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One comment on “Anderson Cooper 360 Live Interview”

  1. Dear Mr. Pearl,

    Let me first say that you are my hero. Your teachings showed me how to have what I always knew was possible for my children. I watched your interview on CNN and tried to leave the following comment, but the comments are closed. I wanted to share it with you. See it below.

    I really appreciate that although Anderson Cooper is clearly opposed to Michael Pearl’s teaching that Anderson was respectful enough as a host to not speak over him and to allow him the time he needed to state his point. That is what I call a professional journalist. It is too bad we don’t have more like that.

    Too much emphasis is placed on the spanking or the switching and no emphasis on the training part, which is critical here. The whole training issue is being overlooked and it is key to this discussion. Parents that have well trained children do not get angry with them and ANGER is the cause of child abuse. Parents that know how to train their children, which involves a small infliction of pain to remind them that the behavior is not favorable, saves parents from losing their temper and becoming abusive. Training is done in a controlled setting without anger but only love and compassion. My children are well trained, therefore the amount of spankings they need are minimal. When you first begin incorporating these methods, you may find that you will need to “correct” the bad behavior frequently until you get the desired behavior. This can be done by instilling some pain in the child, or through consequences that are unfavorable to the children but as people we are motivated to move towards pleasure and away from pain. The slight stinging pain the child receives immediately gets their attention and lets them know the parent is in control. It is when parents are not in control that they become bullies who beat their children. When I train my children I do so with a soft spoken voice and a loving and compassionate attitude. I let my children know that they are not behaving in an appropriate manner and decide how to deal with the consequences based on the behavior. As your children get older, you can talk to them and reason with them. This is a point that Anderson brought up. However, I have tried to talk and reason with my babies as I changed their diapers and they squirmed and tried to make the matter much messier than it needed to be. I followed the advice in the mainstream and read all the parenting magazines for answers. Nothing worked except that my child and I were frustrated. When I read Mr. Pearl’s book, I felt like someone had given me the keys to parenting. I have not always followed Mr. Pearl’s advice explicitly, but every time I have, it has NEVER failed me and I am always a much happier mama. I am a nicer, calmer, sweeter parent when I am sure of my position as the leader of my children and not the other way around. The results of training my children were immediate and pleasant and nothing short of amazing.

    Ironically, some people are so caught up in the infliction of a bit of pain part that they can see no further than that. A friend of mine felt the book cruel and wicked. She couldn’t imagine tugging her baby’s hair as a way of teaching the baby not to bite and to release the mother’s nipple during breastfeeding. This same woman, years later, lost control of her son and in anger yanked and pushed him into his room yelling after him that she was going to “beat his ass.” Hmm, I wonder what is more pleasant to witness, a mother who is in control and pinches a child who is misbehaving to remind them that bad behavior is not an option or the parent who is yelling at their child, threatening their child, pleading with their child or despising their child. On the one hand, the pinch usually goes unnoticed by onlookers, whereas the other affects the child’s self worth. Parents who have well trained children praise their children and the child knows they are loved. When they are called out for bad attitudes and bad behavior they feel the limits and the boundaries that they are to remain within and they feel safe.

    It is my belief that the parents who beat their children are looking to have the same control over their child that the parents of well-trained children have. The only way they know of to obtain temporary obedience or submission is by abusing the child. This is short lived and if the child obeys, it is not out of love but out of fear.

    I also recall that before I had children I had an idea of what my life would be like as a parent and how my children would behave. I soon realized after I had kids that I had no idea how to make them behave. The frustration and the stress over tantrums and touching of things that should not be touched were disheartening. Not long after my first I was blessed with the book To Train Up a Child. I can honestly say that the only reason I went on to have a half dozen children was because they are an absolute delight. Most parents cannot handle one or two let alone six, but I say with all sincerity, my children are my most prized possession and are complimented all the time for their sweet natures, their creativity, their intelligence and their willingness to help out without being asked.

    Nobody would think that you could get a puppy, which is not nearly as intelligent as a human, never train it to go outside or sit or stay, and have a great pet. The same is true of children. With a little training, they go from savages to civilized. They are good citizens who have a strong sense of right and wrong. So let’s stop attacking parents who want to train their children and create good citizens for this planet. Our focus should be on reaching out to the millions of frustrated parents that have no idea how to love and enjoy their children. Instead of training them we hand them things (toys, electronics…) and tell them to get lost, hoping that their absence will relieve us of their bad behavior. Not so folks. Of course training a child to behave requires an investment of time and love and many parents just don’t have the energy or the know how to correct the situation. My heart breaks for these parents. How I wish they could love and enjoy their children as I do mine.