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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 10-30-2005, 01:37 PM   #16
Chris3jam
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I answered the other thread as well. . . . . .

Quote:
I do not see it as a 'testing' issue. The Pearls 'test' their babies, to bring out the sin nature, in order to beat it out of them. Adam and Eve didn't have a sin nature. . . they were created innocent and pure. to be 'tested', you have to already have the knowledge of good and evil, ahead of time. Adam and Eve did not (that didn't come until after they ate of the tree).
To 'test' someone, to 'try' them, one must know both sides of the issue. . .good or bad. For Adam and Eve, everything was 'good', so far. It is like Paul writes in the NT. . . without knowledge of the law, there is no acknowledgement (or knowledge) of sin.

The tree just *was*. It was put there before Adam and Eve were even created.
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Old 10-30-2005, 02:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I'm in agreement with the other posters here, and will sum up the major points made:

1. Adam and Eve were adults, and had free will to choose. This is different from a baby, who does not know any better and is exploring his or her little world.

2. God gave them many trees from which to eat, and gave them a simple boundary of not eating from ONE tree only. What the Pearls do is set the ONE item they don't want the baby to have in front of them and essentially taunt them into reaching for it, and then punish the poor thing for essentially 'obeying' the parent.

3. God did not taunt Adam and Eve with the fruit from the tree -- he did not have the tree drop the fruit everywhere for them to pick up and he did not place the fruit just from that tree in front of them for a meal.

4. Adam and Eve went to the tree, with help only from Satan, not God. Adam and Eve knew they were not supposed to eat from the tree, but they chose to anyway. A baby does not understand what the parent is expecting of them when the parent places a 'forbidden' object in front of them. God set the clear boundary up front and Adam and Eve understood right away. A baby does not.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

The Bible tells us that Eve was deceived. My understanding is that, up until she started listening to Satan, the tree wasn't that big an issue - the tree, by itself, wasn't the temptation. Satan used the tree to create a temptation. Does that make sense? The tree wasn't tempting them - the temptation was more about the fact that Eve decided to trust Satan, not God. The temptation was more about disobeying God than about the appeal of the tree - apparently, the tree wasn't all that appealing when they considered it dangerous. :P IIRC, only after Eve believes Satan and decides the tree is good for food is the tree "pleasant to [her] eyes."

Adam quite likely knew better, but he stood back until Eve acted as guinea pig; when she didn't show any immediate ill effect he gave the fruit a try.

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Old 11-02-2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

So essentially, they were testing God....
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Well, the Bible says that Eve was deceived, and that Adam was responsible for the first sin. So I wonder if Eve believed Satan and had less reason to know better. She misrepresents what God said - "can't touch" - and some commentators believe Adam told her what God had said rather than her hearing it first hand, so since Adam's right there and could have corrected the snake or otherwise challenged him, but Adam didn't, maybe Eve was testing Adam's word more than God's.

Some commentators argue that Adam is responsible because he wasn't deceived, but he didn't defend God when the snake spoke, either. Perhaps it could be argued that while Eve was decieved - confused - Adam set himself up as God's judge when he should have been God's defender. Or Eve's defender, for that matter - if Satan did not deceive Adam, then Adam knew the tree was most likely deadly, yet he let Eve eat first. If Eve had died, Adam might have been the first to say, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The Bible consistently identifys Adam as the first sinner, so the first sin was not the actual eating of the fruit.

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Old 11-02-2005, 02:44 PM   #21
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Many good thoughts. Looks to me like everyone's got it right here, the biblical account has God informing Adam of the boundary and the danger to him should he cross it. It is the serpent who does the tempting. Presumably one would not want to follow in THAT particular example if it's avoidable. I'm scratching my head and would love to hear the response to this, because it seems so obvious to me!

In case it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll toss this thought out: I don't think we're supposed to draw a discipline technique from the example of God putting a special tree in the Garden, any more than we should get a "cry it out" principle from God leaving Jesus on the cross. These events are unique, special, and radiant with God's inscrutable purposes. (Why didn't He intervene in the garden when His people were going to get themselves into horrible trouble? Why didn't He intervene when Jesus was on the cross? Is there a connection?)

For your average Christian parent, there's other material in the Bible to guide us in how we're to treat people who are weaker or have less understanding than we have about things that could be a danger to them.
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:33 PM   #22
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiekind
In case it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll toss this thought out: I don't think we're supposed to draw a discipline technique from the example of God putting a special tree in the Garden, any more than we should get a "cry it out" principle from God leaving Jesus on the cross. These events are unique, special, and radiant with God's inscrutable purposes. (Why didn't He intervene in the garden when His people were going to get themselves into horrible trouble? Why didn't He intervene when Jesus was on the cross? Is there a connection?)
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Kathy,

You've touched on something that I have been pondering lately. Not sure my thoughts are coherent enough to express, but I'll try:

I think that there is a significant difference between a human seeking to parent "after" God and a human attempting to parent AS God.

When I think of the first, I imagine thoughtfully and prayerfully drawing on God's example as a parent where it is applicable to humans, while also pursuing Christ-likeness and striving for the other general principles of Christian behavior taught throughout God's Word. Also worth noting: God does not only picture Himself as a parent figure, but as a brother.. a friend... a shepherd... a king... a judge, etc. The "Father" analogy we tend to become so fixated is only one small aspect of who God is, and is one of many "pictures" that He uses in an attempt to portray Himself to us better. We aren't necessarily invited to assume all of the roles God the Father plays, but we ARE exhorted to be like Christ.

The second, I believe, begins to happen when parents try to assume an inappropriate amount of control over their children.. when they set themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner (figuratively speaking--the person who administers the sentence)... when they assume to know how their children think and feel at every turn without seeking out or allowing open communication, when they try to teach their children about God's laws and the wages of sin by creating and defining their own laws, sins, and wages. The power of being god-like in anyone's eyes is corrupting when that power it inserted into into the life and heart of someone who is, in fact, NOT God.
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Old 11-03-2005, 06:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Quote:
In my opinion, following the Pearl's example of deliberately putting tempting items in an infant's path is putting the parent in the role of Satan
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyPage
I'm just stretching here, but would it have even been possible to create beings with free wills as we have and not allow them to be exposed to choices?
Right if there were no option to choose to fall into temptation and to eat the fruit then there would be no challanger of the "free will" to choose to follow God and therefore would it really exist?
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

What a great discussion. Thank you all for your thought-provoking posts. I just wanted to add one more thing. We don't and cannot eliminate ALL the temptations that our children/babies have. Even if we try to eliminate as many as possible, there are always going to be a few things that we cannot remove. God only put one "temptation" (if that's what you want to call the tree) in the garden full of other good choices. The Pearls want us to put one temptation in front of our babies (with no other appealing alternatives). I specifically remember reading his description of how he got his children to learn the word "hot."
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:52 PM   #27
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Quote:
My understanding is that, up until she started listening to Satan, the tree wasn't that big an issue - the tree, by itself, wasn't the temptation. Satan used the tree to create a temptation. Does that make sense? The tree wasn't tempting them - the temptation was more about the fact that Eve decided to trust Satan, not God.


Also . . . God created the Garden and *then* He created Adam and put him in the Garden. The Tree wasn't put there as a temptation--it was already there. The only way a valid comparison could be made is if something is in the room that has always been there and you are teaching the child to not touch it. But, even then, the issue with Adam and Eve wasn't about touching something mom and dad said to not touch--it was about two adults disobeying God.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:37 PM   #28
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I pulled out this book while cleaning and just happened to flip it open to the page where he discusses this very thing. I wasn't even looking for it. So I went ahead and started reading.... page 4 of the book.

To put this in context... the previous 2 paragraphs are entitled "Training, Not Discipline" and "Training Not to Touch." He states flat out that the focus is not on having godly children, but on having children who instantly, unquestioningly obey... also that he is not talking about responding to an unacceptable behavior, but conditioning for the purpose of controlling future behavior. (yes, he uses the word "condition")

The heading of the relevant paragraph is "Plant Your Tree in the Midst of the Garden" and it starts off "When God wanted to 'train' His first two children not to touch.."

I had to stop there. Huh? God was not attempting to "train" Adam and Eve with the tree. He wasn't seeking to teach them unquestioning obedience by means of cause-and-effect pain, nor was He trying to condition them in any way. He didn't zap them every time they touched the tree, and then continue purposefully exposing them to it so they would learn to co-exist with it while also restraining their desire to touch. That wasn't the point at all.

He simply set a boundary... made a rule/law. When Adam and Even violated it, they experienced the natural consequences of their actions (knowledge of good/evil, and the wages of sin--that being death--and even that was offset by God's gracious provision) and they were then promptly denied proximity to that particular "no-no." The scenario described in the Bible is not even remotely similar to the comparison M. Pearl draws from it.

I also found it bit illogical that he places so much emphasis on the fact that God placed the tree "in the midst" of the garden. True, the primary defintion of the word midst is "middle" but midst also means "among." Either way... he takes that phrase and leaps to the conclusion that "they would be exposed to its temptation more often." We have no idea which parts of the garden A&E frequented... so it's irrelevant to attach such importance to the tree's location. The fact that he asserts God purposefully designed it's location so as to be MORE tempting to them is downright contrary to what we are taught about the nature of God in other parts of the Bible.

Quote:
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Also, to support what some previous posters have said... A&E were mature, reasoning adults--fully capable of understanding the instruction God had given them. Eve's initial response clearly shows that--even prior to her acquisition of "the knowledge of good and evil," she definitely understood the instruction and knew the tree was off-limits.

Quote:
Genesis 3:2-4 (King James Version)
2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Pearl makes it crystal clear in pages 2-4 that he is talking about the behavoristic "training" of a child who is not yet mature and reasoning... who does not clearly understand the boundary.

"Training does not necessarily require that the trainee be capable of reason; even mice and rats can be trained to respond to stimuli."
He repeatedly reminds the reader that this is NOT discipline (response to an unacceptable behavior), but "training" ("conditioning of the child's mind before the crisis arises") He even describes what the child's reaction might look like.

"... they will pause, look at you in wonder [when you say no].... " (Then, after you repeat your instruction and accompany it with a switch...) "They will again pull back their hand and consider the relationship between the object, their desire, the command, and the little reinforcing pain." This is a description of a child learning what "no" means by way of repeated, purposefully-inflicted pain.. The Bible's account of the scene b/t the snake and Adam/Eve is a description of two adults who already understand what "no" means being deceived and persuaded into willful disobedience.

He is simply taking a detail which happens to be in scripture and grossly misrepresenting it's context and application in order to support his belief in behavoristic child-rearing.

Edited for grammar and to add scripture references.
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Old 11-06-2005, 10:43 AM   #29
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Very very well put!!!
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:04 PM   #30
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Before I answer with what I believe, I'd like to see what thoughts y'all have on this.
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