- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted February 3, 2013
“Walker” loses driving privileges
In a video presentation on his latest work, psychologist Ray Guarendi says he would never write a book without humor. He describes Winning the Discipline Debates as an instructional, step-by-step, scripted version of what might take place if he made a house call to one of his clients and whispered advice as he observed the family dynamic. He also states the goal of Winning the Discipline Debates: to put authority into the hands of parents.
In the book’s introduction Guarendi shares his view of “experts” and the proliferation of books and theories on raising children. He advises readers to look at the advice through a personal lens and to avoid giving too much credibility to any one practice or theory. Throughout the book he weighs in on such popular notions as time-outs and “counting,” which rates its own chapter. I’ll use that as sample of the book’s format and style.
Up for the Count, Chapter 4, features Dad and six-year-old Tarry (example of humor) at the backyard swing set near dinnertime. The “prologue” to this chapter is that counting is a way for preschoolers to how smart they are, but counting discipline by adults isn’t very smart. The scene is written as dialogue between parent and child with comments from Dr. Ray inserted. The kid says he will come down after 10 more swings, then begins counting. Dad tells Tarry to stop counting, and Dad begins a discipline countdown. When Dad tells the kid to get off the swing NOW, and Tarry does a half-baked pretense of slowing down, Dad threatens to “start counting” again. Dr. Ray points out that Dad would probably be in the low seventies if he had continued his original count. Then, the author rewrites the script, giving Dad the opening and closing line-something to the effect that if Tarry isn’t in the house in 10 seconds he won’t be allowed to go back outside after dinner. The “epilogue” of this chapter explains the drawbacks of counting (offered in a 1-2-3 list—that Dr Ray!)
As promised, Winning the Discipline Debates is practical advice on common hot buttons in families with children aged 5 to about 17. A few issues paired with names of the child characters: Earhard doesn’t “hear” mom calling; Oral wants to negotiate every little thing; Cellina is fighting over her phone; and Walker loses his driving privileges. All with sample scripts and imminently useful comments from a seasoned counselor with 10 kids of his own.