So we begin Chapter 2 with a wordy story about a mother of a 3-year-old girl in Kansas City who meets Dobson and at first thanks him for his book Dare to Discipline. Apparently,
“…they (this girl’s parents) bought the book and learned therein that it is appropriate to spank a child under certain well-defined circumstances. My recommendation made sense to these harassed parents, who promptly spanked their sassy daughter the next time she gave them reason to do so.”
And here we have more instance of Dobson in general just letting us know how much he really seems to dislike children in general. The parents were harassed?? Really? The daughter was sassy? Look, I have no idea who these people are, or if they even exist, so I don’t know what their situation was that compelled them to seek out Dobson’s advice. Maybe the daughter was legitimately out of control. I don’t know, and I’m not automatically assuming that to be the case. All I do know is that accusing a 3-year-old of “harassing” anyone is just not appropriate, whatever the circumstances. I know children that age do irritating things and can be really frustrating, but this is just not cool.
Anyways, he continues,
“When her mother awoke the next morning, she found her copy of Dare to Discipline floating in the toilet! That darling girl had done her best to send my writings to the sewer, where they belonged. I suppose that is the strongest editorial comment I’ve received on any of my literature!”
Smart girl. And Dobson, you said it, not me. The toilet is absolutely where your crappy, child abuse manuals belong.
But there’s more!
“This incident with the toddler was not an isolated case. Another child selected my book from an entire shelf of possibilities and threw it in the fireplace. I could easily become paranoid about these hostilities. Dr. Benjamin Spock is loved by millions of children who have grown up under his influence, but I am apparently resented by an entire generation of kids who would like to catch me in a blind alley on some cloudy night.”
This is possibly one of the more triggering, angering and frustrating sentences in the entire book for me personally to read. I mean, the guy actually seems proud of himself that kids raised on his advice resent him. Seriously, was that his goal all along???
Furthermore, Dobson, instead of saying this in a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek way, why don’t you do some soul searching as to why that is. Yes, entire generations of kids who grew up with parents using your methods are filled with resentment. They are also plagued with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, difficult divorces (including your own son!), and have become abusers themselves. Families are fractured and parents are filled with remorse thanks to you. Why don’t you take some responsibility for it?
I know this post is much shorter than I usually do, but that’s about it for me for today. This section is utterly horrifying to me. He’s flat-out admitting that children raised on his methods grow up miserable and resentful and he’s actually proud of that. I just…. I just can’t….