Monday, September 8, 2008

Your fear of being arrested is valid...

At least, that's what Ted Tripp says.

If there’s anything that should warn you off of a child-rearing book, it is that the author admits that your fear of being arrested for using his methods is entirely valid!

Another thing that should warn you off of a child-rearing book is the fact that it has garnered so much concern, by both Christian and non-Christian people, that there is a campaign to get Amazon to stop selling it.

One Amazon customer writes of Shepherding a Child's Heart [emphasis mine]:
"Lest someone accuse me of being a rapid anti-spanker, I'm not. I recognize and accept that there is Biblical support for spanking your children. My problem is with the concept that you MUST spank to be a Biblical parent. What utter nonsense to think that there is only one method in which we can raise Godly children. And, Tripp makes no bones about his beliefs that there is only ONE way to parent your children Biblically, and that is with heavy-handed
spanking. "

"Essentially, this book is a spanking manual. And, when Tripp is not describing the precise method and action for spanking, it is his other message that is so much deeply disturbing than the insistance that you MUST spank. Tripp believes that as Biblical parents, what we must truly control is not the actions but the heart of our children. And to this end, he advocates spanking children not for their actions, but for what we interpret their heart to be. He espouses that if we tie those heart-strings, then we will *know* the heart of our children. And thus, we MUST discipline for what we know of their heart, and discipline until we turn their heart. "

Did you hear that everyone? This book advocates more than physically punishing children for their actions. It advocates corporal punishment for what parents assume to be their motivations and attitudes.

This explains his advice regarding physically punishing babies under the age of two, who are incapable of expressing themselves. The parents simply "know" that the child is acting out of evil motivation.

More on Tripp's teaching about infant spanking comes next.

3 comments:

NorthSeattleSAHD said...

Nicola,
Thank you for raising awareness on the teachings of Ted Tripp. If it weren't for your posts on the Ballard blog I would have never been aware of this monster. I've posted your original posting on the ballard and greenlake moms groups and I would like to share some of the responses I've received.

Thanks for bringing this to the groups. I saw the abuse you've been taking on the forum too - sheesh. That boardbrown person is great at making everything about them and how wonderful a parent they are......Good for them, but this is about speaking up for some
defenseless children and their impressionable parents who are often vulnerable to all sorts of
advice - good and bad.
I am going to forward this to the Executive Director at PEPS and some of the board members (I am on the Emeritus Board). PEPS is well
connected in the community with other non-profit groups advocating for children/parents and against abuse. Maybe they can jointly speak out against this.

This guy is for real. I have a friend who attends that church and read that book. She spanks her son all of the time. He's got super problems and is very aggressive. Some distant relatives of ours use the same book and my mother-in-law did call CPS on them. Her daughters are withdrawn and very fearful. It's sad to watch and I had no idea how prominent this philosophy was. Both of these families are very religious.
While I have spanked my daughter (for running into the street and biting her baby sister so hard it drew blood) and I was spanked as a child and came out of it fine, I think spanking should happen VERY infrequently and only as a last resort. My 3 year old is
quite "spirited" and while I love her for it, sometimes words just don't work with her. I can't imagine spanking my younger daughter. Just a raise in my voice will send her into tears. Each family needs to make their own decisions for individual children.
That said, this book does recommend "humiliation" and spanking quite frequently. I know my girlfriend spanks her son EACH TIME he misbehaves! Even for something little like not following a direction to clean up! It is quite disturbing.
I've struggled with this issue, just as my mother-in-law did. I've thought about calling CPS too. It's tricky. Keep me updated on what you find out. This guy reminds me of the Babywise author who has a lot of the medical community up in arms. Maybe it's time to let some prominent social workers in on the controversy??

OMG, thank you for raising awareness of this. I have heard some really weird things about the Mars Hill church and honestly it doesn't totally surprise me that they are comfortable introducing this guy to young impressionable parents. He sounds sick to me, and he sounds totally abusive as well. And I am not totally opposed to a spank here and there, but submission, whipping followed by affection, etc. Sick sick sick... I don't even know what to say to the Mars Hill church, but I will think of something a little more rational after I cool off from reading those excerpts.
yuck, and scary, very scary.

After a few emails from some of you encouraging wider circulation of this information about
Tripp, I emailed Nicole Brodeur and Danny Westneat at the Times about this event. I did
some probing around, and Tripp sounds incredibly disturbing. I do not have time to do more
investigating myself, but I thought Nicole and/or Danny would be able to decide if they
thought this warranted further investigating and reporting. I find both of them to be fairly
balanced and rational. I hope it was a good call to bring it to their attention.

What else do you think we can do? I would love it if a television new station did a story on this guy.

NorthSeattleSAHD said...

Nico, we are trying to organize something. Please email me at christine dot siska at gmail dot com.

Nicola said...

Thanks for your comments northseattlesahd.

It looks like you have strategy and connections, two things with I have lacked!

Nicola