My dad once told me that when he was young and in trouble at school his teacher punished him for his misbehavior. Then, he was afraid to go home because he knew that he would be punished again--this time by his parents.
Today, when a child misbehaves and the school tries to discipline the child, the principal is likely to end up in court and the child sent to a psychologist for testing. In the end, the parents punish the school and the child ends up with the newest disability label, along with some pills to help him cope with his newly found "disability."
And what have we accomplished? We have millions of children who need discipline, but get a pill instead. And teachers, who once had time to actually teach, now spend much of their time managing the behavior of unruly students (and, frequently, their unruly parents).
What we really need to do is get back to basics. We know why children behave the way they do. We have years of research telling us what children need to be successful and why they fail. But instead of looking at the research, we look for quick fixes, and we blame the victim instead of looking at our own behavior as parents.
In this book, Cures for Parental Wimp Syndrome: Top Ten List for Effective Parenting, I explain the variables relaed to effective parenting. I hope that my words will inspire parents to think about what they are teaching their children by their own behavior. My advice is straightforward and based on years of research, direct observation, and experience working with many parents and children.
Some of what I have to say will make you laugh and some will make you shake your head. In the end, I hope this book will help you become a stronger parent for your children.
Thomas J. Zirpoli, father of Christopher and Julia, holds the Laurence J. Adams Endowed Chair in Special Education at McDaniel College in Westminser, Maryland. He is also the President & CEO of Target Community & Educational Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization serving persons with disabilities.
The author received a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Virginia, as well as B.S. and M.S. degrees in psychology and education from Old Dominion University. Before moving to Maryland, he taught at the University of Virginia and the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.
In addition to dozens of scholarly publications in professional journals, he is author of several textbooks including, "Behavior Management: Applications for Teachers and Parents," "Understanding and Effecting the Behavior of Young Children," and Behavior Management: Applications for Teachers," published by Prentice Hall.