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The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works! Hardcover – October 12, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Rosemond is a family psychologist, popular speaker, featured guest on major television talk shows, author of thirteen books on parenting issues, and syndicated columnist for more than two hundred newspapers. He and his wife, Willie, have been married more than forty years and have two adult children and seven grandchildren.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785229043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785229049
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Rosemond's language is strong, and for good reason. After reading several reviews, it is quite apparent that people either love or hate John Rosemond and/or his books. For those that dislike him intensely, the running themes seem to be a problem with the phrase "because I said so," and punishment for misbehavior.

To clear things up, let's start with "because I said so." Rosemond makes it very clear that giving reasons to children is fine. In fact, he states that there are only about six reasons for why a parent ever denies a request. They're good reasons to US (and offer them if you want to), but the child won't like them anyway, so don't waste your breath. Ultimately, the reason a child needs to take "no" for an answer is because you said so. Anyone who denies this reality would much rather spend time and energy trying to get a little child to see things the way Mommy and Daddy do, so that he or she will be happier about hearing the word "no". Trying to convince the child that your reasons have MERIT (and therefore, should be appreciated by the child) is NOT FINE. This is called establishing a "power struggle" between parent and child. Not a formula for happiness or family harmony, but an excellent formula for creating rude, argumentative, and manipulative behavior... in children as young as three years old.

As for punishment, Rosemond also states that it is rarely needed --- IF you come across as someone who means and does what they say, is calm and confident about your position of authority, and you communicate with an expectation of obedience. If you haven't been that kind of a person as a parent or teacher, then you likely have an out-of-control situation --- or one that, at the very least, needs fixing.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Well-Behaved Child is an entertaining step into "old style" discipline. After discounting ADD, ADHD, and basically any other psychological behavioral disorder, the author reminds parents that they are in charge of their household; their kids are kids. The chapter on "Alpha" speech is phenomenal. I have two daughters, currently ages 9 and 4. They are generally well-behaved, polite, lovely kids, but the older has had trouble keeping her room uncluttered, and the younger has had a tendency to get frustrated easily and cry about things that are really not "cry-worthy" (gloves not fitting right, not getting to eat candy for breakfast, etc.) After reading the book, I let my older daughter know that she would be missing a friend's upcoming birthday party if her room was not adequate by the morning of the party, and she would be missing any other such party in the future if it didn't stay that way. That was 3 weeks ago, and her room has been amazingly much better...bed made, no toys on the floor, clothes in the hamper and not on the floor, etc. ever since. Her comment after I told her was "the worst part about that is I can tell you are serious." Go "Alpha speech"! The younger got 3 tickets, which are on papers with little angels, and told that if she screamed because she didn't like something 3 times in a day, she would lose her night-time story privilege. She must also sit in the "chair of wisdom" for 15 minutes after an offense to think about why she should use her words instead. I think she has lost 3 angels in 3 weeks. Not bad, considering we used to have several of these fits a day. So, at least read the chapter on how to convince your kids you mean what you say when you say it.

One of the main techniques for discipline is to put kids to bed early.
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Format: Hardcover
The Well Behaved Child by John Rosemond is, as the title suggests, a parenting book. In it the author enthusiastically challenges parents to return to the philosophy of their parents and grandparents, before the "psychobabble" of the sixties took over the culture.

Rosemond starts with a shocking premise: Children are bad. Of course this will only be shocking to those who have never had a two-year-old, or, if they have, it was so long ago they have forgotten what it was like. With this premise firmly on place, he proceeds to offer seven "fundamentals of effective discipline". Highlighted among these are the "agony principle" and the "godfather principle".

The Agony Principle

Parents should not agonize over anything a child does or fails to do if the child is perfectly capable of agonizing over it himself.

The Godfather Principle

To activate the Agony Principle, you simply make the misbehaving, irresponsible child an offer he can't refuse.

After laying down the basic principles the author provides specific tools and methods (charts, tickets, etc) to help implement the principles. The book is chock full of anecdotal accounts, mostly of parents who implemented the principles with impressive results. Rosemond's style is witty, conversational, and especially biting--especially when he touches on the prevailing "psychobabble".

Before receiving this book via the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program I had never heard of John Rosemond. Before I was halfway through the book I had decided to add every book he had written to my wishlist. As the father of an eight-year-old and a three-year-old, I began to see areas where my parenting skills needed honing.
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