Monday, March 20, 2006

Show me grace. Show me mercy. Show me love.

This blog entry is in loving memory of Sean Paddock. He is a sweet 4 year old boy that died last week after his mother suffocated him, all in the name of Godly discipline.
You can read an article about his death here....
News Observer

I remember about 6 years ago - I was in church and sharing fellowship with other mothers. One of the young mothers pulled out Train Up a Child by the Pearls and shared her pleasure with the instructions. I borrowed the book. After reading it, I felt physically ill. I felt anger.

This book is about inflicting abuse. Plain and simple.

If you have to be told how and where to strike a child so neighbors, police, teachers and so forth don't notice, it's a bad idea. If the parent is shown how to use supplies from Home Depot to administer the 'punishment,' it's a bad idea.

What angers me the most? The authors prey on the Christian community, urging them to use their teachings for obedient, compliant, well behaved Christian children.

Some other ladies have voiced their concerns in a clear, concise manner.
Valerie Bonhan Moon
Happy Homeschooler

As a Christian mother to several children, I am often called upon at church to mentor in the area of parenting. This is both a compliment and burden. I do not have all the answers!
Jeff and I do not subscribe to punitive, pain inducing discipline for our children. Nor are we permissive push-overs. There is a very acceptable line right down the middle - where grace, fairness, compassion and boundaries live.

I've been told that I am dismissing the Bible when it comes to my parenting abilities. Yes. Really. We happen to view the "spare the rod" scripture in a merciful way. The rod is a guiding tool. A comfort to the sheep when they were lost. It was not used to hurt or humiliate. I do not want my children to obey me out of fear, I want them to obey me out of respect and Godly intent.

Having said that, my main purpose for this entry is not to discuss the time tested flame war of 'to spank or not to spank.' Rather, it is a wake up call. Even the loudest proponent of corporal punishment must see this book for what is is -- a published manual for harming children. God's children. It needs to stop.

Wouldn't it be nice if more parents showed their children the same grace our Heavenly Father shows all of us, over and over?

Rest in peace, Sean. May you feel God's loving embrace upon your body.

edited 3/21: My blog is just a small slice of the online community. My opinion on this matter is just that, my opinion. If you share some or all of my thinking - I urge you to voice your concerns.
Special note to my homeschooling friends -- the Pearls heavily advertise in some of our educational magazines. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and write the editors. If you hear about the Pearl merchandise at conferences or expos, please say something. One voice is loud when it is backed with truth!



Blogger Ron R said...

Thank you. Otherwise, out of words.

10:17 PM  
Blogger RANDI said...

This is the second "Amen" that I have typed this morning on a post! My husband and I believe that discipline in much more about the heart than about the actions. Actions only reflect what is in the heart. I don't like methods that are focused so intently on actions and controlling them as opposed to sheparding a child's heart--which is, of course, the title of a book!

Have a great day!

9:27 AM  
Blogger wendy said...

Oh, that is terrible. Poor little guy. I have heard of the Pearls, but have never read their books. I am shocked that people think that beating is okay - somehow it makes me think of a cat-o-nine-tails - even if it doesn't leave a mark. How sad.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well said Randi and I'm seconding Ron's comment - I'm out of words. So sad. :(

1:11 PM  
Blogger msdramateacherlady said...

This is just crazy! I have never read anything this nuts!

Thank you for sharing and making us all a little more aware.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Lord have Mercy. May his Memory be Eternal.

The rest of it makes me so mad I can't formulate words. Which is a good thing.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

i totally agree with you. inflicting pain on your children is cruel and unnecessary. there are much better ways to teach your children right from wrong. i love your grace example, so true.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

For the love of God. I can't believe anyone would be permitted to publish such a book. It falls in line with the Gary Ezzo books. Blek!

Poor little guy. My heart aches for the children.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I agree. Thank you so much for speaking out.

7:15 PM  

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