James Dobson wrote Dare to Discipline in 1971.

A lot has changed since then.

Regarding parenthood, principles remain.  Four decades later, he decided to update this classic on parenthood (The New Dare to Discipline), and much of the content remained untouched.  Some elements were added or updated, but this book is a comprehensive look at the reasoning and methodology of parental discipline.

I think this book is important because I see too many rebellious children being negotiated with by too many exhausted parents.

You may not agree with all the conclusions Dobson comes up with.  That is completely fine.  I found the book to be not as divisive concerning methodology that many critics claim it to be.  Dobson displays an array of options and deals with each topic with FAQ’s regarding the topic.

Our kids are growing up, we must do we can do to ensure a great, long life of enjoying all the benefits God has for them.  If they are rebellious with no submission to authority, that is going to be cut short.

If you feel like your child is out of control, it is probably because he or she is.

Favorite Quotes

  1. Children thrive best in an atmosphere of genuine love, undergirded by reasonable, consistent discipline (7).
  2. …the pendulum has swung back and forth regularly between harsh, oppressive control and the unstructured permissiveness we saw in the mid-twentieth century (11).
  3. When parents lose these early confrontations, the later conflicts become harder to win (28).
  4. The objective [of proper child rearing], as I see it, is to take the raw material with which our babies arrive on this earth, and then gradually mold it into mature, responsible, and God-fearing adults (34).
  5. Parental warmth after such discipline is essential to demonstrate that it is the behavior – not the child himself – that the parent rejects (36).
  6. …the parent must recognize that the most successful techniques of control are those which manipulate something of importance to the child (42).
  7. When you are defiantly challenged, win decisively (51).
  8. There is security in defined limits (59).
  9. The key to this success has been the immediate application of a pleasant consequence to desired behavior (84).
  10. The great weakness of socialism is the absence of reinforcement; why should a man struggle to achieve if there is nothing special to be gained (88)?
  11. Verbal reinforcement should penetrate the entire parent-child relationship (94).
  12. To eliminate an undesirable behavior in a child, one must identify and then withhold the critical reinforcement (104).
  13. You see, all through childhood, loving parents seem determined to intervene between behavior and consequences, breaking the connection and preventing the valuable learning that could have occurred (114).
  14. We’ve now had twenty-five years to evaluate the fallout from lessening of discipline and authority in the classroom.  Look at what happened to the generation that was influenced most by it (129).
  15. …that effort to take children out of the home at an earlier age simply will not conform to the realities of child development.  This is why the home-schooling movement is growing by leaps and bounds (165-166).
  16. …parents must understand the difference between stimulation and pressure (178).
  17. …two specific qualities are necessary to produce academic excellence, the second of which is often overlooked.  First, intellectual ability must be there.  But mental capacity is insufficient by itself.  Self-discipline is also required (183).
  18. We have forgotten God and disregarded His holy ordinances.  But it is our children who have suffered and will continue to pay for our lack of stewardship and diligence (204).
  19. There is a growing trend for all aspects of education to be taken from the hands of parents (or the role is deliberately forfeited by them).  This is a mistake (215).
  20. It is my firm conviction that children would also be taught ultimate loyalty to God (226).
  21. It is not uncommon for a mother, particularly, to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of her parental assignment (242).

Book Overview

Why are boundaries so important? Do children really want limits set on their behavior? Is it okay to spank my child, or will it lead him to hit others and become a violent person? Join the millions of caring parents who have found much-needed answers to their questions in the wisdom of parenting expert and family counselor Dr. James Dobson. The New Dare to Discipline is a revised and updated edition of the classic bestseller, designed to help you lead your children through the tough job of growing up. This practical, reassuring guide will teach you how to meet your children’s needs of love, trust, affection—and discipline.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.