The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works! by John Rosemond is a great resource for parents who are looking for practical advice, tips, and proven strategies for disciplining their children with in the ages of three to thirteen. The premise of the book, and consequently Rosemond’s disciplining strategies, is simple: children are bad. That is, their default nature is to misbehave. He proposes that obedient children are happy children. According to Rosemond, it is essential that parents recognize this and address the errant behavior in children rather than trying to rationalize it or understand it. His no nonsense parenting as leadership approach is a breath of fresh air in a world where parents are scared to effectually discipline their kids for fear of scaring them mentally.
Throughout the book Rosemond dispels many popular myths that are based more on misapplication of popular psychology rather than on factual studies with real children. One such myth he exposes is that the reward system often employed by parents is good dog training, but poor child training. In place of popular myth, he offers tried and true techniques and practices that will help your child be a better behaved, happy, and ready to meet the real world one day outside your home (where the boss isn’t likely to jump to the reward system for poor behavior).
The one thing this book really misses though is the spiritual teaching side of discipline. From a Christian parent’s perspective, I find it crucial to discuss matters of the heart, grace, forgiveness, and restoration as part of the disciplining process. Though the book does contain a few scripture quotations, it is largely missing the heart component, which in my estimation, makes all the difference in the world.
For parenting there are better tools available, but this book serves its purpose well in providing effective strategies for discipline. The Well Behaved Child is an excellent resource. The retail price is $24.99 (Hardcover), and is available at places like Amazon for $16.49. I gave it four stars.
Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a free review copy from the Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program (http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ ). There was no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.