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to want Amazon to withdraw a book endosing beating children from sale?

(191 Posts)
missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 13:52:46

Dear Mumsnetters,

This is my first post here, so please be kind. And yes, I have joined specifically because of this issue ? but I?m sure I?ll stick around too and have signed up to be a product tester etc.

A friends Facebook post today made me aware of the following title for sale on Amazon UK which advocates and endorses the beating of children ? from as young as 4 months old ? as a ?discipline tool?.

The book is called ?How to train Up a Child? and I have quoted some bits from it below.

I realise amazon aren?t breaking the law by selling it, but cannot believe they have chosen to list it for sale ? and so I have started a petition to get it withdrawn.

Thanks for reading,


Here?s the book:

here?s my petition

here?s the quotes:
Quotes from the book:

"At four months she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of "No" with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree"

So hitting a 4 month old with a willow sprig is an acceptable form of punishment?

"After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself. In rolling the wheel, he did what every accountable human being must do-he humbled himself before the "highest" and admitted that his interests are not paramount. After one begrudged roll, my wife turned to other chores"

She is talking about a 15 month old baby who would not play with what SHE wanted him to play with!

"On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again"

Let's beat that child in to submission! That's exactly why we have children isn't it? Pah!

"One particularly painful experience of nursing mothers is the biting baby. My wife did not waste time finding a cure. When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for baldheaded babies)"

Yes, pull a newborn's hair! That'll teach him!

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 13:56:13

have heard of this book as well. sounds disgraceful. is it the loons who have all of those children? might be wrong on this.

McBalls Mon 29-Jul-13 13:57:04

Um...yes it sounds horrible but can't you just keep this sort of shite to Facebook?

Tittypulumpcious Mon 29-Jul-13 13:57:16

Who on earth would agree to even publish a book that advocates corporal punishment to teach a child?!

cushtie335 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:02:12

No one in their right minds would buy this, all you've done is draw attention to it. I would never have known of its existence but for your thread.

McBalls Mon 29-Jul-13 14:04:53

I mean, facebook really is the home of the hardened campaigner.

Apparently getting videos and pictures and descriptions of child abuse to go viral has saved well over 48549 children from their abusers. Something to do with the power of the sad coupled with explosive disgust.

Cancer is on the wane thanks to many brave souls using the platform to share what colour bra they're wearing and/or where they leave their handbag.

Please op, go back to's what the children deserve.

suchashame Mon 29-Jul-13 14:06:38

The lanuage does not look modern .... much more victorian or before... does not sound like currently used child rearing methods.

missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 14:07:21

Thanks for replies:

cushtie35 - Actuallymany people have bought it - there have been over 2000 UK sales through Bookscan (i.e. through the tills) and notably amazon themselves keep it in stock rather than using 3rd party sales to fulfil - they only do this where lines sell enough to justify their inventory

McBalls - i wasnt aware i was breaking any rules if thats what you meant by keeping 'this sort of shite'???
If i am - let me know and i'll happily go elsewhere. Hope i haven't misunderstood

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 14:08:43

sure it's a current book and not old. must google.

McBalls Mon 29-Jul-13 14:09:22

No rules broken, no. Carry on...

cushtie335 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:09:33

2000 isn't that many in the grand scheme of things, it's a drop in the ocean. You do realise you're just advertising it, right?

missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 14:09:42

cheers for the insight Mcballs - i'll remember that issues of concern to parents shouldn't be posted on a parents website..

...oh hang on.

missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 14:11:25

Well if i'm advertising it i should probably do a better job of selling its attributes then - rather than setting up a petition asking amazon to stop selling it.

Like that time they had a book written by a convicted child offender that they eventually withdrew from sale..that must have been pointless too?

Mintberry Mon 29-Jul-13 14:11:50

I think even to parents who do smack that would be too extreme! Physical punishment on a newborn, just wow.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Jul-13 14:14:28

Some very odd posts on here hmm

Thank you for highlighting this issue MissFliss - this is a horrendous book and not one which should be sold by Amazon imo. Will sign your petition - and thank you for hightlighting (not advertising) it

cushtie335 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:16:25

In my experience of something is banned then people just want to find out more about it. This would probably have gone completely under most people's radar and sank into the obscurity it deserves if you hadn't drawn attention to it.

If there are parents out there who think that this kind of child rearing is appropriate and acceptable, banning the sale of a book condoning it will not change their views.

Personally I think the Shades of Grey series is ban-worthy, but last time I looked we live in a country with a free press.

Cakebaker35 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:17:15

Agree some odd posts here? Thanks for highlighting it OP, pressure should definitely be put on Amazon to withdraw this shite from sale.

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 29-Jul-13 14:17:35

I don't really see why people are saying we should ignore this!

I've signed your petition.

cushtie335 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:19:09

I assume you mean they're odd because they're not agreeing with the OP? It's not that I think this kind of shite is acceptable, but I stand by my opinion that this is just drawing attention to it and that we have a free press in this country. Sorry if you think that's "odd".

For the record I think that corporal punishment is totally wrong and never acceptable. Hitting a child represents a loss of control and achieves nothing.

Cakebaker35 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:19:40

Hmm sorry cushtie but don't think a parallel with 50 shades is appropriate - while that may be shite, it doesn't advocate anything illegal, unlike the book the OP is highlighting. Not suggesting a ban on it but frankly a more responsible approach from Amazon to what they sell.

cushtie335 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:20:55

Fair enough Cakebaker, I was being a bit facetious (no idea how to spell that word) regarding Shades of Grey. No offence meant.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 29-Jul-13 14:21:43

There's been a petition going for a while to get this book off the shelves of major retailers like Amazon. If I find a link, I'll post it.

I'm more than a bit hmm at some of the replies to this thread. I can't see how the OP has done anything wrong in trying to get the ball rolling to have this appalling piece of tat out of production.

missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 14:23:06

we have a free press, yes, we also have free enterprise crucially.

No-one is asking for it not to be published, instead, i am asking that amazons customers who DO care should express their disgust to amazon and ask them to not promote this book and therfore its methods. I'm appealing to their sense of commerce, a big difference between that and censoring.

Afterall, If it was a book advocating hitting women or black people would that be OK for amazon to sell it???

THANKYOU for those who have signed.

missfliss Mon 29-Jul-13 14:24:03

thanks smiteyouwiththunderbolts - i hadnt realised this had been done before and i'd appreciate any further info

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 29-Jul-13 14:24:32

Here's the big petition on

There are over 15,000 signatures already but still almost another 10k needed. I would possibly suggest sharing that petition around rather than starting a whole new one.

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