Actually, it’s not but since there is a whole thread at CAF on how spanking is sexual abuse (which is an argument I’m not going to get into though I do believe it does have merit) and so many are advocating spanking and corporal punishment because it means their children won’t go to hell. Then you get those that say spanking didn’t hurt them in any way. And that lack of spanking leads to all the problems we have in the world. OR that spanking is in the Bible. It isn’t.
Dulce de Leche has two great posts about spanking: one how it’s not just about spanking and I spanked my dog and he turned out fine which deal with the reality that spanking is abuse and there are great effects on the one spanked.
While Michael Pearls teaching hasn’t made inroads into Catholic circles (yet!), the mentality of the parent winning at all costs has in parenting. It’s sad and disheartening that this garbage is making it’s way into any Christian believer’s life especially the Catholic believer who has access to the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church. Yet, between the advocating for spanking (excuse me, corporal punishment. bite me.) and seeing another thread about why aren’t there more big Catholic families (can anyone say Quiverfull?) the dangerous fringe elements of Protestantism are making their way into Catholic families. I have a problem with that.
Abuse is abuse no matter how you dress it up in pretty packaging and call it good parenting. These kids who have to live with these parents are going to have to deal with consequences of their parents’ actions as adults and they may have no idea that what was done to them was abuse. They may even spank their children because they say that they were spanked and it didn’t hurt them one bit. They believe gentle parenting is bad because it doesn’t teach proper boundaries. If the parent can’t teach boundaries, that’s the parent’s problem, not the child’s.
The fundamental problem with most parenting books is that it sees children as mini adults that just need to be trained right and then everything will be fine. That’s so wrong. Children are unique individuals that will eventually grow up to be adults but are currently people who are worthy of respect and love. They are not rebellious demons that need to have their will broken.
EDIT: Apparently, Pearl has made into Catholic circles. I found this thread on CAF from 2006. And this one mentions him as well. And apparently, there is a “catholic” version of Pearl as well. There is also this, this, and this.