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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 04-11-2006, 06:08 PM   #1
Honeycomb
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Default The Pearl children are so happy??

Hi,
I have read a lot of the Pearl literature -- just from the newsletters on their website, not actually their books. I have also had experience with Ezzo - my first child was a perfect Ezzo baby (and now at 5 and a half is nearly healed of that horrible stuff we put him through. Praise God!) But one thing that I can't understand is why the Pearl children (three of whom are young married women who seem to write such inspirational stuff in the newsletters) are so seemingly godly, well-rounded and happy people. When I look for advice on parenting, I like to look to people who have the fruit. The Pearls, even though I don't know them personally, seem to have the fruit - adult children walking with God. What does everyone else think of that? I am in total agreement that their punitive measures of discipline are way over the top, but mustn't they be doing something right to get such great kids? Anyway, I'm interested to hear anyone else's views on this.

Thanks.

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Old 04-11-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Happy Is The Only Acceptable Emotion

Keep that philosophy in mind when you read about how happy they are. In TTUAC, combinations of "happy and obedient" or "happy and compliant" appear several times.

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Old 04-11-2006, 06:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Also, I want to point out this out. The Pearls do/did have a lot going for them--they emphasize a lot of positives along with the yucky stuff. Nobody is 100% monster, and we need to recognize that. Quite a bit of what they express is very positive and sound. It's just that it blurs gradually over into something quite awful. Also who knows if they really used the really weird training ideas on their first few kids? Children ARE resilient, and God heals.

Also--very few people wear their flaws, foibles and private demons on their sleeve. So looking happy and successful on the outside is never the full picture. Not for anyone. We are ALL messed up in one way or another.

It's so easy to say, "well so and so did x, and her kids, a, b, c and d turned out fine". But when you get to know them better, you discover A is a perfectionist who has looking good down to an art form, but has a hard time with close relationships and trusting people and years from now, after her hysterectomy, she'll become addicted to prescription drugs. B is seeing a therapist to discuss his issues, and C...well...c's a missionary in a remote location. Going 4 years without seeing family doesn't seem to bother C, and everyone can put it down to serving the Lord, and nobody has to deal with what happened when he was a kid. D works in full-time christian ministry as a musician. He also is a high-functioning coke addict, who tries to kick the habit periodically. His girlfriend had an abortion recently.

This is not a real family, but a composite of several pain-filled circumstances I know of where to the ordinary outside eye, "they turned out great!"

The point is not always in "how they turn out" but in whether we can live with ourselves as we DO the parenting. If it goes against our conscience, it doesn't really matter how "great" they turn out. We may not do it. In Christianity the end doesn't justify the means. We have to do what is right and let God take care of "the fruit".
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

I also think it is easy to fake it in print. Often the element of 'instict' is muted or removed when you don't have personal contact with someone. I also agree with the 'happy is the only acceptable emotion' statement.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Thanks for your thoughts, Kathy. They are extremely insightful. I was interested to hear that you yourself have grown children. Do you have a good relationship with them? How long have you been sold out on this AP style of parenting? I would love to hear from you.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Hi! And welcome to GCM.

Yes, we have good relationships with our grown sons (and our 15 year old. ) When I was first parenting, I'm not sure the term "attachment parenting" had been coined. But I was very fortunate to have a wonderful parenting example in my step-mother who was basically an AP mom (again before the term was coined.) When I was 11, I became a big sister to my half-sister and then when I was 13, my dad and stepmom had my next half-sister. So those were very formative experiences for me. I knew how I would care for my children when they came, I planned to have homebirths and breastfeed, I knew that I would be responsive and considerate in how I treated my kids, knew how to handle children without spanking because I'd seen it lived out with my little sisters.

So the short answer is yes, we were basically attachment parents from the get-go. (The term may now carry more freight than it did originally.) That's the short version!

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Old 04-12-2006, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeycomb
But one thing that I can't understand is why the Pearl children (three of whom are young married women who seem to write such inspirational stuff in the newsletters) are so seemingly godly, well-rounded and happy people.
TBH, I only know enough about the Pearls to stay far, far away from them. But just to comment on this statement, nobody's going to pay to read the Pearl children writing about any bad experiences or results of their upbringing. And of course, Dad wouldn't allow it in their publications, anyway. Although theirs is a "ministry", it's also a business that has to maintain a certain image.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

I'm happy and love my dad but he was not a great father in many, many ways. No parenting guru for sure. Based on my own experience, I personally don't just look at whether kids are happy or not as adults in terms of whether to take their "advice" on parenting... I know lots of wonderful, well-rounded, lovely Christians from very difficult family situations. And I know of wonderful Christians who truly follow the Lord and sought his will in their family life who have children who have "strayed" as adults. There is no guarantee that you will have great kids if you follow X or Y parenting method, and I think that is one of the humbling things about being a parent and how God teaches us through our parenting journey.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

While she's already posted on this thread, I have been so touched by what katiekind once said, referring to the Pearls and their grown children:

Quote:
And lastly, and I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children--he does, I'm sure--and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes--they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children.

Emphasis mine.
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

I really appreciate everyone's wonderful, kind and gentle thoughts. I learn so much about being a gentle mother just be reading your posts. There is no animosity, no aggression, no defensiveness - but a firm, strong, godly, gentle belief in what you know is best. And the reason that you know this is that the firm, strong, godly, gentle Holy Spirit is leading you. I am enjoying our fellowship.
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Old 04-13-2006, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

"Be happy" is a command -- go out to the NGJ site, and the featured article (on the left) is "See I'm Happy."
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiekind
Also--very few people wear their flaws, foibles and private demons on their sleeve. So looking happy and successful on the outside is never the full picture. Not for anyone. We are ALL messed up in one way or another.
Amen to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiekind
It's so easy to say, "well so and so did x, and her kids, a, b, c and d turned out fine".
Amen again. I'm one of those people that turned out fine, so my parents do claim they did everything perfect. But I guess that means that perfect parenting includes: punching your child in the head for not figuring out how much a 15 minute car drive costs the parent (for taking their child to something); or forcing them to eat their puke after they puked out a certain food they absolutely hate.

I can't tell you how much I had to get over. And no one knew of the risky behavior that I was involved in in my early 20's (including my parents). I was just lucky to finally get to know God for Himself and not for what my parents taught/demonstrated about Him.
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Being happy or obedient or having "turned out well" (being a functional adult in society) does in no way mean that abusive methods were not used. The question is. . . . does the end justify the means? If corporal punishment is wrong by God's standards, should we still do it to get "good" kids? Who is to say that they wouldn't have turned out just as well, or even *better* had other "methods" been used? How do you know that's the best it could be? What wonderful talent or part of the personality do you squash to get that "good" child? And that flies right in the face of "Train up a child in the way he should go", because that verse is telling us to recognize the special traits and personalities and talents that God Himself gave our children and help develop them. So, it may have taken a little longer and inconvenienced a parent a little. . . .is that not a small price to pay to see our children grow to the fullest potential that God gave them?

(These are some of the things I *wish* I had asked Mandy!)
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

Dizzy Blond,

That broke my heart to read. That was so wrong to have that happen to you. I hope somehow at the time you were able to know you didn't deserve that.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Pearl children are so happy??

One of the things that really sold me on GBD was the realization that parenting should not be a means to an end. In fact I see nothing on Jesus teaching that says we are to use a means to an end mentality in the way that we approach relationships. So often i see Christian parenting as explicitly teaching a means to an end. Do it this way and you'll end up with good kids. Do it this way and you'll end up with Christian kids. Do it this way because that's what I did and i ended up with good kids, happy kids, etc. I think the rational for paretning ought to be, "Do it this way because it is the right, just, moral and Christ-like way to do things. Then trust God with your children's future. It's not up to you anyway." When i use that lens to view parenting materials it is easier to evaluate an see pat all the utilitarian arguments. It also relieves parents of the fear and pressure that I also see in parentng materials. I'm with my friend's little boy so this is a shortened versioin of what I wanted to say. I hope it makes sense!
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