Book Review: The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson

Cover of New Strong-Willed ChildI must say that I enjoyed this book, The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson, much more than I enjoyed the last book I read.

While many seem to side against corporal punishment these days, Dobson does not.  He does this by providing research to support his position.  While unfortunately some individuals take corporal punishment to the extreme by punishing in anger and sometimes progressing to abuse, Dobson stresses that corporal punishment is not to be taken lightly.  The proper way to do so is by applying one smack on the rear end using a neutral object (not in anger but in order to discipline), followed by an explanation of what the child has done wrong and reassurance that the child is loved.

Dobson also does not recommend this as the only way of discipline.  He stresses that all children are different and that what may work for one child may not work with others.  I have already discovered this in my own household.  (For instance, time outs do not work for Tinkerbell.)

Not only does Dobson provide support for young strong-willed children, but he expands as far as adolescence as well.  (And if you’re the parent of a teenager, as am I, we need all of the help we can get!)

And of course, he also admits that there are some children that just need additional help, such as counseling or medication.  And I agree.  Not all behavioral problems are sociological in nature; brain chemistry and genetics must be taken into consideration for severely troubled children.

Dobson provides validated research for each position he presents, providing a sound biblical and psychological position on how to handle these strong-willed children.  I just finished this book last week so I have not been able to fully apply these measures, but I will be working on them.  Hopefully we will be able to figure out how to handle our own strong-willed child, Tinkerbell, before she gets to that wild adolescent stage.  😉

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