I recently read a book that is quite popular among Christian homeschoolers – “To Train Up a Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl. Some quotes from the material:
“One particularly painful experience of nursing mothers is the biting baby. My wife did not waste time finding a cure. When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for baldheaded babies)”
“At four months, she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her…by coordinating the voice command of “No” with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree.”
“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.”
Lord have mercy. Whipping a four month old with a switch? Belts and tree branches? Pulling hair? What are these people thinking? There is plenty more in there that just sounds appalling (and illegal!) to me. This reads like plain child abuse. And all in the name of God.
I am sorry – well, not really — but I don’t for a minute believe that God wants me to whip my four months old with willow switches. Shudder.