By John Rosemond / Thomas Nelson
Written by family psychologist John Rosemond, The Well Behaved Child offers practical solutions for behavior issues of children ages three to twelve. Based on the biblical concept that respect for others, not self esteem, is the way to raise emotionally stable children, he presents a step-by-step traditional parenting approach. He does not rely on time-outs, exposes the rewards scam, and gives clear guidelines on spanking. Also included is a Q&A section dealing with behavior issues of teens. Jacketed hardcover.
Typically when I read a review of a child discipline book, I either agree strongly or totally disagree with the methods suggested. For the first time, I am riding the fence. The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works! is a book that introduced me to some ideas that I will using but several that I will not be.
The jest of the book is for all discipline you either take a child’s electronics and toys away, send them to their room (with the room cleared of all extras), or send them to bed early. I think that there is a place for all of these methods. My concern is that these are deemed the only methods (for the most part). That is all fine and dandy but what do you do when a child refuses to stay in their room for hours? Unless I missed this, it is never covered. Also, I do believe, unlike the author, that punishments should fit the crime when possible. Creative parenting can be very effective.
The discipline described in this book is “authoritative”. “Because I said so” is the motto. There is a time and place for this. But, there is also a time and place for a child to learn why Mommy said so. When a parent steps down and explains to a toddler that the fire is hot, the toddler will be less likely to continue trying to get close to it if he has actually felt the warmth under the guidance of an adult.
One more point. Dr. Rosemond believes that ADHD and ADD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder are hogwash. While I too believe that the solve-all-answer is medication these days instead of discipline, these are real issues that parents face. (Our son has Sensory Processing Disorder.) I too believe that no matter what the child “has”, they must learn to make good choices. But, if we stuck him in his room everyday that he was “off” as Dr. Rosemond suggests, he would live in his room 75% of the time. It would not help him learn how to deal with the sensory issues. Also, it would not give him the required sensory input that he is needing.
As I stated, I have pulled some much needed and useful tips from Dr. Rosemond. I do intend to pass this book along to a few parents as there is wisdom to glean. But, with this book, as with every book, just because it is written down doesn’t mean that it is absolute. Talk to parents of older kids who have been there. Go to God in prayer. Seek wisdom to know how you should raise you child to be a godly son or daughter of Christ.