VIOLENCE: Amazon CEO ignores petition urging it to stop selling 'parenting manuals' that advocate child abuse

Latest developments: After gathering over 10,500 signatures, Amazon has still not given a response to the petition urging its CEO, Mr Jeff Bezos, to cease selling "parenting manuals" that advocate violence against children. This is despite numerous attempts to elicit a response from Amazon on the petition through both its PR and press offices.

Why the campaign? 

There are currently several “parenting manuals” available to buy on Amazon (.com and, the world’s biggest bookseller, that advise parents to train and condition their children into obedience using rods, paddles, or other similar implements. The books advise using these methods on small children and even babies under the age of one.

One such book is To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl, in which,

  • Thumping, smacking and hair pulling are promoted as a way of training a child to obey instructions. Children are compared with dogs;
  • The use of a "rod" is promoted, which the authors describe as a "divine enforcer". They recommend using a metre-long branch or a belt on an older child and a smaller object on a younger child;
  • They affirm that "[a]ny spanking to reinforce instruction, must cause pain."
  • Also "If you have to sit on him to spank him, do not hesitate... hold the resisting child in a helpless position for several minutes, or until he is totally surrendered."
  • Michael Pearl said his wife trained their daughter to stop biting her during breastfeeding by pulling on her hair: "[u]nderstand, the baby is not being punished. Just conditioned." 

Other “parenting manuals” also available to buy on Amazon include, Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, which advocates using a rod to punish children as young as eight months, as does the disturbingly titled Don't Make Me Count to Three, by Ginger Plowman.

It is a petition urging Amazon to cease to stock parenting manuals that advise the physical abuse of children. With a petition with thousands of signatures, Amazon will be compelled to take some kind of action, even if it is to simply respond to say that it is going to continue to sell the book.  As such a high profile retailer, whatever action it takes will be newsworthy, and will raise awareness world wide of these books, and generate thinking and debate about the issue of physical violence as a parenting approach. This will then open up the question of whether such books should be allowed at all. 

To sign the petition urging Amazon to cease to stock parenting manuals that advise the physical abuse of children, click here

So far, the petition now has over 9,100 signatures, and numbers are constantly rising. There are several notable signatories, leading experts, campaigners and commentators on the issues of child development, corporal punishment, religious child maltreatment and violence against children. They include:


To sign the petition urging Amazon to cease to stock parenting manuals that advise the physical abuse of children, click here.

Owner: Milli Hill

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