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The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten Paperback – February 15, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the bestselling authors of The Baby Book and The Birth Book comes The Discipline Book, the definitive guide to raising happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved children. Seasoned parents of eight, Bill and Martha Sears draw on personal experience and their professional knowledge as childcare experts to provide an authoritative approach to a broad range of disciplinary issues and practices. With a focus on preventing behavior problems as well as managing them when they arise, the Searses offer clear, practical advice on everything parents need to know about disciplining young children. Believing that discipline starts at birth, the Searses discuss baby discipline, disciplining the toddler, mother-father roles in modern parenting, saying no, self-esteem as the foundation of good behavior, helping a child to express feelings, the constructive use of anger, good nutrition for good behavior, and sleep discipline. On handling problem behavior, the Searses cover sibling rivalry, spanking and alternatives to spanking, breaking annoying habits, and eliminating bothersome behaviors like whining and talking back. The Searses strongly advocate teaching children values like apologizing and sharing, and explain how to deal with such issues as lying, stealing, and cheating. In addition, the Searses address building healthy sexuality and discipline in special situations such as after divorce and in the single-parent household.

About the Author

Martha Moore has been teaching AP European History since 1985 at Shelby High School (NC). She ahs been an AP reader since 1992, and a table leader since 2001.



William Sears, MD, has practiced pediatrics for more than four decades and is an associate clinical professor at the University of California?Irvine School of Medicine.

Martha Sears, RN, is a registered nurse and parenting and health consultant.

Martha Sears, RN, is a registered nurse and parenting and health consultant.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (February 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316779032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316779036
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nikol Le Vine on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm relatively new to the Mom Game, and I've been very happy with suggestions from Dr. Sears. The Baby Book has saved me on more than one occasion. So when my sweet little boy got to the stage where I felt like I was saying NO every 5 seconds, I thought The Discipline Book would be an ideal resource. In many ways, it is the resource I hoped it would be. Dr Sears covers different types of discipline styles and seems relatively objective in reviewing what's good and bad about each. It was nice to see the pros and cons, which reinforced the idea that you need to pick and choose what works best for you and your child. I really like books that stress trusting your intuition. The thing that I found a little unrealistic is how Dr Sears seems to think that as long as you're close to your child and follow the Attachment Parenting philosophy, your child will be a perfect angel who will obey because they want to please you. I think this truly underestimates the role of personality and disposition. Even children who are securely Attached are still going to have stubborn and independent streaks. Or worse. And while I love Dr Sears and think this book is a good starting point, I don't think this is as complete a guide to Discipline as it could be.
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Format: Hardcover
What a treasure trove of information! The authors write clearly, with a warmth and credibility I've seldom seen matched in other parenting tomes. It isn't just academic training that uniquely qualifies William & Martha Sears to write on the subject of parenting, although they're pretty impressive (he's a Harvard-trained pediatrician who's been in practice for over 20 years and is a faculty member at the USC School of Medicine and she's a R.N., certified childbirth instructor and lactation consultant). They're also the parents of eight children. These guys have been right there in the trenches! They've had 8 opportunities to ascertain what works and what doesn't and they've done a wonderful job of putting it all together in their book. There has never been a discipline challenge I've either personally encountered or heard about that hasn't been addressed. It's an incredibly thorough reference. In the beginning, the emphasis is on helping the child forge a secure attachment to his parents through attachment parenting. The authors explain how a secure parent-child bond is the basis for later discipline, giving many illustrative examples from their own experience. The most outstanding aspect of this book is the Searses' ability to provide a window into your child's mind as he hurtles from one developmental stage to another. It's so helpful to be able to stay one step ahead of your child! Understanding how your child thinks makes you become much more patient and competent. And once you understand, the book gives you a huge number of suggestions on how to correct all kinds of undesirable behavior ranging from tantrums in every conceivable scenario to bad language and more. There are even tips on facilitating tooth brushing and face washing!Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I am a strong believer in the general ideas espoused by Dr. Sears (family bed, avoiding spanking, being respectful of children as people, etc.), but I found this book very disappointing. First, Dr. Sears provides many strong recommendations about what a parent should and shouldn't do, but virtually no practical suggestions or examples. Second, in the focus on being respectful and responsive to the child, there is a strong implication that a parent who attends to his/her own needs is practicing poor parenting. I believe that a parent who sacrifices too much of her/his self is often a worse parent than those who have boundaries that are respectful of BOTH themselves and their child. Third, there is a strong and explicit value that the mother is and SHOULD be the primary parent, with the father playing a quite peripheral role. If you want a parenting book that teaches you to be warm and responsive to your child with practical examples, "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, How to Listen So Kids Will Talk" is a MUCH better choice.
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By A Customer on October 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resource for those who want to discipline their children but don't want spanking to be their sole resort. As someone who loves her parents but doesn't like the way they disciplined her, I found the information given to be very helpful. In the introduction, the authors say that the expert on your child is you, and if any of their ideas seem too permissive or too harsh, to go with your instincts. This reflects the "reader-as-capable" tone that prevails throughout the entire book and which makes it a must-read.
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Format: Paperback
I wish all of Dr. Sears books would be prenatal prerequisites and parting gifts at the hospitals! There is scientific evidence,personal experience, and genuine caring. Indeed,in an ideal world we would all be parented this way- people would value people over things.We have attachment parented our daughter by responding to her cues from day one in terms of nursing,crying,sharing sleep,holding and simply doing what feels humane. Zoe is almost three and this approach has truly helped me to know my child and has served as the foundation for effective discipline which is simply guidance, whether firm or gentle,it is setting limits,and correctng and redirecting. When you have done this from the beginning, "discipline" isn't something that you do all of a sudden now that they are a toddler. Talking to her early on and explaining things and having age appropriate expectations builds trust- this makes for a more harmonious relationship overall and quite an asset for there are days and weeks that are just hard- there are certainly challenges to being an "at home" parent-even with a great natured toddler,I believe that all of the Sears' books have affirmed the value that I have on the attachment process in the first three years of life.Attachment parenting is an investment.Our society wants independence and quick fixes where children our concerned: let someone else parent them,leave them to cry,spank,scream,ignore.These methodst have grave long term consequences-a good reason to buy this book! Read this book.
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