Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The New Dare to Discipline” as Want to Read:
The New Dare to Discipline
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The New Dare to Discipline

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,152 ratings  ·  153 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published March 22nd 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published November 30th 1969)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The New Dare to Discipline, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Glenn Curry Ask you 16 yr old granddaughter why she is having problems. Children acting out or doing poorly in school, etc, are symptoms of a deeper problem.…moreAsk you 16 yr old granddaughter why she is having problems. Children acting out or doing poorly in school, etc, are symptoms of a deeper problem. Dobson recommends hitting children. Your granddaughter doesn't need to be hit or disciplined. She needs to be heard; understood. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,152 ratings  ·  153 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The New Dare to Discipline
Mar 12, 2011 rated it did not like it

Interesting but most of this approach is way too strict in my opinion. And listen, you don't often hear me say that. There were some ideas that I agree with or at least can look at them as food for thought. I read this book at the same time I read Cesar Milan's book on training puppies - and I have to say if you compare the two/ or if you followed each approach/ "Dare to Disc." with the kids and Cesar's approach with the dog - I believe the dog would be the one living the better life.
Ruth Hinds
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a tough book to review. The first 4 chapters are about disciplining your child, with a strong emphasis on spanking. My husband & I choose not to spank. Especially after reading the excellent parenting books, The Five Love Languages of Children and Personality Plus for Parents, I believe that spanking isn't a good way to discipline, and there are even some children who would be damaged emotionally by it. I just tried to replace "spanking" with "timeouts" in my head. The next section ...more
This book did more damage for my family than I care to illuminate.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I agreed with alot of what Dobson says regarding discipline - be consistent, reward good behavior, and make your child understand that you dislike their behavior, not THEM, when you DO discipline them. You're not doing them a favor by allowing them free reign. And THANK HEAVENS for a solid stance on morality too!

I also appreciated his thoughts on teachers. Coming from a family of teachers, I've seen firsthand the stressful problems they have to deal with now - not just teaching students, but
Jul 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was my introduction to Dr. Dobson. Read between 1977 and 1979, when our older son was three to five years old. It seemed to radical then; today it must seem antediluvian. But it rings true, and it works.
There's no magic formula for anything involving human beings, but it was a helpful starting point; certainly better than much of the claptrap being foisted on parents then and now.
Andrea Jardon
Jul 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I started to read this and got about 80 pages in or so and decided to not complete it. I was very disappointed in this book and felt like Dr. Dobson approached child rearing in a philosphical way instead of a biblical way. Very seldomnly did he refer to the Bible and God's viewpoint and occassionally referred to "mother nature" and things like that. There are so many philosophies out there on what is the right way to raise a child and I have prayed for my mind to be clear and free from finding a ...more
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty common-sense advice, such as:
-be consistent
-don't give in to whining
-follow through with consequences the first time a child disobeys instead of nagging

I think you would read this same (good) advice in any child-rearing book, but this was presented in a disturbingly Dobsony way.

My very favorite part of the book was when Dobson was listing all the horrible things teens were into in the 70s such as drug usage and vandalism, and he included "civil disobedience" in the list! Oh, those
John Boyne
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent book! I was raised under the principles taught in this book and am so thankful to have an updated edition to study and grow in as I begin to raise my own children. Dobson focuses in on the heart issues in raising a child and struggles that a sinful nature in both the parent and child will create. Through the appropriate use of discipline it is possible to shape your child's understanding of the world around them to give them the tools to properly honor God and their parents as ...more
Camille K.
Of all the hard-core discipline books from evangelicalism, this one's actually one of the more reasonable. And I'm not a big Dobson fan. The standard elements of such books are here, but he's presenting it for a purely secular audience (the Scripture is all in the back in an appendix).

It's funny to read his diatribe against the youth culture of the 60s -- that under-30 set -- when he's only 34 when he wrote the book!! :p It's also funny to read his harangue against the 1950s as the beginning of
Larry Taylor
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
DTD was written during a time when parents erred on the side of being too lax. homes typically lacked much of any discipline, so dobson did a great service by balancing things out and calling on parents to set limits. i've seen many, however, misuse its message as an excuse for being too harsh and too physical in their discipline, which is why i gave it 2 stars. i still think it is a good book for those who tend to be too lax, however.
Jun 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents or parents-to-be
Shelves: parenting
The best thing about this book is that it reminds you to be consistent in your parenting. It isn't all about corporal punishment, though it does advocate that as a method of discipline for the worst of offenses. Instead, it tells you to tailor the discipline to the offense and the child, and reminds you to make sure to be in tune with your children to make sure that the actions your punishing are actual rebellion and not just tiredness, over-stimulation or even sickness. The book also advocates ...more
Julianne Vantland
Mar 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
This booked fucked me up as a child, and continues to screw with my ability to be loving and nurturing to my own children as an adult. If you need fresh ideas and support for helping children learn healthy limits without physically abusing them or extinguishing their humanity, I highly recommend "How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen" by Joanna Faber and Julie King.
Brian Taylor
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Great book, but in need of another update. (The "New" Dare to Discipline was published in 1995 ... now nearly 20 years old. Yes, hard to believe, but 1995 was almost 20 years ago.) You have to be willing to ignore or look past some of the things that reflect the way things were in the 80's and 90's. Things have changed since then, and so have both children and their parents.

Since I have young kids, the first half of the book was the most insightful for me. (The 2nd half of the book deals with
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Love Dobson and Focus on the Family. Now that I'm a mom, I find myself leaning on them more and more for practical Christian advice and support.

This book talks about why discipline is important - something often overlooked in modern society. My 18-month old is getting to the age of willful disobedience, so this book was so helpful! It discussed effective ways to discipline in different ages and situations, including spanking. It was so wonderful to have practical, supportive information in this
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
So I picked this up, knowing that my folks had it around the house, and that I want to do discipline well for my son, and maybe even pick up a few pointers for school. I'm impressed by the wisdom of Dobson, I think he's appropriately advocating discipline that's thought-out, balanced, not spiteful, not heartless, etc. The book is a jumble of patched together thoughts, a bit difficult to stick with and draw pointers from. I'm looking for an instruction manual, or a descriptions of appropriate ...more
Kaitlin Avila
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. James Sobson has so much knowledge on child rearing. I also believe that he stated after a certain age, your parenting is done. You can still discipline but its not going to be as affective as if you started from day one. Everyones makes mistakes and not once did he say he was perfect but I was just enthralled in the book and found it very helpful Anns even supported what I already do with my son. You cant pick up a book and expect ignorance to make your kids behave better if ...more
I know that there's an updated version of this book, and that might make it feel more relevant, but so much has happened since the edition I read came out. Dobson seems to target hippies--not in their values or anything but in their evident lack of discipline--and writes an inordinate amount about how lack of discipline at home and in schools causes problems in society.

And he wrote all of this before school shootings and the wars on drugs and terrorism became daily concerns.

When I say that bit
Camille Hoffmann
I debated on whether or not to give this three or four stars. I think many assume this book is all about spanking your children, but it really comes down to knowing when it is appropriate to discipline your child, and that it is absolutely essential. I like that he points out that either extreme doesn't work you can't simply be harsh and critical and discipline your child all the time, but you also can't give into their every whim and let them run all over you. Both are unhealthy for your ...more
Jason Logue
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have a feeling that many people who will read this book, or more than likely, never read this book, believe that this book is primarily about spanking your children. They would probably believe Dobson's methods or ideas are out of touch and/or just wrong. Honestly, I haven't made up my mind about spanking yet, but I do know that his book is less about spanking and more about consistent discipline that is done with love and authority, one that will hopefully provide great, healthy boundaries ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although still gestating at this moment, the aspect of bearing children that frightens me the most is not the physical abuse pregnancy inflicts on my body, not the pain of labor, but the fact that I'm going to have to discipline my child. I was never good at it as a baby-sitter or Sunday school teacher, and I know that i'm not going to magically acquire the skills to discipline my children just because they happen to enter the world and be mine.

I highly recommend this book - the first half was
Apr 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book me a while to get through. But I am done! I borrowed this from my Bishops wife and I think I am going to have to buy my own copy so I can read it again and again! I like Dr. Dobson's philosophy! I think he is right on. He is very conservative but I really like that! Its refreshing! I learned that I am in charge! I don't know why we forget that, but it felt good to read it. He told a story about a mom who called about her six month old son's fever and he asked what his temperature was ...more
Kris Irvin
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Finally, a book that is applicable to toddlers and teenagers! I'll admit to only having read the first 100 pages or so, and skimming the rest as it's not applicable to me yet. It's a quick and engaging read, and has lots of good ideas and advice. The guy seems balanced - he's not overly fluffy and all "oh, your baby is made of kittens and rainbows and thus sometimes when Saturn wanes purple he will get grumpy and you mustn't scold him for fear of damaging his inner chakras," and he's also not in ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a Mama for 28 years now, and a Christian for over 21 of those. It's a bit unbelievable, even to me, that I had not ever read Dare To Discipline by Dr. Dobson. Even at this point it life, I have gleaned great, practical wisdom and tools from reading this book. Using one of his recommendations for younger children as my springboard, I created a chart of goals for my young adult daughters, ages 15 and 17. (I avoid the word teenager.) They were quite excited by the prospect. Three of the ...more
I got this book at McKay's for 50 cents, and it was certainly an interesting read! The ideas presented were not vastly different from the ideas I have read in other discipline books, but the way in which they were presented was a little off-putting. I felt as if I was listening to a private conversation that Dobson was having with one of his buddies, which--while fine for someone who already understands where he's coming from-- would not be appropriate for an audience who might not understand ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
While most of what I was looking for from this book was found in only three of the chapters (and those three chapters were fantastic), the rest of the book was worth while as well.

Sometimes I feel that in an effort to show why we parents need to focus more on discipline to avoid the common pitfalls of child rearing, often Dr. Dobson's books with their bad statistics scare the poo out of me! He then follows up the stats with ways to avoid them by disciplining. But sometimes I think it's just too
Pamela Hubbard
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book provides a wonderful, solid foundation for parents and educators on the philosophy of discipline. I agreed with a lot of the thoughts and the writing was riveting and filled with lots of relevant stories and examples. Unfortunately, as a mother of a toddler, I was hoping for a lot more hands-on help in dealing with everything toddlerhood brings. This book was much more theoretical than practical, but still a must-read for parents. The second half of the books focuses on discipline in ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's a great book overall. The only vibe is I still can't bring myself to spank my kids. I tried it once (which wasn't even a real spanking) on my girl and she looked at me with disgust and said 'what's with that?'. After that, I'd never used it again. I went back to using reasoning, time-out and withdrawal of privileges. Because it just reminds me too much of how I felt when my mom spanked me when I was a kid. I pretty much remember the spankings more than any other events during my childhood. ...more
My copy is from 1970. It is in no way politically correct. That being said, it was interesting to read the perspective of a professional with views so vastly different from what I was taught in my formal education. I found myself agreeing with a lot more of his views than I had first thought. I saw the results of "permissive parenting" in my classroom and hope to save my boys from such. I did not come from a home of permissive parents. I still can't bring myself to agree with him on the whole ...more
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: educational
I don't have kids, so I can't relate to the experiences, I just read this for information's sake.
That said, I appreciated that he was trying to come at it from a religious perspective. I appreciated his views on morality. I agree that the parent needs to be in charge and there needs to be discipline and consequences.
But, a lot of this book read as "in defense of my opinion" rather than a very helpful guidebook. And a lot of his suggestions for toddlers were exactly the same things I read in
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was really helpful and I definitely needed some help. It has a lot of basic principles, but I like the way he organizes them. I definitely learned a lot about why and how effective discipline is really important for my kids. I feel a lot more confident in my ability as a mom and how important it is to take on that role, rather than becoming just my kid's friend. I feel like it gave me some good tools for dealing with my strong willed 2 year old. Dobson is great because he isn't afraid ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shepherding a Child's Heart
  • Grace-Based Parenting
  • The Power of a Praying Parent
  • The Duties Of Parents
  • To Train Up a Child
  • The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom
  • Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments
  • Don't Make Me Count to Three
  • Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God's Spirit Invades the Heart of His People
  • The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children
  • Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days
  • The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
  • Parenting With Love and Logic
  • Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives
  • On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep
  • Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples
  • Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife
See similar books…
James C. Dobson, Ph.D., hosts the daily radio program Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. For 14 years Dr. Dobson was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and he served for 17 years

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
9 likes · 0 comments
“The best way to get children to do what you want is to spend time with them before disciplinary problems occur—having fun together and enjoying mutual laughter and joy. When those moments of love and closeness happen, kids are not as tempted to challenge and test the limits. Many confrontations can be avoided by building friendships with kids and thereby making them want to cooperate at home. It sure beats anger as a motivator of little ones!” 6 likes
“The issue of respect is also useful in guiding parents’ interpretation of given behavior. First, they should decide whether an undesirable act represents a direct challenge to their authority . . . to their leadership position as the father or mother. The form of disciplinary action they take should depend on the result of that evaluation.” 1 likes
More quotes…