Saturday, 25 April 2015

#32 - "To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl

Your Child Is A Persian Rug


By Peartree

(book chosen by HotBot)

Editor's Note: I'm not entirely convinced that anyone in the Piece of Shit Book Club should reproduce.  Participation seems like a fairly good sign that you're a damaged and possibly deviant soul.  All the talk about spanking in this review tends to convince me further.  - the Spanish Flu. 

There's quite a bit I want to say about this book, but really it comes down this: you probably shouldn't switch your toddler for climbing up on a chair, but if your kid ends up on Maury bragging about how much drugs and sex they have you should probably beat some sense into the little shit.

I say 'probably' because they're your kids and I'm most likely not a social worker in your area, but I could be... Hell, I could be the author of this book (which you should totally buy!). I'm also not going to wave a banner with nameless kids emblazoned on it rallying the righteous in the name of abuse. If I see it or hear about it I'll do something to put a stop to it, sure, and I hope those responsible will be punished within the terms of the law. But the number of discourteous undisciplined ass-hats growing up these days is certainly on the rise it seems.

When I was growing up I was spanked on occasion. Maybe three or four times in my lifetime. It wasn't painful, it was humiliating. And I learned my lesson. We had one cardinal rule though, never swear at our parents. When I was eleven or twelve I was angry with my mother for some reason I can't remember and I screamed 'Fuck you' red faced full of adrenaline. My father grabbed me by the collar and slammed me into the fridge. It was not the best way to resolve the situation but I never did it again.

This book, however much a Piece Of Shit™, would rebuke my father for getting angry. It's not a book that really needs a petition to have it 'stopped': some of the other books on this site are far more deserving. Well, half of this book isn't. It lives in a dichotomy of severe religious chastisement with antiquated gender roles and actual sound, loving, parenting advice. I can see why some exaggerate parts of it in mock encomium, but I can also see why people advocate it.

If you took out lines such as,
"if you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign." 
but left ones like,
"do with them the things they enjoy doing. Be caring. Be more ready with your ear than you are with your mouth. Be very sensitive to their concerns. Tie strings until you have earned their respect and honor." 
it doesn't seem like it'd be that bad of a book. With those parts left in, many people view this as a manual for child abusers, and it has even been linked to three deaths, with the parents of one being convicted of first degree murder. The case can be made that a book can instigate violent and abusive ideologies. But condemning a book for a death is, as one fat fuck says, like blaming Columbine on bowling, or like blaming scat porn because your girlfriend makes you shit on her chest before sex on 'special occasions'. It may have opened the door to possibilities or dormant desires, but she was the one who acted on it and now you have to deal with it by cleaning shit stained sheets once a month.

It was the people who read the book and took on the first set of lines who killed a child. You can interpret any writing to fit your needs. Like those people who twist their thinking to interpret the last line of TS Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Yes it says 'we drown', no he is not using Prufrock's soliloquy as a mirror for his poetic creations you twats.

But back to Pearl. The book states so many times, over and over, that punishments cannot be done in anger or be emotionally charged. Yet with passages like the following I suppose it's hard to remember the anger issue. I mean, when you're cutting down a large tree branch to give a kid a beat down you've probably got something building inside you already.
"Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain, but the most pain is on the surface of bare skin where the nerves are located. A surface sting will cause sufficient pain, with no injury or bruising. Select your instrument according to the child's size. 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 diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective."
The primary idea behind all this punishment is to relieve the child of their guilt says Pearl. Imagine your child as a fine pure silk Kashan rug. Intricately designed medallions woven about in a swirl of gold and crimson atop soft hues of green with a count of 800 knots per square inch. It's exquisite. But after you've had it a while, the vacuum doesn't quite get all the dust and debris out any more. That dust is the child's guilt. You have to hang it up over a railing and beat it with a stick to get it out. That's the idea anyway.

If you don't do this, or you do this too much, your children will rebel. Pearl gets real for a moment saying,
"Many parents have thus driven their young daughter into the arms of an unwholesome lover."
And I can attest to this myself from second hand knowledge. One of our own alumni, Wildcard, recently had a second date with a woman stating that he didn't envision them having sex because she was too close, and had a good relationship, with her mother. So having a healthy relationship with your children can actually affect their future suitors. And you don't want your daughters going out with Wildcard. Trust me on that one.

There's a good chance you don't want your daughters to be Pearl's version of women either though. Mixed between his teachings of abuse and his actually sound parenting advice he gives his wisdom on gender roles. My favourite of which is,
"Avoid like the plague the girl who would pursue her own career outside the home"
Yes ladies, you are to be treated like a disease which has killed over 75 million people if you try to pursue a career. I guess feminists and lesbians must be like the Spanish Flu and Smallpox.

Many, many people have reviewed this book and gone over all of the 'monstrous' advice therein. In an age where your own children are threatening to call child services on you, you've already fucked up as a parent. It's either you didn't discipline them enough and you can't converse with them, or you actually beat them and deserve to be jailed. If you read this book and come out of it with thoughts of "I should cane my children" you're a pliant idiot who never should have reproduced in the first place.

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