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Parenting Isn't for Cowards

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Parenting Isn't for Cowards is a practical guide to help struggling parents find the joy and fulfillment that parenthood was intended to bring.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by W Publishing Group (first published January 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  537 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I've recently become a stepmom and I have no children of my own. It discusses the "strong-willed" and the "compliant" child and some of the statistics and behavioral traits about each. It didn't so much provide help in practice, but Dobson discussed societies new tendency to blame the actions of a child on good/bad parenting and encourages parents not to buy into that. I also liked that he said sometimes you don't necessarily like your child's personality and that it's n ...more
Chad Warner
This book is more encouragement than a how-to guide. It does contain practical advice, but not nearly as much as I anticipated. It starts with results from a survey of 35,000 parents, then walks through several aspects of parenting, specifically aimed at parents of strong-willed children. It’s written by a Christian psychologist.

I skipped the chapter on parenting adolescents, because my oldest is two.

The parenting approach can be summarized by this paraphrase from later in the book: Hold tightly
Feb 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book is incredibly misleading. The whole thing is based on a study of parents who have either "very strong-willed" children or "very compliant" children. So it really isn't written for anyone whose children fall into anything other than those two categories. But it also advocates that children are "very strong-willed" or "very compliant" based mostly on their own inborn temperament and not much at all on how they are parented. Seriously? These things emerge during toddlerhood, ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
For the most part I like and agree with what James Dobson has to say about parenting but his writing style is irritating to me so I had to work hard while reading this to focus on the parts that could really speak to me. The chapter on Too Pooped to Parent was definitely an eye-opener for me since I felt like he was describing a lot of what I am experiencing right now and it is helpful to know that I'm not the only one who feels or has felt that way. Also, it really encouraged me to shift my foc ...more
I marked this book as read because I'm currently on disc 6 track 8 out of 7 discs, so I figure I'm close enough. I've renewed this book three times with the intentions of finishing it, but since it doesn't look like that is going to happen, I'll just give my review.
This book basically explores the differences between the compliant child (the one who wants to please others) and the non-compliant child (the one who is strong willed and will do what they want in life). It also talks to parents abo
Ian King
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is nearly 30 years old, the advice within is still surprisingly current. I found it a fantastic book as it gave me some sanity in knowing that I'm not alone in this crazy world of parenting. There are actually others in the same boat as me! Praise God!
I'm a little confused about some if the earlier reviews I read here. It seems that many people don't actually like the advice that Dr James Dobson gives here. I find his writing very useful and uplifting. And some of the stories
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents having an "Off" day
Recommended to Trina by: My Mother-in-law
It was very nice to hear other parents concerns over their children. All too often you only hear the good stuff and how easy it is to raise little Johnny and how perfectly Susie acts. It is never the real story and parents for some reason do not voice their concerns about whether or not they are doing a good job raising their children. This book discusses the bad behavior and the possibilities of ignoring it and how to deal with it. It one of the few sources out there that talks about spankings. ...more
Apryl Anderson
Jul 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After 13 years, it seemed like a good time for a reread. What a deceptive load of rubbish! This is nothing but symptoms and placebos, with only a hint at the true disease. Strong-willed and compliant personalities, yes, we can see that much. (Spare me John and Mary's examples, if you please.) Power struggles, yes they exist. (Especially in the religious realm, why do we not admit that?)

Behavior is related to respect. When we can love one another as He has loved us, we can begin to establish a h
Matt McAlear
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Wow, great book filled with such solid advice. This book is packed with more takeaways than I can even remember. James Dobson is truly a legend and a great writer. Top points that stood out to me were:
- There are varying degrees of kids from compliant to strong willed. Each one has massively different outcomes for the parents.
- There are good kids that come from bad parents and bad kids that come from good parents. Parents definitely play a role in the child's life but they are not the sole fact
Danielle Nicholson
Aug 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
SMH...nope parenting isn't for cowards! Many parents should take a page out of history when sassy disrespectful kids that don't listen got a good ol fashion bun warming. I hear all the time how a parent shouldn't spank their kids....and I have seen how effectively time out, sittin in a corner by themselves and taking away privileges and talking til the parents are blue in the face works. People need to stop being afraid of who is watching and raise their kids. Yeppers, parents had the right idea ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another good book about parenting. To my surprise, I realized that I'd already read quite a bit of it in "The New Strongwilled Child." He repeated many stories in both books, sometimes almost word for word. I can't say I got anything new or different from this book than I did from his other one, but it was an enjoyable read. He is very encouraging and straightforward while maintaining a professionalism and still imparting wisdom. I highly recommend his books to anyone looking for advise ...more
I'd call this more of a parenting pep talk than a parenting how-to book. It was full of statistics and research based around children's extremes (very strong-willed or very compliant), and while it was interesting, for me it wasn't exactly helpful. Maybe it is because having four children I have read a few parenting books and knew most of this information. But information was not exactly what I was looking for when I picked the book up.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Dr Dobson, and he has a lot of insights. It was informational, but more directed towards strong willed or highly compliant children, and I don't think mine are either. (Although Bryn went through a strong willed toddler phase.) So though it was a good book, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a strong willed or compliant child.
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very helpful for me. He mostly talks about strong-willed children and gives some helpful parenting tips. He also gives helpful parenting tips for raising compliant children. The first chapter has fascinating statistics based on a pole done with 35,000 families. His message rang true to me.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot - great advice, especially for parents of strong-willed kids.

Listening to this in the car...and laughing. "Why will kids gag over the sight of a breakfast of orange juice, sausage, eggs and oatmeal but then go drink the dog water?" Toddlers are inexplicable. :)
Also - he talks a lot about strong-willed children from ages 18-36 months...definitely need this one...
Jean Schram
I would have given it four stars but a good portion of the content is from the last two books that I just read by this author. I've never seen anything like that before. VERY distracting! I liked the content. The section on the stages of parental burnout was interesting to me. I have certainly seen this before with some of my students' parents, especially those who are struggling financially.
Sarah Benkovic
Dec 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Parents
This book is based on James Dobson's study of how parents relate to and parent the different personalities of their children. It compares and contrasts "strong willed" children and "compliant" children and teaches how to use different parenting techniques to parent each one. Fantastic!
Tanya W
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geared towards the parents of extremely strong-willed children (seems we have a bunch of those in this generation of children!). It has very insightful parenting tips. Dobson is a spiritually oriented individual with much insight into good parenting, I like that.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ACK!! Got to page 10 of this book then put it down.
"Lord" was mentioned about 20 times in those 10 pages AND "Gays" and "Punks" ... AND I just don't like the conservative/religious undertones of this book.
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love James Dobson and agree with everything he says. This book just didn't have any practical applications to use with your own child. It was interesting to read, but provided little "how to's" on child rearing.
Mar 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Pretty conservative but lots of good advice. Large chunks were cut and pasted from his other book "The Strong Willed Child", and I think this book actually addressed the issues of the strong willed child better than the book with that title.
This was a quick read, but I didn't find it particularly helpful. I felt it was very vague and focused more on teenagers than on younger children. He says to teach and gain control of children while they are young, but not much about how to do so.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great starting book to read about parenting. It gave food for thought about how we might approach different situations with our son.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I haven't finished it, but it is 'put down' indefinatly. It's a little more 'scientific'/case study than I thought. And more geared for those with strong willed children.
Tara Kuhl
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Outdated. This laid the groundwork for his later book The Strong-Willed Child. Title was misleading.
Seth Goldsmith
Quite a lot of data to make you feel better about being sometimes overwhelmed by the task of parenting. This certainly isn't a book that provides a series of solutions.
Read all you can by Dr. Dobson. He is very good.
Amber Post
Maybe it's because it's older and Dobson came out with books later but it just seemed like a rather outdated book and I didn't take away anything from it which is very rare.
Several good bits of advice in parenting "strong-willed" vs "compliant" children.
Mary Havens
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Very practical, encouraging advice about parenting. Breaks down compliant vs. strong-willed children and gives great hope about the decisions we all make as parents.
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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

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