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To Train Up a Child

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,639 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Three thousand years ago, a wise man said, “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Good training is not crisis management; it is what you do before the need of discipline arises.

Most parenting is accidental rather than deliberate.  Imagine building a house that way.  We don’t need to reinvent training.  There are chil
...more
Paperback, 122 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by No Greater Joy Ministries (first published August 1st 1994)
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Lee Osborne It's an average, and like many books beloved of the extreme lunatic fringe of the church, it will get all ones from people who recognise it for what i…moreIt's an average, and like many books beloved of the extreme lunatic fringe of the church, it will get all ones from people who recognise it for what it is, and all fives from people who swear by it. Personally, I'm reading it as we speak, and I'm utterly horrified by the content.(less)

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Average rating 2.93  · 
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 ·  1,639 ratings  ·  302 reviews


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Spider the Doof Warrior
Uh, no. This isn't a good book. It seems to forget that babies and children are in fact babies and children and they are not plotting against you.
When a baby bites its mother's breasts, it's not doing it out of malice, so why pull their hair? Why not stop the kid from nursing and then start again? Why is it necessary to inflict pain on a child that small?
This book advices switching starting at the age of four months. Why?
You mean to tell me that rather than taking your guns and putting them in
...more
Ellen
Nov 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly monstrous.

I have seen positive reviews that cite the fact that Pearl promotes relationship-building, and point to that as a counterbalance to the spanking. People who love the book seem to want us to believe that, because so much of the book is about kindness, that it somehow "cancels out" the "small" amount of violence.

But I find that one of the most terrifying things about it.

The juxtaposition of "loving" content, religious content, Pearl's bizarrely jolly tone, and the pass
...more
Misfit
Oct 07, 2011 marked it as will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!
I can't believe that a book that encourages child abuse is allowed on the market and has been tied to one couple accused of killing their two adopted children by the *parenting* methods in this book.
Morgan-Britney Hawksley
Sep 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hate to give this book even one star.

I remember reading it at a friend's house when I was a girl, and being appalled. Spanking a seven month old because he's being...manipulative? I was very upset.

When I came back to this book many years later, I nearly ripped it up and burned it. I was shocked that someone can condone the beating of children with plumbing pipes and tree branches. The book suggests you let your children burn themselves so they will stay away from fire, tease them with things t
...more
Beth
Oct 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This is one of the most horrific, abusive books I have EVER read. This is a how-too book on child abuse. Impressionable Christian parents are most vulnerable. This book is disgusting and dangerous to our children and puts their wellbeing and lives in danger. Educating yourself on the true meaning of the Bible's rod verses and God's grace will show you that this book is not ok with God's plan. In fact the church that the Pearls were associated with have since taken a stand against this book and d ...more
Ellen
Oct 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book is truly monstrous.

I have seen positive reviews that cite the fact that Pearl promotes relationship-building, and point to that as a counterbalance to the spanking. People who love the book seem to want us to believe that, because so much of the book is about kindness, that it somehow "cancels out" the "small" amount of violence.

But I find that one of the most terrifying things about it.

The juxtaposition of "loving" content, religious content, Pearl's bizarrely jolly tone, and the pas
...more
Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~
This book is a piece of garbage! It's basically a book teaching you how to abuse your children! The author should be ashamed!

You call yourself Christian.....

 photo 28681-nicki-minaj-Hell-no-gif-LuBd_zpsf385ee83.gif

http://www.examiner.com/article/anoth...

This is referenced from the above article.
Some of the discipline techniques the Pearls teach include:

Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it hurts a lot but leaves fewer marks to alert authorities
Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent's neck as a constant reminder to obey
"Swattin
...more
Kristen
Jun 11, 2010 marked it as are-you-shitting-me
Shelves: trash, bizarre
Yet another 'good Christan' beat their child to death at the instruction of Mr. Pearl.
I'd like to think Jesus would be against beating your six month old baby with a whip, but hey, what do I know?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/us/...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I think after reviewing When Children Invite Child Abuse: A Search for Answers When Love Is Note my love for books about beating children is fairly well known, so imagine
...more
Jim
Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is being held as responsible in three cases of parents killing their children by following its advice.
http://www.examiner.com/article/anoth...

I believe the parents are entirely responsible for their own behavior. Of course, they're obviously stupid, irrational, & ripe for the picking of such con men as the Pearl's, but none of that is excuse enough to torture children to death.

I don't like convicting books or people without some background, so I checked out their FB page & didn't think
...more
Louisa
Nov 20, 2013 marked it as burn-it-with-fire
Guys, spread the word. This is the actual WORST. It literally advocates child abuse, neglect and torture through corporal punishment. It's been linked to the deaths of three children. Parents buy into this crap because it's couched as "Christian parenting". What a fucking blight on my religion this is, like the Westboro Baptist Church.

Quoted directly from the book:

"Give 10 licks at a time, more if the child resists. Be careful about using it in front of others -- even at church; nosy neighbor
...more
Sondre Nilsen
Nov 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I have no bloody idea how anybody can give this book anything but a scathing review. The contents of the book are abhorrent and horrible on every level. That it has 3.5 stars on this webpage as of this review scares the everloving crap out of me.

Some examples from the book: A child disobeys his father for not wanting to sit in his lap, and what does the father do? Spanks the child for 45 minutes straight. If your baby bites your nipple while nursing you should yank the babies hair. They teach th
...more
Anita Dalton
Sep 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is one of the wickedest books I have ever read and, given who I am and what I read, that is saying a lot. This is a book so vile, written by a man so degenerate, that there is literally no way for a moral person to discuss it with anything approaching neutrality. It is a book written solely with the intent of breaking the wills of small children, beating them into submission, and it has become a text used by witless Christian parents to beat their “willful” children to death. And Michael Pe ...more
Victoria Carrington
Aug 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Please Christian parents- remember that you have direct access to the throne of grace for your time of need through JesuscChrist. Pray and ask God directly how you should train up your kids in the way they should go. God will give wisdom liberally to those who ask. Jesus left us a legacy of how he treated children which is written in the Gospels.

We serve a God of unfathomable love and grace toward even the most unworthy among us. How dare we listen to a book that advises us to treat children as
...more
Anne Moser
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book has been cited as being instrumental in the deaths of at least three children:

Sean Paddock - suffocated

Lydia Schatz - beaten

Hana Williams - starvation and hypothermia

I'm a survivor of Pearl-type teachings. Their formulas do NOT create "emotionally stable" children, as the Pearls claim. Instead, they create robots. They talk about creating "bonds" with your children, while at the same time advocating breaking your children. Here are some direct quotes from this book:

"...if you are just
...more
Rachel
Nov 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hall-of-shame
Will write a complete review later.

Ok. If this review isn't in my typically balanced and calm style, there's a reason. I hate this book. I hate what the authors stand for and how it has destroyed lives. I hate the mindset that demands parents "break a child's will".

I don't have a copy of this book, so I'm not going to be able to give you a page number. Many other reviewers do offer in-depth critiques of the book complete with quotes and page numbers.

The Pearls believe that children are inherentl
...more
Erin Wilson
Oct 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Would never, EVER recommend this book. Not only is it the epitome of lazy parenting, it's dangerous. Three adopted children have died from this, and I don't doubt that many more children, adopted or otherwise, have developed phobias and various other anxiety problems. The result of these teachings are joyless, broken children, not children with any sort of enthusiasm for the Lord or life at all. Children, selfish as they may be, are simply looking to satisfy their down desires, not test or manip ...more
Rob Finking
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is horrendous and evil. What makes it so vile is that it is presented as nice and loving. It reminds me of Umbridge (from Harry Potter) - pink and fluffy and happy to torture children.

Children have died because of this book, and that's just the ones we know about. How many people are being damaged by this? It presents itself as "good" and intertwines things from the bible with horrible evil ideas: Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it hurts a lot but leaves fewer marks to alert au
...more
Anne Moser
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been cited as being instrumental in the deaths of at least three children:

Sean Paddock - suffocated

Lydia Schatz - beaten

Hana Williams - starvation and hypothermia

I'm a survivor of Pearl-type teachings. Their formulas do NOT create "emotionally stable" children, as the Pearls claim. Instead, they create robots. They talk about creating "bonds" with your children, while at the same time advocating breaking your children. Here are some direct quotes from this book:

"...if you are just
...more
Ginger
Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: time-out
This is not a question of do you spank your child? This is a question of do you beat your child into submission, deprive them of food, put them out in the cold, hose them off, force them to take cold baths and hit your 6 month old with a stick? All to make them submit to you because your are bigger, stronger, smarter. Reminds me of Matilda "Im big, your are small, I am smart you are dumb, I am right you are wrong"
Way to raise a bright confident child that will become a well balanced adult.
That
...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
As a victim of child abuse, I find this abhorrent. Michael Pearl, I haven't read your book but fuck you! FUCK YOU! Please sign this petition to get it removed from Amazon

https://www.change.org/petitions/amaz...
...more
Sara
Nov 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book that endorses child abuse:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_...

Anyone rating this book a 5 should have child protective services called to make sure their children are still alive.
...more
Sue
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book is dangerous.
Christina
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
If I could give this less than one star I would. I read this book because I thought it couldn't possibly be as bad as people were saying. It is worse than I ever imagined. Pearl seems to think that he can use double talk to trick the reader into thinking they are not harming their child by following his technique. He makes a big deal about saying that he is training his children not disciplining them, but then he uses training in a way that it become synonymous to spanking. In addition, he liber ...more
Ellen
Oct 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly monstrous.

I see positive reviews that cite the fact that Pearl promotes relationship-building, and point to that as a counterbalance to the spanking. People who love the book seem to want us to believe that, because so much of the book is about kindness, that it somehow "cancels out" the "small" amount of violence.

But I find that one of the most terrifying things about it. And, yes, I have read and re-read the whole thing, quite a few times.

The juxtaposition of "loving" conten
...more
Camille
Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
I get so sad when I see the 'Christian Parenting' excuse for the child abuse advocated in this book.

As a Christ follower and a parent, I want to show my kids God's love, teach them God's ways, equip them with the wisdom to know God's path for them, and the courage to follow it. So let's chuck out all the hear-say and see what the Bible, God's word teaches:

Matthew 7:12:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (NIV 2011)
Galatians
...more
Adrienne
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any parent
This is a great book for learning to be proactive instead of reactive in child training. Teach them when they are young..if you wait it will be harder on you and your child.
Mitch Graves
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The problem with this review star system is that we don't get to see the children of those who give it a terrible rating. BUT if you read through them you will see some subtle admissions such as "I admit my children are not the best behaved" Um...Say what? Why not? Mine are invariable the best behaved in pretty much every situation. Mine were so well behaved that my very big name attorney brother and my family court judge sister BOTH asked us for parenting advice. So I'll be the 1st to SHOW the ...more
Tamara
Apr 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
To Train Up a Child is an extremely poor book for parenting advise. This is ABUSE, not parenting. I've never hit my kids and know plenty of others that don't as well and they're respectful, creative, amazing, fun, intelligent, kind, and caring individuals. You don't have to hit your children to earn their trust and respect. In fact, you're only earning fear. You don't need to create a mindless, submissive fearful zombie follower in order to have a "happy" family. Hitting a child at all, especial ...more
Lady
Jan 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
ooh where to start. This book perpetuates child abuse and domination. It is inacurate at best.
Brie
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Edit: After doing some further research and reading supposed quotes from the book that multiple sites have noted, I do believe that the online version I wrote this review on was significantly edited. The version I read had no mention of starving (or withholding food as punishment), cold baths, putting children out in cold weather, wearing tubing around the neck as constant reminder of punishment, and several other things. This review is simply a pros and cons of the "Pearl Method" and also a com ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
To All Those Who Follow These CULT Ritiuals... 15 137 Dec 31, 2016 08:54AM  
I have compared this to some other more sinister things 2 26 Dec 31, 2016 08:44AM  
Horrible. 2 28 Dec 11, 2013 06:25PM  
One Important Reason to NEVER Spank Your Child 1 79 Sep 11, 2013 06:45AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. To Train Up a Child 1 6 Feb 20, 2012 12:49PM  

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Michael and Debi Pearl were both raised in Memphis, Tennessee, in good homes, by parents who were faithful to point them to God. Mike, a graduate of Mid-South Bible College in Memphis (now Victory University), has been active in evangelism and the work of the ministry since he was a teenager. He worked with Union Mission in Memphis for 25 years, while he and Debi also ministered to the many milita ...more

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