What I’ve Read July 2020: POSITIVE DISCIPLINE-THE FIRST THREE YEARS

Hello beautiful souls, how are YOU today?

Of course it’s that time again where I share what I’ve been reading throughout the month and my thoughts on those books, however, July has been a super slow reading month for me and I’ve actually only completed one book!

So without further ado, let’s get into that one singular review, and of course what I’m currently reading.

Enjoy!

I have been spending a lot of time reading and studying about Positive Discipline parenting techniques over the past year or so. I’ve read several books on the topic already, so I was excited to come across the book Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, (From Infant to Toddler–Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident) by Jane Nelson, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn and Duffy. This book is a part of a large series of Positive Discipline books, each geared for a different audience (Teenagers, Preschoolers, Single Parents, etc).

As a first time mom discipline is a very confusing thing. No matter what, I just don’t now if what I am doing is right or wrong and other parents advice just never seems to fit with what I believe. With Positive discipline I have been able to better understand what discipline is and how it should be enforced. 

The believe of what discipline means is usually punishment and that at an early age a child must learn that when you do something wrong there are consequences. while this believe is true, throughout the book you learn that certain actions in a baby/toddler just has to do with their age and understanding. What children really need is guidance and caring. 

This book explains things to you in great clarity. It helps you understand your child in a better way and makes you get at their level. It explains things in an emotional and psychological point of view, and how their growing brains develop. It goes into detail to help you better understand life situations were the outcome can be better. You read real life scenarios that fit with your everyday life, in which a lot of us can relate to.

With positive discipline I have been able to learn and see where my daughter is coming from and use new techniques that will lead to less frustration and a happier toddler and a happier mommy.

This book helps teach you:

  • how to use nonpunitive methods but strict and caring ones
  • how to effectively use time out
  • better understand your child’s perspective at this age
  • better communicate with your child
  • how to better avoid a bad scenario 
  • create a better relationship
  • how to help them create a healthy behavior
  • use new techniques with less frustration
  • and provides you with great pinpoints to remember throughout

It seemed to fit my general parenting philosophy (no spanking or harsh punishments, but modelling/teaching good behavior), so I thought it would have some good tips.

What I love about the philosophy behind the book is that it’s so respectful to children and parents. Too often, parents demand obedience and respect from their children, while constantly modelling and demonstrating disrespectful behavior. It’s a recipe for resentment and power struggles. Instead, positive discipline is about treating children with kindness and firmness, so that you neither indulge them or disrespect them. How do you do that? 

The authors suggest that parents use actions and follow-through to curb misbehavior. For example, if a child refuses to hold hands when crossing the street, parents shouldn’t argue or plead, but simply grab the child’s hand. Follow-through might mean having a talk with your child about safety, and asking for their cooperation when you’re in a busy area with a lot of cars. If a parent shows with their actions how important safety is, children will take it more seriously than if a parent yells or argues.

I read this entire book and I was impress by the author’s emphasis on learning, listening, and loving. We want children to listen to us, but we forget to teach them good listening skills. Children learn to listen when we model good listening each time they talk to us, especially by asking “curiosity” questions and validating their emotions (even if we disagree with their actions). 

We also forget how important it is to let children learn from their experiences, including the consequences of their actions (natural consequences, not ones we impose). If we let children figure things out themselves, that’s usually a much more powerful learning experience than if we lecture them. That’s why its important not to constantly over-protect or pamper children–it makes them feel anxious and incapable, since they never learn to handle negative emotions or consequences.

Finally, the authors strongly advocate for treating children with unconditional love. Especially if they’ve made a mistake or acted very badly, children need to know they’re loved. It’s perfectly fine for parents to say “I love you, but I’m very angry that you did this thing,” or “I love you, but that is not how we should act.” When children feel their parents’ love is conditional, they may become desperate people-pleasers who lack independence, or they may rebel and fight back against their parents’ expectations. It’s important to remember that we can disapprove of a child’s behavior without disapproving of the child herself.

I’ve already started using some of the techniques with my daughter, and I feel like it’s helped my relationships with her. The book’s focus on solutions is a good reminder that while punishment might sate our anger, it doesn’t usually have the effect on behavior that we’d like. But positive discipline corrects children’s behavior in a firm, loving way, guiding and teaching them to be confident, capable, and to find their own unique strengths.

At the end of each chapter the book provides you with some questions to ask yourself to better reflect what you have learned. I would recommend this book to any parent because it does not only help you with your child your knowledge as a parent improves for a better relationship with your child. It doesn’t matter if you are a first time parent or a repeated parent you can learn something new that you just didn’t realize sooner. This book is so easy to understand and a great tool every parent should have.

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