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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years--Raising Children Who are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful (Positive Discipline Library) Paperback – March 27, 2007
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“The Positive Discipline series has empowered me and my husband to be the kind of parents we want to be day-in and day-out in the face of any and all circumstances. What really struck a chord . . . is that the concepts are simply and clearly presented chapter by chapter in easy-to-read language regarding real-life everyday scenarios. Thank you very much for the contribution you have made to my family’s lives.”—Mary S. McMahon“Thank you so much; the material you provide is so valuable. I have seen such marvelous results with my son in the past few months. For me, one of my biggest priorities is to help him develop into who he is as a person, and not smother his identity or confidence. Your methods have been such a valuable tool in enabling me to accomplish this.” —Maureen Pramanik“When I first became a parent, about six and a half years ago, I fell upon your books and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I have given many of your books as gifts to my friends and family because they teach kids to think for themselves, be responsible, resilient, capable, considerate, etc. Your books have really helped me learn the skills I want to become a better parent.” —Teresa Bouchard
About the Author
Jane Nelson, Ed.D., is a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, and an internationally known speaker.
Cheryl Erwin, M.A., a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the author or coauthor of nine books on parenting as well as a popular speaker, trainer, and parenting radio personality.
Roslyn Ann Duffy founded and codirected the Learning Tree Montessori Childcare and has written adult and children’s texts, as well as the internationally circulated column “From a Parent’s Perspective.”
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Top customer reviews
This philosophy has simple rules but they take a lot of practice and conscious effort to implement. Instead of saying "no" all the time, try to tell them what they should be doing. Using positive timeouts where you and your child take a timeout together in a peaceful and different area to reflect together on right and wrong and reaffirm love for each other. Encourage independence, encourage problem solving, encourage resolution of conflicts. Embrace emotions both good and bad and identify them verbally so they can learn emotional intelligence early, thus allowing negative emotions to be understood, expressed, and managed in healthy ways instead of with more crude ways like bottling them up or releasing them violently. Listening to your kids and respecting them so they listen to you. Modeling behavior instead of dictating it.
All this is positive. All this is healthy. Successful implementation is a total pain the butt I must admit. It is a lot slower than negative reinforcement strategies. If you beat your kid and make them feel real pain or real fear. They will never forget and learn immediately. But they also no longer think for themselves. It becomes not about doing what is right, but more just avoiding pain and fearful things. If no one is watching will they still do what is right? Positive reinforcement strategies aren't successful immediately and sometimes you have to repeat it multiple times with many failures until they finally get it. But when they get it, they learn it for life and embrace the lesson as their own.
I find Jane a bit idealistic at times saying reward systems may result in behavior change not for the right reasons long term. Limits need to be set and punishments need to be considered. I try my best to avoid vengeful punishments like going back on my promise or withholding fun and meaningful activities. I prefer toy timeouts for a brief period, I also prefer delays in fun/meaningful activities. Yet threatening a punishment always turns my stomach as I feel kids don't learn why something is right, they just learn doing right will avoid something bad. I prefer to refer to role models like their favorite characters, myself, teachers, other good examples and ask how they would handle a similar situation.
In the end I don't think anyone can truly mimic entirely Jane's dream of positive discipline but each of us can try our best to approximate it. This kind of philosophy focuses on long term gains instead of short term gains. It may not always work in the short term, but be patient and realize it makes for a much healthier kid long term. I cannot recommend enough that all parents and soon-to-be parents should read this book (especially the first few chapters which explains the basics of positive discipline).
Also note that babycenter.com is in my mind the best website for child development and guidance. They deliver advice in short tidbits weekly and always seem very spot on with problems and issues you may be facing at the age of your child. It also is very clear to me they embrace almost entirely Jane's positive discipline view and use it in solving the many problems you face with your kids.
Read this. It is worth your time.
A note to Kindle users -- Buy the print edition. The conversion from print to e-book was not done particularly well. There are many places were the outline gets lost as this textbook-like book is read in a novel format. For example, there are summary lists in bulleted format that end up randomly placed in the text. This results in a very distracting reading experience. I imagine the conversion used an automated process without a human to check the result. Additionally, there are several key tables that are TINY on the kindle screen. Very difficult to read.