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August 16th, 2011
10:34 PM ET

Video: Spare the rod, spoil the child, part 2

Editor's note: Gary Tuchman's second part in series on an author who says you must spank your child and a couple who killed their daughter doing it.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Rob't. T.

    Those two people in the interview clearly lack the wisdom to have, raise a child and certainly lack the wisdom
    to give anyone else advice in child rearing. They came off as arrogant, depraved, sexual perverts.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  2. sonia santiago

    I am a christian who believes that you dicipline your children . anderson you are alwlays talking or remarking on topics that are important to christians , for example on being against homosexuality all of a sudden all christians are responsible for a child taking his life because we belive homosexualality is against God you try to make us look like we are abusive I love homosexual not what they do another words I love the sinner but not the sin and have never hurt or mistreated anybody for being a homosexual I treat homoseual with love because God loves you and them.. I also belive that you need to spank your children stop trying to make it look like because we spank our children we are abusers I have three children whom I have never ever abuse I love them enough to discipline them that is why we now have to have radar in schools for guns etc because we no longer can pray talk about God or discipline our children the only thing we need to remember if you love your child you will discipline and spanking a child in his or her butt does not mean that your a child abuser these people were already abusers and have probably always been. God bless you

    October 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  3. yolanda

    i agree that there are parents, including myself, that spank PROPERLY, out of love not to "break the child's will". its amazing how many people do not deserve to have children. i am just angry that our government hasn't stepped up to the plate and have done something more about this. and i agree with the other post...one moron to write the book and a bigger one to buy and read it. shame on you people that call yourself parents....you make the really good ones look soooooo bad!

    September 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Charity

    It is appalling that all Baptists are being put under this umbrella. I am also a Baptist and this type of behaviour would NEVER be condoned in my church community... This is just another instance of people hiding behind religion to make a despicable act "acceptable" in their own eyes. It is also too bad that these people are giving us a bad name by using the name "Baptist" as part of their cult.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  5. Kate

    The reason the Pearls' advice is so dangerous is not that they say parents should spank, but that they put so much emphasis on the importance of breaking your children's will. Every battle must be won absolutely by the parent, from infancy. The child cannot be allowed to show any defiance at all, and that can include crying too much or even seeming angry. If that means "spankings" go on all day long, that's what is advised, until the child learns to submit cheerfully. That's why it can lead to death in extreme cases like this one, and that's why it's incorrect to claim that these parents were "out of control." You have to be extremely "in control" to deliberately whip a child for hours at a time. That's the kind of detachment the Pearls encourage, they say for the ultimate good of the child. They teach parents not to let their parental sensitivity get in the way of proper chastisement, that stopping before the battle has been won will only hurt the child more. The Schatz are the ones responsible for their daughter's death, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Pearls' advice had a direct influence on what they did. They can't be held legally responsible, but people need to stop buying their book and stop assuming that detractors are just anti-Christian. That's not what this is about.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  6. Liam

    I believe in the Pearl's belief on spanking. You only spank when their is disobedience. You never spank when angry, but calmly explaining to the child the reason why you are discipling them. Afterward the spank, which is not to cause harm or bruising, you reaffirm your love. THe child has to know you are disciplining their disobedience and not out of anger. The child will then know that their disobedience or act will result in punishment. My daughter is happy and content because she knows their are boundaries and their are consequences to her disobedience. She also know I love her. She is secure and loving as a result. Of, course this isnt reported in this story. Read the WHOLE book and then report CNN. People will always take advantage of something good and use it for evil, just like this family did.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  7. kay

    This is a case of taking discipline too far. I can't say I agree with the idea that the rod of discipline is always a switch. Each child is an individual and must be dealt with in such a manner. My kids didn't require spanking to get the point across that their behavior is unacceptable. However, a swat on the behind does get their attention if necessary. The very idea that the the Pearls book is to blame is rediculous. These people (murderers) obviously had no discernment and were clueless on raising kids. As far as spanking being illegal.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  8. Brittany

    I would have not been able to be a responding police officer to this call. I would have hurt these people, they killed that child in malice. This has nothing to do with religion, it's sick people that get ahold of a vague book and take it to the extreme.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  9. Dr. Gary D. McKay

    I am the coauthor of Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) the number one parent training program in the world. In the program we advise parents not to use any form of physical punishment. Spanking and hitting teach children that violence is the way to solve problems. Furthermore, parents and some clergy misunderstand the saying "spare the rod spoil the child." The rod was carried by Sheppard’s to guide the sheep should they get out of line. The sheppard would nudge the sheep to get them back in formation. They did not use the rod to hit the sheep. So the phrase should be interpreted as "spare the guidance, spoil the child".

    August 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  10. Anne Canwell

    The so-called pastors who influence these pathetic simpletons are sicker than their followers. Kudos to the lady who is a daughter of one of these preachers and now has set up an organization to try and put an end to such madness. I can't believe that such behavior as Mr. Pearl encourages is actually legal and is done in the name of Christianity!

    August 18, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  11. David B. FL

    From my understanding "the rod" was a shepherds staff which they would use to guide sheep straying out of the flock back into the flock. It was NOT used to beat sheep OR children.

    August 18, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  12. Sally

    I have a question: Is it considered spanking if you give a child one swat on the rear when they are trying to cross the street and cars are coming?

    August 18, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  13. Ken Stevens

    These religious fanatics that take the Bible literally were also children that believed in Santa Claus until they were 13 years old. They would argue with other 7th graders that they just don't understand the truth, that Santa really does come down the chimney on Christmas Eve. They think that the Bible is the word of God. But we now know today the Bible is the word of mortal MEN, not God. These men that lived thousands of years ago wrote the scripture based on their own human lust & greed since they had no science. For example, they wrote that any society not worshiping their Christian God should have their men killed and the women & children enslaved into sexual bondage for use by the new incoming invading Christians. Gee, that's not self-serving, I really believe that quality wisdom..

    August 18, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  14. Rukiya

    I notice that no one is addressing the elephant in the room! They happened to kill the tiny, skinny little black girl they obviously adopted! If she was really their child she would have been alive today! This is not only a child killing but a hate crime. Racism-White-supremacy manifest itself in the actions of many Christians who classify themselves as white. And i hope they get the death penalty same penalty i wish for all parents who kill their children!

    August 17, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Jay

    There is a similar case in Skagit County, Washington that is currently under investigation. The Pearl's book was used by the family, and one of the adopted children (Hana Grace Rose Williams) is dead from malnutrition and exposure (coroner said). The parents deny any wrongdoing even though the Sheriff has recommended that charges be filed. The surviving 7 kids are in foster care and the parents are trying to regain custody of them. As a Christian, I believe in discipline (God disciplines His own children), but not punishment, which is reserved for the devil and his angels and followers. I am convinced that we are treated with grace and gentle kindness, and that we are to handle our children in the same manner.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  16. Jennifer

    THis issue is much bigger then simple spankings. Michasel Pearl quotes on his website that "a proper spanking leaves a child with out breath to complain". On the interview though he says it shouldn't leave a mark. Is it even possible to leave anyone without breath to complain without leaving marks? His teachings of scripture are way out of context, his teachings are abusive, and he should be in jail for writing this book. it has no place in any home, especially a Christian home, it is not a christian book.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  17. Lori

    Thanks Anderson for talking about this. I'm reminded of a nondenominational church I'm familiar with in the south that used other material from these authors. The "submission" conversation hit the news a few days ago – but another of their books, titled Created to be his Helpmate (by Debi Pearl) advocates complete submission of wives. This seems to be very common teachings in many fundamental circles along with the views on spanking.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  18. Marianne

    I am a Christian. I was spanked as a child. I was HORRIFIED that people would twist God's intent on proper discipline to justify excessive abusive. The way the Pearls and Independent Baptist Churches promote violence against children in the name of their religion is comparable to Islamic extremist's brainwashing of suicide bombers.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  19. Stephanie Nunley

    I was spanked, and I was also hit/beaten. There is a huge difference. One is discipline, and one is abuse. If a child's life ended because of "discipline," I do believe that someone is using the wrong word. I went through physical discipline, and I am still a believer in physical discipline now that I'm of the age to start a family. I am not, however, tolerant of abusers or those who hit their children. It's not just a Christian thing either, it's a parenting thing. Ironically, those who give their kids "time outs" in their rooms with tv's, gaming consoles, and their beds never have kids who know how to behave in public. P.S. I think you are awesome, Anderson!

    August 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  20. Vicki Baker

    I would have liked it if the interviewer had read the quote I put in my earlier comment and then asked Pearl – do you think it is still impossible to say how many licks is too many? What if the child remained rebellious even after the point of physical injury? What makes you think your data set of five children gives you enough information to advise parents who may face challenges you never faced?

    August 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  21. Amanda Mason

    I'm completely disgusted by this. How anyone could strike or spank a child is beyond me. And in most places it is illegal to cause physical harm to a child. These people are obviously sick in the head and those who read the book and go by it are just as sick. I really wish more justice was served to the daughter that was killed and to her sister who endured the same pain. And the people who wrote this book should go through the same treatment themselves and see how it feels to be in such agony and pain.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  22. Wendell

    I am beginning to believe that this may be a growing movement within the Evangelicals. My Pastor recently started a series on the family. Last Sunday's sermon was on discipline; with the last 10 minutes being a "demonstration" of how to spank a child. The Pastor suggested that it is not good to spank with your hand...because it is painful to the parent, and the parent will stop spanking too soon! He also said not to stop spanking until they stop wiggling and screaming. He said the point was not to break their spirit, but to break their will. We love this Church, but I don't believe we can go back if the rest of the "church family" is going to consider this sermon as acceptable. I grew up in a very conservative Church, and I'll have to say that I never heard anything this outrageous. Again, I believe this may be some sort of movement that the Pastor must be buying into. It was surreal; I was waiting for him to bring out the Kool Aid next!

    August 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  23. Donna Gardner

    Two things-"Spare the rod, spoil the child" The rod in the Bible is a metaphor for the rod of correction. The rod that is straight and narrow and consistent. It is not a rod to beat your child with. I SPANKED my children with the flat of my hand but would never, ever use an object to strike my children with. It is a stark statement that the book author says he corrects violent behavior with violent behavior. The only thing a child learns is he who has the bigger stick wins. Such a sad story!

    August 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  24. Angelo Marfisi

    These people have two faults:
    1- They believe in what "god" wants (If there were such thing),
    2- Are two rednecks full of cow manure that make them live in la-la land!
    I think we should use the sticks on them and on all those that believe such a nonsense!

    August 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  25. ann

    The Pearls are advocating abuse on children as young as 3 months old. Tell me what a 3 month old has done to deserve being beaten with a 1/4 inch plumbing line? The Pearls need to receive the same kind of discipline that they dole out. This is not Christian behavior.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  26. Nathan

    Correction: I referred to the "Moores" when I meant to refer to the Pearls.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  27. Nathan

    This "report", "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child", smacked of the worst kind of tendentiousness, of a pained attempt to manufacture shock and find scandal where none was apparent. Worst of all, the culpability insinuated upon the Moores — that because they advocate some measure of corporal punishment they are in some wise responsible for a couple who beat their child to death, a charge conveniently placed in the words of a public official — is inexcusable. It is akin to blaming a doctor who prescribes oxycodone for an instance in which the patient chooses to use the drug to commit suicide, or even homicide, by overdose. I do not have any particular point of view regarding the prudence of corporal punishment (no children yet), but the framing, the delivery, of this "report" was obnoxiously manipulative. Most laughably, quoting from their book, Cooper adds insidious emphasis to a "scandalous" line. In disbelief, he notes that the Moores advocate "spanking to cause pain". Newsflash: some people believe in "driving... to get places" and "using washing machines... to clean clothes". I can't imagine what other kind of spanking Cooper and Tuchman were expecting. I can't fathom what the scandal was supposed to be in this quote. A report on current research into the effects of corporal punishment, for good or ill, could be newsworthy. This piece was an embarrasment. You can do better.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  28. shelley

    Another victim of the holy bible.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  29. Jean

    The Pearls are masters at relating to children. I think some of their material on the web is free to read – really, try reading some of it – they are truly delightful people in many respects.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  30. Debra

    I applaud CNN for covering this topic, however, I do wonder if they read the book. There are passages in the book that indicate you are to KEEP spanking your child until they are totally submissive. It also says to hold them down during a session if they fight it too long. The key here is that the Schatzs' believed that Lydia was not submitting to her homeschool lesson and was intentionally saying a word wrong (IRC). The spankings continued because she would not or could not do the lesson. The reason the Pearl's should be implicated, is not because they say a spanking should cause pain, but their teaching that you do not STOP until the child is submissive. By submissive the child can not fight it, they are allowed to cry but it must be a 'broken' cry not one in anger. I wish CNN would have used those passages in the book and asked the Pearls to either clarify their teaching or admit that in some cases it could lead to this extreme case of abuse.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  31. Allan Canterbury

    These people know nothing!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  32. Martha Gregory

    I was never spanked......I paint, draw, took piano for 14years, am a makeup artist, and I live in Tennessee.... I have a 3 year old, and I say I spank her but it is quite a joke.... I cannot imagine the horror those poor girls felt. It must be like being terrorized by a criminal. To me it's as being murdered by some sick murderous person, especially to use religion to back this up.... I am still amazed by the horrible things that go on.... My children are sheltered and I hope they stay that way...My goal in my children's lives is if nothing but to make them feel SECURE and SAFE!

    August 17, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  33. Eric

    if all you did was spank your child there would be no bruise or death.......you dont spank someone to death but you can beat them to death......people need to realize there is a difference.....we need to stop abuse not spanking

    August 17, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  34. Eric

    Pummeling your child and spanking them are two completly different things....you all realize this right

    August 17, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  35. Martina

    Beating a child/children, starving them, putting them in cages, denying medical care, these stories are either for just plain sensationalism or mishandling the tragedies. People are outraged then the story (stories) fade and people go back to whatever else is the "top" story of the day.

    Why not keep the coverage going, like you (CNN & other media outlets) do when there is a "pretty", "beautiful", little girl missing. The media is all over that for months.

    That little girl deserves so-called "justice". At least protect kids who can't yell for help. Or they are thought of as liars and making up stories. Or the parents just brush it off.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  36. Bonnie

    Are you kidding me?!!!!!! beating a child for 7 straight hours until she dies and one gets 22 years and the other gets 12 years? what do you have to do to get life in prison? Skin them alive? Unbelievable! These are dangerous and psychotic people. This has nothing to do with Christianity or God.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  37. Deb, CT

    Using anything besides the hand on the bottom IS considered "Illegal" in CT. Any instrument used is considered a weapon. I don't believe this is appropriate. (But) Then again, I don't consider psychological torture any better, or any other form of abuse. Only time, patience and repetition are acceptable in my book. If you're a parent, there isn't any easy out.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  38. Randi Kodroff

    Thank you for reporting this story. There is a difference between a quick swat on the bottom and the advice to spank a child until you break his will.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  39. Clay Roberson

    Your story on the abuse of that little girls death, people are so twisted and evil. The books author and wife should be arrested for abuse too! Keep up the great work Anderson,great show. Keep um honest.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  40. Fred Murray

    There is not a anyone in their right mind who would condone the abuse that little girl suffered. Any one who is pummled by their parent has a parent who is out of control. Contrary to popular belief there are parents out there who spank without causing abuse. I was thankful to have a mother who spanked my bottom three or four times rather than cusing at me and calling me names which is the normal at any local shopping center. Or placing me in isolation for hours like was reccomended to me by my state university psychology teacher. So it amazes me that there are not over six hundred thousand families who have injured their children by reading the Pearls book.since it appearantly so evil. Sadly one of the many who have read the book went way too far.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  41. B Wilson

    Poor reporting on this story. Discipline by use of spanking is not beating. Your efforts to stereotype Christians was underhanded.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Michelle Giroux

      They didn't stereotype Christians at all.They focused on the Pearls and others who think like that interpretation of what God says, not what True Christianity really says about it.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • M Mason

      As a child who was spanked once or twice, it should not hurt. To cause pain through spanking IS abuse. Though you may be christian does not mean the bible condones a spanking that is supposed to hurt. Get your facts straight! Have you not seen what the definition of abuse is according to Child Protective Services or by your local police department? You should know very well that to touch a child and cause harm is abuse and it's not tolerated by any state.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Michael Montgomery

      This isnt poor reporting,This is excellent reporting I'm a christian and I dont condone this.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Ken Stevens

      Poor comment you left. Very uninformed. Spanking as discipline is worse than beating, it is outright abuse. Apparently you have never heard of dyslexia or attention deficit disorder? These are conditions that are caused by spanking. If you want your child to go into the military someday, then that's fine. This is how pitbulls are trained to fight. By beating the animals, they know nothing but hatred and anger. That's how it's done. However, if you want your child to go to college someday, then you are your own child's worst enemy.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Sarah Stumphf

      Once you experience getting your will broken by being paddled for an hour or more at a time, then, by all means, call it bad reporting. In the mean time, as someone who survived it, it sounds like informed, good reporting to me!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Jennifer

      It's obvious he is not talking about spanking but beatings and if you think the Christian community supports bruising and puss and open flesh wounds from "spankings" then you are part of these cults as well. I know the Christian community does not support this!

      September 4, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  42. Michelle Asano

    Proof that any moron can write a book and find even bigger ones to buy them. This story made my stomach hurt.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  43. cynthia

    This is disgusting. These people are uneducated idiots. They are on par with polygamists. Spanking or striking a child should be illegal.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Jill

      Wow...your comment kind of makes me question who is really uneducated and uninformed. As in all situations, there are always 2 sides to every story...as in this particular case. NO child should EVER be abused in ANY way! Those parents should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. On the other hand, in all the research I have done on the Pearls, they only promote training children in love (not abuse or anger) in order to raise a generation who have both strong character and are well disciplined in all areas of life.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Name*Brenda

      I don't agree with your statement. I believe in spanking , but not abuse . To me these families that don't spank have out of control kids. There the ones that are running and screaming in stores cuz the mom is so scared to do anything or dont believe in spanking. Its rude to let your kids do that at public places and a little spanken could take care of that.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Ken Stevens

      Spanking or striking a child is illegal. If the assault is without a weapon, then it is a misdemeanor. If a weapon is used by an adult on a child, such a belt used as leather whip, then it becomes a felony, first degree cruelty to children.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • SHerry

      Why should spanking or striking a child be illegal? Because it hurts? I got plenty of spankings as a child. I had the sassiest mouth, and I deserved it. It didn't kill me, but it DID train me that sassiness was not acceptable. Last time I checked, in many cases doctors cannot HEAL their patients without also inflicting pain on them. Most athletes cannot excel in their sport without inflicting pain on their own bodies. Just like doctors and athletes, the pain inflicted should be CONTROLLED and not overdone. The Pearl's have raised five very well-adjusted adults.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |

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