January 3, 2014 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #611746
There is a book out there encourage parents to beat their children from when are infants in order to train them to be good children. Kids have died from parents following the advice in the book. Amazon sells the book. Why in the world would Amazon sell such a book?January 3, 2014 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #997744fkellyMember
It isn’t illegal to sell a book like that? It should be!January 3, 2014 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #997745☕️coffee addictParticipant
I don’t understand your question, Amazon sells any book as long as its a book, like “Mein Kampf”, you name it they got it.January 5, 2014 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #997746
Are you sure that it’s telling parents to beat their children and not just explaining when and how to use a smack so that children learn? Personally, I believe that for certain behaviour such as dangerous or repeated chutzpa and unreasonability from a child deserves a smack, as long as it is given infrequently, in private (so as not to embarrass the child) and not in anger.
I do think that amazon would draw the line on material that bordered on child abuse.January 5, 2014 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #997747
By the way what is this book called?January 5, 2014 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #997748
The book is called “To Train Up a Child”. Most of the reviews are 1 star (a lot of the five star reviews are sarcastic) and refer to the book as a manual for child abuse.January 5, 2014 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #997749
I just looked it up, and also at the Wikipedia article on the author. I think perhaps that if parents really take it literally it can be dangerous but the main premise of the book seems to be training children into staying away from bad behaviour in the first place, rather than trying to discipline them once they’re already misbehaving. And in the article, it was noted at the trial of one of the children’s deaths that the parents themselves took the book too far, and many of the punishments they did were not even suggested by the book. And apparently they brought quotes from the book at the trial which tells parents to stay away from abuse.January 6, 2014 12:42 am at 12:42 am #997750
Notasheep, the premise of the book seems to be that kids are little annoying brats who need to be beaten into submission. I didn’t read the book, but a lot of people who submitted reviews on Amazon seem to think so.January 6, 2014 12:58 am at 12:58 am #997751
Any parent who would hurt a child as a result of reading a book is not a person who can be trusted with children.January 6, 2014 3:35 am at 3:35 am #997752business1Participant
The bottom line is that Amazon wants to make money so they’re selling the book. In addition, there’s probably a demand for it so they can’t turn customers away because they feel it borders on child abuse.January 6, 2014 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #997753
DY, actually I read the introduction and the main premise of the book is training children into good behaviour instead of letting them reach naughty behaviour. The example I read was explaining how to teach a very young child (an infant) not to touch something by placing the object near them and then telling them ‘no’ very firmly when they try to reach out for it. After a few tries they understand and no longer touch. Nowhere did I read of wholesale beatings into submission so any parent who seems to think that’s the case has clearly misread. Although I do think that perhaps they should have made the book a little clearer.
If you check his family background, you will see that they are religious Christians, and therefore they use this strict approach in conjunction with their own moral teachings. Unfortunately most non-Jews are not religious and would therefore not have the same judgement behind using stricter punishments. This is how you end up with parents hurting their children as a result of reading a parenting book.January 6, 2014 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #997754
Notasheep, the premise of the book seems to be that kids are little annoying brats who need to be beaten into submission. I didn’t read the book, but a lot of people who submitted reviews on Amazon seem to think so.
I believe the author of <i>To Train Up a Child</i> is Amish. Based on what I know of the book, the premise is not that kids are annoying brats, but that disciplining a child is similar to training animals – instilling habits based on fear and reward, rather than nurturing and encouraging the soul.January 6, 2014 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #997755
The example I read was explaining how to teach a very young child (an infant) not to touch something by placing the object near them and then telling them ‘no’ very firmly when they try to reach out for it. After a few tries they understand and no longer touch.
In my opinion, that would be a horrible way to teach an infant. G-d instilled in infants a deep curiosity about their surroundings. They have an intense desire to explore, touch, and taste everything they see. This is the only way a baby can learn so quickly about his or her surroundings. To purposely place something within reach of a baby and punish them for exploring it is not only cruel, it discourages the natural curiosity that engenders later intelligence and learning.
I know a response to this could be, what about Hashem placing the etz hadaas tov v’ra in gan eden where Adam Harishon could eat from it, but that case is completely dissimilar. The whole point of the etz hadaas was that Adam had the ability to listen to Hashem’s command and obey it. Hashem did not place that tree in the garden, wait for Adam to eat from it, and then punish him and say “NOW you know!” A baby has no ability to understand “do not touch this” before the fact. The only way you could communicate that to them is to let them do it and then punish them – and that is cruel and wrong. If there is something they should not touch, put it out of reach. When they reach an age of understanding, then you can tell them not to touch and warn them of the consequences.January 6, 2014 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #997756
Avram in MD, it seems that they have their own ministry.
I am going according to the reviews I read on Amazon.January 6, 2014 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #997757
Avram in MD, perhaps that was not really a good example, but there was no punishment involved, merely teaching the child that there are some things they can’t touch (which they can understand from a young age). I would like to point out an observation I have made on my own and other people’s kids: My house has a few decorative ornaments and nice photo frames around. Most of them are out of my kids’ reach. On the whole, my two year old understands that she is not allowed to play with them (when she gets into one of her terrible two’s moods it’s a different story, but these are the exceptions). She has grown up with these things around so they are not a source of play for her. However when I have kids in my house whose parents do not have any of these trinkets around, they touch and play with them and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell them that it’s not a toy – some of these kids are six, seven or eight years old, not two. It’s the same with my piano – my toddler doesn’t just lift up the lid and bash the keys, yet other children much older than here will do that. My point, and the author’s point, is that children can be trained not to touch things that aren’t meant to be played with.January 6, 2014 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #997758
but there was no punishment involved,
For most babies, the firm “no” will likely cause confusion, and they won’t necessarily connect it to touching a specific object. What does the parent do when the infant touches it after the “no”?
merely teaching the child that there are some things they can’t touch (which they can understand from a young age).
Please define young age – I was assuming we were discussing infants (e.g., < 12 months) here. I don’t believe that an infant can be effectively taught that there are some things they “can’t” touch (toy vs. not a toy); rather they learn to be afraid of certain things and people.
my two year old understands that she is not allowed to play with them
There is a universe of difference between an infant and a two year old. I agree that a two year old (who can climb and access far more objects than an infant, and say no!) should be instructed to not touch certain things. But, as you say, sometimes 2-year olds behave differently when hungry, tired, or sick. What should be done in those cases?
some of these kids are six, seven or eight years old
That sounds like a serious discipline issue, not a result of these children lacking the same objects in their house. A 6 to 8-year old child certainly is old enough to understand concepts like personal property, private and public, touch and don’t touch.January 6, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #997759
notasheep: There are nearly 3,000 one star reviews on Amazon, each one claiming that the book encourages parents to hit their children even infants. While I’m sure not all read the book, and many can miscontrue the authors intent, I’m equally sure that the book encourages parents to hit their child as a way of training the child to behave. That is unacceptable way of educating children. One doesn’t educate an infant to not touch things by smacking the kid.
I would assume telling a child 6-8 years of age, that if they touch what they don’t want them to touch, it would be sufficient to tell them that they would be asked to leave. End of problem for most children.January 6, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #997760
Pro-spanking parents are most against this book. It’s not about disciplining children, it’s about beating them to get rid of the inner demon, which any parent who can be trusted to raise children will reject.January 7, 2014 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #997761
Rebyidd, nowhere did I see that ‘it’s about beating them to get rid of the inner demon’. Avram, no, children that age will NOT understand not to touch private property if they haven’t been taught the concept from a young age.
As to your assertion that children below 12 months will not understand the meaning of the word no – my 7 month old is already beginning to understand what ‘no’ means. And since I have acutally studied child development, I can tell you that from about six months of age babies are beginning to comprehend language and not just inflection, so it is not just that my baby is advanced. After the parent says ‘no’, they move the object out of reach. And why should the child become afraid of that object rather than learning it is untouchable? Babies pick up what the parent gives off, so if the parent is not showing any fear, the child will not learn that.January 7, 2014 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #997762
children that age [6 to 8 years] will NOT understand not to touch private property if they haven’t been taught the concept from a young age.
This makes no sense to me. If children cannot learn new concepts unless they were taught them at a “young” age, then how could they ever learn Torah, or to read, or math, or any complex subject?
As to your assertion that children below 12 months will not understand the meaning of the word no
I never intended to say an infant wouldn’t understand the meaning of the word no in the sense of parental disapproval – I’m saying that they might get confused as to why you are saying no or expressing disapproval.
I have also said no to an infant trying to explore an electrical socket, and he definitely noticed my no and gave me attention, but then went back to the socket. As he reached for it the next few times, I said no while moving him away from the light socket, and he gave me bewildered looks and kept returning to it.
At that point I have a choice: I could go the “To Train Up a Child” route, interpret his behavior as intransigence, engage in a power struggle with him until he fears my wrath and looks at me for approval before touching anything ever again (i.e., understands the meaning of no). Or I could simply block his access to the socket and we both move on with our lives with no trauma. By the time the child was 2, he could understand my instructions clearly, understand some of the reasoning behind it (he could get hurt) and also perceive that there would be consequences for disobeying.
And since I have acutally studied child development,
So you perceive no conflict between the “To Train Up a Child” model and your knowledge of child development?
I can tell you that from about six months of age babies are beginning to comprehend language and not just inflection,
And I can tell you that babies in the womb are beginning to comprehend language and not just inflection (newborns recognize their parent’s language as distinct from foreign languages, they recognize familiar voices, tones, and many other things such as music). I can also tell you that language comprehension has little relevance to what we’re talking about, which are worldly concepts such as object permanence, memory, cause and effect.
After the parent says ‘no’, they move the object out of reach.
So you are advocating doing something completely different from what’s described in “To Train Up a Child”. Based on your example from the book, you would leave the object within reach of the child and escalate your reaction until the baby breaks from fear. I’m glad that we’re not as far apart on these issues as it seems.
And why should the child become afraid of that object rather than learning it is untouchable?
And why wouldn’t the baby become afraid of the object, or the yelling and hitting parent? Different babies are going to interpret things differently.January 7, 2014 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #997763MammeleParticipant
This discussion reminds me of a story of a Rebbe visiting a rich guy’s house on Shabbos. When his little kid touched something that was muktzah the father wouldn’t admonish him because he’s too young to understand. Then the kid touched some expensive breakable Tchotcke and the father started screaming at him to stop…
I don’t remember all the details of the story, and I’d assume the kid was older than an infant, but I believe parents have the ability to set rules and enforce them WHEN THEY CONSIDER SOMETHING IMPORTANT. I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment on it, but the bottom line is we all need to find that “happy medium”.January 7, 2014 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #997764
It wasn’t a direct quote.January 7, 2014 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #997765
I believe parents have the ability to set rules and enforce them WHEN THEY CONSIDER SOMETHING IMPORTANT.
Absolutely. How a parent interacts with a child, including enforcing rules, should be age appropriate. A parent of a very young child should put breakable or dangerous objects out of reach. Muktzeh toys should ideally be put away before Shabbos, out of sight, out of mind.January 7, 2014 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #997766
I just feel that instead of reading the reviews (which sometimes is a good way of gauging something but not necessarily with books) people should check it up for themselves. I think that most of the reviews on Amazon are from people who heard about the child abuse cases in which three children died as a result of parents misguidedly taking the book to an extreme. I do not believe that any book that advocates ‘beating children into submission’ would even get published in a country such as America. I would suggest that if we all read it ourselves, we would see that.
I may point out a recent, horrific event (unconnected to this book) in which people are now downloading the NYP app just to give it a 1-star review. Most of the people who are doing this may not even have read the article, but following public opinion. Please don’t abuse me for this since I know the two cases are not in any way related, I am merely trying to point out that in order to discredit something, people will jump on the bandwagon without actually having checked up the facts themselves.January 7, 2014 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #997767
notasheep: I am flabbergasted! Clearly you didn’t read the book, and you are defending it??!!
Many reviewers typed lines that were actually in the book. It is clear from those lines (I highly doubt these reviewers made up those lines) that the authors advocate disciplining children in a way that would be considered criminal child abuse.
Not only that, even just “looking inside” that amazon allows a person to preview a bit of the book, shows unacceptable ways of “training” even an infant!
How can you possibly defend a book when you have no clue what is inside it?
I am merely trying to point out that in order to discredit something, people will jump on the bandwagon without actually having checked up the facts themselves. Perhaps you should take your advice and check the facts too before commenting.January 7, 2014 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #997768
people should check it up for themselves
I do not believe that any book that advocates ‘beating children into submission’ would even get published in a country such as America
From the Web site of the author of that book (regarding the book’s suggestion to spank with quarter-inch PVC type tubing in order to maximize pain without bruising):
A swift whack with the plastic tubing would sting but not bruise. Give ten licks at a time, more if the child resists.
I think I’m done checking it up. Things like that evidently do get published in a country like America.January 8, 2014 2:12 am at 2:12 am #997769
Freedom of press. Normal people don’t follow crazy instructions.January 8, 2014 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #997770
For those who are attacking me, I was merely trying to make a point.
Trust, I did read that ‘look inside’ on amazon actually, and to me there was nothing in that introduction that gave indication of abuse. Avram, I will defer my position, since if what you have written is a direct quote from the author then that is something I would not agree with – and I am pro smacking (for dangerous or out of control behaviour, and it should be VERY infrequent).
Trust, my point was that many people will put a review on something they have heard about merely to discredit it, when they have not read it themselves. Even though you highly doubt that what people wrote was made up, unless you know that for a fact you can’t just assume it. People will make up anything that sounds plausible. I am not trying to defend the book itself, just clarify what is people’s idea of ‘abuse’ since in today’s age of parenting many people will say that being strict and taking away privileges/toys or putting a child in a ‘naughty’ chair is abuse. Shlomo Hamelech said ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ but it seems most people have forgotten this.
No more attacks, please. I am done with this thread. Apparently I am not allowed to be strict any more.January 8, 2014 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #997771
For those who are attacking me
I apologize for making you feel attacked. I think we had very different interpretations of the example you gave from the book. In end end, your personal example was no different than what I or any other normal parent would do. I wasn’t objecting to saying no to a baby, in fact, I think it’s very important to communicate with them what’s going on verbally as it’s done (no no, this is dangerous, or, I’m going to change your diaper now). I was objecting to the idea of exploiting baby’s natural curiosity to create a punishment situation in order to “train” him. I should have made it more clear throughout the discussion that my issue was with the book, so I apologize.
my point was that many people will put a review on something they have heard about merely to discredit it, when they have not read it themselves.
I absolutely agree with your sentiment here; but unfortunately in the case of this particular book, the raging reviewers are on the right track.
I agree with you that there is a dangerous trend towards permissiveness among many parents, and that parental authority is under assault in the present culture. I don’t think that “To Train Up a Child” advocates an accurate or healthy depiction of traditional parenting, however. Traditional parenting is built on a foundation of closeness and understanding a child’s behaviors and abilities. Sometimes food or water can solve a problem, sometimes a change of activities or location. Sometimes punishment is necessary. Many parents in today’s culture have little emotional connection with their children, so they have no ability to really interpret a situation from their child’s perspective. For these people, a punishment-centric approach is very dangerous and very well can lead to abuse.January 8, 2014 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #997772
Notasheep, you are acting against yourself by associating your philosophy with an awful book.
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