Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Well- Behaved Child by John Rosemond

As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program , I had the privilege of reviewing John Rosemond’s parenting book, The Well- Behaved Child.
Of all the parenting/ child rearing books on the market today, Rosemond’s strategies, based on traditional common sense, have been the most enlightening. This book is based on the basic premise that children, by nature are prone to misbehave, and therefore require a parent to understand, address and discipline such issues so as to raise happy, well adjusted children. In fact, he states on page two, “the incontrovertible badness of children is why it takes most of two decades to fully socialize them. This badness is the reason for this book.” Firstly, before anything else, a parent must understand the basic antisocial, selfish tendency of a child, and address it- rather than dismiss or rationalize it.
This book dispels common child rearing myths which prevail in today’s society. For example, he advocates leadership rather than ineffective reasoning. The parent is the authority figure and does not have to justify his/ her actions to a child. The parent need not and should not engage in debates or bargaining with a child also referred to as the “short and sweet” principal. Rosemond is a proponent of the effectiveness of “reverse psychology”. Contrary to popular opinion, what works to train a dog will not work for a child. Behavior modification is simply ineffective and temporary. Furthermore offering rewards in exchange for positive behavior is just a short term solution and in the long run, it just promotes the cycle of manipulation and control the child has over the parent and authority in general. “Reward- based discipline …. teach[es] children how to manipulate parents [teaching] that misbehavior and underachievement are the tickets to getting special privileges”. P 17 Additionally, time-outs are simply ineffective, akin to “trying to fend off a charging elephant with a flyswatter”. P 13 These are just a few examples of some of the parenting techniques and philosophies.
Using relevant case studies, and summing up basic strategies and principals, positive and effective parenting strategies are offered in this book in an easy to understand format. I would recommend this book to any parent who wishes to raise a responsible and well adjusted child.

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