Book Thoughts –> “Children: The Challenge” by Rudolf Dreikurs

This book simultaneously contained some of the best and worst parenting advice I have ever heard. I took away from this book more concrete skills for interacting with my children than maybe any other source. However, the man lacks any sense of God’s law in this world and in our lives, so some of his advice is seriously misguided. He asserts in the book that parents simply do not have authority over their children, which I strongly disagree with.
Most of what I benefitted from was Dreikurs’ amazing ability to put legs to theories. Really, really well. Theories I agreed with before reading his book, but often struggled to know how to put into action. Of course I want to respect my child (while maintaining my authority), but how? I strongly agree with the use of natural and logical consequences, but there are so many times I am at a loss for what those might be. His book is very, very practical.
I’m really not sure I could recommend this book to someone. Not because there are parts I disagree with, but because he doesn’t come out and say all of his informing assumptions they way he so helpfully does about authority. But some of his guidance rests solidly on beliefs like relativism. Unless someone was going into the book with a serious commitment to weigh what they’re reading against the truth of the gospel, follow it to its logical end and examine where it would lead, and dig to uncover the informing and underlying beliefs, I would try to find a book that contained the same good qualities, without the dangerous ones, of this book. Sadly, I don’t have a book like that. Yet.
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