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August 28, 2004

Blogs on Books

Tim at Challies is is predicting 2005 Christian Bestsellers including, these family-focused favorites:

The Even Newer Dare To Discipline by James Dobson (The first 10,000 copies will include your choice of either a switch or a paddle autographed by Dobson himself.)
How To Alienate and Emotionally Starve Your Child God's Way by Gary Ezzo
Child At Heart by John Eldredge


FarmWife Andrea, avoiding satire, is sharing some insights from Cloud & Townsend's Raising Great Kids.


Carol captures the antagonistic attitude of the Pearls as she provides quotes and commentary on To Train Up a Child.


And Sam, curled up with a book in her cabin, is musing on the ideas about autism and asperger's in A Mind Apart.

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Why do you think these books are so popular, and for goodness sake and in the case of the Pearls, isn't that abuse? Why has no one arrested this woman for child abuse?

Posted by: Rachel Ann at August 29, 2004 05:51 AM

Well, I'd take the paddle! haha I'm just teasing you - we don't agree on everything but I enjoy your blog! :0)

Jess

Posted by: Jess at August 29, 2004 10:04 PM

Gotta question for you! Our new church (Reformed, and we love it dearly) was offering Ezzo's class... and now it's gone. *poof* Off the website, not in the small groups listing I picked up today. While I'm THRILLED (and still plan to talk to the pastors about it anyway, just to be sure it isn't going to resurface), there's a new program being offered this fall: Shepherding A Child's Heart. I've never heard of it- have you? Any insights? We aren't going to take it, but I'd like to hear feedback on it anyhow. :-)

Dy, off to Google what she can

Posted by: Dy at August 30, 2004 02:42 AM

AACK!

Posted by: Carol at August 30, 2004 10:34 AM

Dy,

I'm having trouble commenting on your blog. Do you allow Anon comments with blogger?

Hubby read your question over my shoulder and said, "Ahhh. . . skipping from one programmic mindset to another." So, there's his opinion. *L*

It's been years since I read Tripp's book, and it's in storage, so I can't reference it right now.

What I remember is that I totally *love* the title. Doesn't it bring beautiful imagery to ming? And from what I remember, the early chapters have that sort of focus.

Later chapters, though, move into the same sort of behaviour modification that I have quite a few concerns about. He talks about "reaching the heart" but then focuses on external controls.

He seems to rely upon early and often spankings as the main discipline tool. (Though, not to the same early/often extent as Pearl.) One of his examples includes a 7 month old--I don't believe smacking is developmentally appropriate at that age under *any* circumstance.

Personally, it has been Reformed theology that has led me further away from Ezzo, et al, and closer to grace-conscious discipline. I think many in Reformed circles, as conscious as they are of how theology impacts life, sometimes stop short of applying theology in a consistent way in family relationships.

I believe the Holy Spirit is working in our child's hearts. God both uses us, as parents--and He also works in their hearts apart from us. Our children are being sanctified, just as we are. (Only, they have had less time to practice being manipulative and sinful--personally, I think adults are "better" at that.)

Here's a quote that summarizes what about the book gives me major red flags, written by TestifyToLove:

And, there was an undertone that I couldn't put my finger on at the time. It took me several more years of parenting to be able to verbalize what felt so *dirty* about this book. Its the concept of external parental controls over the heart of a child. I don't believe that we CAN control our children's hearts. Sure, we can control how they express their heart to us. But, we cannot change the heart of our children. The title is a great title, but deceptive. All we CAN do is shepard the hearts of our children. But, not in the way Tripp says.

We cannot beat a child's heart into submission. We cannot apply punitive measures to the true heart's inclination of a heart. While outwardly we will see compliance and a changed heart, that is NOT what we are actually sowing. We are sowing discontent, anger and bitterness, with an outward shell of pretending to be what we require. Because (and here is what it took me so long to know how to verbalize), WE ARE NOT GOD. Only GOD can change the heart of any person, including a child.

It is NOT our place to force change in our children. It is our place to model a heart that it turned towards God, and it is our place to pray for our children to choose to live the heart that we model. But, it is not our place to attempt to play God and FORCE the will of our children's hearts. In doing so, we not only don't accomplish what we set out to accomplish, but we sin against God. We say to God that we know how to do it better and that we don't trust God to work in the hearts of our children.

For more details, I recommend the discussion at the Parent's Place debate board. It's worth your time to read it:
http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppezzo/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppezzo&msg=2706.1

For further reading:
http://www.gentlemothering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14096

Hope this helps!

Posted by: TulipGirl at August 30, 2004 07:45 PM

Hey- thanks! I do have anon comments enabled on the blog- I wonder why they won't go through? Sorry about that.

Anyhow, thank you for your insight- that's what I was a little concerned I would hear, b ut good to know. It seems there is an undercurrent in this church that children must be... I hate to use the word "controlled" in this context, but that's pretty much what comes up. *shrug* We haven't been approached to take any of the classes- I don't know if they don't think we "need" them or if they sense that I'm not receptive to it (as I trundle about w/ Jacob in the sling and nurse him whenever he's hungry- LOL). At any rate, it's good to know what's going on around us. Thank you!

Dy

Posted by: Dy at September 1, 2004 02:47 AM

For some reason, I can't read Carol's commentary on _To Train Up a Child_. Has the post been removed? I'm really really interested...

Posted by: Jennifer at September 2, 2004 05:27 PM

Hi, Jennifer!

Carol has had a really rough time with her server lately, and she's working things out with that--sometimes the site is down because of that.

Knowing Carol, she hasn't removed the post. *grin* Keep checking back. . . And I'll let you know when I see it online again.

Posted by: TulipGirl at September 2, 2004 05:59 PM

Thank you!! I'm actually doing research on the Pearls and the whole "switching issues" and Carol seems to have a great deal of insight. I look forward to reading what she has to say about the book. I'm reading it right now... and am already disturbed. I'm still on chapter one!! Thanks again!

Posted by: Jennifer at September 2, 2004 07:26 PM


 
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