Dr. James Dobson has written several books on discipline and how to raise children. The New Dare to Discipline is a must-read but they all are. If you are a Christian parent, you should read Dobson books. Period.
Now and then, there are voices in the educational realm who throw mud on discipline of any kind. Dr. Dobson documents such books and magazine articles all the way back to the end of the Second World War. The result of these approaches in education have been – among other things – an increase in lawlessness, a decreased reading fluency and comprehension among high school graduates, and the sexual revolution of the 60s.
James Dobson also shows common problems in families and schools when discipline is lacking. So many parents, turned off by the strict rules imposed on them as children, now take the opposite approach – a laissez-faire attitude which harms children just as much as too much control and strict discipline measures.
For instance, Dobson details some of the problems he used to see in schools when he worked as a school counselor and teacher – before going to graduate school. He writes about the IQ ranges of the school population and how only 2% of children can be labeled as “retarded.” But then there are about 23% in the 70-90 IQ range for whom there is no help in school. They don’t fit the category of kids who need special education, but they really cannot perform at the regular speed of an average classroom. As such, they get lost in the shuffle. Their needs are ignored due to the limitations on the teacher’s attention and time and the school structure, and they become the high school dropouts of the next decade.
Dobson also addresses the needs of the underachievers and the late bloomers. He offers solutions for parents and schools as to what to do with these youngsters, homeschooling being one of the solutions. I’m glad he reaches that conclusion.
Dr. Dobson mentions homeschooling in a positive light and recounts how Dr. Raymond Moore had a big impact on him in the early 80s. Dobson goes as far as to say that he and his wife would probably have homeschooled their children in the first years of the elementary years, if they had known about it back then.
This book (the New Dare to Discipline) is a great read and makes the case for discipline of the right kind and intensity, the discipline that rewards small children right away for their accomplishments while doling out appropriate consequences for their wrong choices.