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Customer Review

on 8 September 2006
Just as the title indicates Dr. Dobson focuses on what he sees as the child's deficits rather than the underlying parent-child relationship. I think Dr. Dobson basis his book on a faulty and potentially destructive premise - the child is inherently flawed and the parent must intervene (for which he provides much advice). Rather, I think I prefer a healthier premise - my child's behavior and personality are greatly influenced by the quality of the parent child relationship (the degrees of intimacy, empathy, and emotional safety) - rather than blame the child and intervene, strive to understand the behavior in respect to the parent-child relationship and adjust accordingly. I think Dr. Dobson's understanding of these qualities are a bit skewed or misguided.

James Dobson has been around for a long time. He certainly has a large body of literature. If you are familiar with his writing I think you will find that "The New Strong-Willed Child" is more of the same. If you have found his previous work insightful and inspirational this may be the book for you. Personally, I find my role as parent to be too important to blindly accept everything Dr. Dobson presents. Rather, I suggest you read "The New Strong-Willed Child" as well as other resources to gain a more rounded and insightful understanding of this most important job (parenting). I really liked to work of Mark Gaskill, MFT (family therapist and parenting expert) as a balancing perspective. His book "Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture" is superb. These two books are worlds apart. If you are attached to Dobson, great "The New Strong-Willed Child" will be your thing. However, you might want to treat yourself to some newer and fresher ideas by looking elsewhere.
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