After reading my post concerning the disadvantages of time-out, Dr. Cary Chugh contacted me and asked if I would review his book, Don’t Swear with Your Mouth Full! When the book arrived, my husband joked that I would have to write a good review, but by that time I had already read the back of the book and scanned the inside.
The book has a few insights. Chugh states that both authoritarian and permissive parenting cause problems in the parent/child relationship and that an authoritative parenting style yields better results in the long term. He comes back to this concept briefly when discussing teenagers, but only allots a few sentences to the topic.
Reading the book, one comes out with the idea that the author really does care about families. The introductory chapter is a bit egotistical. Comments such as getting out your highlighter and the mass amount of exclamation points (where was the editor?) detract from his excitement over a concept that is nothing new and definitely not something I would ever want for my family.
Chugh states that there are seven forms of discipline and then goes on to list seven forms of punishment. He continually refers to punishment throughout the book as discipline, seemingly unaware that punishment is not a key component of all disicpline methods. The majority of the book consists of Chugh explaining how to properly punish children according to the behavior-limited method.
Behavior-limited punishments involve a parent imposing some type of punishment (Chugh advocates the bigger the better) which have no set ending. Children are continually punished until they comply with whatever the parent wants. As soon as they have performed the required task, the punishment ceases. According to Chugh, this promotes self-control. In fact, it does no such thing. External motivation does not beget self-control, a quality developed through internal motivation. The child does not have much of a choice – endure whatever punishment the parent dictates or comply with whatever it is that the parent dictates. Children are not treated as people.
I’m not a fan of authoritarian discipline techniques which claim to be authoritative. Love and Logic is a prime example of this type of discipline, and I’ve been known to call it sugar-coated control. Chugh’s book ranks even lower on the list. There isn’t anything sugar coated about it. It is straight up parental control. Perhaps if I wanted to raise my children to be the perfect disciples of a dictator, it would appeal to me. Instead, I prefer that my children learn to think for themselves and learn conflict resolution so that they can work with others in order to find mutually acceptable solutions.
Pull out the matches and roasting sticks. It’s time to make s’mores.
Thanks for your comments on Love & Logic. I get the L&L emails and I am always surprised at how much they reek of fear and control. It’s almost like those kinds of parenting styles take the worst view of human nature. We must dominate in order to force a child to be a good person (in the long run) and a convenient person (in the short term).
Have you read much Scott Noelle?