Davis uses behavioral science theory and a smattering of Scripture verses to highlight useful, effective parenting techniques.
The perfect parent of the book’s title is a reference to God, the Father of all creation, whose approach to discipline has been proven through years of behavioral research, according to Davis (101 Self-Defense Techniques of Kung Fu, 1993). However, Davis, a Christian, doesn’t advocate that parents rely entirely on prayer and the grace of God to manage their children’s behavior. Rather, he uses biblical references to reinforce the idea that parents have an inherent obligation to properly discipline their children—and to do so with love. He opens with a brief history of what he sees as governmental, educational and social failures that have conspired to ruin growing children. The best hope for combatting the forces of a permissive, evil-filled society, he writes, is to educate parents about advancements in discipline and child development. He asserts that understanding the science of behavior is essential for identifying its underlying causes. Parents can then eliminate their children’s undesirable actions by using a wide range of methods and applications called “positive behavior support.” Davis rightfully notes that each child is different, each family is different, and what might work for some children may not necessarily work for others. Later chapters outline each technique’s specifics, including vignettes that describe a particular child and behavior, how a technique was applied, and the successful outcome. Davis is mindful that some children’s behavior may stem from an additional psychological or biological cause, and he gives brief outlines of the more common disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. The chapters that outline specific steps for creating a child’s behavior plan are particularly helpful, and emphasize the need to coordinate efforts with spouses, educators and other family members. The final chapters provide additional vignettes that serve as behavior management case studies.
A solid, scientifically based method for confronting behavior problems with loving, consistent discipline.