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Permissible for Me, but not for Thee

In response to recent political events, I saw this quote:

jefferson

Now, take the Tyranny word out of it and relate it the godly woman. What does one call something that is permissible for older godly mentors, but not permissible for young godly mentees? Clearly, tyranny is way too strong of a word and I don’t mean to suggest that at all, but there is something not quite right when older women can continue to indulge in a lot of luxuries, but tell younger women that if they do it they aren’t godly.

On a related notes to politics- it hit me last night that Hillary is a godly woman. What I mean by that, is she has wonderfully mastered the art of appearances and being above reproach, above the law, above all the little people. She is polished and knows how to present herself in such a way that her lies become masked. All you need to win an election is appearances and few great sound bites. That is all people pay attention too. Much like online, all you need to garner the attention of men is a polished appearance and few choice statements that sound nice, sound pretty, the sweet words dripping in honey.

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27 thoughts on “Permissible for Me, but not for Thee

  1. “poverty can cause otherwise good people to make bad decisions.”

    Amen to that. What L.A. cannot understand — probably because she’s never been there, she does speak about how her husband went on business trips to New York and that’s when she complained about how he wasn’t helping enough — is that a lot of Moms in this position have been desperate, wondering how they were going to feed the kids that day, or whatever, and in their desperation the kids still are acting like kids — and before they realized it, they snapped,

    This is not to excuse their behavior (I know a lot of folks would say that’s precisely what I’m doing by saying this), but to illustrate what can happen. I have suspected that this may have been the case with Andrea Yates, because I believe she and her children lived in quite a bit of squalor at one point. I don’t recall. And of course there was clear evidence that Andrea Yates was mentally ill…..but I have a theory that it was a combination of religiously-mandated poverty, plus lack of proper treatment for the mental illness, plus plain old stupidity in that case.

    However, I’d love to share with you a book that’s really inspiring — “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised Ten Kids on Twenty-Five Words or Less” by Terry Ryan. I LOVED this book and I think you all might, too. The woman who is the protagonist of the book was absolutely amazing in rising above dire poverty and showing her children how abundant life truly can be. You learn to put Lori Alexander right in the place where she belongs when you read about someone who had to claw her way out of the mindset of poverty with dignity and purpose every single day.

    There was also once a really sweet Christian lady I knew — who is now no longer online — but she wrote a fabulous book called “@Home: A Frugal Momma’s Guide to Saving Money” and she raised her children in desperate situations, working from home, homeschooling, the whole thing. Never once did she act holier than thou or preachy. She just worked her fingers to the bone and did her very best, then finally wrote all about it in a book. Also great inspiration. She stretched a dollar until George Washington begged for mercy, and then stretched it some more.

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  2. LA would’ve loved my parents– they weren’t “effective spanking” parents. My mom used to break off a tree branch and chase us around in the front yard with it and whack us. The neighbors would watch in horror. This was the kind of discipline she was used to, and I grew up with. “Spanking” didn’t exist actually– beatings did. Very severe ones that would sometimes draw blood, and all it did was teach us kids to be more conniving than before.

    My mom unfortunately, came from a very poor family with lots of children and my grandma didn’t know how else she was going to control all of those kids other than beatings. I know now my grandma is remorseful over it as she’s seen what it’s done to her grandkids…but poverty can cause otherwise good people to make bad decisions.

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  3. STMA said:

    “I can relate to this one so well, and I wanted to tell you that it gave me a great deal of hope. Thank you for writing this comment. It has really helped me.”

    I’m glad!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AmyP,

    This comment of yours really hit home with me — I quote just a portion for brevity’s sake:

    “My mom was spread pretty thin at the time, there wasn’t any money, there was a much younger new sibling that presumably absorbed a lot of her time, she was supposed to be finishing a house, there hadn’t been a lot of opportunity to do positive stuff with the big kids, but there was a need to get more work out of us girls, plus she never upped her game to figure out how to deal with mouthy, intransigent older tweens and teens–so a pretty predictable train wreck.”

    I can relate to this one so well, and I wanted to tell you that it gave me a great deal of hope. Thank you for writing this comment. It has really helped me.

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  5. The examples I was thinking of involved feral, neurotypical children attacking other children and adults despite attempts at redirection and negotiation, and time outs (that the children in question ignored). Ill-bred would be a more vintage way of putting it.

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  6. “There’s a distinction to be made between heavy spanking and corporal punishment. I think the latter is a tool with clear but limited usefulness.”

    I’d also agree with this. I do believe it is perfectly appropriate to swat a toddler’s bottom if they are about to dart out into a street, that sort of thing…..one swat. But it is way too easy to overdo it. I can speak from experience on that one.

    And, like the rest of you, I don’t believe for ONE MINUTE that L.A.’s children quit misbehaving after only one spanking…..sure, and there’s a great bridge in Brooklyn for sale, too. Are there some kids who do behave immediately? Sure, but there are just as many who don’t and need to be disciplined over and over and over again. She obviously hasn’t read anything about temperaments or the fact that one size most definitely doesn’t fit all. And for the diehard born-again fundamentalist Christian crowd, the four traditional temperaments and all their combinations are very rooted in sound philosophy. (But it is more Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, I forgot, it’s not explicitly stated in the Scriptures, so obviously Aristotle was pagan, so he’s to be discredited, and St. Thomas Aquinas was one of those horrible Catholics who of course don’t follow sola Scriptura, so obviously he is to be discredited, too.) (Sarcasm intended)

    Mrs. H,

    Thank you for the comment above and the links you provided. I think they may be an answer for me for some perplexities I am having right now. 🙂

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  7. TPC said “There’s a distinction to be made between heavy spanking and corporal punishment. I think the latter is a tool with clear but limited usefulness.”

    I have to agree with you here. There is a difference between it being one tool among many and usually a last resort to either get your child’s attention or drive home the point when reasoning and other forms of discipline fail and it being THE tool with the purpose of breaking the will in a contest of wills. (parent vs child) Age also comes into play.

    Here is a worksheet on spanking written by a Catholic mother of seven grown children. Read it after you read this post on her blog to get a better picture of her parenting mindset. She seems to have good common sense about it.

    Worksheet

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jg3jlsguDdDLARMMe9BxAkB_f_LIzLNjmjpZ3RsbHQ0/preview?pref=2&pli=1

    Blog post

    http://www.likemotherlikedaughter.org/2014/12/ask-auntie-leila-should-i-use-affection-as-a-discipline-tool/

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  8. The reason my mom advanced to heavy duty whacking was that the light stuff didn’t work. I’m afraid there’s a big temptation to up the dose until it works. I also think there’s a contradiction in trying to bring up stoic little frontier kids (which my parents were trying to do) and at the same time expecting moderate spanking to have much impact…

    My mom was spread pretty thin at the time, there wasn’t any money, there was a much younger new sibling that presumably absorbed a lot of her time, she was supposed to be finishing a house, there hadn’t been a lot of opportunity to do positive stuff with the big kids, but there was a need to get more work out of us girls, plus she never upped her game to figure out how to deal with mouthy, intransigent older tweens and teens–so a pretty predictable train wreck. But she was actually a really great mom for the first 8-9 years of my life.

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  9. TPC said:

    “I’ve seen some really bad fallout IRL from people doing anything but corporal punishment with their kids and I think it can have its place in the discipline toolkit without ever getting to a level of heavy spanking.”

    It is true that there are sometimes very sad scenes in big city sandboxes with 35-40-year-old first-time moms attempt to “reason” with a person with a 200-word vocabulary.

    But grabbing the kid and leaving works just as well or better than spanking.

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  10. There’s a distinction to be made between heavy spanking and corporal punishment. I think the latter is a tool with clear but limited usefulness. I think the same about isolation or time outs (which doesn’t really work in a moving vehicle, even if you stop it.) Heavy spanking usually means you aren’t mastering yourself and that tends to go badly with the kids because they pick up on that. Corporal punishment usually starts with structure and rules about when you’re going to do it and when you’re going to do something else.

    I’ve found that if you really treat it as a tool (useful in some cases, not the right tool in others), then you aren’t doing it very often or very much and there’s a healthy context for the child. Some kids will never need more than verbal assertiveness. Others require a range of responses. And yeah, as they get more able to be reasoned with, the shift away should be happening.

    I’ve seen some really bad fallout IRL from people doing anything but corporal punishment with their kids and I think it can have its place in the discipline toolkit without ever getting to a level of heavy spanking.

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  11. “How can a woman view her children as objects that must be broken and then love her neighbor?”

    Well, leelee thinks people are objects. I guess that is how. Sigh.

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  12. Stone said:

    “And you probably know LA boasts about how she only spanked all her kids once and they fell right in line. ONCE! Never anymore tantrums after that. I don’t believe it for a second.”

    Nope.

    Plus, I don’t really get the logic of hitting a child who is having a tantrum to get them to calm down.

    “The response I have got to spanking is a lot of laughing or asking for it..”spank me mama”. Almost as if its enjoyed and maybe it is.”

    Right. And not to creep you out, but heavy spanking in childhood seems to nearly double the percentage of adults excited by masochism.

    “The study found that 75 percent of students who had been spanked a lot by their parents were sexually aroused by masochistic sex. In contrast, 40 percent of students who had never been spanked were interested in masochistic sex.”

    http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2008/feb/lw28spanking.cfm

    “Like so many things in parenting there is not a one size fit for all.”

    I suspect spanking is really really bad with children on the autism spectrum.

    “Some kids, just don’t respond well to it. Of course though I know in godly world that is no excuse. I clearly wasn’t doing it hard enough or didn’t have enough faith or yada yada.””

    Or no 1/4 plumbing line.

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  13. “I have hit my kids from time to time, but it never seemed to do any good and if any of my kids asks me about it, I’m going to have to say I’M SO SORRY”

    And you probably know LA boasts about how she only spanked all her kids once and they fell right in line. ONCE! Never anymore tantrums after that. I don’t believe it for a second. The response I have got to spanking is a lot of laughing or asking for it..”spank me mama”. Almost as if its enjoyed and maybe it is. Like so many things in parenting there is not a one size fit for all. Some kids, just don’t respond well to it. Of course though I know in godly world that is no excuse. I clearly wasn’t doing it hard enough or didn’t have enough faith or yada yada.

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  14. The far end of the spectrum is the Kentucky Nauglers.

    They had 10 children taken away by CPS last year because they were living year round in a three-sided shack/tent in total squalor and then had an 11th child.

    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2015/05/11/a-former-off-grid-homeschooled-childs-thoughts-on-the-naugler-family/

    They did a lot of online fundraising, got at least $45k in donations, put a garden shed on their property to live in, and got the kids back. However, as CPS should have been aware before giving the kids back, their hygiene arrangements left a lot to be desired:

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/31968559/off-the-grid-naugler-family-investigated-by-breckinridge-co-health-department

    Unlike the family I mentioned earlier who lived in a workshop and had a nice clean outhouse with an actual hole in the ground, the Nauglers have apparently been just dumping human waste (or as they put it, “composting” it) on their property. They also don’t have running water on the property for bathing or handwashing.

    The Nauglers are not especially religious (more militantly libertarian and antisocial), but they are a worst case scenario of what can happen to large families attempting to live off the grid with limited resources.

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  15. I should add–I actually do have a pretty good relationship with my mom now, but it took 15+ years after I left home for college for that to happen.

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  16. Eavan said:

    “Amy, I like your paragraph above about how you’ve changed your view of children and discipline. It’s really important to talk about these things with young mothers because in addition to damaging her children sometimes beyond repair this attitude hardens and embitters the mother against her children and eventually against everyone. It’s easier to lead through fear than through love, but love doesn’t produce hatred of God and fear does. How can a woman view her children as objects that must be broken and then love her neighbor? Who is her neighbor if it’s not her children?”

    Yeah. There’s that verse in Isaiah 49 that says “15“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?”

    Isaiah obviously hadn’t met the Pearls.

    I know for a lot of people, spanking is right up there with baseball, motherhood and apple pie, but I’ve gotten very militantly anti on the subject. (I have hit my kids from time to time, but it never seemed to do any good and if any of my kids asks me about it, I’m going to have to say I’M SO SORRY.)

    I now see a lot of issues with it:

    1. If you spank, it’s easy to only spank and not be at all strategic. From what I’ve heard of the Pearls, that describes their advice–their flow chart for discipline is “spank until child is obedient.”

    2. Which raises the question–if it’s not working, when do you stop? And that’s how kids get killed or seriously injured.

    3. If hitting works so well, why is it necessary to keep doing it? My mom did most of her heavy hitting when we were pretty big kids (into the teens). I don’t recall there being a lot of spanking when I was smaller and there were neat activities–I suspect that the explanation is that at some point she was in over her head, she wasn’t able to parent very effectively, there wasn’t time to do much fun stuff, and she just started falling back on hitting automatically when she was frustrated.

    4. The relationship fallout can be devastating. I had a pretty solid relationship with my mom when there were only one or two children and we lived in town, before we simultaneously got a new baby, moved out to the country, and started living in an unfinished house. Now that I’ve lived through the transition to having a similar group of children, I understand what she was going through, and that she didn’t have enough resources to do what she was supposed to be doing, even with “only” three kids.

    As a young adult, I often wondered whenever I heard other girls gush about their moms being their best friend–I just didn’t understand. But now that I’m older, I understand the part that the hitting played in our relationship deteriorating–it’s just not that feasible to be buddy buddy with somebody who is capable of backhanding you.

    It also made it very hard for me to respect my mom when she was obviously losing it.

    5. The other issue is–is it necessary? I spent a lot of time with my grandma when I was little (I was her first grandchild and the apple of her eye). I bet she spanked her kids when they were little, but as it happens I can’t remember her ever hitting me. But, nonetheless, I was putty in her hands as a little kid.

    For me as a mom, I’m the grownup. I’ve got the car, the money, the TV, the unopened cans of nice new Play Doh, birthday planning privileges, etc. I don’t need to be going around hitting people because I don’t need to–I have a lot of other levers. Don’t want to clean your room? Fine–I’m not driving you to that birthday party this afternoon.

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  17. AmyP “I think my dad had some very unrealistic ideas at the time of what our family’s actual needs were and how much they cost. ”

    We didn’t have that so much but even though my parents knew the cost of things they went into debt to provide for us once we were teens. I went to private Catholic H.S. because I couldn’t stand the rowdiness of the public school. I was quiet, shy and bookish. We went to Catholic elementary and middle school which I think at most was $600/yr back then for three of us. I did have an adopted younger brother that went to public school for special needs because the Catholic school didn’t have the services he needed. The plan was for us to go public for HS because of the cost. My other two siblings fell in the public high plans.

    We were firmly middle, middle class but my sister fell in with hanging out with the UMC crowd at school and was very much the squeaky wheel with my mom about having the right clothes, enough running around money on the weekends and a car and insurance paid once she was sixteen. I didn’t ask for much because I knew my parents would rather not be paying tuition. I worked and bought my own car and paid my own insurance once I turned 18. My brother wasn’t as bad as my sister but he used the fact that she was getting so much to keep up with the Jonses that they bought him a car also and the expensive sneakers, boogie boards and such things that he wanted.

    Luckily as we all moved on and got out of the house, they were able to recover and get out of debt. They didn’t pay for any higher education either. My sister went to collage. I went to business school and both of my brothers never went beyond high school. The one brother who is married does pretty well despite that because his wife works full time and my mom provided very inexpensive child care until his kids were school age. $30/day for both from infancy to kindergarten and she paid for all the food and entertainment she provided so she didn’t really make money off them.

    AmyP “Right, and a lot of those are things that you ideally need to be in town to do–and to have a decent, hygienic home.”

    I’m firmly a small town girl. I have no interest in city living or way out in the boonies somewhere. Our small town provides enough of what you need close by and the nearest mid sized city is only a 20 min drive. The university my DH works for is only 30 minutes away also. The social life here revolves around the school and churches and is great for supporting family life. I can’t imagine living way out with no neighbors close by or even just the convenience of running to the grocery or hardware store without a major investment of time and gas.

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  18. Mrs. H said:

    “Why doesn’t it ever occur to these types that “God will provide” could mean that God will provide mom with employment opportunity rather than just waiting for “something” to happen out of the blue?”

    I didn’t hear a lot of “God will provide,” but if I had, it would have meant “grandma will take the kids shoe shopping”. Now that I have kids of my own (and nobody buying them shoes for me), I realize what a generous gift that was (and shoes were way expensive in small towns in pre-Walmart days).

    I think my dad had some very unrealistic ideas at the time of what our family’s actual needs were and how much they cost. This was more a conservative ideological thing than a religious thing–at least for our family–. My parents generally kept a very united front with regard to their decision-making. My dad was often upset with my mom about money stuff, but now that I’m older I realize that there just plain wasn’t enough money–but I don’t think my dad realized that at the time–it was my mom’s fault for not being better with money. (And I totally bought that at the time.) He could have worked a full-time professional job that would have provided a decent income and health insurance, but he didn’t want to, so he didn’t…That’s another thing that I only realized as an adult–that the poverty was totally self-inflicted. (It wasn’t very visible because he does actually have a great work ethic and is a bit of a workaholic to this day–it’s just that for quite a few years, he chose to do work that could not adequately support a family.) I think he also did not really register the extent to which his parents were picking up his slack–I think grandma tried to be pretty tactful about it.

    Also, we had a couple sets of upper middle class cousins in our area, and there was so much tut-tutting at our house over their ridiculous outlays on music and sports.

    But it could have been way worse–add in homeschooling, a larger family and/or To Train Up a Child and it would have been nightmarish. As it was, it seemed fine and normal at the time.

    “I’m curious and if it’s not too personal a question, are any of these parents, (if still living) still living this way or has there been some concession that perhaps there is some wrong thinking in their earlier beliefs?”

    My parents were not very doctrinaire (and not actually a very extreme example), but there was definitely something in the air in the 1970s/early 1980s. Things started to change in the later 1980s, and by the early 1990s (when their youngest was school age), there was a new family business that my sister and my mom and I worked in (my mom year round, my sister and I in the summer). It turns out that four people working can support a family of five pretty well.

    My mom has now been a working woman for going on a quarter century and my parents are now quite prosperous. The move to the country eventually worked out very well for them economically, as they had a good location for a store.

    We also knew a former hippie family from church that also lived out in the country (but not close). As I recall, they had started building on their land and (very unfortunately) started first with a large workshed. Well, they ran out of money and wound up raising two children in the shed. My sister and I once visited overnight (!), and it was very homey for being a shed, BUT you had to go outside to an outhouse–there was no indoor toilet. (I think there was a bath inside, but I don’t know how the water system worked.) That family eventually moved into town sometime in the 1980s and were just normal middle middle class people, especially after getting an inheritance and with the mom working.

    A lot of the country living stuff coincided with Little House on the Prairie’s run on TV.

    “Yes, the Bible talks about women being at home but that’s because women in that culture were able to provide for the household by making goods from raw materials and also selling/trading surplus. We don’t have much means for women to do that nowadays other than providing a few services that don’t really make much money but can help supplement income if needed. (Babysitting, seamstress, tutoring, music lessons, craft making, cake baking/decorating, hair cutting/nail salon [in our small town there are three houses in which the women have a small one or two chair salon in their homes])”

    Right, and a lot of those are things that you ideally need to be in town to do–and to have a decent, hygienic home.

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  19. Thank you for sharing that Eavan. It seems that the cult like thinking exasperated the poverty that already existed. I’m glad things got a little better though and it is heartbreaking for those who do work hard but are still not able to fully make ends meet.

    My mom grew up in dire circumstances like that. Her dad had 15 children to his first wife. She died young of uterine cancer and all 15 children were adopted out to relatives and friends. He then married my grandmother who had three children one of whom my mother who was six at the time watched die when he was three from drinking from an open container of kerosene. They lived in a two room shack back in the woods with no electricity. They eventually moved to the city and were able to buy a house but my grandfather was an alcoholic and my mom was usually sent to the bar late at night to bring him home. Sometimes he refused to leave and would ask another man at the bar to drive her home. Sometimes he would come home in a rage and used to grab the butcher knife and chase the family threatening to kill them.

    There was one family member that wanted to adopt my mom and she really wanted to live with them but my grandfather refused to let her go. Her relatives were Episcopalian and often had her over to stay and would take her to church on Sundays. I think they were her saving grace because they modeled what a good family life could be and she desired that for her own future.

    She met my dad in high school and converted to the Catholic Church when she married. He came from a good Catholic family whose dad worked for the railroad and his mom owned a beauty shop. My dad worked second shift for the railroad from 3pm -11pm and worked from 8am-1pm as a licensed electrician for extra money. My mom worked off and on babysitting or doing home health care to help out as well. They are still together to this day. It amazes me with the many stories she tells of her childhood that she made it out of that kind of poverty.

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  20. “I’m curious and if it’s not too personal a question, are any of these parents, (if still living) still living this way or has there been some concession that perhaps there is some wrong thinking in their earlier beliefs?”

    My parents changed their views a lot. Once they left the cult, which was one source of the problem, my mother went to work and had jobs from that point until she became disabled. My sister and I worked and helped out financially before we got married, but my parents never got out of poverty. Things got better for them, but poverty is a much more complex problem than not being educated and being lazy. Some people don’t have the capacity to get educated and even though they work themselves into the ground they will never have financial success. My father was one of the poor Christ talked about and mostly all he got from people was the backs of their hands. I miss him, but I’m glad he’s with the One who loved the poor.

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  21. Amy, I like your paragraph above about how you’ve changed your view of children and discipline. It’s really important to talk about these things with young mothers because in addition to damaging her children sometimes beyond repair this attitude hardens and embitters the mother against her children and eventually against everyone. It’s easier to lead through fear than through love, but love doesn’t produce hatred of God and fear does. How can a woman view her children as objects that must be broken and then love her neighbor? Who is her neighbor if it’s not her children?

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  22. These stories are just sad and awful. Why doesn’t it ever occur to these types that “God will provide” could mean that God will provide mom with employment opportunity rather than just waiting for “something” to happen out of the blue? I’m curious and if it’s not too personal a question, are any of these parents, (if still living) still living this way or has there been some concession that perhaps there is some wrong thinking in their earlier beliefs?

    Yes, the Bible talks about women being at home but that’s because women in that culture were able to provide for the household by making goods from raw materials and also selling/trading surplus. We don’t have much means for women to do that nowadays other than providing a few services that don’t really make much money but can help supplement income if needed. (Babysitting, seamstress, tutoring, music lessons, craft making, cake baking/decorating, hair cutting/nail salon [in our small town there are three houses in which the women have a small one or two chair salon in their homes])

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  23. I’m pretty confident in saying that LA has no almost no experience of the socioeconomic stratum that she is sending her readership to, and she wouldn’t like it if she did.

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  24. Grab your smelling salts to deal with the URL, but here’s a story of a family who tried to use Pearl’s methods on an 18-month-old toddler, and wound up with a dangerously dehydrated child:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/04/the-breaking-of-a-child-a-story-of-near-disaster.html

    I have to say that the Pearls’ methods remind me a lot of manosphere wife-management techniques–there’s the same preference for power struggles and crushing the victim’s will over attempting to find win-win solutions. (That would be “blue pill.”)

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  25. Eavan,

    That’s awful.

    My family of origin was on that same spectrum, a much more comfortable part of the spectrum, but definitely the same spectrum. We had a few things going for us, though–my parents were both college educated and valued education, they weren’t theologically rigid, there were only three kids, and we were the “poor relatives” in our extended family, so my grandparents were able to pick up a lot of slack that they wouldn’t have been able to had all of their adult kids’ families been needy (we’d move in with them during tough times, they usually took care of birthdays and Christmas, my grandma bought practically all of our shoes, and Lord only knows what else they took care of that I didn’t see when I was a little kid and kind of dense.). Another difference is that my mom and my sister and I started working in the family business around the time I was heading off to college. It was around then that my family definitely turned middle class–but I was mostly gone by then.

    Years later, reading more extreme stories, there are a lot of things that I identify with. There was a belief that they could make it on practically nothing–and a lot of money fights. I don’t know how explicitly it was talked about, but the SAHM-at-all-costs idea was definitely one that I picked up. I’ve really only shaken it off the last couple years. Our medical and dental care was also subpar–the whole idea of taking sick children to see the doctor was pretty foreign when I was growing up. We did the live-out-in-the-country thing. There was also a lot of whacking–my mom broke multiple wooden spoons and spatulas on my sister and I when we were tweens and teens. Fortunately, my mom had Dr. Dobson as an authority instead of the Pearls (To Train Up a Child came out in 1994–too late for me!), because I definitely would have been one of those kids that gets hit and hit and hit and hit. (Michael Pearl’s advice is to keep hitting until you break the child’s will–and I was an extraordinarily stubborn child.)

    As my kids have been getting older and I’ve been reading stories online, there are a lot of ideas from the past that I have been picking up and turning over. My dad’s belief in education is one that I definitely share. I’ve moved very far in the direction of conventional upper middle class parenting. I don’t believe anymore in hitting kids. I’d do almost anything moral to keep our kids insured. We live in the city and our kids see the doctor whenever I’m worried. We do 10X the extracurriculars and camps for our kids than my siblings and I ever got–part of the reason being that extra drives into “town” were expensive, and carefully rationed out, so even free activities cost us a lot.

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  26. Eavan, most likely the LA and godly women response to your mom would be she didn’t have enough faith or some other crap. Clearly if you have a enough faith you will have a life of luxury.

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  27. The thing about people like LA who say it’s so easy is they have NO IDEA what it means to be truly poor, as in a man working minimum wage supporting a family of 5. My mom stayed home because it was “godly”, she did all the things on LA’s list and more, and there were still numerous times we had no food in the house, didn’t know how we could pay the necessary bills, many times my siblings and I needed to be at the doctor’s office but we instead got doctored out of a book. The stress in our home was unbelievably high. No doubt LA would say it’s character-building for a 10-year-old child to be told to pray because there’s no food and maybe no house and maybe she’s having mini-strokes but we can’t afford the doctor, so we’ll just wait and see. It’s not – it’s terrifying and leaves the child with lifelong issues around safety. My sibs and I were in public school. My mother could have worked part time, but she didn’t because older “godly” women told her it was a sin and thus placed an almost unendurable strain on our family. The woman she worships, Debi Pearl, is responsible for untold damage, including dead children, and yet LA slavishly follows her as if she’s God. Women like this are toxic and nobody should be listening to them and their husbands should tell them to shut up and stand down.

    Liked by 1 person

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