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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 05-10-2005, 04:22 PM   #1
sadie
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Default Former Pearl followers?

I've noticed there are former Babywisers and former Dobson followers, but I have not noticed any former Pearl followers on this board.

Are there any?
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I believe they are.

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Old 05-10-2005, 04:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Yep, there definitely are a few. I'm sure if you look through the UPP forum with an eye out for that you might notice a few people post to that effect. Is there any particular questions you had or were you just curious?
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I suppose I am curious b/c it seems to me that the Pearl books and doctrines are more geared towards teaching people to be part of a seperatist culture. So I was wondering if any Pearl culture followers actually ever managed to get out of that, or even seek resources like GCM to help them, KWIM?

Babywise and Dobson are more mainstream, but it seems to me that Pearl followers get sucked into seperating themselves from any outside source that could pull them out of it.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I agree with you. So praise God there are some ex-Pearl followers here!
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

http://www.gentlechristianmothers.co...hp?topic=232.0

This thread is about which punitive influences affected all of us.

I think the Pearl sub-culture goes deeper than Ezzo's--I didn't realize a lot of what he teaches until I was far past it--and how easy it is to "get out" probably depends a lot of how a person came to be influenced by him to begin with. For example, someone who is immersed in a community of family, friends, church, homeschooling organizations, etc. which are all devout Pearl-ites might be deeply affected by all of his social ideas, marriage advice, theology, and so on. Then there's someone like me, who was just handed the child training books by a casual friend. I spent a lot of time struggling to accept his teaching before we started to implement it, tried some of it out for a while (though there was aspects I could never quite accept--Thank God!) and I truly believe the extremity of his approach was a catalyst for change in my life--it led me to question my beliefs and seek out other answers.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I hesitate to say I was ever a Pearl follower, because I've never followed anyone very well. :P But my mom gave me TTUAC and suggested that I follow it. I did read it, and implemented it to some extent.

But it didn't take me very long to realize that wasn't what I wanted for my kids, and that I didn't really care how they would turn out as adults if I had to spank them 394763 a day.

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Old 05-10-2005, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I am kind of an ex-Pearl follower...I never really followed Pearl, but I once considered it I'm sorry to say. Our assistant pastor whom I respect very much gave TTUAC to a dear friend, who gave it to me. So it was passed to me from very trusted individuals, and I had honestly never heard of it before. I read it totally objectively, because I had no prior experience. It seemed to make some sense at the time, but it bothered me the way he kept comparing raising a child to animal training! That offended me. When he got to the bit about switching his 5 month old, I decided that wasn't for us. That was just scary.

Interestingly, I read Babywise in the same objective fashion; my sister gave it to me when I was pregnant and I had never heard of it. It immediately struck me as wrong and I never got past the first few chapters. Instinctively, I knew it was wrong. (My sister had never read it. She had just heard about it.) I was reading Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley at the time, and it "sat right" with me (I highly recommend that book!), and Babywise was so contrary to the AP philosophy that I was leaning toward that I was repelled by it. As my midwife so wisely put it, "God's way" of raising a baby/child should be universal; the Babywise method requires baby monitors, a separate room for the baby, a crib, etc. Two-thirds of the world doesn't have access to those eminities! Does that mean they can't raise their baby "God's way"?? please.

Okay, I will stop now.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Quote:
Interestingly, I read Babywise in the same objective fashion; ..... It immediately struck me as wrong..... Instinctively, I knew it was wrong.

When he got to the bit about switching his 5 month old, I decided that wasn't for us.
Same here! Isn't that weird? I read BW when I was pg, and some about it just turned my stomach and set off all these icky warning bells in my head. I knew right away it wasn't right for me.

I was given TTUAC when ds was about 6 mos, and though I never totally bought into the whole thing, I was more accepting of his ideas than I was of BW. Why? I don't know.. Maybe b/c ds was becoming mobile, running away, testing limits, etc. and I was really feeling the pressure to start "disciplining" him? Maybe b/c I believe in some AP stuff like nursing, baby-wearing, and co-sleeping, and Pearl didn't come out against those things so strongly like Ezzo did? Maybe b/c Pearl's disciplinary ideas seemed so "Biblical" wheras Ezzo's teaching about scheduling and micro-managing seemed so arbitrary and unnatural. ?? Maybe b/c Pearl was so doggone specific and addressed every issue I was worried about how to handle? Dobson and others can be pretty vague and leave a lot of holes, IMO. I just don't know.

And the spanking babies was a sticking point for me, too. I just never could get past that. My son was a LOT older when we started experimenting with Pearl. There is no way I EVER would have considered smacking my 3 MONTH OLD baby like he advocates in one example. Other issues I was never at peace with included his all-or-nothing approach (you can't be 99% consistent, or you will fail. 100% consistency is the only option. Well, that's discouraging, cause I'm not perfect, kwim?) and his guilt-tripping.. e.g. If his methods are not working, then you are not doing them "right." If you're not doing things right or if you're having doubts, questioning him, etc. then you are not trusting and obeying God and you need to pray and get past all your own sinful reservations and selfishness. That sort of thing. I hated that. It was very cult-like and I do NOT like guilt and shame tactics. grrrrr... It re-read the book several times, trying to sort through things. It didn't take much time of actually using his methods to uncover the destructive nature of this approach. I regret that we followed even part of his teaching, but I'm glad that things disintegrated so quickly and we became convinced that it was wrong.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

My experience is alot like Palil's....we gave Pearl a shot in our home for a summer. Mainly we were trying to find solutions for our very high needs 3 yo. We nearly damaged him for life, not kidding. He's ok now after years of gentle discipline.

Believe it or not, even after rejecting Pearl's methods (100% rejecting) I have continued to read their writings. I just sorta filtered out their attitudes toward child training because I was very interested in some of their pet topics.

Until this very week. Having read the latest articles on their website I have decided that they are crazy. And as we watch some of our friends try to make themselves over into the Pearls, dh and I are even more concerned :/ .
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Quote:
We nearly damaged him for life, not kidding. He's ok now after years of gentle discipline.
Wow, I'm so sorry.

Do you really know people who are trying to make themselves over in the Pearl's image? That is frightening.
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Sadie, yes we do

They were both interesting, dynamic and energetic people. They have had personality changes, moved away from very close friends, he's left a beloved career that he worked very hard for, she has dropped former interests and had a major appearance change. They've picked up on Pearl dialect and phrases. They give away Pearl books and unsolicited advice....there's much more but I don't want to explain on a public board :/ .

Our son really is ok. He had an incident recently that alarmed us but we had him evaluated and he's ok. He has Asperger's and ADD, as well as an explosive temper (like his daddy ) . A child like that is easily "provoked to wrath"....a possibility that the Pearls seem never to consider.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Palil,
Sounds like we have a lot in common - isn't it weird how the Pearl stuff was easier to accept for us? I am glad there is another out there with a similar experience.

From what I have been reading on this topic, it seems more and more to me that the Pearls are like cult leaders. Yikes.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

Quote:
I was reading [/i]Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing[i] by Sheila Kippley at the time, and it "sat right" with me (I highly recommend that book!)
I just wanted to say that I clearly remember reading this book when I was pregnant with my first baby. It turned a bunch of my parenting paradigms upside down--in a good way. I remember the thing I read immediately previous to the Kippley book was a Parents Magazine article that said that when your baby reached 11 pounds, you could expect him to sleep through the night. I breathed a sigh of relief and figured I could hang on that long. And then the Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing book indicated that night nursing might actually be beneficial! It made so much sense.

sorry for disrupting the topic!
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: Former Pearl followers?

I am glad you disrupted the topic! It was a good tangent...
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