Today, before getting my youngest ready for school, I saw part of Anderson Cooper’s talk show, Anderson. The first thing I noticed was the mention of “Train Up A Child”. , that sounds familiar, I thought to myself and then I saw some elderly gentleman (Michael Pearl) sitting on stage. It was at that moment that I remembered how I knew about that book title. My mother had sent it to me shortly after she visited me following the birth of my son. (I wonder if she was trying to tell me something).
I must admit that I hadn’t read the whole book, but I did remember thinking that first few pages had sounded pretty good. Needless to say, I kept watching Anderson to see what was bringing this book (written in the 90’s) back into public attention.
It turns out that some parents have abused and killed their children who have also read this book…of course the same can be said of other books (like Catcher in the Rye), but we don’t want to get side-tracked.
Abuse of children or anyone is horrible and should never happen. That said, there are many crazy people who can and do abuse people all over the world regardless of which books they read, or which methods they use to do it.
As I continued to watch Anderson, it became very clear that he (and most of his audience as well as his carefully chosen psychologists) was against the ideas presented in Train Up A Child, and basically think that the book/author was in part or completely responsible for these parents who abused and killed their children.
One of the discipline methods is using a small…switch thing to spank, and he also suggests other methods of disciplining children from infancy on up. Mr. Pearl also in his book mentioned that we often make quite an effort to train our pets to behave so that we don’t, in a fit of rage, latter kick them or yell at them or whatever. Of course the Anderson audience was very upset at the idea of comparing children to animals.
I don’t know if I agree or disagree with all of his methods, I still haven’t read the whole book. I do know that when I was little all the way up to about 5th grade, I was in a small school which allowed corporal punishment. (One of the teacher’s husbands made a 2 inch thick paddle and drilled holes in it so the air wouldn’t slow it down). I was pretty well-behaved back then, but I still had my hand whacked a few times and was spanked once or twice.
I haven’t abused my kids. I haven’t killed my kids. Is anyone else getting tired of hearing how everything bad that anyone does is not actually their fault? Does anyone else wonder if people who abuse or kill their children or others think that they have a right to do so because, after all, they are the only one who really matters, and their actions don’t have any consequences. Isn’t everyone in prison actually deserving of release because after all, their parents might have spanked them, or maybe someone told them they were ugly in high school?
I’m not minimizing the effects of abuse or bullying. I do think we as a society, should start taking responsibility for our actions; regardless of how we may have been influenced by someone else. I’ve got to go start fixing dinner now. I might order a pizza…but what if my kids don’t like pizza and talk about it later in therapy…or what if the delivery driver feels like I didn’t tip him/her enough and goes on a shooting rampage…what if someone is in a hurry to get home and they have to wait because my driver is in front of them…