I'm NOT going to say the man doesn't have some good things to speak about. I do believe that all people do have some good nuggets of wisdom within them. I just wanted to be clear on that point.
I wrote a post in the past about his book: Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis in which he gave some very dangerous advice when dealing with domestic abuse with marriage. I called the article, Dobson's Advice that could get women killed!
In that article Dobson basically told others:
He believes the best approach is to force a crisis that confronts the problem head-on. Only then can it be treated and resolved. When you and your husband are both in a good mood, let him know that you have something important to discuss. Tell him that you love him very much, but that you are not going to allow him to abuse you any more. Tell him that you want him to get counseling for his anger problem immediately, and that unless he agrees, you are going to need to separate from him for a while. Given his past behavior, it's likely that he will beg for your forgiveness and promise that he will never harm you again. As much as you may be tempted to believe him, don't. Set a deadline for him to start counseling and stick to your guns. You also need to have a safety plan in place in the event that your husband responds negatively to this news.
First off I firmly believe ANGER isn't the root of the issues. There is a difference between anger issues, and abuse issues. We are clearly speaking of abuse issues, and so he missed the mark right off the bat. When someone abuses others that are close to them they are clearly broken, and you are basically dealing with someone that doesn't have a rational mindset.
Anger management could show them how to tone down their anger, but it will not remove the abuse from happening. The abuse is the core issue, and with anger management it isn't addressed. Their irrational mindset, and sense of entitlement isn't going to go away with anger management. They will find more covert ways of doing it. Does that solve the issues? Hardly.
His advice also doesn't help setup A Safe Haven that he speaks about in the article I linked to.
If children cannot feel safe when at home, how will the world outside seem to them? Yet many homes today have become battlefields where parents fight endlessly and children become the innocent casualties caught in the crossfire.
While his children were arguing one day, Dr Dobson pointed out to them: “Look out at that world. It can be a dangerous place. There are people out there who will make fun of you, or hurt you, or take your money. There must be a safe place where we care for one another and help each other. And that safe place is right here at home.”
Indeed, home should be a safe haven and happy environment for children to grow up in. It should be a place of encouragement, unity, love and forgiveness. This minimises if not eliminates the risk of children, particularly teenagers, choosing to hang out in malls just to get away from the troubles of home. If children feel loved and happy within the home, they may prefer spending time with family members rather than outside doing unhealthy activities.
That said, we cannot keep our children at home always. But we can educate them to recognise and avoid bad friends who are potentially negative influences. Peer pressure in today’s society is very real to both adults and children.
I see nothing WRONG with this advice on the surface. If you combine that with his dangerous advice he gives to those that live with domestic violence - which basically ignores the true issues - no wonder people get frustrated when things just don't turn out as Dobson wishes they would.
In his book Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis instead of truly addressing the issue he spends more time speaking about how a women can push her man to far, and would much rather be hit so she can show her badge of honor (black eye in his example) so she can get the sympathy she was after. I guess since he spent more time on this example then what he was suppose to be addressing you can tell 1) he clearly doesn't have a clue about domestic abuse, and 2) he doesn't know how to show others how they can reach that 'safe haven' he believes children need to thrive.
He would much rather blame the 'battlefields' instead of solving the issues.
We need parents who are bold enough to say to other parents: “Please tell me if my child is misbehaving.” No one has perfect children, and while they are at a mouldable age, we should do all we can to teach our children good behaviour.
In our urban society, there is little sense of neighbourliness and people are often apathetic to the safety of others. But wouldn’t it benefit parents to know that there are other responsible adults looking out for their children when they are not around? We can all play a part in reaching out to our neighbours to help and protect one another.
In these two paragraphs he wishes that parents would encourage other parents to tell them when their children are misbehaving, instead of getting defensive because they are critizing their children.
When will Dobson allow spouses that are being abused to do the same thing, and receive compassion and understanding? With his website he did change the troubling advice towards domestic abuse, but still insisted the book was fine. That to me in a counterdiction. The book itself - even after a couple of revisions - still pushes his very dangerous advice. Advice that could get people killed.
When is Dobson going to truly bring the evil of domestic violence out into the open, and beam that bright light of truth on it? His safe haven article is fine on the surface for alot of families, but if he can't realize that victims of domestic violence aren't the ones that should be addressing abuse within the home with the pert of the violence his safe haven advice is mute. The victims aren't safe with this person, and accountability and addressing this needs to be done with others because of the safety issues. Children can have that safe haven - at least most of the time - if the church would step up and realize their advice in some areas lack common sense, and how they lack education within some very dangerous areas.
Until that happens 'safe havens' are just a dream that may never be realized by thousands of children.
This was one of the first books I read that truly opened my eyes on the dynamics of domestic voilence within homes.
Lundy Bancroft followed that book up with:
I also read:
Which I have to admit was very hard for me to read at first. I didn't want to admit I found that label I was looking for. I tried for a long time to make me believe it HAD to be something else.
Is her newest book. I haven't read it myself, but I know others that have and found it very helpful.
On the faith side:
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