A child-raising book that advocates whipping with branches and belts has sold hundreds of thousands of copies to evangelical Christians. But the deaths of three children whose parents appear to have been influenced by the authors’ teachings have provoked a growing backlash.
The implements can vary. For a child under one year old, a willowy branch or a 1ft (30cm) ruler is recommended. For older children, a larger branch or a belt.
But the objective of the “spanking” described in Michael and Debi Pearl’s To Train Up a Child is the same - making children surrender completely to their parents’ will.