Hana Williams’ parents were given the maximum prison sentences. Articles are appearing in blogs and newspapers across the country that are full of fabrications, lies and misstatements about To Train Up a Child. It should not be taken as fact just because it is written somewhere.
What the Williams did is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of No Greater Joy Ministries (NGJ) and the content of the book. The motivation of NGJ is to provide materials that help parents raise healthy and happy children.
Here are actual quotes from the book that warn against abuse. None of the recent writings chose to include them.
“Train up—not beat up. Train up—not discipline up.” “A child needs more than ‘obedience training’, but without first training him, discipline is insufficient” (page 4).
“Disciplinary actions can easily become excessive and oppressive if you set aside the tool of training and depend on discipline alone to do the training” (page 9).
“Parent, have you trained yourself not to discipline immediately but to wait until your irritation builds into anger? If so, then you have allowed anger to become your inducement to discipline” (page 25).
“Parent, if you are having problems with your children, you can be assured that you are not alone. Your children are also having problems with you. You are going to have to make adjustments in your own life if you are going to help them with their problems.” “… the responsibility for making a significant change is completely yours” (page 32).
“There are always some who act in the extreme. These individuals are capable of using what has been said about the legitimate use of the rod to justify ongoing brutality to their children” (page 50).
“The rod should never be a vent for parents’ anger. Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child’s good, it is inevitable that such behavior by the parent will assuredly create problems” (page 51).
The methods outlined in the book have been endorsed by psychologists, psychiatrists, and child behavior therapists and are widely used to change inappropriate behavior.
It is alleged that Hana’s parents owned a copy of the book; they either did not read it or totally ignored the content. The book repeatedly warns parents against abuse, and emphasizes the parents’ responsibility to love and properly care for their children. There are hundreds of thousands of parents who have and are properly applying the philosophy of the book with the joyous results of happy, productive, and well-adjusted children.
The proper application of the book could have corrected their poor parenting and prevented the abuse and death of Hana Williams.
No Greater Joy Ministries