I saw Positive Discipline recommended somewhere and tried to get a copy from my local library. The only book in the series they held was this one. I guess you’d call it the ‘practical guide’ or workbook to Positive Discipline.
It is fantastic. It offers practical and real-life solutions to a range of different behavioural issues while framing these solutions in the theory of Positive Discipline. I haven’t yet read the theory but in terms of what you can get out of this book, it doesn’t really seem to matter.
The main thing is, the solutions they provide make sense; they seem achievable and realistic. And the book covers so much, from Choosing Clothes, to Hitting, Picky Eating to Homework, Birthdays to Lack of Motivation. The writers haven’t missed much. I have already discussed how well the Comfort Corner works in our house and it’s an idea I sourced from
The approaches to children’s behaviour provide a perfect balance between the idea of gentle discipline and strict behavioural consequence for children. For me, the area (or gap) between these two ideas is attractive but ill defined. So many parenting approaches seem to fall into either camp, neither of which provides enough of an answer for our family. This book bridges this gap and I’m really interested to go back to the Positive Discipline theory as I feel it will resonate with me.
Each behavioural situation is set out in the same way. Here is an example:
Chores, Getting Cooperation
“It is a constant battle to get my child to do his chores. He always says he will, but then he doesn’t without constant reminders and hassles that usually end in punishment. I feel like giving up and doing everything myself, but I know he needs to learn responsibility.”
Understanding your child, yourself and the situation
It is normal for children to avoid chores after the age of three or four. Remember when they were two and said “me help daddy!” “Me do it too, Mummy?”? We discourage toddlers by saying, “No, you’re too little. Go play. Go watch TV.” Then we wonder why it is difficult to get them to help again. However, just because it is normal for children to avoid chores doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do them.
- Use the “As soon as ______, then ________” formula. “As soon as your chores are done then you can go out and play
(*there are more suggestions, this is just one example)
Planning ahead to prevent future problems
- Discuss chores at a family meeting so kids can get involved in the planning.
(*there are more ideas here, this is just one example)
Life skills children can learn
Children can learn that they are capable and can contribute in meaningful ways. They are part of the family and it is important to do their part to keep the family running smoothly.
1. Do not use punishment when chores are not done. Keep going back to the family meeting to work out the problems and come up with plans.
Do you get the picture? It’s great stuff. So practical and so user-friendly.