How To Permanently Damage Your Children: A Book Review

Today we’re continuing reviewing the monstrosity that is To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Watch Part 1 first:

Check out the archived version of the book here:

Check out these articles about the damage caused by this book:


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kristina erickson says:

I used stuffed animals in place of Barbies what does that mean I was role playing…. lol

Jonathan Nicoll says:

A concerned parent, worrying about how they are bringing up their child can rest assured.
No matter what they do, they are a thousand times better than this maniac.

amyinmyheart says:

This book sounds to me like it was written by sadists who wanted to mask and excuse their sadism with Christianity. It sounds to me like they just wanted an excuse to be horrible parents and abuse their children. And if it wasn’t horrible enough that they make up that excuse for themselves and their children have to suffer it (and their grandchildren probably) they also encourage others to be just as sadistic. I ask myself what is wrong with this people? I like to watch religious videos sometimes, as it allows me (at least limited) access to others view points. I’m not Christian myself, nor totally Atheist, but I like to try and understand other people. I’ve watched people who homeschool their kids and sound pretty wacky to me with their beliefs, but still raise their children with love and care (well I guess the Pearls also pretend to love and care for their children…), without hitting and abusing them.

youngthinker1 says:

I remember hearing you say you were an atheist. Never really thought much about it, until I started to see a number of videos attacking Christians or Christian stuff. Still, I watch a few to see if you have an unbiased opinion, but no. You sounded like a militant atheist.
Even in this video, you read the book with the lens of “most horrid thing ever” and choose to interpret everything in the worst possible way.
For instance the baby doll versus barbie doll topic; Can a mother not worry about her daughter getting into adult stuff too fast, or must the child’s wants over rule the parent’s choices?

As for the comments here, either people looking to make fun of the book, or are aghast at the spanking part. Honestly, how many of you all have been spanked, for punishment not pleasure? Quite possibly, we would have less brats in the world, if they understood that the law doesn’t exist just for everyone else.

Have fun with the youtube thing, I pray you actually throw away your prejudices, and achieve that vaunted atheist position of neutrality.

matt john says:

love the eyes, and the sass.

Girafarig's Butt says:

i feel so sorry for all their children :/ can’t wait until their adults and they can get away from him

Jojo Wing says:

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like Sesame Street because of Ernie and Bert.

Tony M says:

Okay Rachel, as a person from the US South with a thick southern accent if I ever run into you IRL you officially have to hear me do a few sentences in an awful fake “British” accent just to make us even.

Seriously though even that awful, awful, attempt at an accent was better than the contents of this book.
It’s actually amazing how much it enforces MUST WANT CHILDREN on the men too.
I mean, what if one of the sons doesn’t want to father children?

Plus the whole “The toys you play with define you” thing is kind of hilarious to me.
I had a wide selection of toys as kid, I played with the generally accepted boys toys of trucks and action figures (I’m from the TMNT,GI Joe, He-Man generation) I was even allowed to play with some more stereotypically “girly” toys (She-Ra, Care Bears, and I had a Barbie or two too)
Ya know what? Playing with those “girls” toys didn’t make me non-straight. Playing with those toys based off “violent” media didn’t make me violent. Hell I’m opposed to all violence except to save others from it, and even then you apply the minimum force needed.

Maybe, just maybe, if you have to keep your kids in a very specific controlled shell of an environment, it’s not that other things are “corrupting” them, it’s that you’re brainwashing them.

Frangitus says:

I like the book, it’s pretty funny and all. Why so much critici- Oh… What? It’s not a comedy? WTF!?

Shay Davis says:

My parents had several copies of this book in the house and used to lead “book clubs” studying it.

Lauren Worley says:

My Barbies were serial killers who ran over their victims in a purple jeep. They would then use them as fertilizer for a garden that stocked the cafe they owned.

headcase31780 says:

I would like to say that I’m really not liking Michael and Debi Pearl. Great video as always Rachel, thank you for what you do.

Van Santos says:

This video wasn’t as bad as the previous one????  (jaw drops)

Heads Tails says:

Hi Rachel, Different subject I know, but did you see you were name checked by Aron Ra?

Hannah Surber says:

They should be in jail for child abuse. This book is enough evidence

GreatDaneLegend aka GoldDoGGY says:

I’d love to visit him to see what he thinks “kindly and lovingly abusing your children” looks like…
I can’t believe he actually thinks that what he’s doing is GOOD for the children!

Marie Verdi says:

Damn I must be the Whore of Babylon then since I loved Barbies, stuffed animals, trucks, and planes….

stargazer says:

this.. “book” is nothing but documented child abuse. Cant it be used as proof to prosecute the author?

Anthony Bailey says:

What. In. The. Mother. Fucking. Hell!

How could anyone publish this bullshit!? More importantly, how could the publish it and not send child protective services in!!

comedygal21 says:

It strikes me that those letters at the end didn’t sound like they were written to their children at all! I would have even given them a tiny smidge of credit if they had written something like “we know that how we’re raising you might be scary and painful at times, but we hope you know that we love you with all our hearts” or even “we’re confident that you’ve grown into wonderful god-fearing adults”. They sound more like sermons a visiting pastor would give to strangers!

Nick Gagnon says:

Yeah I have heard of that. Its beyond fucked up. But the “parents” who believe the stuff in that book must be terrible to begin with.

burke615 says:

Obviously, you are a fan of Barbie dolls because of your robotic socialist New World Order belief that females have some other purpose than those of cook, maid, and incubator. 😉

gay_cryptid says:

What about the pregnant Barbie? Wouldn’t that make your kid “want to be a mother” or whatever? Real talk I had her as a kid and she was one of my absolute favorites. Not because she was pregnant, but because she was my only ginger Barbie. I also accidentally ran over her husband with my Barbie car and he became a double amputee 🙁 lmao

Alice Vångström says:

I wasn’t myself into dolls so much more into plush animals. Mostly meese and penguins, my herd is quite vast these days.
Though I also sometimes build models of World War 2 battleships… An activity generally not considered popular (or to some even appropriate) for girls but who cares what they think? I also like makeup and pretty clothes too, who are these religious a-holes to decide which of my hobbies and interests are “appropriate” for girls?

Terry Endicott says:

The Pearls should be in prison.

Bibbedibob says:

That author has a fucking rod fetish

Myrcella Martinez says:

Tbh, while I agree that the Pearls are horrible people, I don’t think they should get all the blame. It was those childrens’ parents who decided, ‘hmm this book about beating your kids to keep them in line, seems like an excellent parenting book’. With that said, I think that anyone, who owns a copy of this book and is thinking of applying its teachings, should just not have any kids. Or be kept from adopting children.

Gawrila Ghul says:

9:58 “what the socialists call ‘socialization'”…?

Lmac says:

Hi Rachel very informative video! You might enjoy Ellen Fisher’s videos on “gentle parenting” her parenting style is similar to some of your principals regarding parenting such as explaining the reasoning of certain rules to the children (and you might find her viewpoint refreshing after having to read this utter nonsense!)

Subnatural says:

The authors of that book sound like complete psychopaths to me. Don’t you agree?

Desperadox23 says:

I really, really want to show this guy what pain means.
(I’m not as nice as Rachel)

Van Santos says:

I don’t understand how two people could read the same Bible and raise their kids totally differently while still believing they are following Biblical principles.  I’ve yet to had to lay a finger on my child (and I don’t believe in spanking) and my child will be turning 8 in a few months and is thriving.  She is a great child, very smart, top of her class, involved with dance, gymnastics, playing piano, drawing (she’s amazing in art) she speaks two languages pretty fluently (Brazilian Portuguese and English) and I never TRAINED her in any way.  She’s my child, not my dog.  I just raise her with love.

Chara says:

I understand now. Christians like Debi and Michael are against education. That explains a lot.

MrMetalover666 says:

WTF he pushed his daughter into the pond? This guy is just a sadistic bully.

Gulgathydra says:

Uh…. I think you mean the death of “3 DISOBEDIENT children”. ‘Nuff said.

MontyBoosh says:

It feels weird to me, the way that some conservative parents try and push baby dolls onto their little girls. I had one “baby” doll that I remember (I actually shared it with my cousin so it wasn’t technically mine), and I was only interested with it because it was cool to watch how the eyes would close when you tilted it. I never really envisioned the doll as “my” baby – it was just “a” baby.

I don’t think any of the narratives I constructed while playing with my siblings ever depicted a “family”. I used to read Horrible Histories as a kid and me and my sister would stage mock excecutions for the Bratz dolls (and one barbie doll whose head would fall off but was the only doll to fit inside the Belle dress we made with my grandma) for treason and murder. The only doll whose name I can still remember was Dana – she was known for regularly driving the super cool convertible (complete with functioning radio, and yet the door broke off after maybe a week) onto my brother’s wooden train set and running away, leaving every other doll to die in a fiery wreckage.

Our play sessions were a bit weird because of the age gap – my sister is 3 years older than me and my brother 3 years younger. I think we were all interpreting the game in our own ways and acting in ways that fit our own stories but which failed to create a cohesive narrative – like an acted-out exquisite corpse. I remember vividly acting out scenarios like “shopkeeper” or “city railroad planner” or ever “zookeeper”, but I genuinely don’t think I ever played the role of “mother”.

And it wasn’t as though I wasn’t engaged with and enjoying traditionally feminine things, but I always felt as though I was enjoying them for a different reason than what the adults around me thought. As little girls, me and my sister weren’t interested in fairytales for the romance and dresses, we liked the drama and aesthetics – same as anyone!

MrMetalover666 says:

Rachael you shouldn’t have had Barbie Dolls. You should’ve had the Christian alternative “God’s Girls” dolls. (See the Seth Andrews talk about the Christian Copycats for details.)

Kanabell Hitoshi says:

That accent was so cute. Also, all I remember doing with my Barbies, was stripping them naked so they could be free from wearing clothes. I grew up with nudists.

Shiirow says:

I dont know, Id say indoctrination would follow the trail of follow first and never ask questions because questioning something means you have doubts and if you want to indoctrinate someone into anything you never want them to have doubts or question it.

Though alot of the other shit is pretty crazy.

Slashbash says:

Michael Pearl’s straight out of a Dickens novel. He owes Wackford Squeers a thanks for the inspiration!

spamfilter32 says:

Enticing the child to do something that you intend to punish them for teaches the children that you are arbitrary, rather then teaching them about right and wrong. Children, being humans, are smart enough to now that the enticing item was placed there by the parents, they are smart enough to know that you encouraged them to touch the item you are now punishing them for touching. This teaches that the parent is arbitrary and that punishment is given for arbitrary reasons.

His daughter definitely knows that he pushed her into the pond. She may not know why he did it (in fact the why probably is irrelevant to her being overshadowed by fear) but she definitely knows that he did it, thus making his actions towards her arbitrary. This also teaches her that her father could and will cause her harm at any moment with out any cause thus she must be always hyper aware of where her father is at all times.

top hat gecko says:

I said this on the last video, but these guys need to be arrested. They’re actively involved in child abuse

Becca Guilinger says:

when I was young I loved American Girl dolls. I loved reading all the different historical stories, and having these dolls representing strong young girls with big dreams. My grandfather always referred to them as baby dolls, and asked if I was being a good mother. It was highly offensive to me lol, even though I do want to be a mother some day.

Louis Gedo says:

The book title should be “How To Make Your Child’s Life Into A Hell”

Anthony Simmons says:

Still not used to seeing you get angry….Although I’m pretty sure that just about everyone watching these videos are getting pissed off at this pathetic excuse for a book. People think “The God Delusion” gives a bad message? Give….me….a….break….

DieArroganz says:

These kinds of drills remind me of, well… Hitler. Apperently he received a similar kind of drills as a child, at least as far as I know.

Volker Wendt says:

No, really No need dir excuses. I immediately believe it was horrible top read this. To me, in fact, it was painful enough just watching the vids. And no,they weren’t too long

Kathryn Geeslin says:

The book is horridly disgusting, coming from two horridly disgusting people.

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