By Dr. James Dobson
Our fifteen-year-old son literally seethes with hostility at home—at his mother and me—at his sisters—at the world. Believe me, we have done nothing to provoke this anger, and I don't understand what has caused it. But other parents of teens report the same problem. Why are so many adolescents angry at their parents and family? Sometimes they seem to hate the people who love them the most!
Yes, but it is possible to lead teenagers without insulting and antagonizing them unnecessarily. I learned this lesson when I was a junior high school teacher. It became clear to me very early that I could impose all manner of discipline and strict behavioral requirements on my students, provided I treated each young person with genuine dignity and respect. I earned their friendship before and after school, during lunch, and through classroom encounters. I was tough, especially when challenged, but never discourteous, mean, or insulting. I defended the underdog and tenaciously tried to build each child's confidence and self-respect. However, I never compromised my standards of deportment. Students entered my classroom without talking each day. They did not chew gum, behave disrespectfully, curse, or stab one another with ball point pens. I was clearly the captain of the ship, and I directed it with military zeal.
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Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; The New Strong-Willed Child; When God Doesn’t Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Head Over Heels.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.
Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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