Book Summary of "The Strong Willed Child"

by Jennifer Eblin

Parents dealing with over-confident and unruly children might benefit from "The Strong Willed Child." Author Dr. James Dobson published the book as a manual for parents raising difficult children. The author revised the book in 2005 and released "The New Strong Willed Child." The book covers a number of scenarios encountered by parents, including ADHD.


Dr. Dobson focuses his book on children who cannot be handled through traditional means. The book offers practical advice to parents dealing with children who are highly independent, have a free spirit and those who are unruly or uncontrollable. The author covers issues relating to sibling rivalry, low self-esteem and details for parents who have children suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The book has a Christian-religious slant and focuses on discipline to control children.


According to the author, the book is for parents who have children with entitlement issues. He believes that the children exhibit symptoms of this behavior as early as birth. The children might try flushing things down the toilet, draw on the walls or use makeup to color the house. Without proper raising, the author believes that those children grow up to be defiant teenagers and adults who cannot handle authority figures.

Book Reviews

On Good Reads, "The New Strong Willed Child" has an overall rating of 3.55 out of five stars, as of 2011. Negative reviews focus on some specific issues that Dr. Dobson addresses in the book, including the idea of spanking children to discipline them for negative actions. Reviewer "Joy" also mentions that the Doctor discusses homosexuality and claims that the rise in homosexuality is a sign that moral values are disappearing in America. Reviewer "Kerri" is more upset about the description he uses of hitting a dog with a belt to show discipline. One reviewer by the name of "Jenny" claims that the book had a condescending tone and that she felt the author was talking down to her.


The positive reviews of the book on Good Reads ignore the more controversial elements of the book and focus on the benefits the author offers. Dobson does advocate spanking, but reminds parents to discipline their children and take control of the situation in a loving way. The point is to be firm and act as a disciplinarian, but in a loving way. Dobson also expects parents to act loving toward their children and to frequently remind the kids that they are loved.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.