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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on October 29, 2002
Overall,I believe that the book provides some good commonsense
advice.I do not doubt Dr. Smalley's credentials or his sincerity.However,I have a major with Smalley's overemphasis on the importance of spanking.In fact,the spanking method smalley used on his own kids was much more harsh,cruel,and potential injurious than anything advocated by Dr. Dobson.
Dobson's idea of spanking is a maximum of three light strokes with a switch.Smalley would force his kids to lie flat on their stomachs on a bed,and then he would paddle them at least until they cried.My friends who paddle their kids make them bend over a chair,and never use more than 4 or 5 swats.Forcing a kid to lie on his/her stomach and then insisting on making him/her cry is foolish,especially for kids with tough seats who resist crying.Smalley's advice could inadvertantly lead to abuse.Smalley did not mention whether he did it bare bottom or not,but parents who choose to paddle their kids bare and use Smalley's technique could very easily bruise their childen.It is obvious from the doctor's description of the punishments that his kids were terrified of him and his spankings.The eldest child got in trouble with the law as a teenager.I was only whipped in school,not at home,and I was never arrested-case in point.I was better behaved and a better student than Smalley's heavily spanked oldest.Be careful with this stuff.Only very strong and resilient kids can be tortured like this without harm.
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on February 6, 2001
This is the book I turn to every time I have an issue with my kids that needs to be resolved, or even when I just need to be re-ignited with a passion for pouring my life into my kids. Besides his easy-flowing, excellent writing, the principles he teaches are unbeatable. Unlike the other reviewer who disliked the lists, I found them to actually be a helpful part of the book and I didn't skip over them as I tend to skip over lists in other books.
Yes, Gary is an advocate of spanking, which I will make no comment on here other than to say that I also believe in it. But throughout the whole book, including the parts about spanking, it is so easy to see the tender, loving parent that he was/is, as he encourages me to be as well. I was actually encouraged by the creative types of discipline that he suggested as well.
I've decided to read this book again every year as my children enter new phases of life so that I will be able to remind myself of these principles and apply them to my changing family. Thank you, Gary, for your encouraging wisdom!
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on August 11, 2000
Smalley's book on parenting, "The Key to your Child's Heart" invites parents to share life together with their kids, heart to heart, at the daily, emotional and spiritual level of life. His over-indulgence in lists (84 ways, 4 basic types, 2 factors, 3 powerful ways, 19 ways, 6 characteristics) cheapens the material in this book in my opinion. But Smalley had condensed into this volume a wise perspective on parenting and dozens of practical ideas for improving your family life.
Also recommended--THE FAMILY CLOISTER: BENEDICTINE WISDOM FOR THE HOME, by David Robinson (New York: Crossroad, 2000, 192pp., trade paperback).
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on July 24, 2000
The book is not w/o some good points,but the descriptions of cruel disciple with religious overtones,in the James Dobson tradition,vitiates against any positive value the book may have.It is also much too anecdotal in nature,and its parenting prescriptions do not take into account the fact that a child have have special needs or undiagnosed mental health problems.
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on July 6, 1999
Not only was this book insightful and practical, it was also very easy to read. It has helped me to understand my children better and consequently extend more love and acceptance towards them.
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on December 2, 1998
This was a terrific book...right on the money!!
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on October 24, 2014
Very informative
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