An Open Letter to Debi Pearl

Growing up, I knew many Christian Science parents who followed ideas that mirrored those of in To Train Up A Child wrapped in other ideals, under the guise of “parent-led” decisions – strict scheduling, extreme sleep-training, boot-camp-style potty training and parent-led feeding of a nursing baby.

At the end of the day, you have to meet the child where they are, it is not a power struggle for dominance (although it may feel that way at 2 am when the little one refuses to sleep). This is something I’m still working on myself, I find I have to stop and remind myself, “they’re only little kids” not evil masterminds.

Instead of turning to books like My First 300 Babies or the Babywise series (both praised in the Christian Science community as excellent standards for parenting and must-have books), why not try Peaceful Parenting? Appropriately this link ( is about the pitfalls of obedience training, something the (conservative) Christian community seems to relish.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Libby Anne’s blog Love Joy Feminism. It was originally published on Patheos on October 24, 2013.

Dear Debi,

I was very excited when I read your article of this past August, titled “The Roland Study.” In that article, you began with this opening paragraph:

My grandson Roland, who just turned one, has taught me more about the development of babies and toddlers than I learned my first sixty-plus years of life. It is not that he is such a fine teacher; it’s just that, now that I’m a grandmother, not responsible for meeting the daily needs of my children, I can seriously focus on what makes him tick:  how much he understands, what causes him joy or anxiety or fear, his interests and responses—and, most importantly, what a child is capable of learning at various ages.

I am…

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