from a highly accredited university and can confidently say that this is not a theologically correct interpretation of the Bible. The "rod" can be referring to the rod of a shepherd. A shepherd lovingly and assertively guards his sheep from dangers and leads his flock to safe pastures. A shepherd would *never* harm his sheep. Why? Because they are valuable to him - his livlihood and future. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and would not beat his children (especially not babies). Violence begets violence. Christian parents - do NOT be fooled by these people!! Listen to those that have a real education in theology and are not just speaking based on personal opinion (this also includes not listening to pastors that do not have an accredited and thorough education in theology and scripture studies!). Child psychologists have proven that corporal punishment is harmful to children physically and psychologically. It is age discrimination and a hate crime to assault a child. Children are people and deserve to be protected to the full extent of the law. In Canada, corporal punishment is illegal and so is hate speech. Amazon removed a book on How to be a Pedophile, they should also remove books on How to Beat Your Babies in the Name of God.
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Format: Paperback
I do not feel it appropriate to support the authors with a purchase of the primary source; instead, my review is based on a days' worth of research entirely from secondary sources.

I became aware of this book through reading about Hana Williams, a 13 year old Ethiopian girl who died at the hands of her adoptive parents in the USA as a direct result of their disciplinary efforts, which in fact amounted to brutal emotional and physical torture; both were convicted. Many of the methods they employed are apparently suggested in this book. The book and its authors have also been cited as an influence in the similar killings of Sean Paddock and Lydia Schatz - in the Shatz case, this was stated by the District Attorney involved.

I have no doubt that the authors would not have intended the outcome suffered by Hana and would quickly argue that the Williams' were not following this book at all in spite of owning it. While this is a superficially plausible argument, deeper consideration is demanded.

Several other reviewers noted that the book proposes *intentionally setting up* a child to behave in some (possibly arbitrarily) undesired manner and then following her inevitable "misbehaviour" with punishment. I find this very troubling, as I have personally observed precisely this practice - which it could be argued is fundamentally sadistic - to escalate into severe abuse.

This book apparently suggests, among other things, pulling the hair of a breastfeeding infant for biting. Anyone who thinks the infant is acting maliciously is out of their mind. Any competent psychologist will quickly agree that a mother inflicting pain upon her infant at such a critical period of bonding has the potential for lasting emotional damage.
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Format: Paperback
I am a Christian and a social worker. I have read the Bible in Greek, and I can tell you that this is not what God calls for.

If you google this book, you will find several cases where parents use its teachings to "train" their children, and end up killing them through: malnutrition, beating them for 7 hours straight, and leaving them outside in the cold.

Please, please, please don't abuse your children. There are ways to teach children how to behave without hurting or killing them.
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Format: Paperback
This is a misguided and cruel training manual for creating compliant children. As nice as it would be to have a cookie cutter approach to raising children, abuse and cruelty from adults only logically creates distrust and anxiety for the child. All humans are individuals but violence and cruelty universally beget mistrust or violence and cruelty. Look to other authors that have education in early childhood development who understand children. They are fledgling adults, little human beings. They need kindness and guidance, not degradation. Physical and emotional abuse are chargeable offences when inflicted on adults, why would it be encouraged to inflict this on children? Do some research, there are cases of children dying attributed to parents using the techniques described in this book. It is disturbing that people don't search out more loving and gentle forms of parenting. Where on earth did this biblical passage "Spare the rod, spoil the child" come from? Is it even in the Bible? I've always had the mental image of Shepherds GUIDING sheep with a rod, not beating them with it. To use religion as the backdrop of these techniques is ridiculous. Jesus certainly did not advocate abuse on anyone, let alone defenseless children. I have no formal education in religious studies or early childhood development, but I am a mother, and love my child. I also have common sense. I have no illusions of parenting being easy, but betrayal is the worst way to parent a child. November 20th is Universal Children's day. Please, be a voice against cruelty and abuse against children everywhere.
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