Every time I hear the name James Dobson, this utterly repellent quote unfortunately leaps to mind:
Meanwhile, the boy's father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son's maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.
Dobson's history of perverse and shocking ideas about raising children is well-documented, but has escaped much media scrutiny.
From Dobson's book "The Strong Willed Child":
"When I told Sigmund [the family dog] to leave his warm seat and go to bed, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He deliberately braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie's way of saying. "Get lost!"
"I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me 'reason' with Mr. Freud."
. . .
"What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!"
"But this is not a book about the discipline of dogs; there is an important moral to my story that is highly relevant to the world of children. JUST AS SURELY AS A DOG WILL OCCASIONALLY CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS LEADERS, SO WILL A LITTLE CHILD -- ONLY MORE SO."
"[I]t is possible to create a fussy, demanding baby by rushing to pick him up every time he utters a whimper or sigh. Infants are fully capable of learning to manipulate their parents through a process called reinforcement, whereby any behavior that produces a pleasant result will tend to recur. Thus, a healthy baby can keep his mother hopping around his nursery twelve hours a day (or night) by simply forcing air past his sandpaper larynx."
Keep your children far away from Dobson - and anyone who follows his teachings.
On p.15 Dobson tells the story of a mother who spanks her 5 year old daughter and locks her in the garage for throwing some stones at cars. On p.18 he tells the story of a mother who slaps her 18 month old 9 separate times for reaching for a candy dish. On p.20 he tells the story of a mother who counts to three "and if the kids had not minded by then, they would have to face the wooden spoon."
On p.61 Dobson says to spank a 6 year old for calling his parents "hot dog" or "moose" and on p.63 Dobson says to spank a 7 year old for lying.
. . .
On p. 135 Dobson is asked this question: "Q: How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished or spanked? Is there a limit? A: Yes, I believe there should be a limit. As long as the tears represent a genuine release of emotion, they should be permitted to fall. But crying can quickly change from inner sobbing to an expression of protest aimed at punishing the enemy. Real crying usually lasts two minutes or less but may continue for five. After that point, the child is merely complaining, and the change can be recognized in the tone and intensity of his voice. I would require him to stop the protest crying, usually by offering him a little more of whatever caused the original tears."
On p.136 Dobson recommends using a switch or paddle to beat children. (link above)
On p.137 Dobson says "The spanking may be too gentle. If it doesn't hurt, it doesn't motivate a child to avoid the consequence next time. A slap with the hand on the bottom of a diapered two-year-old is not a deterrent to anything. Be sure the child gets the message."
One can only imagine with horror what goes in this man's household. Sick and crazy.
More here if you want to be even more throughly repelled.
But this will almost - almost- make you feel sorry for the man:
A recent profile of Dobson sheds some light on these questions. As it turns out, Dobson’s parents physically and mentally abused him as a child, and he once got beaten up in school by a kid even Dobson admits was widely acknowledged to be a “sissy.”
The article in a Denver magazine called “5280″ makes Dobson’s mother, Myrtle, sound like a real piece of work. Notes writer Eileen Welsome:
Myrtle [tag]Dobson[/tag] was an amiable and social woman, but she didn’t hesitate to whack her son with a shoe or belt when she felt it was required. Consequently, Dobson writes, he learned at an early age to stay out of striking distance when he back-talked to his mother. One day he made the mistake of mouthing off when she was only four feet away and heard a 16-pound girdle whistling through the air. “The intended blow caught me across the chest, followed by a multitude of straps and buckles wrapping themselves around my midsection.” The girdle incident did not dampen his defiance, however. One evening, after Dobson’s mother forbid him from going to a dance, the recalcitrant teenager told her that he was going anyway; she picked up the telephone and called her husband. “I need you,” she said.
The article continues: “‘What happened in the next few days shocked me down to my toes,’ writes Dobson.”
His father canceled the next four years’ worth of speaking engagements, put the Oklahoma house up for sale, and took a pastor’s job in San Benito, Texas, a small town near the Mexican border. Dobson had two years of high school left, and when he started classes he found himself the target of a couple of bullies. Rather than turn the other cheek, Dobson wheeled around and threw his schoolbooks in the face of one annoying youth. “By the time he could see me again I was on top of him,” Dobson writes. Dobson also tried a little bullying himself, targeting a boy whom he sized up as a “sissy.” But the boy gave him such a thrashing that Dobson concluded bullying wasn’t for him.
Elsewhere the story notes that in the Dobson household there were “a million rules…regulations and prohibitions for almost every imaginable situation.” Dobson recalls being “chewed out for using the expression ‘Hot dog!’ and forbidden from uttering ‘darn,’ ‘geez,’ or ‘dad-gummit’ because they were considered shorthand swear words.”
Even more alarming, Dobson admits in one of his books that as a child he arranged a fight between two mismatched dogs. The battle involved a tenacious bulldog and a “sweet, passive Scottie named Baby,” and Dobson provoked it by throwing a tennis ball toward Baby. He writes what happened next: “The bulldog went straight for Baby’s throat and hung on. It was an awful scene. Neighbors came running from everywhere as the Scottie screamed in terror. It took ten minutes and a garden hose for the adults to pry loose the bulldog’s grip. By then Baby was almost dead. He spent two weeks in the animal hospital, and I spent two weeks in the doghouse. I was hated by the entire town.”
As any child psychologist will tell you, this type of cruelty toward animals is a sign of a serious psychological disturbance.
James Dobson is a sick, sick man. Instead of seeking help for the psychological damage he suffered as a child, he decided instead to inflict evil on others by manipulating them into beating their own children and telling them God wants them to. Talk about dragging Biblical understanding through the gutter.
I will never on any day be listening to anything James Dobson has to say about the Bible or any other subject. Why the media gives his man any credence whatsoever is one of the great mysteries of life that will never be adequately explained.