Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Review: The Well-Behaved Child by John Rosemond

Book ReviewIn a time when many parents refuse to discipline their children, it is refreshing to read the words of Psychologist and author John Rosemond:
I think it is nothing short of tragic that American parents are seeking professional help for child-rearing problems in greater and greater numbers every year, which is not to say that professional help is never warranted. I am convinced, however, that the overwhelming majority of the problems in question could have been resolved ... with proper use of some good, old-fashioned, creative discipline.
Rosemond's recurring theme in The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works! is that far too many children are mis-diagnosed with an alphabet of disorders that he has seen "cured" by the creative use of such discipline tools as
  • Tickets
  • Strikes
  • Report Cards
  • Charts
  • and more... .
By actually getting involved in their children's lives rather than letting them run wild and rule the roost, nearly all of the parents who have contacted John Rosemond for assistance with discipline issues have successfully avoided the diagnoses of ADHD, ADD, OCD, ODD, etc., and furthermore prevented their children from being put on medicine regimens that would only exacerbate the problem.

As I first dug into Rosemond's The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works!, both my wife and I were concerned that our "strong-willed child" (not a term Rosemond uses, but one of another child expert), I found it refreshing to read some of the many ways Rosemond suggests parents deal with their troubled tots -- from toddler to teen. In fact, without even implementing any of Rosemond's disciplinary methods, our son has already begun to be a better behaved, happier child.

One evening, sitting at the family dinner table and explaining to my wife Rosemond's chart method, my son -- who was sitting at the table with us and within clear earshot -- quickly decided he didn't like what he was hearing. He immediately made it known that he wouldn't like the results of misbehavior that the Chart plan would include, to which I responded that if he behaved he would not have to worry about them. He hasn't become a perfectly-behaved child, of course, but he has certainly dropped many of the undesirable behaviors that drove me to read the book in the first place.

It is my contention -- and the author's as well, it seems -- that by simply reading this book and putting into practice some of the methods he describes, parents might be able to avoid the embarrassing and potentially destructive tragedy of having their child labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or one of the many other alphabet soup disorders that today's psychologists are so quick to diagnose. My point: what have you got to lose?

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