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Wonderful Advice for Any Parent--from Either Side of the Spanking Debate,
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This review is from: The New Strong-Willed Child (Hardcover)I have the older edition of this book; I absolutely love it. I re-read it every few years because there are so many ideas in it that I will forget the ones I do not immediately need--thus the need for review as my children grow and change.
Spanking is advocated, but there are so much more to this book that a parent who does not believe in spanking--and is a reasonable person who understands that other good parents do use spanking--could read this book and take much out of it.
For one, the book is short. There isn't enough time once the children are here to read a huge tome. This book is brief enough, you can high-light what you like and come back and read all of the high-lighted parts in three hours, for a refresher.
Secondly, Dobson advocates spanking only for specific behavior under specific circumstances. Namely, he advocates spanking for outright defiance--if you are certain it is defiance and not over-hungry child or something your child cannot do, etc.
If you were to spank as a last resort, you would be frustrated and possibly out of control. Instead, he suggests you spank the instant the willful defiance rears it ugly head. Take the child aside, explain why he is being punished, spank him on his bottom, and then offer comfort.
(He also believes this only works for young children and that doing it to older children not only doesn't work, it backfires and is unhealthy. However, reasoning with a very young child is a waste of breath; their minds are not developed enough to reason with--this is scientific fact. And when your 3 year old will not sit in time out or he kicks the walls in his room and throws things when sent there--then what? You loose the battle or you need another parenting tool or you loose your cool. Loosing the battle or your cool is not an option.)
Dobson has ideas for punishing usual childhood behavior, such as a bike left in the driveway or spilled milk at the table, that people on both sides of the spanking debate can appreciate. He also has an Attitude Chart to help your child begin to obey--when old enough--with a good attitude.
Read the book for yourself; get it used if you must. Don't let those who read the word "spanking" or "God" and start to go cross-eyed and foam at the mouth scare you away from this book. All of us are adults. We can read a book, take what is useful out of it, and leave the rest for others of different viewpoints.
I personally think that this book has really, really good advice and I am planning on purchasing this newer edition to see what I am missing (with my old one.)
If you are wondering about results, here they are:
I have five children.
My older three are going into their teens now. I raised them by much of the advice in this book. I get compliments on their behavior; my teens still share their hearts, dreams, and disappointments with me.
My little ones' favorite way to spend their time is talking or reading with their Mommy.
All my children get along with each other quite well. (Hormones have introduced some arguments between children--but before those, I didn't even know what sibling rivalry was.) My kids are all very close to each other; my older children are quite protective of their siblings.
I have been asked, by a teen sitter I hired, if they ever talk back or get mad at me. (Yes, but not all the time, day in and day out, like most teens seem to.)
My kids are very giving and thoughtful; my children like to be unique and to take a stand against what they feel is wrong. My teen daughter has taken a stand for radical purity--Barlow Girl style. My just-starting-adolescence-son has a heart for the under-dog.
And, least you think I had it easy, I was given one easy going kid and four strong willed ones. Also, I have one with autism and one with ADHD as well as PDD-NOS (which is also autism, only less so.) Lastly, they were born in groups close together; three inside of three and a half years and then, later, two inside of fourteen months. In other words, no, I didn't just get an easy lot.
(I should also say that I am a SAHM who home schools all three older children, including the two with ASD. I am not saying it is always easy, but this book has made my life easier by helping me raise well-behaved, well-mannered, respectful children.)
I did spank my older kids when they were younger; I do spank my younger ones now. I also follow his advice about intent--what does a child intend by their actions. Our criminal justice system is based on intent, yet most parents do not punish on intent--but inconvenience.
Intent, and also not taking a child's behavior personally (learning that the child is just being a child and how to remove myself emotionally from any bad behavior--this allows one to keep their head almost all the time and discipline out of a desire to correct behavior instead of punish the child) are two of the most important things I got from this book.
These--intent and a healthy view of why children do what they do and say what they say--are lessons any parent could benefit from--on either side of the spanking debate. This way of raising your children, basing your response on their intent and meeting defiance head on, really does work.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 26, 2009 12:39:18 PM PDT
K. McAteer says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 11:52:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2009 11:53:56 AM PDT
Andrea N. Westmoreland says:
I am a 29 year old working mom, married, with one son so far. I was raised under the principals of Dobson's books, and KNOW that I am a better adult for it. I look back at my childhood home movies and can TELL when and where my parents starting implementing the Dobson principals. I go from a BRAT to an attentive/sweet child. Night and Day difference. Yes my parents did spank me when necessary and NO I do NOT resent them for it. I applaud them for finally getting through to me and making me not look like a little fool. (which I looked like in the older home movies) Sure I didn't like it much as a child getting spanked, but as I matured, It made more sense. It did the job`, and some day my son MAY need the same kind of discipline. I do NOT believe that every child needs to be spanked as a form of discipline. In fact, my brother was rarely spanked as his personality was a lot less defiant than mine. I can remember only 2 times for him. It was also done at home, and not in public for humiliation. I do NOT agree with public spanking. There are A LOT more principals on discipline in this book than just spanking, and they are highly effective...I only mention the spanking bit b/c it is so often put down. I think that all the "experts" who think spanking is abuse WERE NEVER SPANKED themselves and have no room to talk, OR WERE ABUSED and of course would have a bad feeling about it. I would too, if that happened to me! But that's like saying we should have no police officers b/c of cases of cases of police brutality. You can't through the baby out with the bathwater. There has to be an intelligent balance. Ok that's my two sense. Take it for what it is worth.
Posted on Mar 4, 2010 8:11:24 AM PST
Thanks, I believe your comment was the most honest, and the one I could relate to the most. I appreciate the details.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2010 6:30:25 AM PDT
Wendy M. Flatt says:
Posted on May 26, 2011 7:34:46 AM PDT
Lisa Jackson says:
Posted on Apr 12, 2012 9:05:54 AM PDT
Bigmama Brown says:
Thank you for this, it was truly insightful and much appreciated. :0)
Posted on May 9, 2012 9:31:16 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 9, 2012 9:31:43 AM PDT]
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