Episode Transcription

[intro music]

Announcer: Be the kind of person you want your kids to be. Mike gets into the “how‑to” of training your kids and begins to explain his “12 Key Principles of Parenting.”

Michael Pearl: More than anything in the world, what parents need is to be loving, kind, and gentle human beings with authority and discipline and order in their own lives. That’s the big step into parenting. It’s not having a bunch of techniques or tools. It’s being the kind of person that your child wants to be. It’s being the kind of person you want them to be. When they see that in you and desire to be like you, when their friends say to them, “What do you want to be like when you grow up?” and they answer, “I want to be like my mamma,” then you have the battle won. That’s what my daughters will all tell you about my wife. Now, I don’t know about my boys. They’re actually better than I am. They’re harder working than I am. They’re more solid than I was when I was their age. Because of my wife, I’ve done better with them, than I did with myself. They’re men with convictions, men that are respected, men that have ambition and are gentle and strong. They’re both over six four and a half. Gabriel weighs 220. He can take a sixty‑pound bow and draw it back, arms locked. Most men can’t even draw it back the normal way. They have killed deer with a bow, killed elk with a bow, shot turkey with a bow. Real men and gentlemen at the same time. They listen to me.

Right now, I can tell either one of our boys, what are they, 22 and 20? Something like that. I can tell either one of them to sit down and they sit down. I don’t do it often but I can. I can tell either one of them, “I want to talk to you,” and they drop everything and they listen to what I’ve got to say. I could tell either one of them, right now, “Do not go to Nashville,” and neither one of them would go. By the way, my oldest son’s got his own construction company and goes all over the world. He’s been all over the world. He owns property. He owns his own home. He’s a man in every sense of the word. If I told him not to do something, he would stop doing it.

My second son is engaged to be married. He didn’t get engaged until he consulted me and his mother. He didn’t get engaged until we met the girl. We’d already met her, but we got to know her. We invited her to our house. She stayed there with us. My wife says to our daughters, “While she’s here, try to make her lose her cool. Irritate her. Aggravate her. See what she’s made out of.”

They did, man. They worked her over. She came through with flying colors. We checked her out. We talked with the parents. The parents talked with us. We looked the thing over. We said, “Okay, you can court her. Just don’t do any smooching. Keep your hands off of her.” The daddy sitting on the other end said the same thing. I said to my son, “When I marry you two, if I’m the one that does it, I want to be able to stand up and say, “Watch it, folks. They’re fixing to kiss for the first time.” I said, “Don’t you disappoint me, boy.”

He’s made out of the same stuff I am. I know he’s got some trouble. He said, “Is it all right?” I said, “Yes, I like her. Mamma likes her. It looks good. We prayed on it and we think it will work out. Go ahead.” He goes down and he courts her. After several months they’re engaged to be married. If I were to say to him right now, “No. It’s off. You cannot marry that girl.” It would be done, that would be the end of it.

Now, do you have that kind of control with your kids? Do you know why? Because my kids respect me. They respect me because they know that my life is dedicated to their welfare. They know that there’s nothing in the world more important. Not even my ministry is as important as they are and their happiness. They know that of their mother.

Folks, that’s what it takes. There’s no point at which that respect terminates. When they’re adults, it’s still there. Your power to persuade them and move them is still there. I’m careful. I don’t go around running my boys’ life. If something comes up that needs addressing, I have addressed it. They do listen, and they do respond.

You say, what can I do if I’ve got a rebellious ten-year-old? Let’s say, for example, I tell him, “Son, take the garbage out.” He says, “Oh, Mamma, I don’t want to take the . . .not now. I’m trying to do this thing here.” You say, “Son, I need the garbage taken out now. The garbage man’s coming, and he’s all out there.” “Oh, can’t you let Suzie do it?” You make the mistake, “Well, Suzie took it out yesterday.”

What are you doing, bargaining? Who are you, Yassir Arafat? “Hey, I said take the garbage out.” “Do I have to?” “Well, son, why do you always whine like that? You’re just breaking my heart.”

Hey, get off of it. He’s just ten. He’s still ten, Okay? You’re still bigger than he is. You’ve got Daddy to back you up. If nothing else, you can kick him out and quit feeding him and quit washing his clothes. You can call the welfare department and have them come haul him off. You’ve got all kinds of power he doesn’t have.

You say to him, “Take the garbage out.” “Oh, all right.” And he goes and he gets the can like this, and he takes the garbage out the door. Carries it out, and he comes back in, and it’s still got stuff all inside of it and a couple of things stuck in the bottom of it and a little lasagna that’s stringy. He sticks it under the cabinet, doesn’t shut the door, half under there, stomps off. That’s totally unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable. The attitude—never let that go. Light the ends here. Cause this thing to get straight. It’s that serious.

You say, “That’s my kid. That’s me. That’s my family. You’ve been there. You are omnipresent.” Here’s how you do it, Mamma. This will work. I’ve given this advice. Women have tried it, and it’s worked. You just go home and you say, “Son, I’ve been a bad mother. I have reasoned with you, and I have pleaded with you. I have played pity stuff with you. I’m through doing that. I’ve learned from this little book, that I’m not to do that. I am to take charge for your welfare, for your good. The book says it will make you better. So that’s what I’m going to do.”

There was a mother that wrote us. She said, “I need two more books.” She said, “Mine disappeared. I couldn’t find it.” She said, “I looked, and looked. Finally my daughter came to me and confessed. I said, “Do you know where it is?” She said, “Yes. I buried it.” She said, “Go dig it up.” She said, “It wouldn’t do any good. I tore it into little pieces before I buried it.” She said, “Send me two. I’m going to keep one in reserve.”

Tell him, “Look, I read this book. I’m going to be consistent from this point on. Take the garbage out.” “Oh, Mamma, I don’t want to.” He’s too big. I know he’s too big for a spanking. He’s too big for a whipping. That’s what makes it fun. Get yourself a stick, or a rod, or a belt, or something. “Mamma you’re not going to whip me, are you?” Whap! “Take the garbage out.” “Oh! Ow!” He takes the garbage out like that.

You don’t have to get mad about it. You don’t have to cry. He doesn’t have to cry. He doesn’t have to get upset. My wife was swatting at ours when they were 14 and 15. It’s funny to them. It’s funny to me. It’s funny to her, but it gets them moving. So he’ll carry the garbage out and he’ll come back in . . . “There.” You say, “You know, you didn’t get it clean inside. Your feet came down too hard on the floor, and the door shut just a little too hard. So I want you to go outside and get that garbage and put it back in the can. Bring it back in here and put it back.”

Training, folks. Military-type, you know. “Put it in here.” “You want me to what?” “I said go out and get the garbage you just dumped and bring it back in here and put the can back under here.” “You’re kidding.” Whap! “Okay! There.” “Still don’t like your attitude. Where’s your smile? Let me see your smile. I want a big smile.” “A smile? Why?” Whap! “Now take it out and dump it again.” “There.” “I still don’t like your attitude, and the thing’s not clean, and the door shut too hard. I’m going to sit down here and read. Take it out and do it again.”

“Mamma, you’re—” “Don’t say it. Take it out, bring it back in. Hmm, a spot down there inside of it. You didn’t wash it good enough. Go back out and get the garbage and bring it back in.” After about ten times and half a day, and he’s wet and garbage up to here, and he’s stinking, he’s going to go . . .


Michael:  “Mother, your garbage can. Is there anything else I can do?” “No, son, that’s fine, thank you.”

No lectures. You’re in charge. I guarantee you one such experience—just one—where you win is going to make all the difference in the world. Now I’m going to give you a child training principle that goes all the way through. You might want to write this down somewhere and take a whole sheet of paper. Here it is. I’m going to dictate it to you.

W. Capital W, capital I, capital N. All right, now write under that win, and under that win, and win. That’s a child training principle. Parent, you’ve got to win. You’ve got to win every time. Now, there’s a second alternate principle. If you can’t win, be perceived to win. In other words, you might not be able to manage getting the kid to do everything he ought to do. If you know you can’t get him to do everything he ought to do, just demand a little less. Make sure he does it so that you win. You follow what I’m saying? You haven’t won the contest if he’s got a bad attitude. You haven’t won it if the door shuts too hard.

For example, when the little girl, Amy, was screaming when I spanked her, if I had allowed her to scream after spanking her, I would not have won. She would have had the last word. By making her stop screaming, I won the contest. And so by making him tiptoe, by making him be polite, by making him smile, there was no trace of rebellion or resistance anywhere in anything he communicated. Until you rid the situation of every trace of rebellion and resistance, then you haven’t won. But once you do that in any one area and you conquer, when you tell that little baby to lie down and he lies down and stays there, the next time you say lie down, that baby knows that there’s no end to this except sleeping.

We’ve got people at our church who have my material I’ve taught, and they just ignore everything I say. They’ve got a little kid that they pick up and the kid wants down, and they say, “No, you can’t get down.” The kid is squirming. “No, you can’t get down. Oh, okay.” They put the kid down. The kid wants something. “No, shh, be quiet. Shh, be quiet.” They take the kid out of the room. They just keep training that kid to push a little further and a little further, and I’ll give over to you. Just cry. Cry a little louder. Cry a little harder. Be upset. Have your feelings hurt, and I’ll give over to you. Once you start that, there is no end. That child is in charge of you, in charge of the home.

You’re going to hate that kid before it’s over with. Parents write me and say, “I do not like my kids.” Actually, I have people say to me, “I hate my kids.” These are not mean people. These are honest people. These are not crude, vulgar people. These are middle-class, hard-working, honest people who have just faced it and said, “Hey, I’ve looked at this situation and I just don’t like my kids.” Now, they don’t really hate them in the sense that you hate your enemy. They hate them in the sense of emotionally, in a social way.

They don’t want to associate with them. They don’t want to talk to them. They don’t like them. They’re just put out with them. They wouldn’t have written me the letter and told me they hate their kids, if they really hated their kids. You follow what I’m saying? They wouldn’t care. They would be glad. They would just want to make their kids miserable. But what they really want, they want to turn that thing around. The mother really loves her kids desperately, but her emotions are constantly provoked to despise what she sees in them, what she’s created there.

Well, you know what I tell the mothers? I tell them, “Mother, the feeling’s mutual. They hate you too. That’s what your home life, that’s what it’s like. To turn that thing around, you’re going to have to become loveable. Hey, there’s your answer. To turn it around, you are going to have to become lovable, Mother. When your kids start loving you, they’ll start wanting to please you. If you’re not lovable, then they’re not going be like you. You make that kid carry that garbage out.”

You see, it works in the military. In the military they tell a fellow, “Look, we’re going to give you 45 seconds between the time the bugle sounds to get out here. It’s full dress uniform. Shoes polished, and if you don’t get out there in 45 seconds, then you’re going to run around these grounds.” Well, how many of them get out there? None. None of them get out there in that length of time. So, they have them run around the grounds for about two hours with no breakfast. You say, “But that’s impossible.” Yes.

You say, “Why do they do that?” Because none of those guys want to run around there for two hours. These sergeants are in charge. They want these guys to know that the command doesn’t have to be reasonable, it just has to be obeyed. If it’s not, there’s consequences. Now, I don’t do that with my kids. You wouldn’t either, but the point is these are 18-year-old men who can stand this. They can reason with this. They can think about it. It doesn’t matter if they hate the sergeant. The end point is when they say, “Hit the dirt,” these guys are going to hit the dirt. When they say, “Take your clothes off,” they’re going to take their clothes off.

When they say, “Stand still, we’re going to give you a shot,” they stand still and they get a shot. When they say, “Jump out of this plane,” they’re going to jump out of the plane. When they say, “Charge that bunker with machine gun fire,” and you just saw 16 guys die, you’re going to get out and charge the bunker, knowing you may die or probably will die or are going to die. You’re going to obey. That’s what the military’s all about.

Well, you always wonder how they get guys to do that? It’s called boot camp. That’s where they get them to do that. That’s where they go from being Mamma’s boy, from being a spoiled brat, to being a soldier that does exactly what he’s told to. No matter how unreasonable or stupid or painful it is. Because he’s conditioned. Ten-hut!

I’ve stood there like this, and heard . . .

[slush noises]

Some guy just passed out, been here two hours, fell flat on his face. That’s a sickening sound. Have you ever heard anybody fall flat on their face, cold passed out, a little blood running out the side? You look around at them like that. They pick him up and haul him off. [slush noises]

You hear another one.

[slush noises]

Then, another one. You say why do they do that to those guys? You say they’re being mean to them, right? No, they’re teaching them, you can take it. If you can’t, we don’t care. Just do what we tell you to do. That’s military training, conditioning to take pain, conditioning . . . you start getting woozy like this. Conditioning to suffer. Granted, we’re not going to train our kids this far. We’re not going to do that with them. The point is it can be done. And if it can be done on an 18-year-old that you’ve given up on, then you ought to be able to do it on a 10- or 11-year-old. You ought to be able to make him do exactly what you tell him to do, because you’re going to tell him something reasonable. And they’re telling them something unreasonable.

Now, how do you do it? You’ve got to be a sergeant. Mother, you’ve got to be a sergeant. Think like a sergeant. Now, don’t start cussing like one. Just think like one. You don’t have to be angry like one, but just be in control. It will work. I made a list of 12 essentials of child training. I’m not going to go over all of them carefully, but I’m going to read them to you. They’re going to be in my next newsletter, so you can read about them.

The 12 essentials to child training. The first one is love. Now, you have to be cautious about that word love because love is not a sentiment, it’s what you do. I know a lot of mothers spoil their kids by just being ooshy-gooshy. The mother is really concerned about her own feelings, not about the kids. So she lets them do anything just to keep a little level of passivity and peace right now. That’s not the kind of love we’re talking about. Love has to be tough. Love sometimes has to create pain. Love sometimes has to make demands and upset the moment for the big picture that’s far beyond.

Love has to be applied with wisdom. If there’s not wisdom to discern what’s good for the child and being willing to enter into pain—both you and the child—to bring that about, then it’s not true love. It’s nothing more than a personal, selfish sentiment.

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Announcer: As always, we hope you are blessed by what you’ve heard today. And again, remember to check out our great weekly online specials.


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