To Train Up a Child

by Michael and Debi Pearl
Reviewed date: 2012 Jun 4
108 pages
cover art

Michael Pearl explains how to properly train and discipline (they are not the same thing!) a child. He cautions that this is only part of child-rearing, and that even proper training will not necessarily result in a child becoming a responsible, Christian adult. Only the saving power of Jesus Christ can do that.

But you do want a well-behaved, well-adjusted child, and Michael Pearl shows how to do that. I don't agree with everything he says--for example, he seems completely out of touch with the educational needs of a modern American family. And he doesn't seem to leave room for dealing with less-than-ideal family situations--the only option seems to be a happy marriage with the wife as a homemaker and the husband the breadwinner. He doesn't seem to address strong-willed children, at least not as well as James Dobson did in The Strong-willed Child. And finally, (although this is an unfair quibble that won't affect most families) he doesn't address the different expections that may be needed for children with disabilities, who may not be able to understand or obey the same way a typical child would.

But on the whole, he seems to have done well with his kids, and I like his advice.

Any discussion or review of this book seems to skip any actual treatment of the text and go straight into love it or hate it responses, based on whether or not someone approves of spanking. Those who approve love it, those who disapprove believe it teaches abuse.

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