Friday, November 13, 2009

Because I said so

I've seen a lot of parenting manuals go across my desk here at the library, and it's nice to finally find one that fits my parenting style. The Well-Behaved Child: discipline that really works is by psychologist John Rosemond, whose column frequently appears in the Anchorage Daily News, amongst other newspapers.
Rosemond is an advocate of old-school parenting - 'because I said so' parenting. You don't reason with your 3-year old, you don't justify yourself to your 9-year old, and you maintain a firm 'my house, my rules' attitude with your 16-year old. (To the parents who felt that their 4th grader had a point when she defended her pigsty room by saying "it's my room", Rosemond responded "When she's 16, will you let her have wild parties in there, just because it's her room?').
The first couple of chapters cover the basics: why children misbehave & the 7 fundamentals of effective discipline. I like Rosemond's explanation of why children misbehave ("they are factories of antisocial tendencies", although I'm sure many parents would hotly contest his belief in the innate "badness" of kids. Perhaps the word 'selfishness' might be a better term.) You might be tempted to skip over these introductory chapters and head straight for the third chapter (7 essential tools). Don't skip these, though, because Rosemond points out that following the 7 fundamentals will dramatically reduce your need to use the 7 tools.
So if other parenting methods and manuals just don't seem to be working out for you, read this new book. Even if you don't choose to follow the 'because I said so' philosophy, it will definitely be different from all the other advice you've read.

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