Last week I received a call from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Radio) concerning the recent push in the House of Commons to have my 20-year-old book, To Train Up a Child, banned from sale in Britain. On live radio the host asked for my response to the effort to ban my book. I responded, “The British defended Britain against the Nazis with planes and tanks; they now defend the homeland against ideas with censorship. That is beneath the dignity of the English people.” He then read some of the statements made in the House concerning me and my book. I informed him that the statements were the result of quote mining and cherry picking, leaving an impression that is entirely untrue, and that the woman who made them had not read my book, but had surfed the Web to get her information.
Later that day, I got a second call from another BBC affiliate. He seemed to be a little higher caliber. Again, the same questions and the same answers. The next day I got another call from a BBC affiliate. He probed and said things like, “You believe in hitting children as young as four months…” After I answered his absurd characterizations of my teaching, he asked, “And so how will you feel if they ban your book in Britain?” I laughed and said, “Well, I would be delighted. It will be a résumé enhancement. I will put it on the front page of my website, ‘Warning, this book is banned in the U.K.,’ and I will sell an additional 100,000 copies to people in Britain by direct mailing through No Greater Joy.” My mama would be proud.
The Nazis were burning books while the English were bombing them.
A book written 20 years ago, having gone through more than 20 printings, selling nearly 700,000 copies in the U.S. alone, and untold more in 12 other languages, plus printings and distribution in English in several foreign countries, and only now is it a danger to children everywhere? The message is not new. It is traditional, universal, historical, commonsense, biblical, psychologically sound, and has produced nothing but sweet fruit. So why are the progressives so upset now? The message has not changed but the world has. They are failing with their children and they know that if they “hit” their kids (something they feel like doing) it would be prompted by anger. So they practice transferal, assuming that any parent that employs physical chastisement must be angry and violent as they would be if they “struck” their “little brats.”
They have never experienced the Christ-centered family of love and goodwill. They cannot conceive of its existence. Their families are typified on TV and in movies—hostility, bitterness, impatience, anger, and resentment. Our peaceful lives and happy children seem like fairy tales to them. Their world is going to hell, while ours is going to heaven on a sunbeam of joy and celebration.
I was disappointed that they did not call back. I was looking forward to mentioning that the Nazis were burning books while the English were bombing them. So where have all the Nazis gone? Gone to England every one; when will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
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A brilliant article with brilliant answer to those who would ban a great book. If the public school czars would look to the successful home school curricula for answers to curing the public school system, then their age old problem of failing schools would be solved. In the same way, if parents would look to the book Train Up A Child for answers to how to train children, then they would find peace and harmony in their children and family. Why they don't get it stems from the lack of using these great tools on those very citizens who would make these decisions today. A great and sad irony.
Having spent a number of years living and working in the UK this comes as no surprise. Spanking is called "smacking" in the UK and has a negative connotation. In our almost 10 years in the UK we rarely saw editorial comments in the media that supported physical chastisement. There is much more vocal and politicized opposition to the idea. Again no suprise here as the UK is a post-Christian society compared to the US.
On a positive note, we homeschooled our children though the high school level and they had no problem being admitted to US universities. UK university admission was more difficult, but possible. During our time there we were never asked or required to submit learning plans or documentation for approval. I would call our situation unusual but we were tolerated and left alone by the authorities.
Our family is now back in the US but while we were in the UK we became citizens of the UK and now have dual US/UK citizenship. Our time there was rewarding and definitely expanded the horizons of the whole family and we would do it again. The international experience of the children has, in our opinion, taught them to better understand how people of other nationalities view the US and our family philosopy of training up children.
Thank you Michael! Great response back to the BBC. I have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. I have sat and watched what this liberal, progressive world has done to our children. No love, lack of respect, bullying, foul mouthed, selfish, self-centered, not honoring of their parents, drug abusers, lascivious, and the list goes on and on. There will always be children who have been properly disciplined in Christian homes and fall away for a time, but eventually they come back. If only people would realize how much happier and peaceful their lives would be if they would discipline in love, in a proper Biblical way. I have seen the kids that come out of my granddaughter's high school. What a sad testimony. It scares me to think that those kids are the future. Praise God, that same granddaughter is a Godly girl, who attends church 3 times a week, is a faithful member of her youth group, who does not curse, drink, smoke, or do drugs, and dresses modestly as is befitting a Christian young lady. It is my prayer that through her example, she may be a witness and a testimony to her peers, of Gods grace. Keep up the good work. I thoroughly enjoy your website, videos on You Tube, and your magazine that I just recently started getting. God bless you and Debbie in all that you do.
I love the book Created to be His Helpmeet. I admit as a woman that book is a challenge because women have been taught to stand on their own two feet and that we are equals and partners to our men. But since I've read the book (I'm almost finished) I can truly say it has blessed my marriage that was already good, into being great. Many wives don't see how things can be different because they don't want to because of pride. So the result is that satan wins and marriages get destroyed because women try to do the man's job which is be the leader and the headship.
I want to read this book about bringing up children just to see the blessings that can come from it although my youngest is 12.
People today are afraid of the very children they made! My child does not and will not dictate her upbringing....I love her way too much to allow her to run with what she thinks ought to be...... there is nothing wrong with spanking as a last resort or to a discipline that needs to carry a message of a serious nature. Love love love and more love is what needs....not things, things and more things..... kids know how to control their parents and this is never good.
Very nice response to the world's hatred for you and your ministry without a cause. Many people are praying for you and your work to continue and prosper!
God bless and take care,
Michael-- I have been ministered to by your and Debi's NGJ magazine and books for years but have only recently discovered your web site. TO TRAIN UP A CHILD was the first book of yours that I read. Thank you for all you do, especially for remaining a Godly, calm, respectful and strong voice when responding to your critics. I am watching your question/answer videos with my 14- and 11-year-old sons. I am loving learning alongside them as well as the great conversations that are sparked.
Great! YOU Mr. Pearl are wonderful! God bless you MORE and all your family... I am a single mother of a homeschool 15 years old young man, who is, walking with Jesus, working already at CFA (the fast food restaurant that do not open on Sundays!), and has become a godly man. He was raised with biblical principles as the ones you teach in your book and he is cause of admiration, joy, wonder and fun where ever he goes. I am a proud mom! God has blessed my path of motherhood with wise people like you. I have still some miles to go but we, both, have learned that this is only possible holding God's hand all the way, applying and receiving chastisement in our lives when necessary.
One day i was visiting with a woman whose children were out of control and they were beside themselves with frustration. She did not know what to do. She saw how my children behaved and started asking questions. I shared about how to train her children and gave her your book. 2 weeks later she stopped me at church and said, "thank you so much! Our children are not the same". And i could visibly see that her children were sitting still and were a complete delight! If people would just read the book they would see that it has nothing to do with "hitting" your children and so much more to do with consistency in training and relationship with them. Thanks for sharing with us what really works.