This is an excellent book to help parents raise up their children in the ways of the LOrd where they don't become little monsters that rule the house. Of it is done correctly and consistantly you will be proud of your children and they will have a good self esteem.
This is Dobson at his best - practical and insightful into the minds of young children. He focuses on the importance of establishing boundaries for children at a young age, so that a parent's authority is trusted and secure as that child grows older. Coming from a family where this wasn't the case, and marrying into a family where authority was known and trusted, I can see so much value in Dobson's approach. It's what I want for my children - not a home with yelling and nagging and empty threats, but firm boundaries, real consequences for outright rebellion (not toddler antics) and abundant rewards for good behavior.
This book is very disturbing. In this book, Dobson calls children demeaning names such as: tyrant, dictator, little spitfire, terrors, brat, bratty, rebel, tornado, "little fat-fingers", "fat little legs" and "spindly legs." Dobson claims to present a Christian approach to raising children in this book. But all these cruel names show that he completely ignores Jesus injunction to Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones (Mt. 18:10). Dobson is not ordained in any religion, he has no religious credentials, and he is not a pediatrician or any other type of medical doctor.
Dobson is obsessed with defiance, using that word dozens of times in this book.
In Chapter 4 Dobson goes into more detail about corporal punishment, recommending using objects (not the hand) to hit and whip children, starting as young as 15-18 months old for defiance.
I used to have respect for Focus on the Family and James Dobson... in many of his works with teens he presents good guidance in abstinence and looking ahead at God's plan for life. When it comes to his parenting advice, however, I feel it seriously misses the mark. The treatment he advocates for children is not how I would treat a pet, let alone how I wish to treat my children in order to lead them to Christ. It is important to remember that our task of raising our children not only is important as the blessing from God, but our children are at the same time our brothers and sisters in Christ and we are called to treat them with love and respect as Christ gave us.