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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, 08:53 AM   #1
TulipMama
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Default Setting Children Up to Fail

On an old discussion on my blog about the Pearls, one of my critiques of their techiniques is how they set infants and children up for failure, and then swat them for it.

This is what I've said:
Quote:
"When you put an object in front of an infant knowing he will reach for it, and you spat his hand with a switch, it is a very MEASURED spat, not intended to even cause a cry. That is training."

I don't find this to be Biblical.

Instead, Michael Pearl is teaching something based on humanistic behaviourism, treating children like mice in a lab who get "shocked" to train them how to run a maze.

This is not reflective of what we see in the Bible about how we are to treat our children, our littlest disciplines.

Do you set a needle in front of a Christian brother who is a drug addict and smack his hand each time he gets a craving and reaches for it?

How absurd!

Instead, the Bible teaches that those who are stronger should help those who are weaker.

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2


Now, I know you'll make the point that the baby isn't in sin--you are simply "training." However, Micheal Pearl is focusing the early infant training through "consistent" swats to be key to teaching children to obey--and that to disobey is sin. I have a very big problem, both from theological and child developmental points of view, in setting up a child or infant to sin/disobey.


Someone recently replied with some thoughts which I believe are straight from TTUAC.
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As far as setting up a child to fail, look back to the very beginning at God. Is it not what God himself did with Adam and Eve? He put them in a beautiful garden with freedom to do as they please and forbid them to eat from one tree? He put that tree right there in the middle of the garden. Was God setting them up to fail?


Before I answer with what I believe, I'd like to see what thoughts y'all have on this.


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Old 10-30-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I'm new to this, but it seems to me God gave Adam and Eve a boundry that was in their own best interest not to cross. He wasn't testing them. It was free will at work when they decided to blow off the limit placed on them and thier consequences were natural.

God didn't say, here's this tree and even though I know you don't have the impulse control or reasoning skills to resist eating from it I'm going to leave it here and smite you when you inevitably touch it - by the way it's really tasty and you know you want some
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Well, Adam and Eve were adults. That is a huge difference. If you put something tempting in front of a baby, he's not even going to understand what you mean when you tell him not to touch it. At least Adam and Eve understood what God meant.

Plus, we, as adults have to deal with tempting situations every day. I could say that the soda machine in church is setting me up for failure, but I'm an adult and I have much more impulse control than when I was a child.
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

But a Pearl follower might say that God simply putting the tree there in the first place was setting up for failure. An atheist I know IRL has brought up the same argument to me. She explained that she would not leave a freshly baked batch of brownies in front of her dh and older children, as well as the younger, b/c even though they have the impulse control not to eat it, it would not be fair to knowingly and purposefully place tempting things in front of people. She says it would be totally wrong of God to needlessly test like that. I don't know what to say to her, so I'm
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I don't know, I suppose God putting the tree there meant that Adam and Eve had free will. They weren't robots and they weren't pets. If Adam and Eve were going to obey, it would be out of love and respect. It would be a relationship, ykwim?
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:45 AM   #6
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

My understanding of the story is that the tree was just another tree to Adam & Eve, albeit a tree that would kill them if they ate it (as far as they knew). It was Satan who tempted Eve to eat of the tree. She wouldn't have done it if it weren't for the seduction of Satan. I'm not holding Eve blameless, mind you. I'm only saying that, speaking as a woman who has many times given in to temptation & seduction , there are things a human being will do when tempted that they wouldn't even have considered previously if the subject had not been brought up & shoved in their face.

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 10-30-2005, 10:03 AM   #8
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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 10-30-2005, 10:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I haven't read all the replies but something jumped out to me. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Whether they were set up to fail or not
Is a baby sinning by reaching for a toy, or crawling off of a blanket? It seems to me the parents are setting themselves up to define sin as whatever they don't like and creating a crime where there is none

A baby is exploring, as he was designed to do. Exploring the worls around you is not sin.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Quote:
She explained that she would not leave a freshly baked batch of brownies in front of her dh and older children, as well as the younger, b/c even though they have the impulse control not to eat it, it would not be fair to knowingly and purposefully place tempting things in front of people.
A more accurate analogy would be fresh baked brownies among a 'garden' of other delicious deserts - it wasn't the only tree, the only good looking thing there to eat.

I agree it has to do with giving free will and having something as a boundry.

I also agree that when Eve said 'God has told us not to eat that' she is showing they have clear understanding of the situation, whereas an infact is designed to investigate their surroundings and can not understand why they can't have something.

The Bible also tells us not to 'provoke our children to wrath' - Pearl seems to create a lot of 'wrath' in children that he then advocates beating out of them.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Elizabeth, I am going to move my friends response and questions to IF. Will you join, please?
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Old 10-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

I deal with this every week. This is what I think. . . .1. Adam and Eve were adults, and they could make an informed choice. 2. God put the tree in the Garden before Adam (and Eve) was even made. It was just a location, and not put there for temptation. 3. Adam and Eve had *all* those other trees to eat from, so it wasn't like they would be shortchanged in anything. The tree was not put in the garden by itself (like the Pearls would the toy, for instance).

I have more, but I'm being distracted. . .
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Old 10-30-2005, 12:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

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? Meaning, the tree of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life were not "artificial" things that God came up with just to tempt Adam and Eve. There *is* good and evil, there *is* life and death. My understanding is that angels have free will, though more limited than humans, and there are still angels in heaven who worship God, and fallen angels in a state of rebellion against God who are his enemies. So Adam & Eve's situation really was NOT an artificial construction designed to tempt them, it was a reality.... and I believe that it is possible that they could have made a different decision, but they didn't. God told them the truth, what they could have, and provided many good things for them in abundance. Satan decieved them. But it wasn't *setting them up to fail* at all as the Pearl's construct it.

The Pearls do not believe in original sin... I'm not even sure if they would believe that babies would sin. They really view it as "training".
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Old 10-30-2005, 12:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail



It's not even a valid argument.

I have to go eat lunch with my family right this second, so I'll be back.

TM, do you have _Chosen by God_? If so, the second chapter gives some good talking points about what happened in the Garden of Eden. It wasn't God tempting Adam and Eve. It's nothing like a baby on a blanket, for so many reasons!
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Setting Children Up to Fail

Havent read the replies yet but Adam and Eve weren't set up to fail IMHO. God didn't pick there favorite things and dangle them from tree branches saying over here over here he simpily set a boundry. As a homemaker I bring lots of things into this home that can be looked at as tempting to a to toddler and are innappropite even dangerous for her, but I'm not setting her up to fail. There just things that we need to have.
What Michel does is play the role of the serpent (Satin) he says look at what I have over here come on over I dare you to take it... And that is setting his kids up to fail.

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