A controversial parenting guide has now been linked to three child deaths.
“To Train Up a Child: Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children” was published by two Christian ministers, Michael and Debi Pearl. The book supports the use of corporal punishment, and even starvation in order to “train” your child.
An excerpt from the book states:
If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.
Since 2006, three children, 4-year-old Sean Paddock, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz, and 13-year-old Hana Williams were killed by adoptive parents who followed the techniques recommended by the book.
The latest incident happened in 2011 when parents Larry and Carri Williams were arrested after their 13-year-old adopted daughter Hana was found naked and frozen to death outside their home. Hana was starved and beat daily up to the point when the emaciated girl finally died from hypothermia and starvation. According to the sheriff’s report, Hana was forced to sleep either in a cold barn or a closet and was often whipped by the abusive parents. The night of her death, her parents whipped her with a 15-inch plastic tube that was recommended by the pastor.
“It’s a good spanking instrument,” Pearl said. “It’s too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone.”
Over 670,000 copies of the book have been sold.