This post, responding to charges that critics of Michael and Debi Pearl are slandering them and taking their childrearing advice out of context, quotes directly from the Pearls to prove otherwise.
Part of it is the doublespeak of the Pearls, using terms differently than most people do, such as “punish” and “spank.” Also, the Pearls say their children grew up happy and are raising happy children, but this can be linked to Stockholm Syndrome.
This quote shows Stockholm Syndrome:
On p.79 they recommend switching a 7 month old for screaming.
A seven-month-old boy had, upon failing to get his way, stiffened clenched his fists, bared his toothless gums and called down damnation on the whole place. At a time like that, the angry expression on a baby’s face can resemble that of one instigating a riot.
The young mother, wanting to do the right thing, stood there in helpless consternation, apologetically shrugged her shoulders and said, “What can I do?” My incredulous nine-year-old whipped back, “Switch him.” The mother responded, “I can’t, he’s too little.”
With the wisdom of a veteran who had been on the little end of the switch, my daughter answered, “If he is old enough to pitch a fit, he is old enough to be spanked.”
This is what happens to lots of people who are abused as children (including my ex-friend Richard, who told me he was abused and “deserved” it) : they internalize the punishment and think this is the proper way to raise a child.
It also reminds me of the character Celie in The Color Purple:
In the book, Celie, who has been severely abused by her husband, turns around and abuses her dog.
In the movie and book, when Celie’s stepson asks how to manage his strong-willed wife, Celie says, “Beat her.”
It is fiction, but a strong representation of how abuse gets carried on from generation to generation through Stockholm Syndrome.