Blaming Creepy Parenting Book for Child's Murder Is Too Easy


To Train Up a ChildSay what you will about parenting books, but they're just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to how parents raise their kids. We all have the choice to buy them -- or not -- and follow what we think is right. So I'm having a hard time with the cops who are saying a parenting book played a role in the murder of 13-year-old Hana Grace Rose Williams, a kid from Washington State. 

Granted, it's hard to make sense of the murder of a child. But the laundry list of things that are disturbing about Hana's death just keeps on growing. For starters, cops have charged her parents with the murder of the girl they adopted from Ethiopia.

Hana was allegedly left out in the cold with inadequate clothing after a long period of starvation and other abuses that included being locked in a closet, having to shower outside with a hose, being beaten with plastic tubing, and being forced to sit outside while her family enjoyed Christmas inside. She died of hypothermia because her starved body was unable to keep her warm in the cold May night. It's the kind of stuff that court papers say Carri and Larry Williams learned from the pages of To Train Up a Child, a controversial parenting book by Michael Pearl and his wife Debi Pearl (described in some sources as an Amish preacher, Pearl is in fact an evangelical who lives near an Amish community)

Way to pass the buck.

Don't get me wrong. The Pearls' book -- popular in certain sects of the homeschooling community -- will turn your stomach. It details pulling the hair of an infant who bites while breastfeeding and taking a switch to a 7-month-old for screaming. They sound like sadistic people who should never have children.

But the kids hurt in the book aren't Hana or either of the two other children -- Sean Paddock, 4, and Lydia Schatz, 7 -- whose deaths have been linked to the couple's "pearls" of parenting wisdom. These kids were all allegedly killed by parents who carried out these horrific acts.

Those parents are to blame. I hate to defend a book that depraved, but putting the blame on anyone other than these people is too easy. They should have known better. Especially as parents who all adopted, who all should have been hyper-aware of the gift they were being given.

Sane, rational adults don't abuse children. They don't leave a child to freeze to death. They don't lock a child in a closet or beat them with a plastic tube. If they did, we'd have a lot more than the (already disquieting) three million child abuse reports logged annually by the National Child Abuse Hotline.

Do you think it's fair to blame a sick book for the deaths of these kids?


Image via Amazon

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tinyp... tinypossum

I am not sure I would call it unfair to lay some of the blame on the authors of this book. Clearly, the parents themselves are responsible for what they did to this poor child, but anyone who writes a parenting book that encourages this kind of behavior has to bear some responsibility when people act on their advice. It's hard to believe that anyone can be stupid and gullible enough to think that what they did was "parenting" in any way. I wonder how much of that book is religiously based. A lot I imagine if it is written by a preacher. If they are telling people that the way to keep their kid in God's good graces is to torture them, then they are preying on the foolish. 

krenk... krenke414

If there was a book that told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

Melis... Melissa042807

How did that book even get published if it encourages such dangerous behavior? 

tinyp... tinypossum

Reading that website full of quotes from that book makes me want to throw up. WTH is wrong with those people!?!?!?!

vamom08 vamom08

I dont need a book to teach me how to raise my daughter kids dont come with a manual and if a parent read this book and carried out the harsh acts they are stupid as well as the person who wrote the book and they need to be punish.

mommix4 mommix4

They are not Christians because we as Christians are to discipline with love not to crush a childs will. These people are sick and so is anyone that follows their teaching. Reading the linked site made me cry. They would have beat a baby for wanting his mommy. They say to sit on the child if its needed so you can hit them. And if the kid has a potty accident to take them outside and hose them down cause the childs a man now and to big for wipes. So so sad

nonmember avatar Kristi

No, the book is not to blame. However when you put out a manual about abusing your child there will be people who listen to you. And that's exactly what this disgusting book is, a manual on child abuse. Also, nice little jab at home-schoolers. Not everyone who home schools is a religious nut job who abuses their kids. A lot of us are just unhappy with the current school system and would rather take matters into our own hands.

nonmember avatar Emily

Holy Crap! I read some of the quotes from the book, because I didn't want to believe that something so wicked exsists. Holy horse crap it does! How freaking sick do you have to be to 1. Write this book 2. Follow any of the examples in this book. And for the LOVE OF GOD can someone tell me why the Perls aren't in jail for child abuse? Bastards!

luvz2... luvz2bmama

UGH they have a fb page I hope fb bans it. 

xavie... xavierlogan09

I read some of the things they recommend. How horrendous. I can't believe what these poor children suffered before they died. I want to know why these parents aren't in prison for murder? Also how in the hell did this book get published? This is not the books fault. These parents are sickos who murdered their children. They have no one to blame but themselves.

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