Who Started Blanket Training?

Who Started Blanket Training?

According to Wikipedia: “Blanket training, also known as blanket time, is a method adapted from the methods encouraged in To Train Up a Child, published in 1994 and written by Christian fundamentalists Michael and Debi Pearl. To Train Up a Child promotes several harsh parenting techniques, with a focus on child obedience, which have been linked to multiple child deaths.”

Before beginning, I want to tell you that people took the Pearls to a secular court to prove their book led to the deaths of children. These people lost against the Pearls since there was zero evidence that the book or its teachings had anything whatsoever to do with the children’s deaths. The Pearls do NOT advocate for abuse as many claim. They speak out against abuse.

Wikipedia had a link to the first edition of To Train Up a Child. I looked it up and read it. I couldn’t find any word about “blanket training” in it. Here is what they did write:

“This book is not about discipline, nor problem children. The emphasis is on the training of a child before the need to discipline arises. It is apparent that most parents never attempt to train a child to obey. They wait until the child becomes unbearable and then explode. With proper training, discipline can be reduced to 5% of what many now practice. As you come to understand the difference between training and discipline, you will have a renewed vision for your family–no more raised voices, no contention, no bad attitudes, fewer spankings, a cheerful atmosphere in the home, and total obedience from your children.

“TRAINING NOT TO TOUCH – There is much satisfaction in training up a child. It is easy and challenging. When my children were able to crawl (in the case of one, roll) around the room, I set up training sessions. Try it yourself. Place an appealing object where they can reach it, maybe in a ‘No-no’ corner or on an apple juice table (That’s where the coffee table once sat). When they spy it and make a dive for it, in a calm voice say, ‘No, don’t touch it.’ They will already be familiar with the ‘No,’ so they will pause, look at you in wonder and then turn around and grab it. Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, “No.” Remember, you are not disciplining, you are training. One spat with a little switch is enough. They will again pull back their hand and consider the relationship between the object, their desire, the command and the little reinforcing pain. It may take several times, but if you are consistent, they will learn to consistently obey, even in your absence.”

I made a “switch” according to the specifications that the Pearls give in their book. It’s like a twig. My husband and I hit each other with it and no matter how hard we hit, it didn’t hurt. Yes, we felt it but it caused no pain. They make sure to add “switch their hand once,” NOT multiple times and “one spat with a little switch.” This is not abusive in any way. It’s teaching children to obey you. It may save their life, and it makes raising children far easier if they understand “no” and obey you from a young age. Raising our children was a delight! Self-control is a gift that you give them.

Happy Shiny People was a documentary on Amazon Prime. I watched it and was appalled. They used it as a way to condemn Christians and homeschoolers. They brought up blanket training and attributed it to Gothard’s teachings. I couldn’t find any evidence that he taught it. A woman is doing many videos exposing the slander on this documentary. Her channel is called Shiny Slander. I am thankful for her! She did a video on Blanket Training and exposing all of the slander those in the documentary said about it.

If you google “blanket training,” you will get no truth about it. All those who wrote about it, took it from unreliable and slanderous sources. The Duggars used it simply as a way to teach their children to sit quietly and play by themselves for five minutes. Michelle never “smacked” them as many claimed. She would simply become more stern in her voice if they didn’t obey her. This is what Michelle wrote about it in her book:

“I didn’t raise my voice, but with each correction, I became sterner, less playful. And when the five minutes were up, we celebrated with lots of hugs and kisses, maybe marching around the room to burn off some of that saved-up energy. I praised them excitedly, and they strutted around, as thrilled by their accomplishment as if they’d won an Olympic gold medal.”

Stop believing the lies about people and be a truth seeker instead. There are small children (two years old) who sit quietly for the hour and a half in our church service. These children were taught to be quiet, still, and obey their parents. This is a huge blessing!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

***Here is a recent video given my Michael Pearl about his book which has sold over a million copies!

2 thoughts on “Who Started Blanket Training?

  1. What can I do that all my kids are past the age of “training?” They’re 10,9,5,2. My husband is not saved, nor Godly, but he respects MY faith. He says he believes in God, but doesn’t know if he’s saved—nor does he have any desire to walk in truth or go to church. He is very, very worldly (porn, tobacco, cursing, bad tv, drinking.) ..however we had kids at 17, and have been married 10 years. Your page, and resources have been a tool that God used for me to see how narcissistic and controlling I was (still am in some ways.)

    So ultimately, my question is how can I work to bring my kids to be disciplined, according to God’s Word—even without the support of my husband?

    Lori, if you’ve read thus far—my name is Samantha and I’m truly grateful. I’m constantly encouraged by you. I live a lonely walk in Christ, and I’m trying my best to become more involved in the church I go to alone. It’s been a true struggle, and I have to ask God for strength not to sin and be a God-honoring wife and mother moment by moment, day by day!

    God bless you!

    Hi Samantha, Lori here! Buy the book To Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl. It’s not too late at all with your 2 and 5 year old, and he will give great advice for even your older children. Can you take your children to church with you? They need to be hearing the Word of God preached boldly from the pulpit. Many godly women have been shining examples to their husbands and children even though their husband was not. Read this great testimony of a woman who won her husband to Christ! The joy of the Lord is your strength, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.


  2. Samantha,

    I grew up in a home where my father was not saved. My mother took my brother and I to church every time the doors were open and my father did not object. We went to Sunday School, Church, VBS, summer church camps… everything the church had to offer for children and youth.

    The times my father wanted to do something else on Sunday, (go camping or fishing) my mother joyfully went and participated and never complained about missing church. Honestly, she never complained about anything that I can remember. She worked a 40 hour/week job outside of our home, kept our home spotless, all the clothes washed, cooked all of the meals and even did the lawncare until I was old enough to do it. She loved and served my father and he knew it.

    Even though my father was lost and imperfect in many ways (tobacco, drinking, cursing, bad TV, etc.), I never heard a dishonoring word come out of her mouth about him. She always taught my brother and I to respect him and hold him in the highest regard. Both my brother and I came to a saving knowledge of Christ at a very young age.

    It took 17 years (after they were married) but my father eventually got saved and became the spiritual leader of our family. When asked about his salvation, his testimony was that my mother drew him to Christ.

    “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” (1 Peter 3:1-6 ) – NASB 1977

    My father said it was my mothers commitment to Christ and submission and service to him (that deep inside he knew he did not deserve) that drew him to Christianity.

    Continue to be obedient to what God tells you to do and trust in Him without being afraid. Always teach your children to respect and honor their father, NEVER speak critically of him in their hearing (or really to anyone). Get them involved in church as much as is practical and no matter what happens, you and your family will experience the best possible outcome (according to Gods will).

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