Saturday, March 16, 2013

Children's Corner: Winning the Discipline Debates

Today in Children's Corner, I'm going to review a book that one would normally classify as a "children's book." This isn't a story book or a book with a lot of pictures, but instead a book to help you be a better parent, which is beneficial for your children. Is it a stretch putting this book in the "Children's Corner?" Maybe, but it is here nonetheless.

Dr. Ray Guarendi is a clinical psychologist, author of numerous books on parenting, and a radio host of the show The Doctor Is In. Most importantly though, he is the father of ten. If anyone knows something about parenting and discipline, it's him.

Spanning 25 chapters, Winning the Discipline Debates walks a parent through common parental-child discipline scenarios, including temper tantrums, fighting siblings, and cell phone privileges, to name a few. Each discipline scenario is laid out in the form of a mini-play with roles. The children are cleverly named to illustrate the problem, i.e., Rip who won't get out of bed in the morning is named for Rip Van Winkle, and Tattalia is a tattler. You get the idea. He then walks you through a common problem and gives you examples of a poor way to discipline and better way to discipline. I thought I would hate this method of writing at first, but it grew on me.

The book is chronologically laid out in that it starts with kids ages 4-5 and builds up to a 16 year old. Yes, your child may exhibit discipline problems earlier or later than the ages of the the kids described in the book, but I think he did a masterful job targeting the common discipline problems for a typical age range. I really enjoyed reading this book as I could easily relate to it. I was able to look back on my childhood and see how I acted like most of these children at some point or another and also look at current peers and family members and see how they discipline compared to the book.

There is no manual on how to raise children. You'll make plenty of mistakes, especially with the first one as you are still learning how to be a parent. However, this 5 star book gives you a leg up on one of the harder aspects of parenting. Will you automatically become an awesome parent who never disciplines poorly from reading this book? No. Will you adopt every solution that Dr. Ray suggests in his book? Probably not. You will get solid gold advice and methods that have worked for him and others. This book was provided to me by Franciscan Media in exchange for an honest review.